How to Test Products for Dropshipping and Make Smart Decisions
The key to successfully running any business is to always be prepared for the worst, and online stores aren’t an exception to this rule.
Even if you’ve spent hours searching for the “perfect product”, there’s still no guarantee that you’ll get your desired results.
So instead of potentially wasting your time, money and resources by launching that product to the market – why not test it first?
You might now be wondering how to test products for dropshipping, to begin with? Don’t worry, this is where we come in.
In this guide, we’re going to walk you through everything you need to know about product testing and why it’s important.
Let’s get right into it!
Why Is Product Testing Important in Dropshipping?
Most people get into dropshipping because it’s a low-risk business model. There is no inventory that you have to worry about as all your products are directly delivered by the supplier.
However, this is where the majority of the risk lies. Aside from evaluating how well a product will perform in the market, there’s also the risk of poor quality. Product testing covers all of that.
After all, even if launching a dropshipping store requires lesser investment, you’re still putting in your time and effort.
So testing the product can make the potential outcome more transparent for you and lead you in the right direction.
The Benefits of Testing Dropshipping Products
Testing a product before dropshipping may be a bit time-consuming but the benefits it offers are more than worth it. Here are to name a few:
Saves your Time and Effort
We understand how time-consuming a process it can be to hunt a new product. But still, you don’t want to rush its launch.
Setting up a website, creating a marketing strategy, and getting in touch with suppliers can be a time-consuming process. The last thing you would want is for all your effort to go in vain.
This is where product testing can help you out. It can allow you to decide if it’s worth proceeding with the launch of the product that you’ve found or should you look for alternatives.
Protects your Investment
Launching a dropshipping store requires lesser investment in comparison to other businesses. But the marketing costs can still be significant.
The majority of dropshipping businesses run ad campaigns to capture the attention of the audience. And those campaigns can quickly drain your bank account if you aren’t careful.
You wouldn’t want to invest your time, effort as well as money on a product that wouldn’t offer you the expected ROI.
Determines Product Quality
No matter how solid and well-planned your execution and marketing strategy is, your business will fail if the product itself isn’t good.
At times, dropshipping store owners take things too easily and do not assess the product quality given by the supplier.
This is a major mistake, and regardless of how many testimonies you see for your supplier, there’s nothing that beats personal inspection.
Before you ship a product to your customers, you should first see for yourself if it meets the standards that you claim to provide.
Avoids Negative Feedback
Negative feedback is a nightmare, especially for new eCommerce entrepreneurs. The last thing you would want is for your first few reviews to be of angry customers demanding a refund.
This usually happens to stores where the product testing phase is skipped.
Store owners do not know much about the details of the product they’re listing, nor the quality their supplier is offering.
This as a result puts their business at risk because the customers do not get what they were promised.
5 Best Practices to Test Dropshipping Products
Before you sell any product to a customer, you should take out the time to thoroughly test it. How can you do that? Well, follow these 5 best practices to test dropshipping products:
Collect Real-Time Insights and Analytics
There are plenty of tools like Google Trends that can help you collect data on how popular your chosen product is among the customers.
But you don’t have to limit your options to just that. There are also other ways such as:
Making Use of Social Media
Search for the product you’re planning to sell on Facebook or Instagram. Once you enter the keyword, you will see how frequently the product is mentioned and it will also give you an insight on how many people are searching for it.
Inviting Customers to Check Your Product for Free
You can then ask them for feedback and the improvements you should make along with how much would your customers be willing to pay for the product.
Although it may require a bit more investment, that would also allow you to decide the profit margin that you should keep. Plus, you can work side-by-side with the supplier.
Considering to Take Pre-orders
If you really think you’ve found a unique product, then give this step a try. The waiting list of the pre-order will determine the demand for your product. If the order number isn’t too high, don’t feel discouraged.
It might mean that you need to market your business better and reach more people.
Collecting real-time feedback can indeed be time-consuming and even costly. But in return, it can save you quite a lot of time and resources and also potentially set you on the right path.
Study your Competition
Studying your competition doesn’t only mean counting the number of store owners selling a certain product and its price.
