The holidays always seem to arrive so quickly! Which is why we always talk about getting ready for the holidays in July. Because the next thing you know, there will be turkeys to stuff and presents to wrap! The holidays are a busy time for you personally, and they should be a busy time for your online store as well!
If you haven’t gotten your marketing setup and ready to go, then get to work! If you are using a dropshipper to supply your online store, take a look to see if they have any special deals for the holidays first! Then get to work on your marketing to the masses.
Here are a few ideas for you;
1. Cyber Monday: Cyber Monday is the online version of Black Friday. It is the day where many online stores offer great “Black Friday” type discounts and free shipping. You should always participate! There are Cyber Monday/Black Friday directories that you can put your offers on, as well as use email marketing series to your customers to ramp up for it, telling them about specials, discounts, items they may be interested in, and then finally emailing them the day before and then day of to remind them.
2. Free Shipping: Add value to the products in your store by providing Free Shipping this Holiday season. Free Shipping really encourages a customer to buy from you instead of a competitor, because a consumer is looking for a better deal. If they can save some money on shipping, they will definitely gravitate towards that!
3. Get Creative: Creative marketing will give you a jump on your competitors, especially with so many online stores vying for the customers attention. If you have a humorous streak, get silly! It will grab people’s attention and if done right, will make a lasting impression.
4. Social Media: Social Media Marketing is a valuable tool for any business. Done right, you can get people’s attention real fast and done better, they will share your marketing with others. This is where your creativity can really come into play. Contests, trivia, videos and more are all great things that you can do with your social marketing to get people talking about your upcoming holiday sales.
5. Gift Certificates or Gift Cards: Always make gift cards or gift certificates redeemable in your store available. I come across many online stores that I wish they had gift certificates for that hard to buy for person. You can create your own, or work with a service to make these an option in your store.
6. Help Your Customers Shop: A clean organized store will always make it easier for someone to buy from you, but during the holiday season, you need to make it even easier. Have a gift buying area, set things sortable by price, provide an affordable gift section, separate things out for gifts for her, gifts for him and etc.
These are just 6 ideas that you can do for your Holiday Marketing this year. There are so many other great things you can do! So get your wheels turning and write up your marketing plan for the Holidays if you haven’t yet! Or maybe I mentioned something above that you have forgotten about. You still have time to fit ideas in!
Unfortunately these scammers keep in business because so many people fall for their fake promises and flashy webpages. Don’t be an easy mark! All these scammers care about is taking your money. They bring you in at a low price point, and then you get swamped with phone call and email offers to spend more money or they just provide you with repeated stolen information from other sources.
You can always trust us here at WorldwideBrands.com. We have been in business since 1999 finding genuine sources & recommendations for our members. We have helped thousands of retailers find legitimate wholesale suppliers and dropshippers for their stores.
We keep our promises and provide new sources for our members on a daily basis in our continuously updated online WBI Certified Wholesaler Directory.
We aren’t in business to scam people. Our team works hard on our information and we have maintained a fantastic reputation on the internet for providing trusted sources. We don’t steal! We FIND all the suppliers on our own and do all of our own work.
Our service is a one time fee for lifetime access. We don’t require you to purchase anything else for our membership and we don’t flood you with phone calls or emails. We don’t like that stuff either!
So if you are getting barraged by scam offers and don’t know which way to turn, Keep Calm and Get Your Dropshp On with WorldwideBrands.com Certified Wholesalers!
As a retailer, it is very important to check out your competition and stay on top of what they are doing. Understanding your competitors marketing strategies, product selection, customer support, policies, websites & pricing can be used to help you improve your sales.
First, you need to determine who your top competitors are. You may already know a few of them off hand while you were searching on the internet deciding what to sell. But if you don’t know, do a few search engine searches with the keywords you want to focus on to see who comes up on top.
Take a look at these competitors and ask yourself the following;
Does this retailer have more than one website?
How is the general feel of the store? Is it easy to navigate?
Does the site look good? Would I buy from them?
Do they have more than one type of product or several?
Do they have clear pictures and detailed descriptions?
Are the products priced competitively?
Do they offer free shipping?
