Oberlo Dropshipping: The Final Information for Dropshipping with Oberlo

Oberlo dropshipping is the most popular dropshipping method today. With hundreds of positive reviews, tens of thousands of users, and millions of products to choose from, dropshipping with Oberlo is a great way to start your entrepreneurial journey.
Oberlo provides new and passionate entrepreneurs a safer way to start a business. From the elimination of bulk inventory to the ability to run a business on your own, there are loads of the awesome perks to Oberlo dropshipping. 
In this post, we discuss the pros and cons of dropshipping with Oberlo, as well as give you tips on how to get started. 

What is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a business model where a manufacturer creates, stores, packages, and ships products to a customer on behalf of a business.
Traditionally, manufacturers sold products to businesses in bulk at wholesale prices. And while that deal worked out pretty well for manufacturers, it often resulted in catastrophe for business owners. From unsold inventory to high shipping costs, entrepreneurs sought a better solution.
Enter dropshipping.
With dropshipping, you pay slightly above wholesale prices, but there’s a lot less risk involved. You can buy products from manufacturers individually. What does that mean? That means if a customer buys a pair of sunglasses from your store, you can buy that one pair of sunglasses from the manufacturer instead of a shipment of them. So hasta la vista boxes of unsold inventory. I’ll be back to buy another pair of sunglasses when my customers do. Plus, you can leave the logistics headaches to the manufacturer and work on marketing to grow your business. 

What is Oberlo Dropshipping?
When building an online store, the biggest challenge is figuring out what to sell.
Oberlo is a platform where you’ll find millions of products that you can start selling today. All you need to do is install Oberlo from the Shopify App Store to find products in popular niches like women’s and men’s fashion, beauty, jewelry, home and garden, sports, and more.
Helpful resources:

Is Oberlo Good For Dropshipping?
Oberlo dropshipping has exploded in popularity in recent years. Here are a few reasons why:
Low risk
You only buy products from a manufacturer after a customer has placed an order on your store. You can test products via Facebook, Instagram, or Google Ads without feeling pressured to sell inventory (since you won’t have any).
Sell winning products faster
Say you hit the jackpot on that winning product. If you buy bulk inventory, you might run out of it and be unable to meet demand fast enough. However, if you dropship, you can sell a higher quantity. Even if your supplier runs out, there are usually other suppliers selling the same high potential product so you always have back-up.
Low costs
We’re not saying starting a business is cheap; we’re just saying that compared to other methods of starting a business, dropshipping has lower startup costs. First, you save a ton of money from not buying bulk inventory: storing fees and unsold inventory. Second, manufacturers have worked out better shipping rates than the average entrepreneur can, making shipping cost-effective too. Plus, you save money on the number of hires you’d have to make to run your business as it grows. Most of the work can be outsourced to a freelancer instead of needing a full-time employee.

Save Time
With product creation, packaging, and shipping out of the way, you have more time to focus on the two things that matter most: your customers and marketing. By focusing on those two things, you increase your odds of achieving success with your online store.
Automate your business
With Oberlo dropshipping, the most tedious tasks are automated for you. Store owners can browse and add products with good profit potential to their store with a click of a button. Plus, when placing customer orders for manufacturers, a simple click of a button fills in the product details so you don’t have to. And with manufacturers doing the heavy lifting with storing and shipping out products, you have one less thing to worry about.
Sell More
While some dropshipping brands add caps on the number of products you can sell, Oberlo allows you to sell an unlimited quantity of products – even on the Explorer plan. As your business starts booming and your team starts growing, you’ll be able to sell a higher volume of products. Take a look at the product collections of some of the biggest brands like Amazon or Walmart: the reason why they make so much money is because they sell so much stuff. It’s basically a volume game and Oberlo dropshipping gives you the competitive advantage top brands have.
How to Start an Oberlo Dropshipping Business
There are a few steps involved to help you build a successful Oberlo dropshipping empire. Here are a few things to help you get started:
Pick a Niche
There are thousands of niches that you can start a store in, from fashion to beauty to home decor to sports. If you’re indecisive, you can also create an online general store that sells a little bit of everything, but keep in mind you’ll still want to choose a niche for that too. 
For example, you might choose to create an impulse buy product general store or a general store that focuses on products for women. To choose the right dropshipping niche, you need to have a clear cut audience in mind to improve your marketing efforts.

Women’s fashion
Men’s fashion
Home decor
General Store
Home Improvement
Babies and Kids

Sign Up for Your Store
Now that you’ve decided on a niche, you need to pick a business name to start your store. Keep in mind that it’s best to pick a name that has an available .com domain name. You can choose a name that describes what you sell (FashionNova.com) or a unique name (Oberlo). The key is to pick something memorable, catchy, and easy to spell. Feel free to bounce back ideas with a friend or compile a list of random ideas.
Once you’ve landed on a business name for your store, the next step is to get familiar with Shopify. Shopify is the platform your website lives on. You’ll find countless Shopify apps, website themes, free stock photos, Shopify tools, and more that’ll help you build a successful, long-term business.
After signing up to build a store, you can install Oberlo to help you start your Oberlo dropshipping business. On the platform, you’ll find products that you can start selling the same day.  
Find Products to Sell
Oberlo has millions of products that you can add and sell on your store the same day. You can choose to sort products by order volume and customer reviews to help you determine their popularity. Oberlo also regularly puts out product lists of the most popular items so if you aren’t sure which products are trending upwards, we do all the work for you. Here are a few for you to check out:

How to Market Your Oberlo Dropshipping Business
Here are the three most popular ways to help you get your first sale with Oberlo dropshipping.
Work With Influencers on Instagram
Sending a Direct Message (DM) to relevant influencers, fanpages, and potential customers can help you land your first sale. Use hashtags to find a relevant person or business to reach out to. If you reach out to influencers or fan pages, you’ll pay a small fee to have them post a picture with your product, post it on their page, and give you a shoutout — Instagram shoutouts help generate sales. 
Hashtags can also help you find a potential customer. Say you’re in the bridal niche, you can use keywords like #engaged to find potential customers. You can send them a DM asking them to check out your store to help them prepare for their big day.

Promote Products via Facebook
The biggest mistake people make with Facebook ads is that they create an ad on day one without helping Facebook know who their audience is. A simple trick to bypass this is to create a blog post on your topic. 
When I was in the yoga niche, I created separate blog posts for yoga quotes by different niche influencers. I then posted them on Twitter (free traffic), tagged the influencer, and some of them retweeted it or shared on other social platforms. 
Since I had set up a Facebook Pixel on my store and created a retargeting ad just before posting on Twitter, I was able to retarget the free traffic that I got from influencers. That way, Facebook now knew who my ideal customer was since it had data from those first sales.
Leverage Google to Drive Traffic to Your Store
You can approach Google two ways: free SEO traffic or Google Ads. If you’re trying to get SEO traffic to your store, your best bet is to build out your blog. On your blog, focus on creating relevant, niche-focused content to help you bring the right type of traffic to your website.. 
When it comes to Google Ads, make sure to follow the standard best practices like writing enticing headlines, matching the ad’s copy to the copy on your product page, and using sitelink extensions to send people to relevant pages on your website.

Oberlo’s marketplace allows you to find and sell millions of products the same day. By dropshipping on Oberlo, you’ll be able to import as many products onto your store as you want. You’ll also save a ton of time with automated one click product imports and order processing. Oberlo has one of the best customer support teams in the ecommerce space with trained experts able to answer any of your questions while you build and grow your store. Looking to start Oberlo dropshipping? Start your dropshipping store today.
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Magento vs Shopify: Which Is Finest For Your Enterprise?

If there’s one thing all businesses had to transition quickly to last year, it was online selling. Most retail activities shifted from brick and mortar to online storefronts. 
But even as the pandemic starts to fade away, people are going to keep buying products online. This calls for the need to build an ecommerce store, and the good news is that there is no shortage of platforms available to choose from.  
Let’s look at two of the titans in the ecommerce space: Magento & Shopify.
If based on your research, the competition between the two seems fierce, that’s because it is. But don’t worry; we’re here to help you make the right decision based on your needs. 
In this post, we’ll do a detailed Shopify vs Magento comparison to help you identify the right platform for your store. You’ll learn about the essential features of both platforms, making it easy to compare and choose among them. Let’s dive right in.
(Disclaimer: This website is a part of Shopify inc. media properties. Although we strive to share factual and objective information, this post may contain biased opinions).

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Shopify vs Magento: An Overview
Before we compare Shopify and Magento head-to-head, let’s have a quick overview of both platforms. 
What is Shopify?
Shopify is a fully-hosted ecommerce platform offering web hosting, online storage, and unlimited bandwidth in one plan. It comes with a no-code store builder that allows anyone to build their own store—no programming skills required. Plus, there’s a theme editor you can use to customize and complete your store easily.

What is Magento?
Magneto is an open-source ecommerce platform designed to facilitate enterprise ecommerce brands. Being open-source means, it requires you to arrange and set up your own hosting. This can be inconvenient for small business owners who aren’t familiar with how web hosting works. But Magento is highly flexible, meaning it offers plenty of ways to customize your store (note that you need to be well-versed in PHP to use Magento on your own).
What is Magento 2?
Magento 2 is the latest version of the popular Magento enterprise commerce platform. Magento 2 supports the latest PHP and is faster in all-around frontend performance. Existing Magento users can upgrade to Magento 2 to improve their overall site speed.

What Is the Difference Between Shopify and Magento?
The key difference is that Shopify is a fully hosted ecommerce platform, while Magento is a self-hosted solution for building enterprise stores. So when you sign up for Shopify, you have peace of mind that all your infrastructure needs are already covered out-of-the-box. 
Shopify vs Magento (or Shopify vs Magento 2): How They Compare
Now that you have the background of both platforms, let’s see how they compare in ease of use, design, and more.
Ease of Use
An ecommerce platform needs to be easy to use for you to take full advantage of it. The simpler the solution, the more comfortable you’ll be experimenting with the functionality. 
Shopify makes it incredibly easy to dive in and bring your store to life. Once you start your 14-day free trial, it’ll direct you to an admin dashboard, where all of the tools you need are arranged neatly into easy-to-understand sections.
Shopify’s drag-and-drop editor allows users to customize their website however they choose, adding and removing modules like countdown timers, images, and text boxes at will.

Magento, on the other hand, isn’t as easy to use. Though the platform has a clean and sophisticated interface, it requires coding expertise to navigate and use effectively. Generally, you’ll need to either pay for a coding professional to help you design your website with Magento or learn how to code yourself. 
So clearly, Shopify is simpler to use than Magento.
Design and Themes 
Magento and Shopify come with access to various themes to help ensure you don’t have to build your entire site from scratch.
Shopify’s selection of theme options is vast, with over 100+ free and premium designs for you to explore. With Shopify’s intuitive theme editor, you can customize any theme to suit your needs. You can add your own content, logos, and product images. 
Alternatively, you can skip the themes and create your design from the ground up if you prefer. Shopify offers a convenient drag-and-drop builder, making it easy to add new elements to your website. You can add your own logo, adjust colors to fit your branding, and tweak the appearance of various parts of your site. 
Magento offers fewer themes compared to Shopify. There are about 16 themes to explore in total, and they come in a selection of free and paid options. Around 10 of the themes are mobile responsive, although you can add responsiveness to other themes using code. 
Developers can add their own custom themes and update the designs from the backend of their business, but this requires some extensive coding. You can add product sliders to your page, create animations, and include newsletter functionality in your website.
Overall, Shopify has a bigger range of themes than Magento. And Shopify’s themes are also easier to tweak as they don’t require you to apply code.
Hosting is probably the primary point that separates Shopify and Magento. Shopify will host your website on its own servers, while Magento relies on third-party web hosting to power your site. 
Ecommerce hosting is included across all Shopify plans, and no extra expense is charged toyou. While Magento is free to install, you’ll need to pay for web hosting to get things up and running. 
If you’re looking for an all-in-one ecommerce platform, Shopify is the better choice.

Ecommerce Features
Shopify and Magento are both products perfect for increasing your online sales and generating new store opportunities. 
Shopify comes with a host of ecommerce tools already built into your monthly subscription package, including:

Abandoned cart recovery
Checkout pages with Shopify Payments
Access to multiple payment options
Multi-channel selling across social media
Partnerships with leading delivery companies
Upsell, cross-sell, and marketing tools

You can also expand the functionality of your store as much as you like by tapping into the Shopify App market. Here, there are hundreds of tools built to improve your chances of earning crucial conversions. Check out these 16 best free Shopify apps to help grow your business. 
Magento also has an excellent range of sales features available, starting with a unique inventory system, where you can bulk import information from a database, experiment with multiple product variants, and access total revenue reports. Other features include:

Multi-channel selling options on social media and eBay
Checkout customization with branding
Abandoned cart recovery
Discounts and coupons
Access to additional (premium) extensions

Both Shopify and Magento offer tools to help you sell online, but Shopify has a bigger, more impressive range. Plus, Shopify makes it easy to engage in social selling, which is a hassle to do on Magento.
Inventory Management
Inventory Management tools are essential for running a well-organized store. Both Magento and Shopify deliver features to help with this, including product tracking tools, inventory importing, filtering, and categories. 
Shopify’s user-friendly interface shines here. You can use your dashboard to examine your inventory without any hassles. You can customize various form fields for each product, including product name, image, and category. 
What about Magento? With Magento’s inventory management feature, you can be more granular about how you label your products, with sizes, colors, and quantities. Moreover, the platform lets you integrate custom extensions for tracking things like offline sales.
Marketing Capabilities 
Magento and Shopify both come with a powerful range of marketing features to boost your chances of sales.
Shopify has a built-in email tool you can use to promote your products and share updates too. There’s also a range of amazing integrations you can access through Shopify for things like social media selling. Moreover, Shopify allows companies to sell in a range of languages, so you can adapt your marketing strategy to suit the customers you want to reach. 

Magento is a little less advanced from a marketing perspective. You’ll need to use apps and extensions to run email campaigns or create social selling strategies. Once again, you’ll need a web developer to create more bespoke marketing connections. 
On the plus side, both Magento and Shopify have access to various SEO tools. You can edit the page title and description on both platforms to improve your chances of ranking higher in search engines.
Payment Processors
Payment processing is among the most important features you’ll need to consider when choosing an ecommerce platform for your business. Both Shopify and Magento allow companies to take credit cards and online payments from customers using various payment processors. 
Shopify’s own payment processor, “Shopify Payments,” will ensure you don’t have to pay any transaction fees when customers buy from you. However, if you prefer to use a payment processor your customers already feel comfortable with, you can still access things like PayPal and Amazon Pay. These products do have transaction fees to consider.
Magento also offers access to various payment options, though they require more work to set up. You may need a developer to set up your payment processing system if you aren’t familiar with PHP. But Magento has no integrated payment processor, meaning you’ll need to pay a transaction fee no matter which third-party gateway you use for your store.
While Magento offers a few more ways to accept international payments, Shopify is the best choice for setting up payment processing quickly. Plus, Shopify’s integrated processor will help you avoid the transaction fee that you would otherwise have to pay with Magento.
Apps and Add-Ons
Apps and add-ons are a common part of building a successful store these days. 
Shopify’s App Store has over 6000 free and paid apps to offer, including integrations with some of the most popular tools in the world, like Oberlo. There are also apps for marketing, customer service, merchandising, and many other aspects of ecommerce. Shopify offers one-click installation for most apps.

