Branded dropshipping is the way to thrive in the fiercely competitive dropshipping industry by allowing us to stand out in our niche and separate ourselves from the competition.
We all know how people value popular brands like Adidas, Nike, Apple, and Samsung. That’s because the more value a brand provides to its customers, the stronger brands become, increasing its consumer loyalty.
So, if we want to influence the market with our brand, it is time that we look into the lucrative prospect of branding our dropshipping store. Building a brand is pretty simple with the proper knowledge and tools.
This article will teach us the unique advantages of a branded dropshipping store and ways to create your brand from scratch.
What Is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a business model where we can sell products without holding inventory and have the products delivered to the customers. The delivery is done via the supplier, who holds the inventory of the product.
In simple terms, we sell products to our customers without holding inventory and have our supplier deliver them directly to our customers. The difference between our source price and the end customer’s price is our profit as dropshippers.
What Is A Brand?
A brand is a company’s unique identity that differentiates it from its competitors. Moreover, it determines how the customers perceive the company and its products.
While logos, slogans, and stories are only the parts of a brand’s DNA, once they work together, a brand becomes an asset, more valuable than just the sums of those parts.
To put things into perspective, let’s take Apple as an example. Branding is at the forefront of their ability to succeed. As a brand, Apple has positioned itself to be one of the most well-known tech companies globally with incredible innovations in computer technology.
That is only possible because Apple combines its technological superiority with robust design and user-friendly interfaces. For that reason, when we see or hear about Apple, we feel a sense of familiarity and association with futuristic technology beyond just computers and phones.
Today, Apple’s brand is the company’s most significant competitive advantage now, and we know how it is panning out for them. Their market value has grown up, reaching an astonishing 300 trillion dollars.
What Is Branded Dropshipping?
Now that we understand the power of a brand, let’s understand how it works in the dropshipping business model.
As the name suggests, branded dropshipping means running a dropshipping business that has its own unique identity that differentiates itself from other stores and products. Alternatively, branded dropshipping can also mean selling products from trusted brands in our dropshipping stores.
While dropshipping branded products, it is essential to get permission from the brand owners. However, many brands are reluctant to cooperate with dropshippers because they do not want to lose control of their quality and unique processes.
Therefore, it’s always best to create our own dropshipping brand and differentiate ourselves by communicating to our target audience and fulfilling their unique needs.
What Are The Benefits Of Branded Dropshipping?
So what kind of benefits branded dropshipping offer over regular dropshipping?
Here are some of the main benefits:
- Loyal customers
- Fewer returns
- Edge over competitors
- Higher profit margins
- Building reputation
According to a study by smallbiztrends in 2020, 71 % of consumers prefer to buy from companies that align with their values. It shows customer’s values and beliefs play a significant role in brand perceptions and purchase decisions.
Branded dropshipping, unlike regular dropshipping, gives us a chance to provide our customers with a reason to come back again.
Not to mention the competitive advantage it provides over other stores once we successfully build brand awareness. Also, we can sell our product at much higher margins than other dropshippers.
We can also take advantage of this opportunity if branded dropshipping interests us. But before jumping aboard on the bandwagon, remember not to dropship copyrighted products as it can get us into legal trouble.
How Do I Get Into Branded Dropshipping?
With so many benefits, branded dropshipping is a lucrative dropshipping model, but how do we find our way into it? The answer is by branding our product or store.
Branding means creating a unique identity that will set us apart from other stores while giving potential customers a good reason to do business with us.
So, here are some steps to take when building our brand:
- Selling a specific niche
- Private labeling products/packages
- Having unique store visuals
- Personalized customer service
While many tools are available to help us create our brand, we don’t have to use all of them. But of course, using the right tools increases our chances to stand out amongst the crowd and create that unique brand.
How To Create And Run A Branded Dropshipping Store (step by step)
Creating the proper identification can be hard work. Still, the great news is that there’s plenty of work we can do on our own without hiring a pricey designer or running an expensive advertising campaign.
Here are 15 steps to create and run a branded dropshipping store:
- Step 1: Identify A Niche
- Step 2: Pick Your Products
- Step 3: Craft Your Message
- Step 4: Choose A Store Logo
- Step 5: Choose A Supplier
- Step 6: Choose A Selling Channel
- Step 7: Find An Automation Software
- Step 8: Import Your Products
- Step 9: Customize Your Store
- Step 10: Market Your Products And Store
- Step 11: Process Your Orders
- Step 12: Offer Personalized Customer Service
- Step 13: Monitor For Success
Let’s go over these steps one by one:
Step 1: Identify A Niche
The first step in creating a brand is to find a niche. Finding a niche enables us to narrow down a specific target audience whose interests are aligned with our offerings. Thus, we are identifying a need that isn’t fulfilled yet, which will help us scale our business.
