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. There are two ways to identify a niche:
Conducting in-depth market research and testing products.
The purpose of conducting in-depth market research is to identify a group of people who share similar characteristics, needs, or interests. Narrowing down these criteria will make it easier to identify a particular need that isn’t fulfilled yet.
Another way is to test products from various categories in our regular dropshipping store. After adding products, we can see which products are selling well and make that category our niche.
Therefore, we can conduct product research to find our niche by going to AutoDS’ blog, where we can find articles by simply clicking on ‘Product Finding & Best Sellers.’
Secondly, learn strategies to find the hottest dropshipping products and niches from Auto DS’ Sell These Now YouTube Playlist.
Finally, we can learn to use AutoDS’ new Product Research feature to easily find and import trending products for our desired niche.
Step 2: Pick Your Products
After identifying a niche, it’s time to choose products to sell in our store. While picking, make sure to pick just one or a curated selection of products from the same niche. That’s because customers need to feel comfortable that they can easily find the right products in our store without feeling overwhelmed by choices.
For example, it is better to list women’s watches and bracelets instead of listing a bunch of random women’s accessories.
Before listing those products, always ensure that the seller has stellar reviews and feedback. Anything short of excellent can change things dramatically since bad customer reviews mean a faulty product or an unreliable seller.
Step 3: Craft Your Message
In the third step, we have to craft our message for customers. When it comes to positioning ourselves as a brand people identify with, crafting a message that speaks to our customers is one of the most important keys to a successful brand.
For instance, if most of our customers are millennials who take care of their body and fitness, our message should communicate motivational fitness messages to that specific age group in our titles, product descriptions, ads, etc.
On the same note, some suppliers like Amazon allow us to add custom gift messages to our buyers when they ship out their products.
Step 4: Choose A Store Logo
Establishing our brand means that we need to have a logo to identify it. Our logo reminds our customers what the brand stands for.
Since the logo is used on our store theme, products and packages, it 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, and not just for Shopify stores.
Step 5: Choose A Supplier
After creating a logo, it is crucial to find a good supplier to source our products. Our dropshipping business depends on quality products to uphold our brand image.
Here are some of the qualities of a great supplier:
- Dropshipping friendly
- Private label/custom packaging
- Offers product branding
- Fast shipping times
- High-quality products
Although a good supplier doesn’t have to possess all of those features, the more features a supplier has, the better it is for our business.
Speaking of reliable suppliers, AutoDS supports over 25 dropshipping suppliers with price/stock and quick product import automation. To help our business take off, it’s essential not to compromise while choosing and always pick 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 a time-consuming and laborious task. 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, stock/price monitoring, and so 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. Our store template is essential to showcase our unique brand to our buyers.
With the AutoDS template editor, we can change the overall look of our store and easily assign different templates to different listings. When holidays arrive, we can bulk-change our listings to holiday templates. All of this, and more, help brand our store with the help of this excellent dropshipping automation software.
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 Your Store
Step 9 is 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, Shopify, and Ecwid offer full customization options to create our stunning theme and design. That is why learning how to set up and design our Shopify store with AutoDS’ Free Shopify Course is valuable.
Similarly, we can even add brand visuals on marketplaces like eBay and Amazon. For example, we can create unique designs for product pages with the help of eBay Listing Templates.
Step 10: Market Your Products And Store
Once we launch our store, we can start marketing it right away to generate traffic. Among the various marketing methods, here are some of the useful ones for Shopify stores:
- Facebook ads
The Facebook ad platform allows us to pin down a particular audience to target them with ads. Moreover, we get to learn the preference of our audience by using this method.
- Influencer marketing
Influencer marketing provides an excellent way for brands to market their store. We can start collaborating with influencers who share values with our audience.
This is an excellent reason to learn about 10 Influencer Marketing Platforms, to find and partner with the right internet influencers.
- Email Marketing Campaigns
One of the best things about running Shopify stores is acquiring our buyers’ email addresses. We can then use those email addresses to send marketing emails and promotions. It is one of the most effective ways to market your products organically, without paying traffic sources to attract visitors to your store.
On the other hand, marketing on eBay is slightly different from marketing a Shopify store. These are two methods we can use to market our eBay stores:
- Promoted Listings – Standard
Promoted listings are a way to boost our items and get more notably featured across eBay. Furthermore, we only have to pay for it after selling the product. If you are struggling with sales on eBay, you can learn about different strategies to increase eBay Sales in 2022.
- eBay PPC (Promoted Listings – Advanced)
eBay Pay Per Click is eBay’s new advertising method that allows sellers to increase sales by running ad campaigns on their products. As the name suggests, eBay charges us a certain fee whenever a customer clicks on the ad. With enough practice, PPC can generate massive sales to the right audience.
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 to our buyers according to our brand value, further enhancing the branding effect.
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 they receive it. All of these messages can be fully customized to showcase your brand.
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. 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.
eBay dropshippers can use the ‘Customer Support’ feature on AutoDS that handles all of our customer’s requests from a single page.
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.
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.
For example, Print-on-demand suppliers like Printful allow us to design and customize products and sell them on our dropshipping stores. Similarly, CJ Dropshipping is another supplier that provides Print-on-demand products while also providing custom packaging.
Likewise, Dripshipper offers white label services for dropshippers who want to dropship coffee products under their brand name (A.K.A private labelling).
In sharp contrast, suppliers like Amazon do not offer branding services on products. However, Amazon provides super-fast domestic shipping and quality customer service, which are vital components of building a trustable brand.
In addition, Amazon provides gift packaging with personalized notes for our buyers. Personalized notes portraying our brand values is an excellent way to promote our branded store.
What Is Private Label Dropshipping?
Private Label dropshipping is a business model where dropshippers get their products manufactured with their unique label before getting them delivered via their suppliers. Private Label dropshipping is somewhat of an oxymoron because it isn’t dropshipping.
Let’s say you have an idea for an innovative kitchen knife, but it hasn’t been produced yet.
Instead of waiting on a brand to create the product, we can negotiate with manufacturers and produce it ourselves. Then, once it hits the market, we can reap its benefits if the product is successful enough.
While a private label has its advantage, it’s not without flaws.
When we start a private label, we’ll have to invest upfront in manufacturing products based on MOQ (minimum order quantity). Likewise, we also have to pay for inventory storage costs either domestically or abroad.
On the other hand, dropshipping is a relatively easy business to run with minimal upfront investment and maximum flexibility of operating our business at any time.
For those reasons, private label dropshipping doesn’t go hand to hand with regular dropshipping. Selling private label products might be worthwhile for those who want to run a traditional eCommerce business.
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.
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)
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.
To continue learning, expand your dropshipping knowledge with the following articles:
- How to Brand Your eBay Store? Getting Maximum Traffic and Skyrocket Your Sales
- Shopify Dropshipping Stores For Sale: How To Buy A Working Business
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Branded Dropshipping Worth It?
Since customers prefer a brand they can trust, branded dropshipping is absolutely worth it.
Is It OK To Dropship Branded Products?
As long as you comply with the rules and regulations, dropshipping branded products is entirely ok.
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.