Magento has around 4000 extensions to offer in its marketplace, with countless options for things like payment processing, SEO, and more. You will need some basic coding knowledge to install these apps, and it’s worth noting that most of them will cost an extra fee.
If you plan to extend the functionality of your store, Shopify’s apps are more polished and easier to use than Magento’s.
Your ecommerce platform needs to be able to grow with your business. 
That’s why it’s so important to look for a solution that can accommodate not just what your business is doing now but what it might be doing in the future. 
With Shopify, scaling your store up or down is as easy as switching your subscription plan. Plans range from Shopify Lite (For a buy button on an existing site) to Shopify Advanced for larger merchants. There are also enterprise-grade options in the form of Shopify Plus, where you can access priority support and different plug-and-play integrations.
Magento requires a little more technical insight to scale – but the service can still grow with your business. Once you learn how to use the Magento open platform, it can scale as far as you like, managing all kinds of traffic spikes and sales demands. A standard Magento website can host up to 250,000 products.
Selling on Shopify vs Magento 
What are you going to sell?
With Shopify, you’ll have the opportunity to sell both physical and digital goods side-by-side. You can even set up appointments and booking pages to sell your time and professional consultations. To sell services or downloads, you simply uncheck the shipping box when uploading a new product page.
If you’re selling digital products like ebooks, you’ll need an add-on from the Shopify marketplace to allow you to provide your users with a downloadable link. You can also access paid add-ons suitable for creating customer subscriptions. 
Magento’s open-source functionality is a bonus again here because it ensures you can sell anything you like. As long as you have the developer skills required to create your store, you can sell everything from services to digital items and physical products. Plus, you can attract both B2C and B2B customers to your store too.
Shopify is a great choice for small businesses, as it allows you to start selling a wide range of items quickly. You can sell jewelry, clothing, skincare items, and even food products via Shopify.
As you can see, Shopify and Magento both have features to help you build an online store.
Shopify is a better choice if you want to take a DIY approach to online store building. Plus, Shopify’s themes make it easy to create a personal online brand. What’s more, Shopify offers everything from hosting to online storage and from sales tools to marketing features in one package. 
Magento requires PHP skills to get around, and most small business owners don’t have time to learn them. Shopify, with its no-code drag-and-drop site builder, reduces the stress of building a custom storefront. If you’re just starting out in ecommerce, it’s best to use Shopify.
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Easy methods to Begin an On-line Retailer in 7 Breezy Steps

If you catch yourself daydreaming about starting an online store, now is the time.
According to online shopping statistics, an estimated 2.14 billion people will shop online in 2021. That’s just over a quarter of the entire world.

Online shopping has been steadily growing and it shows no sign of stopping.
And neither should you!
The good news is that setting up an online store is easier than you might think. In this article, we’re going to look at the key steps you need to take to have your ecommerce store up and running with minimal time and effort.
Before we jump in, let’s look at the steps we’ll cover…

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How to Build an Online Store From Scratch

Sign up for Shopify
Create Your Product Pages
Build Out Other Key Pages
Pick Your Theme and Design Settings
Set up Shipping, Taxes, and Payments
Add the Final Touches
Launch That Baby!

Ready? Let’s go.
How to Open an Online Store Step by Step
1. Create a Shopify Account
Let’s start with the beginning: sign up for your free 14-day trial of Shopify. You’ll have access to all the features you need to build a functional store. Then, when you’re ready, you can upgrade to a paid account and make your store live.
Signing up is simple and requires only a few minutes. You’ll need to answer a few questions, like your name, address, and a couple of questions about what you’re trying to accomplish with your store.
You’ll also need to come up with a unique store name that’s never been used before. This will be your domain, like www.your-store-name.myshopify.com.
If all your best ideas are taken, don’t worry — this will only live on in the backend of your store once you connect a custom domain (which we’ll cover later in step 6).
Once you’re in your shiny new account, take a few minutes to get acquainted. Click all the tabs and see what you find.

2. Build Your Product Pages
The next step for starting an online store is to add your products. You can do this by clicking the Add product button, which you can find directly on your dashboard or in the left navigation panel under Products.
Here’s a quick checklist for what makes a good product page:
Come up with a unique name for your product. You can inject some creativity, but make sure the name makes sense to people who are looking for this type of item.
A thoughtful product description can make or break your store’s performance. Be thorough: tell your shoppers all the key details so they don’t have any unanswered questions. 
Here’s another place to inject creativity — add some brand personality and paint a picture for how your product will improve their life.
If possible, take your own product photos (you can even use a smartphone!). Make sure they’re high quality and that your overall aesthetics and “feel” are consistent across all of your store’s products. 
Include multiple photos that show different angles and levels of detail so your shoppers can visualize what it’s like to have it.
Search engine listing preview
This is the page title and description that shows up on a search engine results page (SERP), like Google. Choose engaging text here so that people know what’s on the page. 
Bonus points if you can incorporate keyword research to boost your search engine optimization (SEO) rankings.
For more tips on how to create killer product pages, check out our ebook: The Ultimate Guide to Building Powerful Product Pages.
If you have groups of relevant products, you might also want to consider collections. For example, if you’re a clothing store that sells men’s, women’s, unisex, and children’s clothing, consider creating a collection for each one.
This will help shoppers more easily navigate to the products that are most relevant to them. And this ease of shopping leads to more sales!
You can create collections by going to Products > Collections.

3. Add More Key Pages
In addition to your core product pages, you’ll also need the “extras” you find on other sites. These include pages like:

About. Bring your brand story to life. Show them who you are and what you’re all about. More importantly: show them that you understand their needs and wants, you align with them, and you’re ready to fill those shoes.
Contact. Nobody likes a mystery brand that goes silent when you need help. Make it easy for them to reach you by providing a customer service email at the very least. Show this prominently so they don’t have to dig.
FAQ. Not necessary, but a nice-to-have. Help answer any questions before they even ask them. As time passes, take note of the questions your customers often ask, then add them here. It will save everyone time in the long run — and it will save you on customer service resources.
Legal and policy pages. It’s critical for you to have these — for your customers’ sake and your own. Be sure to create separate pages for your Privacy Policy, Shipping Policy, Refund Policy, and Terms and Conditions. Include these clearly in your website’s footer.

Shopify has awesome tools to help you generate your legal and policy pages (along with loads of other tools). Check them out here.
To create these pages, go to Online Store > Pages.

Add the title, content, and search engine listing preview for each page.
When you’re done, add these key pages to your website’s main navigation and footer. Go to Online Store > Navigation. Click Main menu or Footer menu depending on which menu you’d like to edit.
Click Add menu item, then in the Link section, type the name of the page you’ve saved. Click it when it pops up. Repeat until you’ve added everything (including your collections).

4. Choose a Theme and Start Designing
Shopify makes it easy for anyone to build a store online, even if you don’t have any coding or design experience. The theme store has tons of pre-designed themes to choose from, and they suit every budget. (Did someone say free themes?)

All you need to do is pop in your products, pages, and store branding. You can customize theme fonts and colors based on your unique branding elements. To customize your theme, go to Sales Channels > Themes > Customize. 
When you’re in the theme customization dashboard, scroll to the bottom of the left side panel and choose Theme settings. 
Here, you can make sitewide changes that will permanently customize your theme. For example, you can make all of your headings a certain font or color (like #0CA224 green, for example).
You can also edit the elements like product suggestions, social media icons, and a checkout banner. 
You’ll see that the top dropdown menu defaults to Home page. You can edit this page specifically or click through to each of your pages and customize as you see fit.
On each page, click the elements on the left side panel. Here, you can type in your text, upload your logo and images, change fonts and colors on each page individually, and tinker with other customizations.
The cool part is that you’ll be able to see all of your changes in real-time, so you can work as you learn how to set up an online store.

6. Set up Shipping Taxes, and Payments
In addition to all the beautiful front-end stuff, starting an online store means you’ll also need to have a well-oiled machine on the backend. Three major considerations for this are shipping, taxes, and payments. 
Let’s look briefly at each one. 
Shipping is a big consideration for an ecommerce business. You’ll need to consider things like the weight of your products, customer destinations, packaging costs, and shipping carrier rates — and all these numbers need to be balanced with your profit margins. 
You can edit your shipping settings under Settings > Shipping and delivery.
Another big consideration is taxes and customs duties. Make sure you’re aware of the tax laws and regulations in your home country and region, as well as in the destinations where you’ll be shipping your products. For example, any packages you ship to the EU may be subject to new value-added tax (VAT) rules. 
Edit your tax settings under Settings > Taxes.
If you’re unsure about your tax requirements and obligations, consider consulting or hiring an expert who can make sure you’re making the right moves. 
And of course, you’ll need to set up payments as you’re setting up an online store. Can’t run a successful business without getting paid, right? 
There are multiple methods you can collect payments from your customers, including: 

Shopify Payments (which accepts major credit cards and other methods like Apple Pay and Google Pay)
PayPal express checkout
Amazon Pay
Various third-party providers like Braintree, QuickBooks, and Windcave
Alternative payment providers like Alipay, BitPay, and Klarna
Manual payment options like bank deposits, money orders, and cash on delivery (COD) 

To set up payments, go to Settings > Payments.

6. Make the Final Considerations 
As you learn how to open an online store, you could add final touches for days to even months. The best advice here is to start with the bare minimum, and then keep learning and building as you go. (Otherwise, you may never launch!)
The following steps aren’t 100% critical, but they’ll add some nice finishing touches that will give your store that extra boost of professionalism, engagement, and trustworthiness. 
Let’s look at some customizations to your checkout and email notifications.
Customize Your Checkout
Under Settings > Checkout, you can tweak the customer experience in a few ways, like giving them the option to create an account on your website or letting them checkout with their phone or email. 
You can also use the checkout as an opportunity to let customers sign up for your marketing communications, which can have big benefits for improving your brand loyalty and customer retention. 
Customize Email Notifications
Shopify has tons of features that make it easy to build a store online. One feature is pre-loaded automated email notifications (and SMS too) to inform customers of major milestones, like order confirmations and status updates.
Give these some extra love by adding your brand’s logo, colors, and fonts. You can also customize the text as another opportunity to inject your brand’s personality and keep your customers engaged. 
Go to Settings > Notifications > Customize to edit the themes, then click each type of notification to edit the text.

Be sure to set up abandoned cart emails, which are automatically sent to shoppers who add items to their shopping cart, but never finish the checkout process. These emails are a great way to recover a lost sale.
7. Launch Your Masterpiece!
Finally, your creation is ready to bring into the world. 
Do a final run-through to make sure you have all your bases covered. Here’s a quick checklist: 

Do a test order to make sure checkout and payments work
Check tax, shipping, and payment settings
Make sure confirmation, order update, and abandoned cart email notifications are set up and customized
Click every single link to make sure they work
Make sure your store works smoothly on desktop and mobile
Make sure your policy and legal pages are accessible from the website footer
Show your social media icons prominently 

Once you have all your ducks in a row, it’s time to purchase your Shopify membership and disable your store password. 
Go to Settings > Plan and pick your plan (the basic plan is only $26 per month — start there if you’re new to ecommerce).

Once you’ve upgraded, go to Online Store > Preferences > Password Protection and disable.
Then, my friend, you’re ready to roll!
Opening an Online Store Is Easier Than You Might Think! 
While many new entrepreneurs are intimidated by the thought of learning how to make an online store, it’s not so bad once you break it down into steps.
In this article, we’ve gone through all the basics to turn your ideas into a real-life money-making machine. All that’s left is to master the art of marketing so that you can generate traffic, get sales, and keep your customers coming back for more.
When you approach it with a learning mindset, you’ll always have room to build and grow.
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The Full Information to Rising Your Enterprise with Instagram Advertising

Instagram is one of the fastest-growing – if not the fastest-growing – social media platforms out there. Since its launch, its user base skyrocketed to 1 billion. Also, Instagram has won the battle for engagement – the platform generates 4x more interactions compared to Facebook. These statistics indicate why so many businesses are keen to jump on the Instagram marketing bandwagon. But let’s get one thing straight: getting Instagram marketing right is no simple task. You must learn the ins and outs of the platform to run campaigns that bring in conversions. The good news? This guide will take you through the moving parts of Instagram marketing in an actionable, clear-cut way. 
Let’s start from the basics.

What Is Instagram Marketing?
Instagram Marketing Definition
Instagram marketing is a type of social media marketing in which marketers use the Instagram platform to promote their business. If “promote their business” sounds broad, that’s because it is: Instagram marketing can involve a number of different strategies and tactics, used to accomplish all kinds of goals a business might have.
When looking at various ways to use Instagram for marketing, you can split the activity into two main categories:

Paid tactics like advertising and influencer marketing
Unpaid tactics like creating organic content, such as posts, Instagram Stories, and comments, as well as engaging with other users’ content

Typical business goals might include selling your products or services, getting more followers and engagement, building relationships with potential customers and other brands, and generally boosting a brand’s reputation.
A little later, we’ll get into the specifics of how to set goals, and how to use certain tactics to accomplish them.
Marketing on Instagram: The Importance of the Algorithm
You may have heard the term “algorithm,” which is a widely misunderstood term. You don’t need to be a master of the Instagram algorithm, but a basic understanding of it can help achieve your goals faster and with fewer headaches.
While some marketers feel that the Instagram algorithm is their arch enemy, it’s actually a friend. That’s because its ultimate goal – like every other online algorithm – is to deliver relevant, entertaining, and engaging content to each user.
Algorithms do this by carefully studying their users’ activities and behaviors, then using this data to make informed guesses on what those users will want to see in the future. If your content happens to pass the “test,” you’re teed up for success.
We could go on for hours about the Instagram algorithm, but the main takeaway is that you should always, always focus on creating quality content that really provides a benefit for your audience.
No spammy posts or comments, and no content just for the sake of creating something. Be thoughtful and strategic, while constantly asking what your audience wants and how you can serve them through your efforts.
What You Need to Start Marketing on Instagram
Before you dive into Instagram marketing, make sure you have a proper business profile – not just a regular personal profile. This way, you can reap the benefits of Instagram business marketing features and Instagram Insights, which we’ll discuss later in this post. Plus, it’s more credible in the eyes of your audience.
Let’s take a look at how to create a business profile and some best practices that can turn a good profile into an awesome one.
How to Create an Instagram Business Profile
To create an Instagram business profile, you’ll need two things:

An Instagram account, which can be your existing personal profile or a new one you’ve created just for this purpose. We recommend creating a new handle with your company’s name for brand recognition.
A Facebook business page for your company. Instagram requires this for verification purposes, so go ahead and make one first. Here’s a step-by-step guide to create your Facebook business page.

Without further ado, here’s an overview of how to make an Instagram business profile:

On your smartphone, log in to Instagram with your company handle.
Tap the circular icon in the bottom right corner. The screen will expand to show another menu. Tap “Settings” in the bottom right corner.

On the Settings page, scroll down until you find “Switch to Business Profile.”

Instagram will then ask you to connect the account to your Facebook business page and edit your business’s public contact info: email address, phone number, and location. This will be public on your profile, so avoid adding private info.

And voilà. You’re ready to use Instagram for marketing your business.
How to Market on Instagram: Creating Your Strategy
Just like any other type of strategy, your Instagram marketing strategy will work best if you have a clear goal, choose individual tactics that will gradually build toward that goal, and keep track of your progress along the way so you can tweak where needed.
And that’s exactly what we’ll discuss now.
Identify Goals and Objectives
Your goals and objectives are the pillars of your marketing plan. We like to follow the SMART acronym for goal setting:

Specific: Give exact numbers and milestones instead of a vague goal.
Measurable: Choose goals that are trackable and measurable with analytics and insights.
Attainable: Be realistic. A million followers in a week is prooooobably not going to happen. (Unless you’re an egg.) 
Relevant: Stay aligned with your industry, business, and outlook.
Time-bound: Give yourself a timeframe to accomplish the goal.

