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Academy Success Stories

Successful Case, from DropShipping to Branding — Shapermint

CJDropshipping is one of the first dropshipping supply companies in China and strives to provide an all-in-one solution for aspiring entrepreneurs. Initially starting as a jewelry manufacturer on alibaba.com and aliexpress.com, CJ Dropshipping quickly grew to a multi-niche supplier for business around the world. We discovered the dropshipping business model when fulfilling orders for a particular entrepreneur. Juan(Co-Founder in Trafilea) is from Iceland, at the time he was a student in his freshman year of university constantly selling hundreds FAST and Furious Necklace. We wondered why one person would buy so many necklaces and have them shipped all around the world, specifically requesting to never ship the item with an invoice. We eventually spoke with Juan via Skype and not long afterward scheduled a meeting at our headquarters in China. We went on to be lasting business partners and sold millions worth of products

These were the early days of dropshipping, the business model didn’t even have a proper name at the time. And because it was still so fresh, it was largely unregulated. It was like the “wild west,” where nearly anything was up for grabs. And like most pioneers, you tend to go where the money is. In terms of dropshipping, this meant you can easily sell branded products without necessarily needing a license. It was certainly a grey area, but we went on to sell tons of Harry Potter necklaces. However, over time Juan faced issues with his payment gateway, and not long after Facebook blocked his account. It was becoming very obvious that working within this grey area was not going to be sustainable. And quickly ditched selling branded merchandise in favor of something viable.

I have to say that Trafilea has grown to be a massive company since 2016. They are literally masters of marketing and managed themselves so well that they were able to scale to the position they hold today. After deciding to switch products, Juan then focused on marketing the elephant pillow. This however was another grey area product, as IKEA was selling something very similar at the time. But Juan knew how to advertise and I knew where they were being manufactured, so quickly we had another winner on our hands. We were sending packages out like crazy, it was a win-win situation for both of us. With thousands of units sold daily for that product alone. You can see exactly how crazy it was here.

It was an incredible couple of months for both Trafilea and CJ Dropshipping. Both of us have seen tremendous growth from just a handful of winning products. I’m not going to go into detail of his methods, but Juan really knew how to pick winners. I’m sure he spent hours researching and testing products and their niches. But while searching for a product that’s more “evergreen” Juan at Trafilea was able to find another huge niche — BODY SHAPING

We here at CJ talk with a ton of dropshippers and most of them find that it’s hard to make consistent sales the entire year round. Let alone off of one niche/targeted audience. So the concept that a product can remain “evergreen” through the entirety of the year sounds like a myth to most people. The problem is that most people tend to sell products that have little shelf life. Meaning that over time the product or niche will become saturated. Smart entrepreneurs have adapted by selling a rotating supply of different gadgets. When a product becomes liquidated they simply switch it for another and start the whole advertising process over again. Some simply ignore their own store for several months as they only make sales during a certain portion of the year.

Selling shapperware was ultimately Juan’s winning niche, with his first brand being EMPETUA. He initially tested it’s viability using Aliexpress. He found the right product but was unsatisfied with the inconsistent shipping times. Later opting for CJ Dropshipping as we typically could get deliveries to customers a week faster. It’s a good strategy to test product with Aliexpress and then scale with CJ once finding a winner. You can read more about the process here. It’s not often that we fulfill hundreds of orders from the get-go. And I attribute his immediate success to actually designing the product before launch. After hours of research and testing to see if the product was even viable, he had our Sourcing Agents contact numerous manufacturers to custom make a signature line of shapperware. It was a process of adjusting sizes to fit both the Europian and American markets. We would submit the final silhouettes to different manufacturers scattered throughout the mainland, from Guangzhou, Fujian, Shenzhen, Yiwu, Zhuji, and Jiangxi to find the best prices. When prototypes were made we would then check the quality before sending the best ones to Juan for approval. It wasn’t easy, but we knew that Juan had something special and was more than cabible at marketing the product correctly. With his superior product and knowledge in advertising paired with our ability to offer faster shipping, we again had another winner on our hands.

One thing that really ensured their success was custom packaging. Not only did we help source the product but we also had custom mailers and pack-ins made as well. Virtually none of Juan’s competitors had anything like this. Which made him stand out and gave his company more credibility. His customers where impressed, often posting their purchases on Facebook and Instagram.

In 2017, EMPETUA was exclusively dropshipping units from China. Which means that orders typically took 20+ days to arrive. They were getting complaints, which is never good for business. In 2018 they aimed to take a more domestic approach to dropshipping. We here at CJ had opened our first fulfillment center in the U.S around that time. So naturally we saw another win-win situation for everyone. They asked their American customers if they will paying 5 dollars more for 2-5 day shipping. And the results yielded an astounding yes. Within 3 months they re-branded and moved all their inventory into the U.S and exclusively shipped domestically.

