For your dropshipping business to compete in the expanding trade, you need to equip yourself with the latest innovations and trends.
After all, trends are dynamic and will change along with consumer behavior and preferences.
The more knowledgeable you are of them, the better positioned you are for coming up with business strategies that will resonate with your audience.
Trends that seasoned dropshippers need to know.
1. Product Personalization
The downside of online shopping is not finding products that fit the buyers perfectly. Most eCommerce websites only offer general sizes like small, medium, or large.
Limited options for customers will also limit sales, and the demand for more personalized products is starting to gain traction in eCommerce.
Brands like Thirdlove (as shown in the screenshot below), offer customizable bra sizes for their customers.
The concept of product personalization centers around a fit finder and a number of brands are following suit to this customized shopping approach.
The key is to provide personalization features for your product to better fit your customers’ needs.
2. Quicker and More Streamlined Ecommerce Operations
A trend that’s bound to carry out into the next few years is a quicker, leaner, and fast growing ecommerce business, and you’ll need the right tools to get with the times.
Using an eCommerce solution like Oberlo can help you with streamlining your business operations.
Oberlo is a digital marketplace where you can easily find products to sell, plus it offers features that will streamline the drop shippers’ product integration process.
The Oberlo plugin makes this seamless integration possible by letting you import product information and marketing materials from the supplier directly to your Shopify store.
The screenshot below shows how the product integration feature works: By choosing the product you want to sell and importing it to your Shopify store with just a few clicks.
You also have the option to modify the product information on the Oberlo import list page or on your Shopify store after importing the details (as shown in the screenshot below).
Another cool feature that this eCommerce solution offers is that it can automatically sync product details and updates, like the number of available stocks, price changes, etc., from the supplier to your Shopify store.
3. Web Payment Process
One trend that will radically change a key feature in eCommerce is the simplification of the web payment process.
Filling out forms using the same information again and again when buying from various eCommerce platforms can be aggravating. It takes time and effort, which customers generally want to avoid.
Web payments allow browser-native UIs to use formerly stored data like credit card information and the delivery address and by accessing through the Payment Request AP with a few clicks.
This system allows customers to bypass the normal checkout process â€” making the interaction minimal.
4. The End Free Returns?
Brick-and-mortar retail stores have two to four times fewer revenue return rates compared to eCommerce shops.
Offering return policies for higher conversions is a common practice to reduce customer apprehension, but it comes with a price: Free returns and free shipping incur additional costs due to returns re-packaging and handling.
The need to impose stricter policies is rising due to cases of buyers who habitually return most of the products after purchasing.
The challenge is to create a comprehensive system to track returned products and the original buyers.
Expect to see a vast array of retail innovations to discourage returns by giving incentives for item pickups in stores or more complex return policies to control the impact of returned products on eCommerce operations.
5. The Impact of Influencer Marketing
Influencers have the “mojo” to compel your prospective customers to buy from you. Younger customers, specifically, are more prone to this since they are often influenced by peer recommendations.
The e-commerce world is jumping on the rapidly growing trend of influencer marketing.
One of the most vital parts of this marketing method, however, is finding the right influencers who can help you with brand visibility and sales.
Remember, not all influencers are created equal. Depending on the dynamics of your business, one influencer might not be as good as the other.
There are several online tools you can use to find influencers, such as Buzzsumo, Klear, and Hypeauditor.
The screenshots below (I used Buzzsumo) show information on which content receives the most traffic. It also shows which domains the influencer utilizes more.
These are just some of the most crucial details that you need to uncover to determine if an influencer is a perfect fit for your business.
For example, let’s say your product centers around YouTube videos, like YouTube marketing, etc., then you ought to work with an influencer that operates heavily on YouTube.
The example influencer in the screenshot above would then be a poor choice as someone that you ought to collaborate with since he/she isn’t that active in YT.
6. Product Visualization Interactivity
Buyers will always have a bit of hesitation when purchasing products online. Questions like “œIs this worth its price?” or “Will this size fit me?” are their usual concerns.
Shoppers want to interact with products before proceeding with the purchase as an outcome of buyer hesitation, and they want to make sure that the products meet their needs and are of good quality.
The good news is, the advancement of technology now lets customers interact with products through computers and smart devices via augmented or virtual reality and 3D images.
Over-the-top infomercials have now been replaced with more captivating product videos and images, transforming online shopping into a more interactive experience.
The technology of interactive product visualization aims to lessen the customer’s doubts to purchase by taking the brick-and-mortar shop experience to e-commerce consumers.
Swatch, in the screenshot above, offers the option to customize their wristwatch design on their website. Users can choose different pictures, move the background layout in different directions, and zoom in and out to get their desired look.
Swatch also allows customers to add a simple text on the back of the watch for a more personalized touch.
Interactive features will help convince more customers to purchase because of the personalized process and connection that they can have with a product.
7. Chatbots, Virtual Assistants, and AI
Robots are starting to replace many of the human functions in eCommerce, and the development of AI and chatbots is streamlining the buyers’ shopping experience.
Regular tasks like handling customer inquiries and inventory management can be done through these digital assistance apps.
Beauty brand Sephora utilizes a chatbot for their Facebook page that gives an automated response to customers inquiring about their products.
Chatbots and artificial intelligence learn from numerous customer dialogues to develop better responses and provide better service to consumers.
With the AI and Chatbots’ functions making the user experience smoother, eCommerce merchants can focus more on other aspects of their business operations.
What are some of the most promising dropshipping trends that you’re keen on leveraging this year?
Feel free to share your ideas, questions, or even suggestions in the comments section below.
I look forward to seeing and responding to your comments. Cheers!