So instead of saying, “I want more followers,” try something like, “My goal is to gain 500 authentic followers in three months.”
Instead of, “I want more sales,” try, “My goal is to earn $1,000 in revenue from Instagram Ads sales this month.”
And instead of, “I want a more engaged following,” try, “My goal is to grow my engagement rate by 1 percent in six months.” (Check out this article to learn how to calculate and grow your engagement rate.)
Once you set a goal, it’s time to flesh out your Instagram content strategy.
Build Your Instagram Content Strategy
As we discussed earlier, you have several posting options for building your Instagram content strategy. Choosing the right ones depends largely on knowing your audience.
Ask yourself: What are the key demographics of my audience? What do they like to do, see, and experience? What entices and entertains them? How do brands generate trust and motivate them to make a purchase?
You probably won’t know all these answers right away, which is perfectly normal. It’s a learning process that you’ll get the hang of as you go. But you’ll find that as you get a laser-focused understanding of your audience and what makes them tick, your Instagram marketing strategy will perform better and better.
Here are some pointers for building a strong Instagram content strategy:

Make sure every post is aligned with your branding and aesthetic.

Keep a consistent “vibe.” For example, if your brand is high-fashion, ensure that all of your images are high-quality, conjuring feelings of elegance and sophistication. If your brand is quirky or funny, Instagram is a great place to let your true colors shine.
Shoe company Allbirds knows that their audience loves animals and memes, so they incorporate these regularly into their content strategy.
Like this post, which shows a photo of some lambs wearing sweaters, with a caption that reads: “When the whole squad has their fall fashion looks down.” Cute.

Get valuable intel from your friends and enemies.

If you’re just starting out, it can be a huge help to peep at what other companies are up to. Check out top-performing posts from similar brands, your biggest competitors, leaders in specific niches, and the most broadly popular accounts on the platform.
Doing this competitive research will tip you off when it comes to important trends, best practices, and little-known tricks and Instagram hacks to take you to the next level.

Create a social media content calendar to stay on track. 

Create a social media content calendar so that you can always stay on top of your Instagram content strategy, ensuring that it’s cohesive and consistent.
To start, write out all of your posts for the next month, scheduling at least three posts per week. If you’re looking for inspiration or having trouble filling in all the spots, take advantage of free Instagram templates that follow common post styles and popular posts from other brands.
If you have a few bucks to spare, you can buy full packs that feature several templates with consistent visual themes, like this 48-template Instagram Commerce Pack from Tugcu Design Co.

If you really want to stay on top of things, you can use a tool like Later or Buffer to schedule automatic publishing for your posts. We’ll cover some of these apps a bit later, but in the meantime, here’s a handy guide for scheduling Instagram posts.

Use Instagram Insights to track your performance.

Instagram Insights is a free tool that’s available for everyone with a business profile. It gives you a valuable look at key performance metrics of your account, like how much attention your posts are getting and how engaged users are.
You can also see demographic info on your followers, giving you better intel on finding your target audience on Instagram. While this built-in analytics tool isn’t mind-blowingly comprehensive, it’s a fantastic tool for starters.

The Most Powerful Instagram Features for Businesses
Instagram has plenty of cool features that help connect users and enrich relationships. Even if you’re not a religious Instagram user, you’re probably familiar with the most popular ones.
Let’s look at a few features that can help boost your Instagram marketing strategy.
Instagram Hashtags
It seems that hashtags are virtually everywhere on the internet these days. When applied to your marketing strategy, Instagram hashtags are a clear signal to users that your posts are relevant to what they’re looking for.
In fact, many users look for content based on hashtags alone. So if your posts are related to a trending topic, be sure to include the associated hashtag. This can help you get in front of the eyes of people who are genuinely interested in what you have to say.
You can search directly in the Instagram search bar to find trending hashtags and scope out content that others are posting.

Other cool tools like Keyword Tool will generate hashtags for you based on your keywords. Many of these tools offer some free results, but require a paid upgrade for more extensive lists.

It’s also a smart idea to create a branded hashtag and use it frequently. This hashtag might include your company’s name or the name of a particular campaign, event, or promotion.
Instagram Stories
As of January 2019, more than 500 million people use Instagram Stories. The psychology makes sense: they’re a more exciting and ephemeral way to share with your followers, since they can only be 15 seconds long, they disappear after 24 hours, and they aren’t listed on your main profile or feed.
Stories are a worthy addition to your Instagram marketing strategy, as they give you an opportunity to touch on things that are more timely or in-depth, or don’t quite warrant a standard post.
Here are a few ideas for how you can use Instagram Stories:

Answer popular questions within your company’s niche or about your company specifically
Show “behind-the-scenes” content to give your audience a peek at how you do your thing
Promote your content, like a new blog, ebook, or infographic
Have a “takeover” where one of your employees (or an influencer) posts their own content for a day
Poll your audience on a popular topic or ask them for feedback about your company
Host a contest or giveaway in which you ask users to create a post a story that tags your account or includes a branded hashtag

Men’s clothing brand Chubbies has a creative “Welcome Back from the Weekender” series every Monday, which features a compilation of stories that act as a fun news-style show.

Be sure you mind your Instagram Story dimensions so your images and videos don’t look wonky to your viewers.
Instagram Live
Just as the name suggests, Instagram Live is a feature that allows you to engage your audience in a real time “live broadcast” format. This is an especially helpful feature for if you’re attending an event or discussing anything timely or urgent.
The cool thing about Instagram Live is that your story will show up first in your followers’ Story feed, and they’ll also get a notification that it’s happening when they open the app. But with great power comes great responsibility: don’t use this feature unless you have some truly good content to share, or you might push users away for wasting their time.

While each Story can only be 15 seconds long, IGTV was made especially for long-form videos. These can be 10 minutes, or up to an hour for accounts with more followers. You can think of it as Instagram’s take on YouTube.
IGTV allows users to search for videos that pique their interest, and also makes recommendations based on their past behavior and activity. This helps make sure that audiences are connected with content they’ll like.
If you’re just starting out, IGTV may not necessarily suit your needs or goals. But if you’re a media company, or otherwise produce long videos, it can be a useful tool for getting your message across and engaging your audience.

How to Market with Instagram: 5 Strategies to Adopt
There are several marketing strategies for Instagram that work even if you’re starting from scratch. Here are some of the proven methods you can implement right now to grow your Instagram presence.
1. Host a Giveaway with Another Business
Partnering with another business to host a contest or giveaway can work wonders for your brand. 
Low-sugar chocolate brand Truth Bar, for example, partnered with sugar-free Belgian chocolate brand SkinnyMe Chocolate to host a giveaway that generated solid engagement.  
The idea here is that if both of you have similar customer profiles, you’ll both gain high-quality followers. Request that everybody who enters the competition ‘likes’ the post and does some secondary action, like a tag or a follow.
2. Repost Other Companies’ Content
If you’re looking to gain a huge following on Instagram, consider sharing other brands’ content on your account.
This is both a smart and a natural way to get more exposure for your business. When you tag another business in your post and promote their content, they’re likely to reciprocate.
In some cases, they’ll follow you back and promote your business as well. And just as crucial, their followers are likely to take notice of your profile.
You can do this manually or use an app like Repost for Instagram for the purpose.

We suggest you go for the app because it lets you quickly select the accounts you’d like to repost. Plus, it automatically tags the original profile, giving it the credit for the content.
3. Give and Receive Instagram Shoutouts
Another version of the reposting strategy involves shoutouts. 
This is where you ask another business in your industry if they would like to post your content, and in return you post theirs. The cool part of it is that you can give and receive shoutouts in various ways.
Digital cameras brand Canon, for instance, allows photographers who own a Canon camera to give it a shoutout using the hashtag #MyCanonStory in the description of their post. 
Canon regularly returns the favor by sharing some of the most enticing work from those photographers. Here is an example: 

This is a brilliant Instagram marketing strategy that benefits both the brand and its partners, who experience a significant uptick in their following and credibility.
You can learn more about shoutouts in our ultimate guide to Instagram shoutouts. All it takes is finding the right partners who’re open to offering a mutual value exchange.
4. Let an Influencer Takeover
Next on our list of Instagram marketing tips is influencer takeovers. This is where you connect your business with an influential person who’s prominent within your industry.
For example, if you’re in the business of selling athleisure, you might collaborate with an athlete or fitness model.

This will expose your company to the influencer’s followers as they announce the Instagram takeover in the days leading up to it.
You can find relevant businesses and individuals to partner with by signing up to influencer marketing platforms. These are online tools that automate the discovery, vetting, and reporting processes, enabling you to focus more on developing influencer relationships and planning memorable takeovers.
5. Write Captions That Move Your Audience
Many people scroll through their Instagram feed when they’re bored or trudging through a mundane daily routine. You can attract and get this audience to follow you by creating intriguing Instagram captions.
The goal is to convey the story or feeling behind your video or image.
If the video or image is about a product, the caption is your canvas to fill in a quick description of your item. Explain why people should care, and don’t forget to include a few emojis.

In general, posts with strong captions can help shape your company’s personality and story. The key is to craft a copy that encourages engagement and makes people realize they need what you’re offering. 
These four Instagram marketing ideas offer a simple and effective way to strengthen your brand image. That said, it can take some time for results to come in if you’re starting from scratch. That’s because no one knows who you are yet, which makes it hard to get initial traction.
But don’t let that deter you. To hit the ground running, check out our recommended strategies on how to gain followers on Instagram. Who knows, you might get 10,000 followers in as little as six months.
The Best Instagram Marketing Apps for 2021
Instagram itself offers tons of useful tools and filters, but sometimes you need a little extra push to set yourself apart from other businesses in a crowded feed. 
Fortunately, there are plenty of Instagram apps available to help you do just that.
The best Instagram marketing apps will make your posts memorable, distinguishable, and share-worthy. While you might not be able to entice all 1 billion users, you should be able to attract the attention of those that matter most to your business.
Whether you’re looking to create better images, schedule posts in advance, or delete inactive followers, we’ve rounded up the essential apps that every business should add to their Instagram marketing toolbox.Note: Most of the Instagram apps in the list below are available for both iOS and Android devices. 
Photo Editing Apps
There are dozens of flavors of photo editor apps to help you perfect your images. Some of our favorites include:
Snapseed (iOS and Android)

Snapseed’s brush tool enables you to adjust for saturation, color temperature, and exposure, which is ideal for situations where you don’t want to auto-enhance every detail in your image.
VSCO (iOS and Android)

VSCO is popular for its movie-like filters and editing features that often beat Instagram’s in-app offerings in terms of creativity. You can use it to adjust contrast, enhance skin color, darken edges, and more.
Afterlight 2 (iOS)

With this app, you can add text and special typography to your photos. This is an opportunity for you to do something like create hype for a product or promote a sale.
You can also download Instagram video editor apps to edit your clips. Thanks to features like clip trimming and noise reduction, you can create good-looking videos without hiring a pro.
Scheduling Apps
Once you figure out the best time to post on Instagram, you can use scheduling apps to create and push more content to your audience. Here are our picks: 
Later (iOS and Android)

Later is extremely simple to use. You just have to upload a media item from your phone’s library into Later’s dashboard, and the scheduler will pop up. You can also write a caption, tag the location where the image or video was captured, and tag profiles of other users to increase your content’s discoverability.
Hootsuite (iOS and Android)

Hootsuite’s “Compose” window lets you decide whether you want to post content now, save it as a draft, schedule it manually, or queue it for later. Other Hootsuite features allow you to measure content performance, follower growth, and more.
Content Apps
If you want to get more followers on Instagram, you have to publish content that stands out. That’s where content apps come in. Our favorites include:
StoryLuxe (iOS)

This is one of the best Instagram Story apps out there. You can use it to apply a variety of stylish filters, colors, textures, and templates to your Stories. Most of these are trendy and creative, often inspired by cinematic photography.
Layout (iOS and Android)

Layout is a super-smooth, feature-rich image mixer that instantly lays out up to nine images in several combinations to create a collage. You can select photos from your camera roll or capture them with the built-in image booth as you go.
 Splice (iOS)

GoPro’s Splice comes with simple-yet-powerful editing features. You can use it to combine your favorite images and videos into one cohesive media clip, and then use the integrated music library and transition effects to create a masterpiece. 
It’s worth experimenting with these apps and using Instagram Insights to monitor how they’re impacting your marketing strategy. Use the ones that have made a positive impact in conjunction with other mobile marketing apps to grow your business. With all the incredible apps available in the market, you’re sure to land some good combinations. 
Making Money with Instagram Marketing
If you love being active on Instagram and have a decent number of engaged followers, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to make money on Instagram.
While top influencers make millions per post, even those with a following between 1,000 and 10,000 have the potential to turn Instagram into a healthy source of income.
To help get you started, check out these three ideas to start making money with Instagram marketing.
1. Sell Your Own Products
You can start making money by selling any digital or physical product that you manufacture yourself or buy from suppliers.
Physical products require keeping some inventory, meaning you’d need to spend some money to rent a place where you can keep the items. However, not everyone has the startup capital or funds to rent storage space.
The good news is that you can always sell dropshipped products. This technique lets you sell on Instagram without ever holding any inventory.
Once you’ve made a sale the supplier will ship the ordered goods from their facility, straight to the customer’s home. You’ll never need to worry about shipping, storing, or packaging your products.
2. Sign Up For an Affiliate Program
Alternatively, you can sell other people’s products as an affiliate and receive a cut. There are many people and companies that make money from Instagram like this. Make sure to use relevant hashtags on all affiliate posts to reach more audiences who might be interested in taking up your offer. 
Affiliates earn their bounty via a promo code or a trackable link (most Instagrammers put it in their bio) to ensure any clicks are converted to sales. You can use these eye-catching post ideas to ensure your content draws people in to check out your affiliate product or service.

Find an affiliate program that pays the commission you want, and is related to the niche of your business in some way. For example, if you’re a veterinarian by profession, you may sign up for an affiliate program promoting a certain pet food brand or supplement.  
The best way to do this is to search for your niche or profession on Google, along with the keyword “affiliate programs.” A veterinarian can search for “pet affiliate programs” or “dog food affiliate programs,” for instance.
3. Become an Influencer
With an influencer status, you can start pitching brands to promote their products and services in your posts. 
Companies tend to partner with influencers to create sponsored content that helps spread the word about their offerings. Common types of content include an Instagram story or Instagram post that will include an explanation of the business or its products.

So, once you have increased your follower count above a thousand and have a good engagement rate, start your influencer outreach. The easiest way to do this is to send direct messages to brands you think are relevant to your business. If you’ve seen them collaborate with other influencers of your level, they’re likely to be open to hearing what you have to offer. 
Top influencers make hundreds to thousands of dollars per sponsored story or post. If you create one piece of sponsored content per day, you can potentially make thousands of dollars per month.  
With all of the new features and opportunities available on Instagram (and more to come), the platform is becoming one of the more popular channels for people and companies to make some cash.
Don’t let a small follower count discourage you from selling what you have to offer. 
As long as you’re selling high-quality products, signing up for the right affiliate programs, and collaborating with relevant businesses, you’re on the right path to earning money via Instagram marketing.
Or, if you’re looking for tips that will help you create additional streams of potential revenue, check out our detailed guide on how to make money on Instagram.
Instagram Campaign Examples for Inspiration
To get your creative juices flowing, let’s look at a few common examples of Instagram marketing.
1. Fitbit’s bonus Spotify playlists
FitBit does a great job of promoting their product while giving their followers a “bonus” in the form of a Spotify playlist to listen to during their workout. The post features a fun visual of a FitBit displaying Spotify playlists..

2. Audible Canada’s influencer shoutout
When you can find the right influencers to match your brand, it can give you a serious boost in followers, sales, and overall brand recognition. The key here is that it’s imperative to find the right influencers.
In this example, Audible’s Canada division partnered with tech influencer @thetrendytechie. In her typical post style, she explains what she’s listening to and why she likes using Audible.

She sealed the deal with a relevant hashtag, #yougottahearthis, which makes the post searchable to Instagram users looking for a convenient way to keep and hear audiobooks.
3. DeLallo Foods and Room & Board’s Cross-Promotion
Another best Instagram marketing tactic is partnering with other brands to cross-promote contests and giveaways.
In this example, recipe curator @thefeedfeed partnered with DeLallo Foods and furniture company Room & Board to host a contest with prizes from each of the three brands.
As an added bonus, the image used to promote the contest is an actual entry – a gorgeous and mouth-watering appetizer spread from one of TheFeedFeed’s existing followers.