Now known as Shapermint, Juan was able to scale his business from a mere idea to one of the most successful e-commerce companies on the web. It wasn’t profitable at first, and also required a substantial upfront investment. But with superior marketing and a custom made product, Juan was able to build a high customer retention rate. Not only did he have a product that you can only get through Shappermint, but customers often bought multiple units throughout the year. Simply because he was able to build his brands credibility. Using combination of FB/IG ads, email marketing and being seen on major networks and publications, Shappermint literally dominates the body shaping niche. And with exceptional customer service he is able to keep customers happy and therefore more likely to return for more purchases further down the line.

As it stands now and in the future, only a brands are able to reach a point of sustainability. It would be wise to incorporate this into your overall strategy. It’s important for entrepreneurs to have some form of Branding Guideline, Marketing Strategy and a Scaling Strategy before they launch a new business. These 3 documents will help you reach a higher level of personal success. Though they may change over time, it’s always great to start from somewhere. It’s also important to consider how you structure your business. For instants you can double down on the cost per unit, but if you brand correctly a customer is more likely to purchase multiple units per transaction and return for more further down the line. This can be formulated out as (Branding strategy=Less money on a single purchase+Bigger margins on multiple units sold per transaction+Customer retention based on Brand Credibility) This being only one example of the infinite possibilities on how to structure business and conversion funnels. We here at CJ dropshipping implore you to chart out a structure that best works for you.

Here’s a quick list of helpful tips that can summarize this entire article.

  1. Never give up on your dream and always test any product viability. You might have to start off in the grey area, similarly to Trafilea. But be willing to adapt when needed.
  2. Sustainability is the ultimate goal. A winning niche will yield better results over time compared to a winning product.
  3. Hold your business to a high degree, do not to make one-time money.
  4. Scaling your business can only be done with a reliable supplier.
  5. Sourcing Agents, Manufacturers, and a Fulfillment Team are all crucial complainants to building your brand. CJ Dropshipping can connect you with all the right people.
  6. Always strive to provide a quality product for your customer.
  7. Fast shipping, custom mailer bags/boxes, and promotional pack-ins will absolutely build your customer retention rate.
  8. Design all your mailers to stand out from your competitors.
  9. Customer support can make or break your business. It’s very important to listen to your customers’ needs and incorporate their feedback to the best for your ability.
  10. When scaling your business beyond just yourself as a sole proprietor, it’s important to hire for trust and reliability. The team you build will be your greatest asset.

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Dropshipping Business Earthquake, after one of the dropshipping tools Shopmaster shut down. Oberlo is shutting down too. Dropshippers have to find alternatives.

cjdropship.com/topics/oberlo-is-shutting-down-what-are-the-best-alternatives-to-oberlo/

Oberlo Is Shutting Down – What Are the Best Alternatives to Oberlo?
CJ Dropshipping
May 17, 2022
Oberlo Is Shutting Down – What Are the Best Alternatives to Oberlo?
What should dropshippers do?
What are the best Oberlo alternatives?
1. DSers
2. CJ Dropshipping
3. NicheDropshipping
4. Spocket
5. Printify
Today we got breaking news for dropshippers. Oberlo, one of the most well-known apps on Shopify will officially close its entry on June 15th, 2022.

Oberlo has been a successful dropshipping app. It provides a convenient method for store owners to fulfill orders with AliExpress.

Among all the various dropshipping apps on the market, Orberlo has got a great reputation in the community. It has helped countless people become successful entrepreneurs.

However, the sites will officially shut down on June 15th. For the people who are currently on a paid Oberlo subscription plan, they can cancel it now and get a refund.

What should dropshippers do?
There are many possibilities for Oberlo to make such a decision. And shutting down the Oberlo app doesn’t mean the Oberlo company is going to shut down.

We will talk about this topic in our latest articles and share some insights about the dropshipping industry in the short future.

For now, Oberlo will shut down soon. If you are one of the entrepreneurs who have been using Oberlo, you need to think about what to do next and find a solution for the incoming event as soon as possible.

In this article, we will present some best dropshipping sites as alternatives for Oberlo. If you wish to take this challenge as an opportunity with a new service provider, this is the chance.

If you are not using Oberlo, the event may also lead you to some deep thoughts about the industry. In case your current supplier or service provider got the same situation in the future, preparing in advance is always a good choice.

What are the best Oberlo alternatives?
1. DSers
On the official Oberlo FAQ page, Oberlo has suggested the users migrate to a trusted Shopify partner, DSers.

DSers is a dropshipping app that provides multistore management. You can use it to manage most dropshipping platforms such as Shopify, Wix, and Woocommerce.

