To successfully run an online shop, you need much more than just the right product and good search engine rankings. If you haven’t already considered it, it will become clear as soon as your first orders come through that a well thought-out distribution policy is just as important to stay competitive long/term as the necessary capital. What really matters when choosing sales channels?
Dropshippers looking for the best items to dropship for their online store can draw inspiration from a variety of sources: other online retailers, social media platforms and trend engines. Many product categories are suitable for dropshipping – from fitness to pet goods. But when selecting items to stock for sale, you should consider other factors such as an item’s popularity, selling price, and delivery terms. Relevant products can be sourced directly via manufacturers or wholesalers and also online marketplaces such as AliExpress and DHgate.
- What is dropshipping?
- The best items to dropship: search and find
- Product selection: what you should pay attention to
- The bestsellers among items to dropship
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What is dropshipping?
In short, dropshipping is an eCommerce business concept in which the store operator bears no responsibility for either the storage or the shipping of their products. When a customer purchases an item, the order is forwarded to the relevant wholesaler or manufacturer, who delivers the product. A dropshipper acts as the middleman between buying and supplying parties.
Importantly, dropshipping products are manufactured and stored in advance. When a product is purchased, it is shipped on demand. In the process, it may well happen that an item is no longer in stock. In this case, you can push back the delivery date or offer a similar product as a replacement until the original is back in stock.
You can find out more about dropshipping in our dedicated article on the topic “What is dropshipping?”.
Want to get started with online marketing but don’t know where to begin? With IONOS you can create your own online store today and get started with dropshipping.
The best items to dropship: search and find
Dropshippers, much like other founders of online stores, face the challenge of having to offer their clientele an appealing range of goods. But how do you find dropshipping products to add to your assortment and boost sales? Inspiration is key. You can find a dropshipping partner for almost any type of product.
Point of contact number 1: Other online retailers
The Internet offers a vast selection of sources for inspiration. Other online retailers, large and small are one such source. If learning from others doesn’t appeal to you, it’s worth bearing in mind that many business owners tend to improve their craft through mentorship or the help and guidance of professionals. In other words, a guiding hand can be useful to get started and avoid common mistakes. You can apply this principle to your business by getting an impression of the structure and range of goods of a competitor store.
Here are some examples of online stores that have been successful with their dropshipping products:
- Aesthentials: From funky eyewear to peach-shaped earrings or printed tees – the name of the game are fashion and accessories with a playful appeal. Products of this type attract younger target groups in particular.
- Dog Pawty: As the name suggests, Dog Pawty offers goods to make the hearts of dog lovers beat faster. It is not uncommon for web stores to specialize on a pet.
- Wholesale Interiors: If you’re after some inspiration for interior design products, you’ll find living room, bedroom, dining room, and home office furniture here. The store adds new items each month, encouraging shoppers to visit more regularly.
- RocketBaby: Located in Italy, RocketBaby offers items for babies and toddlers. Competition in this dropshipping segment is fierce, but customer interest is huge.
- Gaiman: Yoga, fitness and all things physical vitality are at the heart of Gaiman. If you need inspiration for sports-related products, you’ve come to the right place.
But competing dropshippers shouldn’t be your only source of inspiration. Major online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and the like offer a diverse range of products that can prove fruitful for your search. On Amazon, for example, bestseller lists for every product category are updated hourly to show you which items are top sellers. Take a look at the “Computers & Accessories” section or “PC Gaming Accessories”, and you’ll be quick to spot popular computer and gaming accessories.
Point of contact number 2: Social media sites and trend engines
Aside from other online retailers, there are other ways to find best-selling products. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and similar online platforms are good ways to monitor customer interest. After all, keeping an eye on the latest trends is crucial to finding the top dropshipping products.
Pinterest, for example, is a platform people use to create and share pinboards on a wide variety of topics. Pins are usually photos and videos intermixed with product ads. From gift ideas to interior design items – the variety of products to be pinned is limitless.
If you’re looking to monitor the popularity of a specific product, Google Trends is a good choice. Simply enter the name of the item in the search bar and Google displays the level of consumer interest based on search queries.
Social media is not just useful for product research. Once your web store is up and running, platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc. are important networks to spread the word about your business. You can use the IONOS Social Buy Button to help customers purchase items directly from you without having to leave your social media page.