Harness the Power of Instagram Marketing
Instagram is an absolute powerhouse in the social media world. For brands, there’s a virtually infinite amount of untapped potential to get attention, stimulate engagement, build strong relationships, and cruise past those annual financial goals.
While it can seem like a vast and intimidating world of its own, new companies have nothing to worry about – as long as they’re constantly watching, listening, and learning as they go. If you start your Instagram marketing strategy with a growth mindset, you’ll find that it gets easier and more lucrative as you go. It also gets pretty fun, if you play your cards right.

The Final Information to Product Packaging

There are so many different factors that influence how customers perceive your brand, and the product packaging you choose and design is definitely one of them.
Product packaging all comes down to how the product is presented, and it is closely tied in with customer perception. It can tell a story and set the stage for how you want to represent your entire organization. Choosing a look that’s clean and modern for your product package will leave a different impression than one that uses a beachy design, or one focused on a rustic, natural look. 
Product packaging says a lot about your brand in a fraction of a second, with customers sometimes judging the value or quality of a product just at a glance. The right packaging can also help you to sell more by standing out, which is another big asset. 
Packaging may seem like a minor detail, and too many merchants overlook it until the last possible moment. However, packaging is an important component of your marketing and service strategy, and it isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly. In this post, we’ll walk you through the process of selecting a strong packaging design that will represent you well and help you maximize sales. 

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Packaging for products: What you need to know before you design 
There’s a lot that goes into product packaging design: colors, visuals, size, shape, boxes vs. bags vs. wrapping, materials, and more. Before you start making any of those decisions, it’s crucial to do some research first.
You’ll want to understand four key things, which will impact your package design significantly. These include: 

Who your audience is. You need to understand who your target audience is and what they want from a product in your industry to design packaging that will appeal specifically to them. Many men, for example, aren’t naturally going to reach for something in a flowery pink bottle. 
Connotations you want to evoke. What do you want people to think of when they see your brand? Think about the audience here. Natural, rustic packaging works great for organic skin care products when the brand is stressing natural ingredients, but wouldn’t necessarily work well if you’re trying to represent your products as clinically-crafted instead.   
The visual branding you already have established. Do you already have a website, brand name, and/or logo? It’s important to choose packaging that will work well with what you’re already working with, supporting your brand instead of working against it. 
What else is happening in the market. You want to look at what your competitors are doing. It’s good to understand what’s standard, so you can look for a design that will stand out. That being said, sometimes it’s good to stick with the status quo; if consumers expect shampoo to be sold in bottles instead of laminated envelopes, you may want to think twice about going against that. 

Product packaging types to consider
There are three main types of product packaging that you may need, depending on what sort of products you sell and how they’re getting them to the consumer. Let’s take a look at each one. 
Product Packaging 
You need to package up the product itself. This will immediately protect whatever you’re selling. Think the bottle for the shampoo, or the wrapper for the candy bar, or the box for the jewelry that you’re selling. The product packaging also includes the labels and/or hanging tags that will go on those products, if applicable. 

The immediate product packaging is likely going to be the central focus, so this is where you should start. If customers are seeing it on a shelf, what will make them want to grab it? Functionality and aesthetics are both important here. 
Outer Product Packaging 
If you’re shipping products to clients, how are you doing that? Envelopes, boxes, or something else? Or maybe you’re distributing shelving boxes to sell those candy bars to boutiques or small local merchants, too; what do those boxes look like?

Outer product packaging is the box or packaging that your products will be delivered in, which is particularly important for shipping purposes. They often include branded mailing boxes, envelopes, and stickers. This gives you the chance to leave a stronger impression the second the customer sees the package in the mail. 

Inner Product Packaging 
If you need outer product packaging, you may need inner product packaging, too. This includes everything that goes inside that outer box or envelope that isn’t the product itself. It may include shredded paper or packing peanuts, mailer inserts to keep everything in place, instructional booklets or pamphlets, and more.

The big thing to focus on here is practicality. How can you ship that glass bottle of lotion and ensure that it isn’t breaking? Wrapping the item in a cloth bag or paper and then sticking in shredded paper, for example, can help protect it. 
All of this can be branded, giving your packaging a more uniform appearance, which makes your brand look established and professional. It also gives you control over the full customer experience when it comes to how they’re receiving your product. 
How to package a product: 6 things you need to place on your boxes
When you’re designing your product packaging, there are going to be six things you need to keep in mind every single time. These include:

Product titles. What is the name of the product? It needs to appear on the packaging.
Copy explaining what the product is. This may be a simple tagline, or it could be a small section somewhere on the label detailing exactly what it does.
Instructions for how to use it and care for it. Clothing may be handwash only, for example, or you may be selling camping gear that’s only suitable for certain weather conditions. Detail this on the product directly. 
Imagery. This includes brand logos and anything specific to the product itself that your designer has come up with.
Required information like safety labels, nutrition labels, or bar codes. Some industries and locations have requirements for information like this, depending on what you’re selling. Double check and see what you need to be placing on your packaging.
As-needed information like batch numbers. Even if the numbers are obviously changing, you’ll need to make sure that there’s a space somewhere on the packaging for this to be placed. 

How to design ecommerce packaging: 6 key steps
There are six key steps involved in the brand packaging process. Let’s take a look at each one. 
1. Do your research 
Do your research up front. We covered this earlier in the post. You need to know who your audience is, what’s currently happening in the marketplace, and what you want your packaging to say about the product you’re selling. Competitor and market research is going to be big here, and  developing buyer personas for each individual product if you haven’t yet will also be useful.  
Branding and packaging go hand in hand. Keep this in mind. 
2. Choose your product container type 
Before you make any further decisions, it’s important to decide what type of product container you may need. Different options for product packaging include:

Glass jars
Laminated envelopes
Cardboard tubes 

Remember to choose something that meets all the following criteria:

It looks great
It aligns with what users would expect if there’s an industry standard 
It’s functional
It will ship well 

3. Decide what you need 
Once you’ve chosen the exact types of product containers you want to go with, it’s time to look at everything else that you may need.  
Think about how your product will get from your store to the customer on a practical and aesthetic level. You’ll need a shipping container, like a mailer envelope or box. But what else will you need to ensure that everything arrives looking great and with the product protected so that the customer has the best experience possible?

In addition to that branded shipping box, you may also want to purchase branded packing tape. And maybe you have standard product kits that could easily benefit from a custom mailer insert, or you realize that you need packing peanuts or shredded paper to make sure that your products reach the customer safely.
Consider all of this, and make a list of everything that you need. It will be important moving forward. 
4. Design the packaging 
This may be a one-time cost, where you hire someone to design the packaging that you need, including the outer and inner packaging, too. 
During this stage, make it clear what color scheme, imagery, and overall aesthetic that you’re going for. It’s important to make sure that it’s clear what exactly your product is, so that if someone were to ever see it on a shelf they wouldn’t be left scratching their heads. Remember to include everything on the packaging that’s needed, including the batch numbers and/or safety information. If you forget it the first time around, you’ll have to start from scratch (and pay for a do-over). 
Many printing companies offer packaging design services, streamlining the process for you. You just need to tell them what you want, and they can handle the more technical logistics for you. It’s also a good idea to explore graphic design packaging services on marketplaces like Fiverr. There’s no shortage of talented designers out there who can make visually appealing package designs.
5. Get feedback 
Once the design is complete, it will be shot back to you for approval. Review it carefully. Double check all the copy and make sure that it’s exactly how you want, and ensure that it looks how you envisioned (or better!). 
Once you get the final designs, get feedback. Ask peers who are experienced in the ecommerce or retail industry who want you to succeed, or friends whose taste in design that you trust. If possible, you can even ask members of your target audience, whose opinions will matter greatly when it comes time for the product to actually be purchased.
This can be a big decision, so you want to get it right before you start ordering. 
6. Start the printing process
Once you’re ready to have your packaging created, all that’s left to do is find a printer and get things moving. The following options are all good choices for having your products packaged:

Sticker mule for product packaging labels to go on external packaging like boxes or jars
UPrinting and Packlane for custom designs that include product boxes, mailer boxes, and shipping boxes
PrintingForLess for everything from custom candy wrappers, gift card holders, belly bands, hang tags, folding cartons, and inserts
Lumi for tape, tissue paper, mailer bags, laminated pouches, cotton bags, and envelope sleeves. 

Many printers allow you to have a prototype made before ordering a full batch. Take advantage of this to make sure everything is perfect. 
Best product packaging designs for inspiration
Looking for a few packaging design ideas to give you some inspiration? Take a look at these incredible ecommerce packaging examples, all of which are versatile and could easily be adapted for your brand and at a low cost.
1. Skinfood by AB 
Skinfood by AB is a shop on Etsy that sells organic, handmade, natural beauty products. Their packaging layout is exceptional, which is partially what helped them get a deal with a big-name company like Whole Foods.
This small brand has gorgeous packaging that gives the shop an established feel. Clean white labels are still distinct with the branded name and the name of the product underneath. 

This shop also uses branded tape around the outside of their shipping boxes and brown shredded paper to keep everything safe and protected, while still using “natural” ingredients that best aligns with the brand (as opposed to styrofoam or plastic).  

2. Rockin’ Green 
Laundry detergent comes in a bottle, right? Not necessarily.
Rockin’ Green’s detergent is powder form instead of liquid, so it only makes sense that their packaging would look different than expected, too. They’re using plastic bags with a small scoop inside.

In addition to doing something a little different (which can also be neater than messy detergent bottles), their product packaging is also clean and tells customers exactly what it each item is. They’ve got “Active Wear” listed in big bold letters, and feature “90 loads” in bright green text in the top right corner. They also explain right there why the product is great, and how it contains “none of the bad stuff.” This is strong retail packaging, whether you’re selling it online or in stores. 
3. Who Gives a Crap 
If you want an example of creative packaging for your products, look no further than Who Gives a Crap. The brand sells recycled paper products, including toilet paper, paper towels, and tissue paper. Their copy is on point and highly entertaining (as you may be able to guess from the brand name), and this is reflected in their packaging.
Each product is wrapped in bright tissue paper with bold, fun prints, but it’s their innovative packaging for their shipping containers that’s so noteworthy. They add that same fun copy that possibly got customers to purchase in the first place all across the box, all the way down to their description of what the batch number on the box is and why you need it. It’s entertaining, and it makes the “unboxing” an active part of the sales and customer engagement process. 

The product packaging design process is obviously an involved one, and it’s not something that should be taken lightly. It can help make or break your brand, so it’s important to make the decision strategically. The best packaging will strike a balance between cost-effective and visually stunning, and will stay true to your brand and what your audience wants to see. 
Summary: How do I Design Packaging For My Product?

Do your research
Pick a product container
Get other essentials (branded packing tape, shredded paper, etc.)
Design the packaging
Get feedback
Start the printing process 

Want To Learn More?
There’s a lot that goes into product packaging and design, as you can see here. Want to learn more about what we’ve talked about here? Take a look at these posts that go more into detail about different things to consider when working on product packaging:

Worldwide Delivery: All the pieces You Have to Know in 2021

International shipping is a fact of life in ecommerce. Store owners have access to a market that is more or less the size of planet Earth.
Which begs the question: How can you get products from Point A, which could be just about anywhere, to Point B, which could also be just about anywhere?
This is extra important for dropshippers. After all, the whole beauty of dropshipping is that you can sell products from suppliers all over the world.
That solves one challenge – getting products – but introduces plenty of others, like controlling international shipping costs
This guide introduces you to the ins and outs of worldwide shipping and arms you with seven useful tips to help ecommerce store owners, and especially dropshippers, navigate the maze that is international shipping. 
We’ll cover

The basics of international shipping rates
The cheapest way to ship globally
The different international shipping companies
How long it takes to ship internationally

If you make it to the end of this post, you’ll have a better idea of how international ecommerce shipping works and have a handful of cross-border shipping tricks to implement in your store.
Shipping is all about speed, so let’s hurry up and get to it.

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How to Ship Internationally: What You Need to Know 
Starting an ecommerce business can be exciting. But logistics can be one of the most frustrating yet important aspects that need to be sorted out.
Before you get down to planning how you’re going to get your product from Point A to Point B, one of the first things you need to consider is where your suppliers are and where you’re shipping to.
Once you have this sorted out, you can begin checking out the different international shipping companies and their services.
International Shipping Companies
The international shipping company you select will likely depend on where they ship to and the different rates they offer.

Both DHL and UPS, for example, offer extensive information on importing and exporting regulations on their websites.
Cheapest International Shipping Companies
Depending on your ecommerce platform, you may have access to discounted rates negotiated with international shipping companies.
Shopify, for example, offers users in the United States and Canada specially negotiated rates with shipping companies including USPS, UPS, DHL Express, and Canada Post. Some of these companies also provide the option to schedule a discounted or free pickup.
When you buy international shipping labels via Shopify, the correct documentation and customs forms are generated for you. If you use DHL Express to ship things from the US, these documents are electronically forwarded to customs without requiring extra paperwork. 
Get Shopify Shipping rates today.
International shipping rates
As an ecommerce business, understanding how international shipping rates work is important.
If you’re offering free shipping, this will help to determine how you should be pricing your product. You don’t want to be overcharging your customers but neither should you be absorbing this cost. 
And if you’re charging shipping costs separately, understanding shipping rates allows you to better gauge your product’s fully landed cost.
In this section, we’ll touch on the different factors determining international shipping rates.
How Much Does It Cost to Ship Internationally?
International shipping rates vary greatly depending on a variety of factors such as

The origin and destination of your parcel. As a general rule of thumb, the farther you’re shipping, the higher the international parcel delivery cost. However, as we’ll see in an example later, that’s not always the case. 
Whether you ship with postal carriers or express carriers. Because of the better services express carriers provide, these tend to be more expensive.
The type of product. Different countries apply different rates of taxes and duties on different products, which will, in turn, affect your overall international shipping costs.

How to determine international shipping costs?
Using a rate calculator for the carriers you choose can help you find the costs of shipping worldwide. Here’s a list of shipping calculators for commonly used carriers. 

Shopify store owners based in the US can see how much shipping to other countries will cost in this shipping calculator.

What Is the Cheapest International Shipping Method?
Using multiple carriers is one of the cheapest ways to ship things internationally. Because each carrier sets its own rates, one way to take advantage of this would be to check through their rates and make a list to get an idea which company offers the lowest rate based on destination and package type.
For example, the USPS is the cheapest carrier to ship small parcels. You can ship the USPS Priority Mail 3-Day Flat Rate Box for $7.90. This box can weigh up to 70 lbs, so you can ship multiple clothing items or accessories in one go. If your order size is small, you might be able to ship things for even less with USPS’s small package pricing. Based on the shape and weight of your item, the expense could be as little as $4.00. For larger items, the best way to ship internationally is to use DHL Worldwide Express 
Cutting down on product packaging can also reduce the costs of international shipping. Bulk down on packaging to lighten the weight and consequently, shipping costs. Also, consider sourcing free packaging material from shipping companies. USPS, for example, does offer free boxes and materials.