With this in mind, to find our niche, we need to conduct product research. To make this process easier, AutoDS has different resources such as a blog page, Sell These Now YouTube Playlist, and a product research tool. With these resources, we can learn strategies to find the hottest dropshipping products and niches from millions of products.
Step 2: Pick Your Products
After identifying a niche, it’s time to choose products to sell in our store. Essentially, it’s crucial to pick a curated selection of products from the same niche. This is to ensure our customers are not overwhelmed by choices.
Furthermore, when we add products from a particular niche, then we can easily test the products. To elaborate, we can see if the products are working well for our target audience. If the products are successful, we can keep adding them. However, if products are not selling well, we can replace them with products from a different niche that will ensure us higher profits.
Therefore, it is better to list women’s watches and bracelets instead of listing whatever women’s products we find. Moreover, when picking products, we should look out for products with positive reviews because they have a high potential to sell. All in all, product research and testing are the key to success.
Step 3: Craft Your Message
In the third step, we have to craft our message for customers. That’s because crafting a message that speaks to our customers is crucial to becoming a successful brand.
For instance, if most of our customers are millennials who take care of their bodies and fitness, we should communicate motivational fitness messages to that specific audience. This includes the product title, description, ad, etc.
Furthermore, we need to frequently connect with our customers during the whole buying process and not only in the checkout phase. As such, we can message them when the order is placed or when sending tracking information. Similarly, we should also send a thank you message after the delivery is complete.
To send these messages, we can use two methods: manual and automatic. To clarify, the manual method requires us to enter customers’ contact details, type in the messages, and send them to customers. Overall, this process can be time-consuming and exhausting.
On the other hand, AutoDS helps us to automate this process to save us a lot of time and effort. With AutoDS’ automatic messaging tool, the messages automatically get sent to our customers. For example, if we manage an eBay store, AutoDS can help us automatically leave the buyer positive feedback and a customized message.
Now, let’s see how it helps Amazon dropshippers connect with their customers. Basically, suppliers like Amazon allow us to add custom messages when we ship the item as a gift. Therefore, when we are dropshipping, we can automate sending custom gift messages with the AutoDS dropshipping software.
Overall, one of the best ways to increase our brand awareness and customer loyalty is by crafting efficient messages. Whether it’s for tracking updates, feedback, or customized messages, we need to optimize the process to attain long-term success.
Step 4: Choose A Store Logo
Establishing our brand means that we need to have a logo to identify it. A logo symbolizes our store and reminds our customers about what the brand stands for.
Since the logo is used on products and packages, a logo also needs to look professional. This is where Hatchful comes in handy. It is a tool that helps us create and design unique and free logos.
Although Shopify powers Hatchful, we can use their logos for multiple selling channels, not just for Shopify stores. Here is how we can design a logo for our brand using Hatchful:
- Step 1: Sign up with your email
- Step 2: Choose your business space
- Step 3: Choose your visual style
- Step 4: Add your business name and slogan
- Step 5: Choose where the logos will be used
- Step 6: Choose from different logos
- Step 7: Edit and download the logo
To begin creating our logo in Hatchful, we should go to Hatchful.com and sign up with our email address. Once we sign up, we must click on the “Get Started” button located in the middle of the page.
Then, choose a business space. Here, we can choose from different industry types such as Fashion, Tech, Pets, and Games. After we choose our preferred space, select a visual style. In this step, we can select among various types of themes such as Modern, Futuristic, and Natural.
Next, enter your business name and slogan. Although this is optional, we should fill in the information for the best results. After this step, choose where the logo will be used. For instance, we will mainly use the logo on our online store and social media pages, so we should select these options.
As soon as we complete this step, Hatchful will come up with brand new logos. Then, we can choose the logo according to our preference. Furthermore, we can also edit the logos to enhance their look. Finally, we can click on the download button, and the zip file of the logo will be sent to our email address.
Great! Now we have a professional logo for our dropshipping business. Over time, people will identify our logo if we consistently provide quality products and services.