Just like Oberlo, DSers allows you to sync orders from your store to AliExpress and then fulfill the orders in a more convenient way.

Also, you can use DSers to source the products on AliExpress. Instead of sourcing products on your own, using DSers will save you a lot of time to locate the specific product you want among the massive category.

In addition, DSers is also available for data transferring from Oberlo. If you wish to migrate your Oberlo account data to DSers, you can do it directly on the Oberlo admin home page.

What makes DSers unique?
Good Chrome extension
Multiple store order manage
Optimizing sourcing time
Allow data migration from Oberlo
Good chrome extension
Still, DSers is not the best choice if you wish to save your budget and justify the cost. This is because if you want to fully use the functions of DSers to manage more than 3 stores, you will need to subscribe to the paid plan first.

2. CJ Dropshipping
CJ Dropshipping is a one-stop dropshipping platform that provides a complete Dropshipping service.

The service of CJ dropshipping covers sourcing, shipping, order management and even filming ad videos.

CJ Dropshipping has both features of Oberlo and AliExpress, you can find products that come from various international suppliers at cheap prices on the site. By using this sourcing feature, you can easily find better suppliers different from AliExpress.

If you need some information about the recent trendy products or best-selling products, you can also explore the trendy products recommendation columns on the CJ Dropshipping site. Every season there will be brand new innovative products for you to choose from.

Besides, the overall shipping time of CJ Dropshipping is faster than AliExpress suppliers. This is because many suppliers on CJ Dropshipping got their own international warehouses.

Also, if your business volume is big, you can actually have your own private inventory in CJ warehouses. Then your orders can be shipped out within 1 to 2 days.

If you are not only looking for a store integration service provider but also suppliers with better prices, CJ Dropshipping will be a good choice for you. Unlike other paid-to-use platforms, most functions on CJ Dropshipping are completely free to use.

What makes CJ Dropshipping unique?
Free sourcing for better suppliers
Trendy products recommendation
Faster shipping time than AliExpress
International warehouses
Bulk order management
Various extended services (POD, Photography)
3. NicheDropshipping
Niche dropshipping is a site that combines sourcing agents and dropshipping suppliers. You can find various product collections on their site just like searching for products on AliExpress.

When you want to search for any products with better quality or price, you can directly consult the agents of NicheDropshipping to find the product you want.

If some products got higher prices than you expected, you can also negotiate with the agents. Agents of Niche dropship are also professional in getting the best quotation from the suppliers.

Besides, Niche Dropshipping got international warehouses in both China and the USA. So if your market is in the US and you wish to optimize the processing time of the products, you can also choose to bulk purchase the products to stock in their USA warehouse. Once products are stocked in the USA, shipping and processing time can be amazingly fast.

In addition, the photography service is available if you wish to see the actual quality of the products. You can also request photos or videos for advertisement usage. But keep in mind this service is paid, the cost will depend on your request content.

What makes NicheDropshipping unique?
Free product sourcing quote
China & USA warehouses
Automated dropshipping service
Photography service
4. Spocket
Spocket is a high-rated dropshipping platform that allows you to connect with suppliers all over the world.

Most of the suppliers on Spocket are from the USA & the EU. This special feature makes it an excellent tool to search for products within the US and the EU.

The best thing about domestic suppliers is the shipping time. If you buy products from domestic suppliers, shipping will only need takes 2-5 days to deliver. This is why international warehouses are also recommended by other dropshipping platforms

Still, the limitation of domestic suppliers is the product variety. If your wish to expand your business, you will need to explore more international supplier platforms.

If your target market is in the US or in the EU, Spocket is a great choice for you to find the supplier you prefer to work with.

What makes Spocket unique?
Available US & EU suppliers
High-quality products with samples
Winning products recommendation
Support multiple platforms (Shopify, Woocommerce, Wix)
5. Printify
POD (Print on demand) is a special major category among all different kinds of products. When we talk about POD products, Printify must be the top to mention. It is also a dropshipping site that specialized in integrating POD suppliers.

On Printify, you can source a wide range of customizable products including hoodies, accessories, T-shirts, and so on.

Wish to see the effect picture? You can simply upload the picture to the platform then the editor will automatically generate an example picture.

Still, not all the products are customizable and some products are only customizable if you have a large order quantity. Many suppliers require MOQ (minimum order quantity) to provide customization services. And of course, it’s not free.

So if you are running a general store with various product categories, Printify may not be the best option.

If you are looking for customizable products or wish to brand your products with store logos, you check out Printify to make your own products.

What makes Printify unique?
Specialized in POD products
Wide range of customizable products collection
No extra charges except product and POD fee
Simple editor for designers
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