Do they have a phone number clearly posted?
Do they offer live chat?
Do they have their email addresses posted?
Where is this company located in the natural listings?
Are they using ads?
What do their ads say?
What keywords are they focusing on?
Are they on Facebook and post often?
Are they on Twitter and post often?
Other Marketing:Do they attend trade shows?
Do they also have a brick and mortar store?
Do they have a blog & post regularly?
You can chart these things out to analyze your competition and to narrow down your main competitors. Plus you can always get ideas on what you SHOULD be doing if they are dominating the search engines!
What are wholesale products and how can I find some?
If you retail products online, then buying wholesale products is an important factor for you, because ultimately you need products to sell. Look around you, every single product you see that you bought from a retailer, was purchased at wholesale from a wholesaler or the manufacturer of the product first.
Let’s start at cost.
When you manufacture products, you have to calculate how much each individual item costs you to create. That is your overhead. Materials, Labor, Expenses etc. all get calculated into overhead. Then the manufacturer will add an additional percentage to each product so they can actually make a profit, keep their doors open and continue to pay employees & grow.
Cost + Percentage = Wholesale Price.
If the manufacturer doesn’t wholesale the products to retailers, and you have to work with factory authorized distributors or wholesalers then you have an additional cost. Manufacturer Cost + Percentage + Wholesalers Percentage = Secondary Wholesale Cost per item. So for retailers, it’s best to buy directly from the source whenever possible to get the better wholesale prices.
Let’s create an example…
BlankiesRWe (made up name) makes soft baby blankets. They determined that it costs them approximately $5.00 to make each one and they figure that the blankets can retail for $19.99 each. So BlankiesRWe, will take that $5.00 and add an additional 40% for their wholesale price. $5.00 + 40% = $7.00.
Now, BlankiesRWe doesn’t wholesale to retailers, they have a factory authorized distributor that does. So the distributor needs to add an additional percentage on top of the $7.00 to cover their costs and valuable warehouse space. So let’s say they add an additional 40% on top of that. $7.00 + 40% = $9.80
So the retailer can buy the product for $9.80 from the distributor, and list the product at the manufacturer suggested retail price of $19.99. So their potential profit could be; $19.99 (MSRP) – $9.80 (wholesale cost) – 2% (average credit card processing fee) = $9.99 retailer’s starting profit.
If you are not stocking the inventory, and you are using dropshippers to fulfill the orders, then you don’t have as many overhead costs than if you had a warehouse. As a retailer though, you still need to tally in your additional costs, such as store hosting, credit card fees, labor and etc to come up with the actual profit numbers. But my example above gives you a good idea where to start.
So how do you find the best wholesalers to use for your store? Shameless plug warning!
With us here at WorldwideBrands.com of course! Our WBI Certified Directory of Dropshippers and Wholesalers has thousands of wholesale suppliers (most of them manufacturers) that work with online retailers. We have taken each and every supplier through a verification process to ensure they are the real deal. Our members know that each supplier in our Directory has been Certified by us to be the legitimate manufacturer or factory authorized distributor of the products they are offering at wholesale.
We add new suppliers, brands and products every business day for our members, so there is always something new to look at and to help avoid saturation. With millions of products at your fingertips, there is a large diversity of products for every type of online store.
First, let’s explain what an affiliate program is. Let’s say you have a blog online where you talk about coffee and a couple times a month, you post about how much you love coffee and you even mention your favorite brands and flavors. Those brands probably have an affiliate program for you to sign up for. Most major companies & retailers do! You would sign up for that affiliate program, and put your special link on the words in your blog posts to send people to that place to buy or you place “ads” on the page for people to check out what you like and maybe buy it to try it out.
When a person clicks that ad or link, they will go to the brand or retailers website, and you will earn a set commission amount for every sale that is made. Commission amounts vary across the board for every company, so you can either shop around for the best commission or only promote your favorite places to buy from.
So with an affiliate program, you aren’t the one processing the orders and charging customers. The company you are referring people to will.
A Wholesale Affiliate Program is the exact same thing. You are promoting products, but not necessarily selling them.
So how does that differ from dropshipping?