Product selection: what you should pay attention to
Now that you have identified sources for product inspiration, you’ll want to make a selection of products to be offered as part of your online store.
While many dropshipping stores may focus on a specific sub-segment of products, there are plenty of others that offer a broad range of products across many different categories. Among the categories that have proven most successful in dropshipping are sports and fitness, technology accessories, fashion and accessories, furnishings (home and garden), and beauty and care.
However, not all items are suitable for dropshipping – quite the opposite. There are several factors you should consider before selecting a product. Here are some of the most important ones:
As previously earlier, it is important to pay attention to current trends. Products receiving plenty of attention on social media can be among the best dropshipping products now or in the near future. Think about your online store’s target audience and put yourself in their shoes.
A decisive factor for customers is how easy it will be to get hold of a product. The rarer the item, the better. Ideally, you’re the exclusive supplier of merchandise online and locally. It’s worth checking where similar items are offered for sale. An ordinary pizza cutter, which a customer could purchase at their nearest retail store, won’t be as attractive as an animal-shaped pizza cutter that is hard to find.
Another criterion that influences if a dropshipping product sells well is how useful the product is. Most customers pay attention to usability over aesthetics when making a purchase. As a dropshipper, you’ll want to ensure that the products you offer are useful and make sure your buyers are getting the message.
Online retailers should bear in mind that dropshipping products sell differently depending on their price-performance ratio and that prices may fluctuate. A bestselling product one year may not be successful the next. Sales ratios will vary from one target group to another and from country to country. Low-price items that can be offered at large quantities such as cell phone covers, bottle openers, or mugs are offered across many web stores.
Delivery and returns
When selecting products, focus on items that are easy to ship since you will be responsible for defective goods and will have to provide a refund. In addition to good return management and planning for costs incurred in the event of product or delivery defects, it is advisable to steer clear of heavy, bulky, easily breakable, or very large items. This isn’t a rule of course. But if, for example, you’re trading in perishable goods such as food and pet food, you should ensure that they are shipped risk-free.
Last but not least, the dropshipping products in your online store should have a legal status. This means that you must be legally allowed to offer your goods for sale and to advertise them. Certain categories are forbidden such as counterfeits, living creatures, pornography and items that infringe on a creator’s copyright.
The latter include products such as prints of photos of famous personalities. Here’s an example to that end: Following the release of the TV series “The Mandalorian”, fans were hyping the character Grogu, which they soon christened Baby Yoda. Consequently, a mass offering of unauthorized merchandise occurred, and Disney had to crack down on it.
The bestsellers among items to dropship
Now that you know all you need to know to start searching for the top dropshipping products, we’ve rounded up some ideas for items you could be selling online. Below we’ve compiled a list of dropshipping bestsellers 2021:
- Cell phone cover: Our #1 dropshipping product combines aesthetics with utility. The demand for cell phone cases remains consistently high, as they tend to wear out over time, get lost or no longer fit the phone after a replacement.
- Security camera: Many people value security and resort to video surveillance to keep an eye on their home and their possessions. Other customers also like to use such cameras for watching animals outdoors.
- Baby carrier: The parent-child bond is a highly topical issue that has contributed to products such as baby carriers trending in recent years. Parents can promote closeness with their child by keeping them closer to their body.
- Dog bed: Pet items like a dog bed are items most pet owners will purchase sooner or later. And because pet ownership never goes out of fashion, the category remains of interest for dropshippers long-term.
- Gaming headset: In addition to keyboards, microphones and mouse pads, the right headphones are important items for gamers to purchase.
- RC car: Radio-controlled model cars aren’t just toys but can become collectors’ items. RC car races are organized several times a year for owners of RC cars to compete against each other.
- Yoga mat: With ever more people working from home, sports enthusiasts are increasingly turning to activities they can perform from home. Sports mats provide a good basis for yoga and other fitness activities.
- Fitness tracker: A fitness tracker provides information on physical and health values such as running distance, heart rate, blood pressure, etc., making it a top product.
- Door mat: Inviting doormats are evergreen items, which means there’s always demand for them.
- Ear plugs: In times of working from home and homeschooling, many people use earplugs to focus. Comfortable earplugs are in high demand for a quiet sleep.