Another way to lower the costs of an international delivery would be to avoid shipping express. This would mean a longer shipping time, but for those customers who are willing to wait, this will certainly be an attractive option.
How Long Does International Shipping Take
Typically, express international shipping takes 2-3 business days for delivery, while standard shipping takes anywhere from 1-4 weeks. In cases where customs clearance is slow, orders can take up to 6 weeks to arrive.
Distance and shipment mode (whether you select express) can affect shipping times. But there are other factors such as customs, duties, and taxes that have the potential to draw out shipping times.
Each country has its own rules and regulations when it comes to customs, taxes, and duties. 
It’s important to get the paperwork sorted out properly to avoid holdups at customs. Local postal service can often help with the documents required. While these can vary from country to country, the commercial invoice and an export packing list are almost always required.
Likewise, taxes and duties should also be paid on time to avoid any customs hold, which could unnecessarily prolong the international shipping process.
Update: The global pandemic has adversely affected international shipping operations. Many carriers have suspended international delivery routes and are saying there could be delays on several operational routes. A lot of them recommend businesses to use express mail if they want to avoid delays. 
How to Ship Worldwide: 7 Tips for Ecommerce Businesses
Now that we’ve equipped you with the basics of international shipping, let’s move into some tricks of the trade. More specifically, we’ll deal with

How to find reliable suppliers 
How to create customized shipping zones 
How to sync your marketing strategies with shipping realities
How to present shipping information on your website

1. Use Shipping Filters to See International Shipping Rates
If you use Oberlo dropshipping, then you should be able to use filters to find the cost of international shipping.
Inside Oberlo, for example, the “Shipping filter on a product’s page lets you see the rates for sending items to specific countries. So if you want to ship items to the US, you can type the country’s name to get an idea of shipping rates.

2. Work With the Best Suppliers
There are a few ways to gauge the reliability of potential suppliers. Our favorite method is to order product samples for yourself. Put yourself in your shoppers’ shoes, and see what international shipping looks like from their perspective. This will give you a chance to scope out the product’s packaging, see how long delivery takes, and maybe even contact the supplier with a question.
Consider Free on Board (FOB) shipping if you think you can find more cost-efficient delivery services from your supplier to your warehouse.
3. Explore More Markets
The US, UK, Australia, and Canada are powerhouse markets for Oberlo users.
But there are plenty more markets that facilitate fast shipping – especially if you have a good understanding of how international deliveries work.
For example, Malaysia and the Philippines both account for more dropshipping sales than their populations would suggest. There could be lots of reasons for that. Both countries have large English-speaking populations and high Facebook penetration, so they speak ecommerce’s biggest language and are tech savvy.
What’s more, both countries are a stone’s throw from China, at least compared to some of the other big markets. This reduces barriers to international shipping on lots of dropshipping merchandise.

Other sneaky-good markets for dropshippers can be found in Scandinavia and Western Europe. In addition to disposable income, these markets have rock-solid options for international shipping. 
4. Be Methodical With Your Shipping Zones
Your ecommerce platform should let you create customized shipping zones. These can be a huge energy-saver for merchants trying to optimize international shipping.
Here’s how it looks inside Shopify, where you’ll find shipping zones inside of your shop’s “Settings” page.

One approach that we recommend is setting up a free shipping zone comprised of countries that you can ship to cheaply.
For example, if the price of shipping to the US, Sweden, and the Netherlands is the same, you can simply create one zone with free shipping. This zone can cover all of your key international shipping markets.
We’re in Germany, so the “Domestic” zone will be Germany by default. And until we customize our international shipping options, everything else falls into the “Rest of the World” bucket.

Let’s suppose we’re working with suppliers that have good international shipping options for Europe, Australia, Canada, and the US. Maybe it costs $1.50 per purchase to ship to each country. Instead of charging that $1.50 at checkout, which might hurt conversion, you can simply charge an extra $1.50 for the product, and then offer free shipping to cover those costs.
So what we’ll do is add those four countries, along with all of Europe – there is a “Europe” checkbox, so you can add them all in one click – and then set the price to free.

Of course, there are still lots of countries out there. And you might not want to bother with them, even if international shipping is available. They might be expensive, there might be language barriers, there might be import taxes – there are all sorts of reasons.
Any countries that fall into this “I don’t want to ship there” bucket will be listed as “Rest of world.” A good international shipping hack is to simply delete the countries in this group, thereby making it impossible for people there to place orders.

5. Match Your Facebook Targeting to Your Shipping Priorities
Once you know which markets you want to target and have your international shipping groups sorted out, make sure that your advertising efforts are consistent with where you want to ship.
In our previous example, we only had international shipping options available for the US, Canada, Australia, and Europe. Therefore, that’s exactly where we should focus our advertising efforts:

We don’t want to throw money away advertising in countries where our products are literally unavailable.
This geographical restriction will also apply to any “lookalike audiences” that we use.
6. Ship Products to Yourself First
Shipping products to yourself and then personally sending them on to your customers – basically “intercepting” the package – is a great way to offset some of the challenges that come with international shipping.
We’ve heard from a handful of ecommerce businesses, including those utilizing the dropshipping method, that use this strategy, and it comes with a few key benefits.
First off, it gives you a chance to repackage the product before it gets to your customer. If you find suppliers with nice packaging, then this isn’t a big deal. But sometimes dropshipping suppliers send items in packaging that is, well, less than inspiring. If you send it to yourself first, you can spruce it up, slap your own label or stamp on it, and then ship it to your customer.
This approach also gives you a chance to do a quick quality check on the products before they go to your customer, enabling you to ensure the sustained quality of your suppliers – both the products themselves and the timeliness of the shipments.
Now, there are drawbacks to this approach. For example, if someone from Malaysia orders a product that is being sourced from China, and you live in the US, shipping it to the US and then to Malaysia doesn’t make a lot of sense.
But if you’re in the US and targeting American customers, then this strategy gives you a chance to cultivate a brand. Even if you’re just slapping a sticker on the package, you’re increasing the odds that people will remember your brand and come back for more.
7. Provide Transparent Shipping Details at Your Store
And finally: Make sure your customers are informed.
Detailed information is a must when it comes to international shipping. Most ecommerce stores, especially dropshipping stores, have the built-in challenge of having longer delivery times than, say, Amazon.
This is unavoidable. What is avoidable, though, is uncertainty for your customers.
It’s vital to display information about all things shipping – be it on a shipping information page, or on each product. Information should include which countries you ship to, how long it will take, if customers will be able to track their orders, and so on.
This will save you time in two ways – you don’t have to answer these questions over and over, plus you won’t have to handle refund requests from people who don’t understand where their package is.
Here are a few examples of how Shopify-powered stores handle shipping information.

How Much to Charge for International Shipping?
There are various factors for deciding how much to charge for international shipping. The main ones include:
Packaging is an expense, so make sure to work the cost of packaging into your overall product cost. Based on the quality and size, this should be around $1.50 to $6.00 each. The cost may vary based on how many boxes you’ll need to accommodate different sized orders. Packaging supplies like bubble wrap and stuffing may also affect your packaging and product costs.
Handling Charges
What’s the minimum hourly wage in your country? Based on the figure, you might want to add a “handling charge” into your product pricing. See how long it takes you (on average), to prepare an order for shipment, then use the minimum wage benchmark to determine your handling charge.
For instance, if it takes you 15 minutes to prepare an order for international shipping, and the hourly wage is $12, you could add a $3 handling charge to cover your effort. Since international customers are usually willing to pay more for safe, quality shipping, there should be no problems here (a big part of quality shipments is how they’re packaged and handled).
Taxes and Duties
You can use duty calculators to determine the taxes and duties for your destination countries, then factor them into your product pricing. Alternatively, you can pass on the responsibility of paying taxes or duties to your customers. This is called Delivered At Place (DAP) and requires the customer to pay charges before they can receive their order.
If you want to deliver a surprise-free shopping experience, it’s best to pay the fees yourself and send items as Delivered Duty Paid (DDP). In this case, you should request customers to cover these fees in advance.
Regardless of your approach, make sure to be transparent with the customer about additional fees that may apply.
Conclusions on International Shipping
It might seem like a hassle to study suppliers’ warehouse locations or research shipping options in places like Malaysia.
But it’s important to remember that these are luxury problems. You can sell products from hundreds of different suppliers! You can ship stuff to Malaysia!
Sure, international shipping can be tricky. There is lots to remember.
But this extra work is the direct result of extra opportunity. Every challenge you overcome makes your potential customer base that much bigger.
Summary: 7 International Shipping Tips for 2021 

Use Oberlo filters to determine international shipping rates
Work with the best product suppliers.
Explore more markets to facilitate fast shipping.
Be smart with your shipping zones.
Match your Facebook targeting to your shipping destinations.
Ship products to yourself first.
Display transparent shipping details on your store.

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Buying Wholesale Clothing: What You Need to Know in 2021

Whether you want to sell t-shirts or workwear, men’s or women’s clothing, buying clothes in bulk is the best way to secure low prices, so you can include your markup and then sell your items for a good profit. In this post, we will talk all about how to buy wholesale clothing for your online store.

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Fulfill Your Legal Requirements
Before anything else, you need to make sure it’s legal to start a clothing business in your area. Get all the required licenses and permits to operate as a proper entity. For instance, you might require a city and state business license to become official. Visit the Small Business Administration website for more information on the legal requirements for starting a business. 
If you’re looking to source wholesale clothes, you’ll need to legally register and obtain a tax ID (EIN) number. Having this ID on hand is important when buying products from wholesalers. Some of them may ask you to prove that you’re operating a legal business, so make sure to obtain your EIN before you contact them for bulk purchases.
Find Wholesalers for Bulk Clothing 
After legally registering your business, having a good list of clothing wholesalers to choose from is key in getting your clothing store off the ground. 
If you are looking to buy clothes in bulk for resale, pay heed to the following steps and you will be on track to having a successful business. 
So let’s get started with the basics: domestic or overseas wholesale clothing suppliers?

Domestic vs Overseas
The first question everyone needs to answer is whether you want your wholesale clothing suppliers to be domestic or from overseas. Of course, both have their advantages and disadvantages. It will boil down to your personal preference, the products you’re selling, or your own values. Take care to research the quality standards for wholesale clothing vendors at home and abroad to decide which is the best option for your business.
Advantages of Domestic Clothing Suppliers
Let’s start with the advantages of using a domestic wholesale clothing supplier. Because they are located domestically, the shipping time will be significantly shorter. Communication will be easier because there will be no language barrier between you and the vendor. This could yield fewer errors and mistakes. Additionally, the quality of manufacturing should be higher.

Disadvantages of Domestic Clothing Suppliers
The two biggest disadvantages include the limited amount of products to choose from and their higher costs. There are fewer wholesale clothing suppliers in the US than overseas in places like China or India. And, due to the higher quality of products and better labor laws in the USA, the price of goods will be much higher. That being said it can be easier to find wholesale boutique clothing suppliers domestically if that is the route you are looking to go down.
Advantages of Overseas Clothing Suppliers

The other option available for you is overseas manufacturing. This one too comes with a few advantages of its own such as lower manufacturing costs. This is especially true if you compare it to manufacturers in America. That’s unfortunately due to lower labor standards and lower quality products. On the plus side, there are a lot of wholesale vendors to choose from, especially clothing suppliers. Because of services like AliExpress, it’s easy to get started working with overseas suppliers.
Disadvantages of Overseas Clothing Suppliers
Some of the other disadvantages include longer shipping time as most of these manufacturers are in China. It’s going to take longer to deliver the product to your customer in North America. You might occasionally run into issues with customs too. You won’t be able to visit the manufacturers in person, at least not cheaply. Verifying products could be a big hassle if not a big problem. Cultural differences and language barriers could cause more errors, mistakes, and headaches for you.
Where to Buy Wholesale Clothing 
1. Online Directories
The best way to start your search for a vendor is through free online directories. This is true for both domestic US and overseas suppliers.
For domestic US directories I recommend getting started with Maker’s Row, ThomasNet, let’s make it here, or Sqetch. If you’re interested in overseas suppliers you could start with Alibaba and IndiaMart. However, I highly recommend using AliExpress for a dropshipping business. They have a very good list of wholesale clothing providers. They have over 700,000 suppliers from Asia and millions of products to choose from.

2. Search Engines
Another thing you can try is just Google Searching “Whole Clothing Suppliers” or being more niche like “Wholesale Clothing USA”. Most of the suppliers’ websites are old and outdated. Google rewards websites that are constantly updated so the manufacturers will be buried. That’s why they won’t rank high on a search. You will have to dig deep into page 5 or 6 of your search to find anything useful. I don’t recommend doing this unless you have plenty of time and patience.
3. Word of Mouth Referrals
If you’re still unsure about where to find a vendor try relying on word of mouth referrals. If you know people who buy clothing at wholesale prices,ask them for recommendations. Contact people who might be able to help you, even if you don’t know them personally. People are always willing to help if you know how to ask them.
4. Social Media Groups and Forums
If you’re still uncomfortable in reaching out you can try online forms which discuss clothing and more specifically wholesale clothing. Also, do some research on social media as well. There is already plenty of information out there for you to read and it can be easy to find people looking to share their knowledge. Also look for forums that talk about clothing suppliers and vendors.
5. Trade Events
If you’ve got the time and the money you might consider going to trade shows. It’s just one more option for you to look into. 10times and Trade Show News Network will help locate a trade show in your area. You can go and check out the individual wholesalers in person. You can speak with their representatives. It will be an opportunity to network and buy wholesale clothing. Who knows what you might discover at such events?
How to Buy Wholesale Clothing: Vetting Suppliers
Now that you know where to buy wholesale clothing, it’s time to vet suppliers so you can purchase bulk wholesale clothes for your store. In most cases, you will need to request a quote and start to build a relationship with different wholesale clothing vendors to choose which one to do business with.
#1 RFQ

Your first communication with the supplier is likely going to be a request for quotation. 
Request for quotation, RFQ, is the name of the game with wholesale vendors of any kind. It’s the only way to find out the prices from a supplier; you’ll get the hang of it very quickly because you will be doing it often. 
Basically, you’re sending an email asking how much something is based on the quantity you want to buy. However, nothing is this simple. You should treat it as a serious business inquiry instead of an IM between you and the provider. 
You should plan your email to get the best possible response. Don’t waste your time by going back and forth on missing pieces of information.
#2 MOQ
You want to be informed on a few things starting with the vendor’s minimum order quantity, MOQ. 
This differs from supplier to supplier. You need to know if you can afford and handle the minimum quantity they are selling. The other most important question you need to ask: how much their products will cost you. 
Most suppliers do high discount pricing for higher quantity orders. Ask for the price of various quantities to get a feel for their production pricing.
#3 Shipping Times

Next, you need to find out the delivery time and shipping terms.. Timing is everything in an ecommerce business. How long does it take them to ship the item to your customer is an important question also. You need to know if an item will take a long time to ship, or not. 
Additionally, you’ll also need to ask about their payment terms to make sure you’re okay with how they charge for their products. As with everything, it varies depending on the supplier. You don’t want to be surprised about how they expect you to pay for the inventory.
#4 Sample Orders
The very last thing you want to ask is about their samples. Some suppliers provide discounted rates for them, some don’t. It’s important to ask and to order some if you can afford it. This way, you’ll get a feel for the products you will be selling to your own customer. 
This last step of contacting the supplier for an RFQ will ultimately let you judge them to be a good fit for you. If they are not, move on to the next one, there are plenty to choose from.
For an online clothing brand, the need to buy wholesale clothing will arise sooner than later. It’s a matter of doing your due diligence and researching clothing wholesalers on various platforms. After all, you need to find the perfect one. The one that will supply you the products you want for the right price. It’s a lot of screening, but it’s all worth it in the end when you’ll have happy paying customers.
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Is there anything else you’d like to know more about and wish was included in this article? Let us know in the comments below!

Promote Wholesale On-line in 2021: A Detailed Information

Wondering how to sell wholesale?
Great — you’re on the right path for achieving new levels of growth. 
Although most ecommerce entrepreneurs start by selling their products directly to consumers, wholesaling offers a range of benefits that make it worthy of consideration. 
Wholesalers don’t have to worry about managing and supporting many individual customers or shipping items to endless locations.
Instead, you form lucrative partnerships with a selection of businesses. Not only does this provide you with a fantastic source of repeat revenue, but you’re also able to slash your marketing costs by having a smaller number of customers buying at once. 
So, where do you start?

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What Is Wholesaling?
First, let’s define wholesaling.
Wholesaling is the act of selling products in large quantities to other retailers. Wholesalers typically sell at a discounted price, which allows merchants to earn a profit. 