With drop shipping, you are the one that is offering the products for sale on your website or chosen selling platform. You have a merchant account and will charge the customers the retail price + shipping/handling costs. Once you collect the funds from the customer, you then place the order with the wholesaler that dropships and pay the wholesaler the wholesale cost + shipping/handling. The Dropshipping Supplier will then ship the product to your customers location for you.
So with drop shipping, the wholesaler is your fulfillment center. With an affiliate program, the retailer handles everything and will pay you every month for sales that you generated.
Which is better?
It depends. If you only want to blog about your favorite things, then an affiliate program is better. If you want to control the retail prices, directly communicate with the customers, and actually have a store online, then you need to setup accounts with wholesalers that drop ship to fulfill orders for you.
Which earns more?
Again, it depends. If you get fantastic wholesale prices, you can actually earn more by having an online store than referring people to other websites. So shop around and figure out what’s best for you and what level of involvement you want.
There is a common misconception about what we (here at WorldwideBrands.com) mean when we say “middleman”.
Websters Dictionary (full definition) states that a middleman is; parties; especially : a dealer, agent, or company intermediate between the producer of goods and the retailer or consumer
Synonyms: Broker, go-between, intermediary etc.
This full definition is what we mean when we talk about middlemen and what retailers should avoid. You see, the important thing here with the definition is that it says the middleman is what is in between the producer of goods and the retailer or the consumer. A middleman doesn’t have a warehouse and doesn’t deliver the products they are representing. They are only passing the orders along to the real company that will deliver the products to the retailer or to the consumer directly, so they are an intermediary.
Another definition of a middleman is that they are purchasing products from the manufacturer and then wholesaling them again. But we disagree with this definition. A company that purchases from the manufacturer and wholesales them to retailers is simply a wholesaler or could possibly be the factory authorized distributor if the manufacturer won’t wholesale to retailers directly.
The important thing here is that we do not consider any company that actually holds inventory as a middleman.
However, we only list manufacturers and factory authorized distributors in our Wholesaler and Dropshipper Directory. If the manufacturer won’t work with retailers, we contact their factory authorized distributors. We do not list plain ol’ wholesalers or sub-wholesalers (which are wholesalers that purchase from other wholesalers).
When you work with a middleman or a sub-wholesaler, you aren’t getting the best wholesale prices, because these “wholesalers” raise the wholesale cost, when you could be buying it cheaper by going to the source of the products directly. This is why so many online retailers love our Directory at WorldwideBrands.com. We only provide those top-level wholesalers to our members for the best prices & superior service, because we cut out the middleman that run rampant on the internet. It’s all part of our wholesale scam protection.
We take our time verifying the information that we gather from these wholesale companies and we turn down listings in our Directory often because a company doesn’t meet our criteria. We only want to protect our members and their consumers by providing them with the best sources of products we can. Which of course means, No Middlemen Allowed!
Here at WorldwideBrands.com, we are all about working directly with the suppliers. Many don’t understand why this is so beneficial! This post will explain that a little bit as well as give some tips on how to have a good wholesale supplier relationship.
When you have a great direct relationship with your supplier, you become privy to extra special care. Better prices, good terms, potential buybacks and better communication. So it is worth your time to get to know your suppliers.
Your suppliers are the life blood of your online retail store. If they weren’t there to supply products or drop ship products for you in a reasonable time frame, then you wouldn’t have a business!
So how to get that good relationship? Here are some tips….
1. Become Friends
Everyone wants to enjoy what they are doing and who they work with. Your wholesale suppliers, vendors and service providers are no exception. You have to work with these people quite often to ensure that everything is working properly. So don’t be rude, open up a little and listen. You could end up with a long lasting fantastic friendship, and everyone knows that a good friend will do extra things for their friend. So with a good starting and lasting relationship with your supplier will mean faster response times and maybe even give you access to things that no other retailer gets.
2. Pay Attention to the Supplier’s Requests
If the supplier wants you to order from them, contact them and pay them in certain ways, comply with that! It’s that simple. If they want you to order through their wholesale portal, you should do that. If they want you to email the orders, then that’s how you submit the orders. Going against what they want, will throw a wrench in their process, and cause delays for everyone involved. So pay attention.
