Dropship Pet Supplies Onlineby Chris Sentz
How to Start a Pet Supplies Dropshipping Business online
Starting your own online business can be a daunting task. A simple Google search for “pet supplies” may lead you to believe that the amount of competition makes this venture seem impossible - but this is not the case at all. Dropshipping pet supplies is an easy, low-cost, low-risk business idea. In this guide, we’ll go over everything from finding a product supplier to social media marketing - everything you need to start a pet supplies business from scratch.
Why Start Dropshipping Pet Supplies Online?
The pet supplies industry has continuously grown in the last five years, expected to reach over $75B in sales by the end of 2019. Competition is high in this industry - but that is a positive! It gives smaller businesses an advantage when it comes to successfully targeting niche audiences.
The pet supplies industry does have some big players like PetSmart, PetCo, and even Amazon - but don’t be intimidated. Larger pet supply retailers tend to target the same demographic; older consumers with more disposable income than the average person. Dropshipping costs are typically very low with pet supplies. You can purchase toys, treats, cages, collars and more at reduced costs from dropshipping suppliers like Animal Drop. Since you can keep costs low while dropshipping pet supplies, you have an advantage over larger retailers if you go after more niche audiences that are less willing to spend money with high-end retailers.
Using Social Media to Build Your Pet Supply Brand
When dropshipping pet supplies - it’s best to use a social media platform with a lot of users and a younger demographic. Generally people purchasing pet supplies are doing so after they’ve recently added a new pet to their family - so unless there’s a specific older niche you’re going after (for example - working mothers) it’s best to stick with a social media platform like Instagram.
Your social media success will be dependent on your ability to connect with your niche audience and build brand loyalty among them. This means creating engaging social media content and delivering it to your audience through Instagram posts and ads.
In the beginning stages of your dropshipping business - you want to focus on building a social media presence online, not so much on making sales. Doing so will get consumers talking about your products on social media and sharing your content on their own feeds.
In the early stages - focus on quality content that is relevant to your products but isn’t too focused on selling anything. A great example of this is Purina Puppy Chow’s “We Met a Girl” campaign with Buzzfeed. Buzzfeed’s viral marketing strategy involved creating a video series that follows a man and his dog on a hopeful journey after meeting a girl.
The campaign was an immense success: the content was engaging, the videos didn’t try to sell too aggressively and users were experiencing Purina Puppy Chow in an exciting and fun way without feeling like they were being sold to.
How to Market Your Pet Supply Store
Once you choose your niche, you’ll want to focus on identifying your audience on social media. The largest market for dropshipping pet supplies is generally middle-aged women with more disposable income, but this can change depending on the specific niche you’re after.
It’s perfectly fine to work on building your social following on more than one channel - but Instagram will be best for something like pet supplies. Instagram offers a variety of ad and post types for you to choose from when sharing content - as well as the option to target specific audiences using data made available by Instagram. You can target users based on their location, interests, gender, age and more. Behavioural targeting even lets you target users more likely to purchase from you.
For organic exposure - research how competitors are leveraging Instagram and other social media channels to share content and reach their audience. Take the time to understand what kind of content your niche enjoys. When building your audience - focus on giving them with a reason to follow you in the first place. If you’re dropshipping pet supplies - videos and images of your products being used are great, but make sure they are interesting enough for followers to want to watch. Test out different types of content to find what works best for your audience. Dog treat recipes or a DIY cat tower guide are great examples of engaging content you can create.
How to Use Dropshipping to Sell Pet Supplies
Dropshipping is a business model where inventory storage and order fulfillment is outsourced to a third-party supplier like Animal Drop. Dropshipping is both low cost and low risk - meaning it’s a great model to use if this is your first time starting a business.
If you choose to dropship products on your store - you won’t need to store any inventory or ship any products to your customers. Suppliers like Animal Drop will do this for you. When a customer places an order - order details, including the shipping address, are sent directly to the supplier who will ship the product directly to your customer. With a supplier handling the manufacturing, storage, and shipping of your products - you can focus on content creation and building a brand.
Animal Drop contains a wide selection of pet supplies you can dropship, so you’ll want to have a good understanding of your brand and select the products that best represent your brand. A brand that sells fabric dog collars, for example, generally won’t be the same brand that sells a high-end, gold-plated collar. With such a wide variety of products to choose from with dropshipping, it’s easy to find products that fit your particular niche.
The dropship business model offers you the greatest potential for success when starting a pet supply business. By only purchasing inventory for sales that you’ve made, the cost of goods sold will always be lower than your profits. Prices for pet supplies can vary, but since your niche audience likely doesn’t purchase from larger retailers - it’s good to keep the costs low. The idea is to offer top quality and design at low prices. Your success in dropshipping is the ability to offer unique products at low prices in most cases.
Pet supplies are varied and their prices tend to be as well. However, on Animal Drop you can find thousands pet supply products at low costs. Equivalent products on PetCo’s website can retail for 5x more than your selling price - which gives you plenty of room to experiment with different pricing strategies.
If you decide to dropship with Animal Drop, here are a few tips for success.
Understand shipping costs
It’s no secret that customers love free shipping. However, not every business can afford to offer free shipping on every product. Take careful note of the shipping costs associated with any products you choose to sell from Animal Drop, and decide whether you can afford to offer free shipping without increasing sale price. You may decide another strategy will be needed to offer free shipping while still making a profit. For example, free shipping for orders that reach a certain price threshold.
Find Trending Products
Animal Drop can seem overwhelming because there are so many products. If you’re not sure how to find viral products that will perform well on social media, invest some time and energy into researching competitor ads and best selling products to see what products or product categories they are investing resources into currently.
Learn From The Competition
Similar to finding trending products, researching competitors offers a wealth of information that can help guide you as you optimize your website, write copy, and create content. Study the blogs and advertisements of your competitors to learn how they create urgency, build trust, and convert customers.
Set the Right Price
Even with the low prices on Animal Drop, don't sell your products at too low of a price. Consider leaving enough room in your profit margin for marketing, advertising, etc. We typically recommend setting your selling price at a minimum 40% profit margin.
Expand Your Offerings
One of the biggest advantages of the pet niche is that there are a wide variety of complementary products you can offer to customers. Think of what products pair well with typical pet supplies. For example, if you’re selling dog shirts, a matching shirt for the owner can serve as a great complementary product that increases how much your customer may spend with you.
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