For instance, your local grocery store buys its goods from wholesale companies. Because the purchase involves buying much larger quantities than usual, the wholesalers sell their items at a reduced price. The store then adds a markup on the wholesale price to make a profit on sales. 
As a wholesaler, you can build a source of recurring revenue by having contracts with retailers who want to maintain a constant inventory of your products. 
Plus, you can scale your business by continuing to sell your items to end consumers. 
That’s the beauty of having a wholesale channel — you get to capture sales from both individual shoppers and other retailers.   
Why Start a Wholesaling Business?
Selling wholesale online is a simple and effective way to make a consistent income. 
As long as you can maintain a constant supply of products, and get those items to retailers on time, you can build a successful wholesaling business. 
Some of the biggest benefits of this business model include:
Higher revenue from fewer transactions
Selling in bulk to retailers means you can move many products in a short space of time. 
You can sell thousands of units of an item in one purchase. 
It’s even possible to sign your customers up for subscription purchases so they don’t run out of inventory (and you make recurring income).
Lower overheads
Although most wholesalers indeed offer bulk products at a discount, it’s worth noting you also save on overheads by selling wholesale. 
You won’t have to spend as much money on individually packaging and shipping each unit. 
You can also save cash on marketing because you only need a few great relationships with retailers to maintain your income.

Improved brand awareness
If you sell your products in a wholesale environment, you can leverage the existing brand reputation of the retail company you’re working with to attract more customers. 
Getting more physical and virtual shelf space for your items can raise recognition of your products. 
Over time, the right exposure through partnerships with retail companies can lead to new opportunities. 
Market expansion 
Relationships with retail customers can open the door for you to enter new markets.
After all, if you decide to expand in a wholesale to retailer environment, you won’t have to build a new presence from scratch in a different market before you can attract customers.
You can simply move your product into an existing retailer’s portfolio and leverage its presence to establish your business footprint.
How to Start Selling Wholesale: Creating Your Wholesale Channel 
There are a couple of ways you start selling wholesale. 
The first option is to build your own wholesale storefront from scratch. You can do this easily with an ecommerce platform like Shopify. 
Alternatively, you can add wholesale functionality to your existing store. Let’s explore both options in more detail.
Creating a wholesale storefront
If you decide to build a dedicated wholesale store, you can use Shopify to design and build a new one from scratch. For businesses that already have an online store for consumers to buy from, there’s the option to set up another store with a different URL.
The easiest way to create a second store is through Shopify’s password protection feature. This allows you to lock your wholesale store so that only your retailers can place orders on your storefront. You can enable password protection from your Shopify admin by going to Online Store > Preferences. 

With a password-protected store, you can list all your products at a discounted price for your audience to purchase.
If you have a high order volume secured already, you can also upgrade an existing account with a website builder to an “enterprise” package. For instance, Shopify Plus, the enterprise version of Shopify, has a wholesale channel feature that allows you to create a separate wholesale channel within your existing account.
The upgrade option could be an ideal choice if you want to create a storefront with the products you already have on your website. You can still separate consumer and wholesale sales this way, too, so you can track how well each channel is performing.
Creating a Wholesale Channel with a Shopify App
Adding a wholesale channel to your existing store usually involves investing in an app or plugin. 
For Shopify stores, there are over 200 wholesale apps available on the Shopify App marketplace. Here, you can find apps designed to help you leverage wholesale functionality. 

Wholesale Club is a nice one. 
It lets you categorize customers into groups that receive their own discounts on retail products on your website. The app even has a marketing feature that encourages customers to make bigger purchases by providing bigger discounts. 
Plus, Wholesale Club has a security feature that only allows customers with approved retailer accounts to view your wholesale pricing. Using this option means you don’t need to create a separate wholesale store or product catalog to offer a secure, seamless shopping experience to your retail customers.
How to Sell Wholesale Products: 5 Tips
Now that you understand the basics of how to sell wholesale online, let’s go over some tips to help you get more orders. Here’s how to increase the sales of your business:
1. Register with a wholesale marketplace
A lot of modern retailers find and order products from wholesale marketplaces. So, apart from selling wholesale through your own store, you can register with some of the most popular marketplaces to expand your reach.
To ensure you’re collaborating with the right marketplace, do your research. The best wholesale marketplaces will integrate well with your existing sales channels, so you don’t have to work too hard to connect with new customers. 
For instance, Handshake is a great marketplace for Shopify stores interested in selling wholesale. The platform allows store owners to sell through specific categories so that they can reach the right audience. You even get to decide which retailers you want to work with.

2. Partner with complementary brands
A key benefit of selling wholesale is that, unlike conventional retail, you don’t always need a large pool of customers in order to scale. However, it’s a good idea to partner with complementary businesses in your chosen market. They can recommend your business to their customers (make sure to return the favor), which can help you get more exposure and sales. 
To find the right partners, think about the kind of companies most capable of complementing your existing offering. For instance, Stokke, a brand known for creating baby furniture and cribs, partnered with Pehr, a brand that offers 100% organic sheets, to cross-sell products and generate more profits for both retailers.
Finding the right wholesale brands to partner with requires some research. You’ll need to find potential companies that can supplement your offering and reach out with ideas on working together in a mutually beneficial way.
3. Attend trade shows
One of the best ways to unlock new wholesale opportunities and even collaborative partnerships is by networking at trade shows. 
Networking is a fantastic tool for any merchant — especially those planning on selling wholesale. When you attend local trade shows in your industry, you’re surrounded by people who are buying and selling products related to your portfolio.
The great news for today’s wholesalers is there are specialty trade shows available for virtually every industry, from athletic clothing and accessories to technology and communication tools. To ensure you’re not wasting time and money on too much travel, do your research to find out which trade shows are most likely to attract your audience.
You can also consider looking into virtual trade shows and similar events if you want to save cash on hiring a physical booth.

4. Use incentives to encourage buying
Incentives and offers aren’t just for consumers. Businesses, too, like to know they’re getting a good deal. That’s why most wholesalers will always offer a bigger discount to their customers based on the volume of products they buy. If you’ve started to track down retailers who might be interested in your products, you can boost your chances of conversion with incentives. 
A common option is to offer bigger discounts or deals for a customer’s first order (first impressions are everything). Other incentives might include:

Setting low minimum order requirements so that companies can start with a smaller purchase
Offering free shipping when someone orders a set amount (in a specific location)
Providing a range of payment terms, including monthly subscription costs
Offering bundle deals when people buy certain bulk items together
Giving customers free samples and testers

Some wholesalers can even offer services similar to dropshipping, where companies advertise products on their website, then rely on the wholesale provider to deliver the item to the end customer.
5. Nail your product descriptions and images
Contrary to popular belief, retailers pay a lot of attention to product descriptions and images. This helps them get a better idea of the items before they make a bulk purchase. 
If you want to make a solid impression on buyers, make sure to take high-quality images of your products. This can be done with a simple background and lighting (natural lighting works best for most products) to ensure retailers can see the finer details of your items easily.What about product descriptions? We can tell you from experience that including a story is one of the best ways to engage buyers. 
Use the initial lines to craft a narrative about how your product will make customers’ lives better. Retailers are sure to take notice when they see the product will be beneficial for their audience. You can include the technical specifications, like product size and country of origin, later in the description. 
Top read: How to Write Product Descriptions That Sell
Summary: How to Sell Wholesale in 2021
Running a wholesale storefront might look challenging on paper, but it’s much easier to do with the right setup and strategies for attracting retailers. 
By selling your products wholesale, you can save time and money on customer acquisition, plus enter new markets with less risk.
If you want to know how to sell wholesale today, consider using these steps as a guide:

Create a wholesale channel
Register with a wholesale marketplace
Partner with complementary businesses
Use incentives to encourage buying
Nail your product descriptions and images

What strategies are you using to sell wholesale online? Share your best methods below!
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The Full Information to Getting Began With Influencer Advertising

Influencer marketing is hands down one of the best marketing strategies you can use today. In fact, many experts will tell you that it’s the single-best method of marketing.
Over the last few years, influencer marketing has become an immense and essential part of the marketing landscape. Anymore, it’s difficult to find brands that aren’t using it. It’s a powerful marketing approach that allows you to reach your target audience in a uniquely authentic way.
Influencer marketing often sounds too good to be true, but the numbers don’t lie – on average, for every $1 businesses spend on influencer marketing, they make $18.

You’ve probably heard a lot about influencer marketing from the countless articles and videos on the subject. But there’s a lot of conflicting advice and misinformation out there.
So, we wanted to make one huge guide that would answer all of the questions you might have about influencer marketing.
Without further ado, here is our ultimate guide to getting started with influencer marketing.

Don’t wait for someone else to do it. Hire yourself and start calling the shots.

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What Is Influencer Marketing?
New to influencer marketing? Confused as to exactly what it entails? You’re not alone.
While the term is tossed around a lot, it’s not always clear what it means, so here’s a closer look at what influencer marketing is and what it looks like.
Influencer Marketing Definition
Influencer marketing happens when a social media influencer works with a brand to promote its products. The influencer typically makes brand mentions and endorsements to help improve brand recognition. In return, the brand compensates them with cash or with free products or rewards.  That’s a simple influencer marketing definition, but it needs a lot of unpacking. First off…

A social media influencer is a person who has gained credibility in a certain niche. There are strains of influencer marketing including YouTube influencer marketing, Instagram influencer marketing, and other social media platforms. The term “influencer” is shorthand for social media influencer. 
Social media influencers have devoted followings – people who value their opinions and tastes or who enjoy watching their lifestyle. As such, they affect what their followers buy and can directly influence their followers’ purchasing decisions, hence the term influencer marketing.
Since influencer marketing is directly tied to social media, it’s often referred to as social influencer marketing or social media influencer marketing.
What Does a Social Media Influencer Do?
A social media influencer causes their followers to make specific buying decisions based on their authority and reputation. Followers consider them to be a close friend than a paid endorser or advertiser, which simplifies the task of promoting a product or brand. 
Social media influencers leverage their online presence on different platforms to partner with brands they endorse and create content that changes people’s perceptions of those businesses.
The Rise of Influencer Marketing
Today, influencer marketing is a method of choice for top-tier brands around the world, but it wasn’t always this way. For a while, it was considered to be nothing more than a passing fad.
However, over the last several years, it’s absolutely exploded in popularity.

Influencer marketing first gained serious traction when social media began to replace traditional media outlets. People weren’t just following celebrities anymore – they were following non-celebrity social media users who had enjoyable content.
Over time, some of these users gained sizable followings, and while they didn’t have the same amount of reach that celebrities did, they had a considerable amount of influence.
Social influencer marketing became a sought-after occupation in its own right, giving rise to well-curated Instagram feeds and picture-perfect Instagram Stories.
Mostly younger-generation individuals with a penchant for internet fame were learning how to become a social media influencer, how to grow a following, and how to join the coveted list of brand influencers selling their service to businesses.
Today, these social media influencers often have as much influence and reach as many celebrities do (and sometimes even more). In many ways, influencers are the new celebrities. Influencers are highly trusted by their followers, and there are tons of influencer marketing statistics that back this up.
In one survey, 49 percent of customers said they relied on influencers for product recommendations.
In another, 74 percent of people said they relied on social media to make purchasing decisions.
And these people usually follow through with influencer recommendations; a survey by Fullscreen and Shareablee found that 42 percent of people who saw influencer advertising ended up trying a product or service recommended by those influencers.

As social media has become increasingly important to everyday life, influencers have grown in importance. A typical social media user consumes a large amount of influencer content; they might see several influencers’ posts throughout the day. That’s a big reason why influencer marketing has become many marketers’ go-to method.
Another appealing benefit is traffic. If you leverage influencer marketing, you’ll get engagement on your own Instagram page, which will allow you to monetize your Instagram page more easily. It’s truly a win-win.
How Does Influencer Marketing Work?
Let’s understand influencer marketing with the help of examples.
When it comes to this marketing strategy , Instagram is arguably the best platform to use as an example because right now, Instagram is used by virtually every influencer in the world. Instagram influencers are everywhere, and it’s easy to see their influence in action.
Here are a couple examples of Instagram influencers:

That’s Matt King, an Instagram influencer with more than 1.3 million followers. He’ll often work with brands to create sponsored ad posts, which are marked with the hashtag #ad.

Here’s another example of an Instagram influencer in a different niche:

This page is run by food influencer Jeanine Donofrio, better known to her followers as Love and Lemons. She regularly partners with brands to feature foods, recipes, or food-related services.

Types of Influencer Marketing 
Influencer marketing can be done in all kinds of ways. At its core, it’s about getting an influencer to share your product or service with their audience, but there are many ways to go about making that happen.
Here are five common influencer marketing methods:

This is one of the most common methods of influencer marketing that you’ll see. Sponsored content is simply a social media post that contains an advertisement for a product or service. 
Think of it as a celebrity endorsement for the digital age, a hybrid of old and new marketing techniques. The content is shared on the influencer’s social media accounts, and there’s usually a call-to-action that invites followers to purchase the product.
The two above posts (from Matt King and Jeanine Donofrio) are prime examples of sponsored content. Most often, influencers will post about how they’ve been using the product or service in question. This kind of personal anecdote works well because it provides credibility and creates trust between the influencer and their audience.
Another form of sponsored content that’s becoming more popular is the Instagram shoutout. While this is often a one-off strategy, it can draw lots of attention to your brand, and shoutouts are a breeze to arrange with influencers.
2. Discounts/affiliate links
Everyone loves discounts, and influencer-specific discounts can be powerful. These discounts are tracked using affiliate or referral links.
If a brand doesn’t offer a discount, they’ll still use referral links to track and analyze the campaign. Discounts are almost always combined with sponsored content.
3. Contests and giveaways
Everyone loves to get free stuff. This is especially true for the audiences of influencers. Why? Because the influencer will only offer products that their followers are highly interested in.
Usually, influencer contests and giveaways draw lots of attention and can reach thousands of people.
4. Publishing influencer content on your channels
Most influencer marketing consists of influencers showcasing products on their channels, but this technique flips that approach on its head.
Instead, the influencer appears on your channels, which often drives tons of social media traffic your way. This can take the form of a single post or a “takeover,” in which the influencer has access to a brand’s social media channels, usually for a day.
5. Brand ambassadorship
If an influencer is a fantastic fit for your brand, you might consider making them a brand ambassador.
A brand ambassador is an influencer who works with your brand for an extended period of time. This has many advantages because it’s a form of long-term influencer marketing, unlike the shorter-term strategies on this list.
There are many other influencer marketing methods, but these are five of the most common. Most brands will employ more than one of these tactics when working with an influencer.
Why Is Influencer Marketing Important?
Influencer marketing can do a lot for your brand. Since influencer marketing breaks many of the barriers that were previously impenetrable, it can help you accomplish some incredible goals.
Of course, when it comes down to it, the ultimate benefit of influencer marketing is to drive more sales. But that’s not the only thing it can do for you.
Let’s take a look at the benefits that influencer marketing can provide for your brand.
1. Increased sales
Again, this is the ultimate benefit of influencer marketing, but to understand exactly how effective it is, it’s helpful to look at influencer marketing statistics.
Remember that businesses earn about $18 for every $1 they spend on influencer marketing.
And for many brands, that number is far, far higher. 
The exact figure will depend on how much influencer marketing you invest in and how successful each particular campaign is, but it’s clear that the ROI is sky high. (More on that later.)
2. Social proof
No matter what type of business you are, you absolutely need to gain social proof.
As humans, we want to fit in, and that means we often go with the crowd. In other words, we have an innate need to be socially accepted.
By extension, when we see something that other people are interested in, we’re automatically interested in it, too. That’s the essence of social proof.
This is especially true when it comes to influencer marketing.
Influencers are able to magnify the effect of social proof. Just as you’d trust the opinion of a friend over that of a stranger, followers will trust influencers’ opinions more than most other people.
This is arguably the most potent form of social proof, and it’s been proven to work with nearly any product in any niche.
Perhaps surprisingly, influencers can have lots of social proof without having a huge audience. Smaller influencers, known as micro-influencers and nano-influencers, often have high levels of social proof even though they don’t have millions of followers.
Put simply, whenever you use influencer marketing, you’re gaining social proof for your brand.
3. Direct connection to your audience
In order to sell your products on Instagram, you need to get your message in front of your target audience, and that hasn’t always been easy.
Influencer marketing practically solves this problem by allowing you to place your message right in front of your customers on a platform that they use every day. 
Influencer marketing is also much better than regular social media advertising because the people who follow influencers in your niche are the same people you’re trying to target.
Even better, since influencer marketing is super organic, it doesn’t feel like marketing, which means people will be more receptive than usual to your brand.
What could be better than getting your products in front of your specific target audience with a glowing recommendation from an influencer? That’s what influencer marketing has to offer you.
The Importance of Online Influencers
Influencers play a pivotal role in today’s marketing ecosystem.
Influencer marketing is so effective because it’s a combination of old and new marketing methods. What influencers have essentially done is taken the celebrity endorsement and updated it for the present day.
However, many influencers aren’t super famous. They’re everyday people with large online followings, and this is one of the biggest reasons why influencers are so important.
People love influencers because they’re not celebrities who are out of reach. Influencers are relatable people with relatable lives.
As we saw before, many people feel that influencers understand them better than their friends do. That phenomenon is unique to influencer marketing.
And the cherry on top is that influencers get personal with their followers. Many influencers engage their followers in comments and even in their content.
This one-on-one interaction creates a positive, long-term rapport between influencers and their followers. As a result, followers trust influencers more over time.
The bottom line: Influencers fill an important space by bridging the gap between celebrities and everyday people. That’s why so many brands are investing in influencer marketing more and more.
The Effectiveness of Influencer Marketing
At this point, you know how integral influencer marketing is, and you know that it has a lot of benefits.
Now it’s time to dig deeper into the specifics and take a look at exactly how effective influencer marketing can be.
To understand the effectiveness of influencer marketing, we can compare it to other types of marketing.
Many people wonder about influencer marketing versus content marketing versus user-generated content. How does influencer marketing stack up to these other tried-and-true strategies?
You might be surprised to find out that influencer marketing can be more effective than other types of marketing.
But what does that mean for other types of marketing? Let’s take a deep dive and find out.