3. Pay on Time
Not paying your bills on time is always careless, but when it comes to your supplier, they may re-think about working with you. If you don’t pay on time, or your payments decline often, the supplier can drop your re-seller account at any moment. They reserve the right to do that. So pay on time, and don’t get into that type of mess.
4. You’re Not the Only One
Most Wholesale Suppliers have many retailers selling for them. So keep in mind that you aren’t the only one who works with them. Patience is a virtue.
5. Don’t Play the Blame Game
Like with every business, there will always problems. Everyone makes mistakes, that is human nature. Blaming and complaining will not get you anywhere fast nor help the situation. Instead, work with them to try to find a solution.
For example, say that you ordered a product from a supplier because it sold, and the supplier immediately told you that the item was out of stock. Oh no! Your customer is waiting for that product! Don’t blame the supplier and get into a bout with them. It’s easy to rectify this situation.
First, ask when they will get more in stock. Then contact your customer, and explain that unfortunately you are out of stock on this particular item, but you will have access to more in X number of days or weeks. Then see if the customer would like to wait and you will expedite the shipping at no extra cost or perhaps you can suggest other items that are similar instead. If the customer wants to wait, then contact your supplier and tell them that your customer would like to wait for them to get the products back in stock and request if they will expedite the shipping to this customer and you will pay the extra shipping cost.
Being professional and friendly about the situation will make a mark on the supplier (as well as your customer), and in the future, they will remember how you treat them.
So remember, you get what you give. So always be professional.
Online sales are constantly climbing. More and more shoppers are on the internet looking for good deals, and unique products that they can’t get in their local stores.
So why should YOU sell online? I can give you a couple of good reasons…
You can make money. Online retail is a billion dollar industry and it is always growing. The internet isn’t a fad; it’s not going away any time soon. There is always room for more retailers if you are smart about it.
The customer base is already there. Billions of people are “surfing the net” every day. So the customer base is already there and waiting for you.
It’s easy! Selling products online isn’t hard and many store platforms and selling platforms make it easy to create a store or list something for sale.
Of course with any new business, there is a learning curve and there will be trial and error in order to find the things that work for you. But there are some important things to keep in mind…
1. You must be a registered business. You must get your business legal before selling products online from wholesale suppliers and you need it for a business bank account. That means a registered business name and a tax ID. The Sales & Use tax ID allows you to purchase products without being taxed, because ultimately, it is your customers that pay the tax.
2. The internet is full of scams. Scams are all over the place when you search online for business opportunities. So you have to be careful about who you trust to help you with your business. Don’t fall for get rich quick schemes, because that’s what they are… Schemes! The ones offering it get richer off of your hard work. So be careful and do your homework!
Here at WorldwideBrands.com, we have been helping online retailers find legitimate wholesale sources for their online stores or auctions for over 14 years now. We love what we do, and we love helping people. If you are unsure about where to start, I recommend reading our Free eBook “Starting Your Internet Business Right“. This popular free eBook has helped so many online retailers get their businesses started out the right way. Learn about getting legal, about legitimate wholesale suppliers, how to conduct parts of your business, learn about scams to stay away from and more.
It’s a free eBook. No strings attached. We won’t ask you for your email address or a credit card. Just go the above link and download it to get on the right path to success.
Don’t let your money management get out of control. You need to track all money coming in and going out. In the beginning stages of your online store, you will need to invest in your business to get all of the things you need to get started and once your site it built and tested and ready for shoppers, you can splurge a little on ad campaigns to start driving traffic.
But once all your initial costs are out of the way, be conservative with your cash. Strive to constantly work on minimizing your costs and always have cash on hand for any emergencies or opportunities for your business that you can’t pass up.
Big online stores have accountants and financial officers for their companies to help them manage their cash flow. Small businesses typically only have one owner and you will have to do all of these things on your own. Of course you can always hire an accountant or get a program like Quickbooks to help you manage your money.
But the important thing here is to be mindful of what money you need for your monthly costs and what you are bringing in to balance things out.