Step 5: Choose A Supplier
After creating a beautiful logo, it is crucial to find a great supplier to source our products. Our dropshipping business depends on quality products to uphold our brand image. With this in mind, here are some of the qualities of a great supplier:
- Dropshipping friendly
- Private label/custom packaging
- Offers product branding
- Fast shipping times
- Quality products
Although a good supplier doesn’t have to possess all the features, the more features a supplier has, the better it is for our business. To elaborate, let’s take a look at private labeling features. In essence, a private label supplier manufactures or sources products according to our specifications and brand name. Furthermore, they also ship those products with custom packaging according to our instructions and personalized messages.
When we privately label products, we gain a competitive advantage. That’s because our competitors cannot list and sell products with our private label.
Since we are dropshipping, finding suppliers who privately label products is not easy. The dropshipper would usually need to show proof of good sales records. That’s because private label suppliers don’t want to risk manufacturing products that might not sell.
However, Alibaba is an excellent place to source private label products. Generally, they require a minimum order quantity(MOQ). But if we show a proven track record and negotiate with them, Alibaba will support private label dropshipping.
Similarly, CJDropshipping is another excellent supplier that supports dropshippers who want to brand their business. For branding, they have private label services, custom packaging, and product sourcing requests.
With the product sourcing abilities, dropshippers can request for CJDropshipping to add unique products that are not readily available on the market. Then, we can sell the products in our stores and obtain higher profit margins.
With that said, many other suppliers offer unique advantages. Therefore, to help our business take off, it’s essential to always work with the best dropshipping suppliers.
Step 6: Choose A Selling Channel
Once we choose a reliable supplier, it’s time to choose a selling channel. Selling channels are primarily of two types: Marketplaces and eCommerce platforms.
Marketplaces are buying and selling platforms with an existing audience. In contrast, customizable eCommerce platforms can help us build our business faster and increase sales with more personalized features.
Since we are creating a brand, customizable selling channels like Wix and Shopify are some of our best options because it allows us to design a unique website and interface to compliment our brand.
Likewise, Amazon and eBay can do a similar job because branding is not just about a fantastic website design. Both eBay and Amazon allow us to create a storefront with unique designs to sell our products.
To learn more about dropshipping selling platforms that we can use for our store, check out The Best Dropshipping Platforms for 2022.
Step 7: Select An Automation Software
We all know that manually finding products, importing products, and fulfilling orders is time-consuming and laborious. So the next step is to automate our branded store with dropshipping automation software and get rid of the tedious manual work.
Aside from being a time-saver, automation software helps fulfill our customer’s brand expectations by consistently providing quality services.
With this in mind, one of the best automation software on the market is AutoDS. This one-stop solution provides plenty of features like product importing, order fulfillment and stock and price monitoring, and much more.
Furthermore, AutoDS has a variety of free templates to use for branding our store while also allowing us to import or create new templates.
With the AutoDS template editor, we can change the overall look of our store by editing product descriptions, images, and other item specifics. All of this, and more, will help brand our store with the use of AutoDS’ automation features.
Step 8: Import Your Products
The eighth step is to import products with optimized titles, descriptions, specifications, and images into our dropshipping stores. We can do this in two ways: Manually and automatically.
Manual product importing takes an average of 20 minutes per product. At this rate, importing hundreds or thousands products will take up a massive amount of time. Using an automatic method that saves us time solves this problem by importing products rapidly and automatically.
Importing products with AutoDS saves time and effort with the following three features:
- One-click importer
- Single Product (quick) importer
- Multiple Product Importer/Bulk upload with a CSV file
If it piques your interest, you can learn how the features work to help us import individual and bulk products to our stores.
Since we are branding, it is also crucial to edit product descriptions and images accordingly to reflect our brand image. AutoDS’ Advanced Image Editor enables us to make product images unique and stand out from the competition.
Step 9: Customize & Brand Your Store
Now that our dropshipping business is integrated with automated software, we can forget about repetitive boring tasks. Instead, let’s focus on making our store more appealing to our customers.
With this in mind, we need to implement our brand visuals throughout our store. Complimenting themes, attractive product pages, and ideal logo placement are examples of having perfect brand visuals.
Platforms like Wix and Shopify offer full customization options to create our stunning theme and design.
With that said, let’s look at an example of how to customize our dropshipping stores. Here are the steps to brand our store on Shopify:
Step 1: Choose a business name
Step 2: Create a unique store logo
Step 3: Select a Shopify store theme
Step 4: Create an attractive Shopify product page
When we are customizing our visuals to brand our store, we must start by choosing a suitable business name. This is crucial as our business name is one of the first things customers notice. Plus, business names can also be a part of store logos.
