When considering various models of online sales, e-commerce owners frequently go for dropshipping. But what does it actually mean? What are its rules, advantages, and disadvantages? In today’s entry, you’ll learn how dropshipping companies work and what to pay attention to when doing SEO for a store operating based on this principle.
Dropshipping is a kind of agreement between an online store and a wholesaler. It’s about transferring the process of shipping goods to the supplier. Thanks to it, the online store owner doesn’t need any storage space. The responsibility of the seller is limited to collecting orders which are passed to the supplier, wholesaler, or manufacturer. In the diagram below you can see correlations between individual entities.
The dropshipping process can be described in a few simple steps:
The customer places an order in the online store and pays the retail price for the product.
The seller places the order with the supplier through the system or manually.
The supplier processes the order.
The seller pays the wholesale product price to the supplier.
The product is shipped by the supplier to the customer.
Dropshipping: What To Pay Attention To When Choosing This Model?
Every business bears some risk. The situation is no different when it comes to dropshipping. The risk comes after transferring the order to the supplier. At this point, the online store doesn’t have any control over the delivery time or the quality of ordered goods. Therefore, one of the most important factors when choosing a dropshipping wholesaler or manufacturer is to determine the conditions related to shipment, complaints, and returns of products without providing a reason by the customer. In case of faulty items or delivery problems, the online store owner who sells through the dropshipping model needs to face the customers. The choice of the supplier should also depend on the amount of offered products. The more goods offered by the store, the more lucrative the contract is.
Pros And Cons Of Dropshipping
The main advantages of dropshipping include:
no need to take care of logistics related to order processing,
reduced costs of running an online store thanks to not having to have a warehouse,
saving time - no need to ship packages, settle transactions, or order goods,
quick delivery to the customer,
the possibility to start selling with a low budget.
Unfortunately, there is also the other side of the dropshipping coin. The main disadvantages of this model include:
the risk that the ordered product is out of supplier's stock,
high cost of handling a single order,
difficulties in doing SEO for the store,
lack of diversification.
A Dropshipping Online Store And Its Potential Problems
As you know, the store is strictly dependent on the supplier it signed the contract with. On the one hand, offering a wide range of products necessitates cooperation with a few wholesalers. In this case, it’s crucial to find out whether selected contractors don’t include the non-compete clause in their agreement. It’s also problematic when the supplier stops selling a given product and withdraws it from the range. Due to the fact that the store is integrated with the wholesaler, withdrawing a given item means that your website won’t display this product page and instead it’ll generate the 404 error informing that the specified value can’t be found at the given URL. In this case, it’s best to redirect traffic to the category or product subpages thematically related to the object you previously offered. Not taking any action when seeing 404 errors will increase your bounce rate and make you lose valuable links. When doing SEO for a dropshipping store>, it’s crucial to be careful and make sure that the links created during the link building process are direct to the product pages of your store or to the website of the manufacturer. Incorrect linking will improve the positions of the supplier you signed the contract with, not yours. When talking about SEO, the fact that your store may be displayed for the same phrases as the manufacturer's website is another problem. That’s why unique product descriptions and content are so relevant. You’ll learn about it in the following part of the entry.
Effective SEO for a dropshipping store - invest in unique product descriptions
Integrating an online store with a supplier is one of the most crucial factors that determine efficient operation of your enterprise. Thanks to it, you can obtain images, descriptions and stock levels provided by the wholesaler or manufacturer. Why is it worth taking your time to create unique product descriptions instead of benefiting from the ready-made ones? Duplicate content which isn’t rated positively by Google is the simple explanation. All companies cooperating with a given supplier have access to the same texts and images. This translates directly into SEO. Therefore, it’s worth devoting the time you would normally spend to ship packages and write unique descriptions of your range. It’ll be appreciated not only by Google but also by customers. When writing the text on your own, you can benefit from the language of benefits and present the most important assets of the item.
Read also: How To Write Attractive Product Specifications?
Blog - a free tool that supports SEO
Sometimes, it’s impossible or hard to create descriptions on your own. Running a company blog is an activity you should invest your time in. This tool can easily help you reach better positions in the search results. Regularly update the blog with content such as industry trends, guidelines or product rankings. This type of content will encourage readers to visit your website and improve the position of your dropshipping store. Don’t forget to diversify the content. Benefit from videos and graphics. Thanks to them, you won’t discourage users with long blocks of boring texts.
On-site SEO, meaning all activities performed on the website, is a basic element that should be taken into account when doing SEO for a dropshipping store. The organic Google traffic can be easily boosted with the use of on-site SEO. It’s supposed to create a search engine-friendly online store. Page optimization is meant to organize the source code of a website. Such a code can be effortlessly read and analyzed by Google robots. This way, dropshipping stores are able to improve their rankings. These actions increase your chances of building up the number of page impressions and organic clicks. Let’s discuss activities you should perform step by step.
First of all, start with the selection of keywords your dropshipping store will be displayed for in the search results. This is the first step you should take before implementing any website modifications. This can be done with the help of appropriate tools and keyword research techniques.
Optimization of headers and meta tags is the next step. They can be found on each page and subpage of your online store. It’s advisable to alter tags and meta tags individually, depending on the keywords for each subpage. Page title, which is a website description, is the most relevant tag. This is where Google robots start analyzing the page code. Next, we move on to the site description and headers. Here, you can place important pieces of information accompanied by keywords.
Next, let’s discuss website content. Placing the keyword in the product name tag and in the alternative image description is a good SEO practice. Appropriate internal linking is the last step you should take. This element is as crucial as website content. Proper linking is the key to success. The structure of sections, subsections and products should be designed in a way that enables easy navigation through internal links. Following these steps will ensure that the texts on your site won't be perceived as duplicate content despite using descriptions from the supplier.
Setting up social media profiles and being active is the first step you should take to additionally improve the position of your dropshipping store. This way, you can inspire trust and generate new sales channels. Social media posts can include photos and quality links redirecting users to your online store. Multichannel, meaning selling through different channels, is the second extra activity. Benefit from auction sites, Google Merchant Center, Facebook Market and price comparison sites. Take advantage of platforms with product reviews. Such portals are frequently chosen by customers to share their experiences after buying a given item. Reviews are an ideal recipe to improve brand recognition and often affect the decision-making process of potential buyers.
If you decide to set up a dropshipping online store, you need to remember that apart from numerous advantages it also has certain drawbacks such as hindered SEO. First of all, think about duplicate product descriptions automatically copied from the website of manufacturers or withdrawn goods that aren’t offered by the supplier anymore. Creating unique website content will help you get rid of external duplicate content and will allow you to generate a new database of keywords different from the ones selected by a wholesaler or other stores benefiting from the same model. Therefore, invest the time you save thanks to not having to ship packages to work on your content and build brand recognition
He translates his experience in e-commerce into SEO. In 2014, he began his adventure in internet marketing, which continues to this day. He spends his free time at the gym, playing board games and watching TV series.
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