Influencer Marketing vs. Content Marketing
Content marketing is still the top method of choice for many brands and for good reason. It’s a proven method with a great track record.
First off, it’s worth noting that both influencer marketing and content marketing can be insanely effective and should both be part of your marketing mix.
That’s largely because these two types of marketing benefit your brand in very different areas.
Influencer marketing raises brand awareness and generates social proof while content marketing builds authority and adds value.
However, if you really want to get the most out of both of these two very different types of marketing, you need to balance them.
Some brands are reporting that influencer content is performing better than in-house content. In one survey from influencer marketing company Linqia, 51 percent of respondents said that their influencer content outperformed their own brand-created content.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that marketers are eliminating content marketing from their strategies. It just means that they’re spending more on influencer marketing. Statistics reveal that 93% of marketers use influencer marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy.
There’s a lot of synergy between influencer marketing and content marketing, and this combination will only get stronger as influencer marketing becomes more widespread.
Marketers may not be slashing their content marketing budgets to focus on influencer marketing, but it’s clear that companies’ budgets for influencer marketing are steadily increasing.
Influencer Marketing vs. User-Generated Content
As we’ve seen, one of the big benefits of influencer marketing is that you can have an everyday person representing your brand. In this way, it’s similar to user-generated content.
User-generated content (UGC) has seen increasing levels of use in recent years. On average, 90% of people find UCG helpful when making a purchase decision.
For a while, this trustworthiness was pretty unique to UGC. There weren’t many other channels where customers and their peers were able to create and distribute content.
Influencer marketing changed all that by offering something potentially better than UGC.
Since influencers are so relatable and trustworthy, customers’ attitudes toward influencer content are similar to their views of UGC.
The key difference is that while UGC can build trust, influencer-created content builds trust and spreads the word. Usually, user-generated content won’t have large reach unless you share it on one or more of your channels.
Influencer content also has the potential to be trusted more than user-generated content. Remember that many people feel that influencers understand them better than their friends do. That trust means that people are more likely to take stock in an influencer’s opinion over a random person’s review or testimonial.
At the same time, UGC is absolutely free and still contributes to your credibility. If you don’t have any user content at all, your prospective customers could be scared off.
Ultimately, customers are going to look for both influencer content and UGC when researching products and making purchasing decisions.
Influencer-created content won’t completely replace UGC, so don’t write it off. Just like the question of influencer marketing versus content marketing, the answer is balance.
Influencer Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing
It might seem strange to compare influencer marketing to social media marketing. After all, isn’t influencer marketing just a form of social media marketing?
In a way, yes, but influencer marketing has grown so much that it can be considered an independent form of marketing.
While both types of marketing happen on social media, they have very different approaches and results.
With a branded social media marketing campaign, you control everything. All of the messages you send out are crafted in your brand’s voice.
But with influencer marketing, the content is in the hands of the influencers you’re working with. They’ll bring their unique voices, approaches, and perspectives to the table, and while you’ll lose some control, you’ll gain attention and likely make some sales.
Influencers also have a lot to offer that you can’t get with traditional social media marketing.
For one, you get your brand exposed to audiences who already trust what influencers have to say. Often, these will be completely new audiences who may have never even heard of your brand before.
Overall, social media marketing is still effective, but it can’t replace influencer marketing. With influencer marketing, you can easily generate buzz, increase credibility, and hopefully gain new brand advocates and customers.
The Parallels With Word of Mouth Marketing
One of the biggest reasons why influencer marketing is so effective is because it’s very similar in nature to word of mouth marketing.
And here’s the thing – word of mouth is the most-effective marketing strategy of all time.
Gartner’s 2018 small business survey confirmed this, identifying word of mouth as the most-effective channel.
Word of mouth marketing strategies have been a part of every successful campaign ever, whether it was planned or just happened spontaneously. These strategies can take many forms, ranging from publicity stunts to giveaways.
Some well-known word of mouth marketing examples include Sephora giving customers birthday freebies and Wendy’s hilarious Twitter antics.

Influencer marketing shares many traits with word of mouth marketing. At the most basic level, a recommendation from an influencer is word of mouth (even though it’s sponsored).
Of course, influencer recommendations also cause word of mouth. Once followers are exposed to a product, they’ll usually talk about it amongst themselves. They may even buy the product and tell their network about it, creating another iteration of word of mouth.
Even better, the chances for this ripple effect to happen increase every time you partner with an influencer.
Influencer marketing has taken word of mouth marketing and increased its impact exponentially. As a result, organic word of mouth can happen at a much faster rate, drawing more people to your brand.
Influencer Marketing Examples
Since influencer marketing has become so popular, there’s a wealth of positive case studies to draw from. Here’s a handy list of influencer marketing examples for each major social media platform.
1. Sperry
Sperry is best known for its iconic boat shoes, but part of the reason it’s so well known is due to Instagram influencer marketing.
Sperry was an early adopter of influencer marketing, and the brand grew quickly because of it. It would repost users’ pictures to its account, a practice it still uses today.
Sperry also embraced the idea of featuring micro-influencers and nano-influencers (which we’ll take a look at in the next section).
Take a look at this post from Sperry’s Instagram:

This photo was taken by mid-tier influencer Cody Andrew, who currently has 370,000 followers.

Even though it didn’t feature a big-name influencer, this post was able to garner over a thousand likes in just a couple of days.
Of course, this is just one example in Sperry’s long history of influencer marketing, but posts exactly like these are what catapulted Sperry into online fame.
2. Daniel Wellington
When the topic of great Instagram marketing comes up, you’ll almost always see Swedish watch company Daniel Wellington mentioned.
That’s for good reason – the brand has exploded in the last few years thanks to its insanely effective Instagram marketing.
The company was also one of the first to adopt influencer marketing. It worked with a variety of influencers of all sizes to create brand awareness and build buzz for its watches.
The brand has partnered with huge influencers like Kylie Jenner, who represented the brand in several posts that gained millions of likes.

Daniel Wellington also regularly works with smaller influencers in all kinds of niches. The brand uses the #DWPickoftheDay hashtag to find great pictures to repost, and often these pictures will come from users with a very small following.
This #DWPickoftheDay comes from a user with just 2,195 followers:

This approach of casting the brand’s nets wide has worked like a charm. Daniel Wellington now has 4.9 million Instagram followers, and just four years after the $15,000 startup began its life, it was bringing in $220 million in revenue.
3. Zara
Zara has developed a reputation for its low-key marketing strategies. A lot of that reputation comes from the fact its advertising is subtle and clever instead of bold and in your face.
Working with influencers is a key part of Zara’s marketing approach.

The company even created a second account called Living Zara that is solely for collaborations. Every week, the account is taken over by a different influencer.

Like Daniel Wellington, Zara has created a massive audience thanks to this Instagram marketing strategy. The main Zara account has more than 37 million followers, and the Living Zara account has nearly 100k.
And the company is seeing rapid and continuous growth thanks to its online presence. For the 2018 financial year, Zara reported earnings of €3.44 billion (about $3.8 billion).
4. Karolis Rimkus
You might not know Karolis, but he’s a prolific entrepreneur and digital nomad who successfully used Instagram to build a business from the ground up.
Karolis used Instagram influencer marketing to kickstart a dropshipping side hustle that allowed him to break free from his 9-to-5 job. 
It was his micro-influencer strategy that helped him kickstart his sales. “At first, I did a lot of influencer outreach. I would offer micro-influencers, people with like 8,000 followers, an item they could make a giveaway with, or just send them a few free items in exchange for mentions. It worked, and then I was growing and making sales,” he says.
Then once his profile had grown to more than 15,000 followers, he flipped the traditional influencer marketing strategy on it’s head. He started to offer his page as a place for micro-influencers to promote themselves. They’d buy a product from his store, snap a photo, and he’d post it on his account, helping to promote the influencer and his store at the same time. 
After working with a series of influencers in his niche, he saw his sales increase and increase, and in just 10 months, Karolis had made $14,960.
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5. Best Fiends
Best Fiends is a free mobile game that became popular after some viral influencer marketing campaigns.
The company reached out to Laura Clery, a Facebook influencer who had almost 3 million followers at the time, to promote the game. Laura is well known for her comedy videos, and she was a natural fit for Best Fiends.
Laura held a popular livestream in which she showed how to play the game, but she put her own twist on it. She did the livestream in character as Pamela Pupkin, one of her crazy alter egos.

The result was a huge success. The livestream received more than 468k views as well as thousands of likes and comments and hundreds of shares. It’s a great example of just how effective Facebook influencer marketing can be.
6. Loeffler Randall
This Facebook influencer marketing campaign from footwear and accessory company Loeffler Randall caught our attention in the past, and it warrants a mention here as well.
The brand developed its LR Ambassadors program to work with influencers, and it’s been a hit.
Facebook influencers used the hashtag #LRAmbassador to signify their connection to the Loeffler Randall brand.

This influencer marketing campaign worked so well because Loeffler Randall knew its audience well and chose the best influencers to work with.
And like many of the companies we’ve looked at, Loeffler Randall worked with all sizes of influencers.
7. SeatGeek
SeatGeek has made a name for itself in the last few years thanks to its use of smart influencer marketing.
The ticket platform partners with YouTube influencers who each have unique discount codes that are specific to their audiences.
For example, the brand recently worked with Cody Ko, a YouTube influencer who makes comedy and commentary videos. He currently has 4.08 million subscribers and counting, and he receives millions of views on each video.

This strategy keeps paying off for SeatGeek, which has earned many new customers thanks to its influencers.
8. Audible
Audible is another brand that has gained a lot of attention due to its YouTube influencer marketing strategy.
The company sought out some of YouTube’s biggest influencers to create unique and engaging ads.
One memorable ad came from Jack Douglass, better known as Jacksfilms, in which he created funny acronyms for the word “Audible.”

The partnerships were incredibly successful for Audible. Its brand name is now known to millions of YouTube users, and its audience continues to grow as it keeps expanding its influencer network.
How to Do Influencer Marketing for Your Business
So, now that you know all about influencer marketing and its benefits, one important question remains: How do you use influencer marketing successfully in your business?
Surprisingly, the process can be broken down into six simple steps.
1. Choosing the Right Social Media Platforms
Before you go on the hunt for the right social media influencers to rep your brand, you need to choose the right social media platforms for your brand.
It might be the case that not every social media platform will suit your brand. On the other hand, you might find that you can establish a good online presence on all of the major platforms.
But how do you decide?
It helps to understand each platform and the types of people that use them.
Here’s a quick breakdown:
Instagram is best for sharing photo or video content that’s bite-sized and meant to catch the eye. If you’re selling a product (as opposed to a service), Instagram is almost definitely one platform you’ll want to be on. Most Instagram users are ages 18-34.
YouTube is obviously best for video content, but whereas Instagram only allows up to a minute of video, YouTube allows for videos of any length, giving you more options. YouTube’s demographics are surprisingly varied – while it’s most popular with 18-24 year olds, YouTube has a 51 percent penetration rate among people 75 and older.
Facebook allows for a mix of text, photo, and video content. It’s also loved by marketers for its popular Facebook Live option that allows you to livestream anytime and anywhere. Facebook’s demographic skews a little older, between 25 and 34.
TikTok is the rising star among social media platforms. The app gives influencers the opportunity to express themselves in a very creative way. It’s especially useful for brands looking to reach a younger audience. 62 percent of TikTok users are aged between 10 and 29.  
There are many other social media platforms, but typically, these three are where you’ll find most influencer marketing. In order to find the right influencers, you first have to find the right platforms, so don’t overlook this step.
2. Creating Brand Guidelines
While influencers should always be given creative freedom to represent your brand, it’s a good idea to create some general brand guidelines for your influencers to follow.
These guidelines will outline the kind of content that you want to be associated with your brand. You’re basically making a style guide for your brand.
Mainly, you want to make sure that influencers are representing your brand’s values and communicating in a way that’s consistent with your brand voice.
Alienware’s brand guidelines offer an excellent example. The brand has built its reputation on the high-end gaming computers it offers, and its guidelines are written to maintain that brand. The emphasis on performance-driven, innovative technology is clear.

The guidelines also go into extensive detail on the brand’s design philosophy. While most brands don’t need to spend 12 pages on design guidelines, this shows Alienware’s commitment to consistent branding, and that’s definitely something to consider when making your own guidelines.
When you’re developing your guidelines, keep in mind that you also have to follow guidelines. The FTC has endorsement guidelines that every brand must follow to properly disclose advertisements and sponsored relationships.
3. How to Find Influencers
After you’ve settled on platforms and created brand guidelines, you can finally set out to find influencers. You may be wondering how to find influencers on Facebook, how to find influencers on Instagram, or just how to get influencers period!
However, one of the first considerations should be the level of influencer you want to work with.
The term “influencer” is a broad term that can be broken down into several categories. There are five main levels of influencer:
Mega-influencers are the big fish. They have more than a million followers and drive huge levels of engagement on everything they post.
Macro-influencers have slightly smaller audiences, typically 500k and up. Despite not having the same reach as mega-influencers, macro-influencers are usually in high demand.
Mid-tier influencers comprise a wide category – a mid-tier influencer can have anywhere from 50k to 500k followers.
Micro-influencers have audiences of 10k-50k people.
Finally, nano-influencers are at the bottom of the food chain with 1k-10k followers. Some nano-influencers may have only a few-hundred followers. 