Next, we should create a unique logo. As we saw earlier in Step 4, creating a store logo doesn’t have to be hard! We can utilize tools to craft a beautiful store logo that will help us increase our brand recognition.
After creating a unique store logo, we should select a theme for our Shopify store that goes along with our brand image. To elaborate, themes are the visual user interface, and excellent themes enhance customers’ experience while navigating our store.
For instance, a sporty theme doesn’t go well with a brand selling electronic products. Therefore, we must select themes while keeping our brand values in mind. While some themes are paid, more than 100 professionally designed themes are freely available on Shopify.
Once we have an aesthetically pleasing theme, we need to optimize our product pages since that is where customers view our products. A good product page consists of high-quality images and videos, plenty of product information, and specifications.
Moreover, we can optimize our knowledge with AutoDS’ Free Shopify Course and gain valuable information on how to set up and design our Shopify stores. On the other hand, if we dropship on marketplaces such as eBay, we don’t have the option to fully customize our storefront.
However, we can add brand visuals and increase our brand recognition. For example, we can create unique designs for product pages with the eBay Listings Template. With these techniques, we can brand our stores on eBay and continue scaling our business.
Step 10: Market Your Products And Store
Once we launch our store, we can start marketing our branded products right away to generate traffic. Among the various marketing methods, some of the useful ones for Shopify are Facebook Ads, Influencer Marketing, and Email Marketing Campaigns.
On the other hand, marketing on eBay is slightly different from marketing on a Shopify or Wix store. As such, there are two different methods for eBay marketing: Promoted Listings -Standard and eBay PPC (Promoted Listings – Advanced).
Overall, whether we are selling on eBay or Shopify/Wix, there are various marketing strategies to promote our brand in front of our customers. When marketing our products, we should try to develop a marketing strategy in line with our brand values.
For instance, we can include our brand story and tagline in our Facebook ad campaign. As a result, this helps our brand build credibility over time and allows us to scale our business further.
Step 11: Process Your Orders
After marketing our store, orders will inevitably come in, which means we have to fulfill them by going to the supplier’s website and placing orders for our customers.
There are two ways of processing orders: manual fulfillment and automatic fulfillment.
Manual fulfillment means going to the supplier website for each order, filling in customer details, and placing the order. Conversely, automatic fulfillment saves us time and replaces this tedious process by processing bulk orders, automating orders, tracking updates, and handling returns.
Talking about automatic fulfillment, Fulfilled by AutoDS processes orders and updates tracking information automatically to keep our customers happy. The whole process is automated from the placement of the order to the customer receiving it.
Automatic Messages To Buyers
In addition to order automation, this service also sends automatic customized messages. Essentially, we should remain in touch with our customers throughout the buying process.
With constant communication, we let our customers know we are taking care of them. While we can manually type messages to our customers after each milestone, such as order delivery, we can also use the automatic messages feature.
Your customers will receive these automatic messages after the order is processed in the system, when tracking information is available, when they receive their package, and after receiving it. All of these messages can be fully customized to showcase your brand.
With this in mind, it is essential to include our brand name with every automatic message we send to our customers. This enhances our brand image and ensures we will attain repeat purchases from satisfied customers.
Step 12: Offer Personalized Customer Service
Personalized customer service is not just about dealing with issues such as delivery and returns but also about offering tailored and personalized care for each customer.
Similarly, any issues that arise should be promptly solved. To reiterate, communicating with our customers lets them know they are being taken care of. Not to mention, the communication should be done to reflect our brand image and values.
As such, eBay dropshippers can use the eBay Customer Support Management feature on AutoDS that handles all of our customer’s requests from a single page.
Beginner’s Tip: We should add our brand name to all our messages to customers. This ensures customers remember our brand when we offer exceptional customer service.
Step 13: Monitor For Success
The final step is to monitor, improve and start scaling our dropshipping business. To clarify, we need to remove products with many returns, bad ratings, and slow movers (no sales).
Furthermore, consistently add new products in your niche to increase sales because loyal customers are always looking for new products. When a product sells, add more similar products to multiply your sales while continuing to test out more.
Most importantly, make sure we stay true to our brand in every aspect while also staying committed to our audience at all times.
How To Create A Branded Dropshipping Store On Shopify
The instructions mentioned above works for branding our Shopify stores too. In fact, many dropshippers choose Shopify to create their own branded dropshipping store.