If your instinct is to reach out to the mega and macro-influencers, don’t act so fast.
At first glance, it does seem like the bigger the influencer, the bigger the potential for success. But that’s surprisingly not always the case.
While mega- and macro-influencers certainly have a large reach and lots of engagement, they don’t always have the largest impact.
In fact, micro-influencer marketing campaigns drive 60 percent higher engagement rates than celebrity endorsement campaigns.
Since smaller influencers are able to develop a stronger connection with their audience, they can have much higher engagement rates than even mega-influencers.
On top of that, more brands are working with nano-influencers. Nanos play an important role – they’re the most relatable of all of the influencers.
So, when these smaller influencers advocate products, their followers don’t feel sold to, an emotion that often arises when big influencers create disingenuous advertisements.
Ideally, you should reach out to influencers at all of these levels. This is the kind of approach that made brands like Daniel Wellington so successful, and it’s super easy to replicate.
Now, it’s time to find specific influencers on each platform.
Many people wonder how to find Instagram influencers or how to find Facebook influencers in an effective way. Surprisingly, the process is pretty simple.
For the most part, all you need to do is simply search for influencers in your niche by looking at hashtags and searching with keywords.
This will give you some of the big names in your industry, which in turn will give you a good idea of who you might want to work with.
But if you want to take a deeper dive, you can use a few handy tools.
First, you can use BuzzSumo to find people who are sharing popular content. Conveniently, you can filter out any results that aren’t influencers.

If you want to get stats on certain influencers, you can use HypeAuditor. This tool will give you a closer look at a follower’s profile, and it can even show you if they have any fake followers or engagements.
When looking at influencers, remember to consider what kind of influencer they are. When you start, it may be more effective to work with micro-influencers, as they’re more likely to say yes.
If you can find a micro-influencer to work with who’s a great fit for your brand, it can lead to great things. Micro-influencer marketing and nano-influencer marketing are both super powerful, so don’t pass them by.
4. Reaching Out to Influencers
This is another easy step. Often, influencers can be contacted through direct message.
But before you go messaging them, take a look at their bio section. They may have a specific email for marketing inquiries.

To maximize your productivity, you can make an outreach template, but be sure to add a little bit of personality before you hit send.
How to Work with Influencers: 4 Quick Ideas
Now that you have found some influencers that you want to partner with, it’s time to set up your influencer marketing campaign. 
Below are a few ideas for an influencer campaign that will be engaging and memorable:
1. Run a Giveaway
If your company is introducing a new product and offering a free sample as a giveaway, getting an influencer to promote the offer is a great way to increase the exposure of that product.
To get started, you can hire social media influencers to run a giveaway campaign on different platforms. Make sure to work with someone who’s aware of FTC’s rules.  

2. Go Behind-The-Scenes
Ask your influencer to share behind-the-scenes footage of how things work in your business.
For example, if you’re a fast-growing fashion brand that sells clothes online, get your influencer to broadcast your brainstorming or product design session for a day.
3. Get Featured in Roundups
Influencers may also be willing to do roundups featuring your product or service. Encourage them to feature your main offering behind complementary items (rather than competitors).
For instance, if you’re in the business of selling paint, the influencer can create a roundup of home renovation items that includes one recommendation for paint, one for vinyl, one for wall art, and so on. 
4. Host a Live Takeover
You can invite influencers to engage with your existing audience in real time through a live takeover. 
Using Instagram Live or another similar feature, the influencer can take over your brand’s account to create exclusivity and share his/own opinions with your audience. You can also allow people to ask questions or interact with influencers through comments.
The influencer could use the opportunity to hype a new product you’re about to launch, promote an upcoming sale, or talk about your business in general.

There are many influencer marketing tools that will allow you to track each campaign and measure its effectiveness.The best ones are:
1. Sprout Social
Sprout Social is a widely used tool that helps you monitor your influencer marketing campaigns by tracking hashtags and allowing your team to collaborate without any hitches.
2. Hootsuite
Thisis another popular platform that lets you grab useful analytics and track what people are saying about your campaigns. You can also use other functions — such as social media scheduling — to improve your brand’s reach.
If you want to use a tool that’s built specifically for influencer marketing, Traackr is worth a look. This tool automates influencer discovery, vetting, and reporting, allowing you to focus more on building influencer relationships and creating great content.
3. Traackr
If you want to use a tool that’s built specifically for influencer marketing, Traackr is worth a look. This tool automates influencer discovery, vetting, and reporting, allowing you to focus more on building influencer relationships and creating great content.
The Future of Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing might be the marketing method of choice right now, but what does the future hold for it?
While social media influencer marketing is extremely popular, it’s still a very new method of marketing. It’s grown over the last several years and is still growing. Brands are developing new ways of working with influencers, and influencer marketing as a whole is still being analyzed and refined.
To get a robust understanding of the future of influencer marketing, it helps to look at influencer marketing statistics that record how young people are interacting with and relating to influencers.
According to Think With Google, six in ten YouTube users would take advice on what to purchase from their favorite creators, and four in ten millennial YouTube users say that their favorite creator understands them more than their friends do.

And those statistics are just for YouTube. The statistics for Instagram are even more revealing.
Out of all the major social media platforms, Instagram has one of the youngest audiences. More than half of Instagram users are under 34 years old, with 31 percent falling in the 18-24 age range. Why does this matter? Because as Forbes revealed, millennials are the age group that is most likely to trust recommendations from people they know or opinions posted online. 
With the right audience fit and effective formats, Instagram is hands down the most-powerful channel for influencer marketing. 
By far, the most-effective formats for influencer marketing are Instagram posts and stories. The average engagement rate on Instagram is 2.21 percent.

It’s easy to see why most brands are spending more on Instagram than on any other social media channel. Along with YouTube, Instagram is playing a pivotal role in the success of influencer marketing, and the two platforms will continue to see more influencer marketing in the future.
In addition, influencer marketing will likely flourish on new and upcoming social media channels.
TikTok is one such platform that’s seeing lots of influencer marketing success. It’s relatively new to the scene, but it’s estimated to have more than 500 million users, which makes it bigger than Twitter and Pinterest.
While the specifics of the future of influencer marketing are unknown, one thing’s for sure: Influencer marketing will only continue to grow. It’s a brand-new form of marketing that shows no signs of stopping, and it’s well worth your consideration.
Influencer Marketing – Massive Potential for Business Growth
It’s obvious that influencer marketing is much more than a trend. It’s a new way of marketing that is transforming how people interact with brands.
Influencer marketing is becoming more vital to the marketing landscape. Consequently, the potential for business growth is getting larger and larger.
The case studies and statistics we’ve looked at paint a very vivid picture: Influencer marketing is extremely effective, and it’s here to stay.
So, give it a try, and see what it can do for your brand. If you take the right approach and follow this guide, don’t be surprised if you start getting hundreds or even thousands of new customers and, of course, sales.

Alibaba Dropshipping: Tips on how to Safely Dropship From Alibaba (2021)

If you want to start a successful ecommerce business, you need to know how to find and partner with effective, trustworthy suppliers. And these days, many businesses look to countries like China for the best deals — especially as international product sourcing has never been easier.
However, sourcing products from the other side of the world isn’t exactly straightforward. Time zones, language barriers, and unreliable suppliers are just some of the challenges you’ll need to navigate to succeed.
So, how can you find a great Alibaba dropshipping supplier?
In this Alibaba dropshipping guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know to get started, including:

The difference between Alibaba and AliExpress
How to vet Alibaba dropshipping suppliers
How to find great Alibaba dropshipping suppliers

But first, let’s cover the basics.

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What is Alibaba?
The Alibaba Group is the largest ecommerce company in the world, and it owns many Chinese online marketplaces, including Alibaba.com, AliExpress, Taobao, and Tmall. 
Now, if you’re looking to source products from abroad, Alibaba.com (which we’ll refer to as ‘Alibaba’ from here on out) is a fantastic place to find suppliers. Why? In short, the platform is massive —  so you can source virtually any type of product using the service.

What’s the Difference Between Alibaba and AliExpress?
If you research dropshipping, you’ll probably find tons of information on AliExpress dropshipping — but what about Alibaba?
It’s important to understand that Alibaba and AliExpress are different platforms that have different approaches to ecommerce. Here’s the key difference:

Alibaba is a business-to-business (B2B) marketplace
AliExpress is a retail marketplace

This means that Alibaba is primarily used by businesses looking to source large quantities of products from manufacturers, wholesalers, and traders. For this reason, Alibaba is ideal for finding a manufacturer to produce an original design or source private label products (which is when you add your branding to existing products).
On the other hand, AliExpress is used by both consumers and small businesses to purchase existing products individually or in small batches. In addition, many sellers on the platform also offer ePacket shipping — fast international shipping. As a result, it’s the ‘go-to’ platform of choice for dropshippers.

The image below illustrates some of the key differences between Alibaba and AliExpress:

So, if you want to hit the ground running, you can start dropshipping with AliExpress via Oberlo. Oberlo makes it dead-simple to find winning dropshipping products and add them to your Shopify store so you can start selling in minutes.

Does Alibaba Dropship?
In short? Yes, you can start dropshipping with Alibaba!
However, it’s a little more tricky to find and partner with dropshipping suppliers on Alibaba than on AliExpress. This is because most suppliers on Alibaba are set up to sell large quantities of goods to wholesalers and retailers — and many aren’t able or interested in selling and shipping individual items to consumers abroad.
For these reasons, dropshipping from Alibaba takes a lot more work than dropshipping tools like Oberlo.
That said, you can find unique products and suppliers on Alibaba that aren’t listed on AliExpress. So, Alibaba dropshipping can be a great way to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Is Alibaba Dropshipping Safe? 5 Ways to Vet Suppliers 
Although there are plenty of quality suppliers out there, there are also a few unscrupulous ones. So, make sure to do plenty of due diligence before handing over your hard-earned cash.
Here are 5 dropshipping tips to help you vet suppliers before placing an order:

Select Verified Sellers who offer Trade Assurance (Alibaba’s built-in payment protection that safeguards your orders)
Ask to see legitimate documentation, such as a business license, compliance certificates, and photos of the factory or warehouse
Ask for a business address and phone number — then use Google Earth to make sure it’s an actual address and call the number to check it’s legitimate
Check suppliers’ reviews and ask to see references from previous customers
Be wary of deals that seem too good to be true and walk away if something doesn’t feel right

How to Dropship With Alibaba, Step-by-Step
If you want to begin dropshipping on Alibaba, you’re probably wondering how to get started. To help, here’s a step-by-step guide to sourcing products safely with Alibaba.
Step 1. Start Your Search for Suppliers
To start, head to Alibaba and search for the product you want to sell — you can then use the left sidebar to hone in on a suitable supplier.

It’s a good idea to filter suppliers by Trade Assurance — even if you don’t use the service yourself. “Ready to Ship” and “Fast Dispatch” are also good options to check, as suppliers that fulfill these criteria are more likely to dropship products.
Step 2. Check the Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) and Price
Once you’ve found a potential listing, check out the product page and note the minimum order quantity — also known as MOQ.
In the example below, the supplier allows buyers to purchase 1 unit at a time:

Sometimes the product’s MOQ is visible front-and-center, and other times, you’ll have to scan the page to find it. To speed up this process, you can hit “Control” and “F” on your keyboard to search the page’s text, then try writing “MOQ,” “minimum,” or “order.”
Another key consideration is the unit price. For the listing above, we can see that the price for 1-18 units is $25 — notice how the price drops considerably as you order more products. However, this price doesn’t include shipping costs which are “To Be Negotiated.”
Step 3. Compile a List of Potential Suppliers
Most suppliers that you contact won’t work out for one reason or another. For example, they might:

Be unable to meet your verification requirements
Not have enough stock or capacity to take on more work
Offer unacceptable payment terms and refuse to negotiate

So, it’s best to compile a list of potential suppliers and then reach out to many at once. This will allow you to secure a suitable supplier faster.
At this stage, a promising supplier will:

Sell the product you want
Offer a MOQ of 1
List reasonable prices
Be verified and offer Trade Assurance
Have good reviews

Once you have a list of at least 5-10 suppliers, it’s time to connect with them.
Step 4. Contact Suppliers and Ask About Dropshipping
Not every product page will clearly list the unit prices and MOQs. So, you’ll need to contact many suppliers to find out if they’re open to dropshipping products to your customers in whichever country you plan to sell in.
Perhaps the easiest way to contact suppliers on Alibaba is to use the platform’s messaging service. However, some suppliers will prefer that you call, email, or use WeChat — China’s largest messaging app.
It’s worth remembering that most suppliers listed on Alibaba are based in China, so you’re likely in a different timezone!
Plus, unless you speak fluent Mandarin, communication can sometimes be challenging. 
Many suppliers will use a tool like Google Translate to translate your messages and their replies. You can help to avoid misunderstandings by using simple words, short sentences, and checking for spelling errors. It also helps to bullet point questions to make it easy for suppliers to reply to each one individually.
Here’s a template that you can use to inquire about dropshipping:
My name is Jane, and I am with ABC Company.
We’re searching for a reliable partner to dropship Product XYZ. Our customers are in the United States.
Please could you answer some questions:

What is your minimum order quantity (MOQ)?

What is the cost per unit?

How long will orders take to arrive in the United States?

What are your payment terms for new customers?

I would also like to order a sample. Can you please tell me the cost of a sample sent to:
Jane Smith
100 Beverly Hills
Los Angeles
United States
Thank you.
ABC Company
Step 5. Agree on a Payment Method
It’s worth understanding the most common payment methods used on Alibaba, so you can try to find a supplier that’s open to using your preferred method.
Here’s a quick rundown of 4 common payment terms used:
1. Bank Transfer
Transfers to Chinese suppliers are usually made using Telegraphic Transfer or ‘T/T’ payments. With this payment method, the supplier will generally want to receive the full payment before starting production. A bank transfer is also a relatively slow and cumbersome way to send money, so it’s not well-suited to dropshipping. Plus, it’s very high risk — especially when dealing with unknown suppliers.
2. Alibaba Trade Assurance (ESCROW)
Escrow services are third-parties that hold a buyer’s money and only pay it to suppliers when the buyer confirms satisfactory delivery of an order.
As a result, it’s a very safe way to transfer money. However, like bank transfers, it’s not the fastest way to send money. So, while secure, it’s not ideal for dropshipping.
3. Credit and Debit Card Payment
Alibaba facilitates credit and debit card payments from all major processors, including MasterCard, Visa, and American Express. However, the transaction fees involved can make this payment method costly for buyers and impact your margins.
3. PayPal
PayPal is another payment method offered by some Alibaba suppliers. For buyers, it’s easy to use and offers relatively good buyer protection. However, suppliers will usually avoid it due to the platform’s fees, the challenges of withdrawing money, and the possibility of chargebacks by unscrupulous buyers.
All in all, PayPal is the best option for new buyers.
Step 6. Shortlist Suppliers, Order Samples, and Then Select a Supplier
It’s now time to separate the wheat from the chaff and select a couple of Alibaba dropshipping suppliers that seem like a good fit. It’s worth noting that you may need to repeat the process outlined above a few times before you find suitable suppliers.
When shortlisting suppliers, make sure to consider things like:

The unit cost
The payment terms
How well each supplier communicates
How long it’ll take for the supplier to fulfill orders

Once you’ve got a list of good suppliers, it’s time to order samples. Make sure to compare each supplier’s samples and test them thoroughly.
Finally, select an Alibaba dropshipping supplier!
If you have two or more suppliers that are a great fit, look for additional opportunities to capitalize on.
For example, perhaps one of your suppliers also offers a private labeling option. In this instance, you may prefer to use this supplier because it offers an opportunity to expand and develop a unique brand in the future.

Next, you’ll need to set up your online store, optimize your product pages, and drive sales.
Source Products with Alibaba Dropshipping Today
Sourcing products from Alibaba can be challenging and time-consuming — especially when compared to other dropshipping methods like Oberlo. But although Alibaba typically facilitates bulk B2B purchases, it’s possible to find highly profitable dropshipping deals on the platform.
When searching for Alibaba dropshipping suppliers, make sure to verify their legitimacy and trustworthiness before placing an order. And if something doesn’t feel right, move on and find another supplier.
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