To help this cause, AutoDS’ Shopify Dropshipping Course has a complete guide on starting and running a Shopify store. Its comprehensive coverage includes a step-by-step guide on setting up, marketing, and branding your Shopify store. Also, it’s completely free to watch.
To make things easy, here are some of the steps you can take to build brand awareness for your Shopify store:
- Use a customized Shopify Theme that compliments your brand style.
- Use Hatchful to create a free unique logo for your brand.
- Use freelancer services like Fiverr or Upwork to get customized graphics for your brand (cover image, banners, etc.)
- Send messages to your buyers with your brand name and logo with special promotions (or just a thank you message) to help them remember your brand.
- Send out email marketing campaigns showcasing your brand (and offer promotions along the way to increase sales)
Can I Brand An Existing Dropshipping Store?
Branding an existing dropshipping store is possible and similar to creating a new one.
Remember to customize the design and add themes and logos to our existing dropshipping store. Most importantly, we need to make our customers aware of why our brand is different.
Additionally, we have the privilege of knowing what our existing customer base likes. Their reactions will clue us into their preferences, which will prove invaluable. As we create our brand, we need to take these clues and fulfill their needs to keep them happy.
Which Suppliers Are Best For Branded Dropshipping?
Although we can work with any suppliers for branded dropshipping stores, suppliers with branding services work the best. With this in mind, here are some suppliers that are perfect for branded dropshipping:
Now, let’s look at how these suppliers help dropshippers brand their business beginning with our first supplier, Printful. As printed products are trending, Printful allows dropshippers to create their brand in this popular print-on-demand niche. To clarify, print-on-demand suppliers allow us to design and customize products and sell them in our dropshipping stores.
Similarly, CJDropshipping is another supplier that provides print-on-demand products while also offering custom packaging. Next, suppliers like Dripshipper offer white label services for dropshippers who want to dropship coffee products under their brand name.
In sharp contrast, suppliers like Amazon do not offer product branding services. However, Amazon provides super-fast domestic shipping and quality customer service, which are vital components of building a trustable brand.
In addition, Amazon also provides gift packaging with personalized notes for our buyers. Essentially, personalized notes portraying our brand values are an excellent way to promote our branded store.
All in all, these suppliers can help us build a branded dropshipping store. Therefore, whether we are selling POD products or other branded products, working with these reliable suppliers can help us scale.
Is Branded Dropshipping Legal?
Branded Dropshipping is perfectly legal if you follow the rules and regulations.
Here are some rules we should abide by at all times:
- Avoid copyright products.
- Refrain from selling forbidden products, like tobacco, alcohol, and weapons.
- Follow the rules and regulations within your country.
The first rule is that we must avoid copyright products at all costs. To find what brands are protected by copyright, check the eBay VeRO guide. Also, avoid copyright issues when dropshipping on eBay, Shopify, and other selling channels.
Secondly, don’t sell any items forbidden to sell by Facebook. That’s because selling platforms will issue a warning or ban our accounts permanently for listing forbidden items. Also, we can’t run ads on products prohibited by Facebook.
While we have to avoid prohibited and copyrighted products, we can sell millions of fully legal products. Among those, we just need to spot a few products that we can profit from.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Branded Dropshipping Worth It?
Since customers prefer a brand they can trust, branded dropshipping is absolutely worth it. Not only that, but our branding helps our business beat the competition and in turn, increases our profit margins.
Is It OK To Dropship Branded Products?
As long as you comply with the rules and regulations, dropshipping branded products is entirely ok. To clarify, we should avoid dropshipping VeRO products. In short, the eBay VeRO list provides a list of copyrighted brands that are protected by their owners.
How Do I Brand My Store?
We can start branding our store for beginners by creating an identity, choosing a niche to sell on, and crafting a message that communicates with our customers. Furthermore, editing the store’s cover image and using unique themes to match our brand’s designs is crucial.
Congratulations on gaining a valuable lesson on creating a branded dropshipping store. You are now ready to create your own trusted brand that customers will love.
Launch your own branded dropshipping store and give the customers that extra something. As long as you are genuine about your identity, have integrity in what you do, and possess a fascinating way to promote high-quality products, there’s no chance of failing.
Moreover, success is imminent with various approaches like being an expert storyteller with your brand or having the ability to market other brands’ products more efficiently. In any case, don’t forget that success only comes with perseverance and patience, so leave no stones unturned while implementing the steps.
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