You should keep your options open and also see how your idea compares to other stores.
And if they’re finding success by selling the same product, then what approach are they using?
How are they promoting the product and how are they positioning themselves in front of the customers?
If you get even the slightest of hunch that your competitors are struggling to sell the product, then you should reconsider if it’s even worth selling.
Do a Soft Launch of Your Product
A “soft launch” is a strategy that refers to launching a product ahead of its schedule, without pushing it with marketing.
It can be a great way to assess how receptive your customers are to that product and collect real-time data.
Most online businesses do a soft launch nowadays before a full launch as it helps them avoid pumping their money into the wrong product.
We would especially recommend this strategy for those who are planning to launch a private-label store.
Test Your Suppliers
We know, the biggest advantage of launching a dropshipping store is that you never have to see the products that you’re selling.
But practically, this isn’t a wise idea. You need to see and inspect the quality of the product yourself and not trust anyone with this crucial task.
It’s too much of a risk to skip this because your dropshipping store is bound to fail if your supplier isn’t reliable.
Many dropshipping suppliers offer product samples, and even if they don’t, this still isn’t a reason to skip the supplier testing phase.
You can perhaps even place a test order to your supplier to not only see the quality of the product but also gauge their responsiveness and shipping time.
Put Effort into Marketing
Lastly, before you mindlessly spend your money on running ad campaigns, prepare a solid marketing strategy.
There are plenty of marketing strategies that you can use that we’ll cover in the upcoming sections.
But in short, test what type of audience is attracted the most to your product and only then start pumping money towards it.
Testing Dropshipping Products on Facebook
The fastest way to test your product is by creating a Page Post Engagement (PPE) ad on Facebook. This campaign shows your ad more to the people who are likely to engage with it.
The reason we recommend this is because, in comparison to other paid marketing campaigns, PPE is relatively cheaper with 1000 impressions costing about $5.
This way, only by spending $15-20, you can determine the engagement on your product, and also find your target audience simultaneously.
But note that, there’s a difference between engagement and conversion. Not everyone who engages with your ad would be willing to shop from your store.
Nonetheless, running PPE campaigns will still take you one step closer to your winning product.
Testing Dropshipping Products on Instagram
The first step to testing your product with Instagram is to determine what niche your store falls under.
After that, start searching for pages and influencers surrounding that niche to test your product. That would allow you to advertise your product to your desired audience and also help you connect more with the community.
Finding the influencers can be a bit tricky. Usually, the more followers they have, the higher they’re going to charge to test your product. So it has a lot to do with your budget.
But just keep in mind that you only deal with Instagram pages that have a good engagement rate. Having thousands of followers on a page is useless if their audience hardly interacts with their posts.
What to Avoid While You’re Using Instagram for Product Testing
If you do find multiple influencers, do not ask all of them to test your product at the same time. Otherwise, it would make it difficult for you to determine where the traffic is coming from.
Another thing that we’d like to highlight is that do not make any changes to your store while you’re changing influencers.
For instance, let’s suppose you got a shoutout from an influencer with 300k followers and it generated you some decent traffic and a couple of sales.
Now if you’re planning to move to an influencer with 500k followers, keep your store as it is. Otherwise, if you don’t get traffic this time, you’d be confused whether it was due to the changes you made to the store or was the influencer bad.
As a result, this would also waste the money you’ve spent on the test.
All in all, it’s worth learning more about how Instagram shoutouts can be used to grow your dropshipping business.
How to Test Shopify Products for Dropshipping?
Testing products for Shopify dropshipping isn’t any different than testing products for any other platform. You can either make use of Instagram influencer shoutouts or run a PPE ad campaign on Facebook.
How to Decide If You Should Continue Testing a Product?
Now that you’ve run ad campaigns on Facebook and also took the help of influencer shoutouts, how to decide if you should continue testing a product?
Well, it’s time to see the traffic your store has generated and if you have made any sales. Note that sometimes you may get a lot of visitors at your store, but you may not be able to convert them.
So this doesn’t necessarily mean that the product or influencer was bad. It could be due to other factors like the customers didn’t like your website, so it’s worth looking into this.
Also, don’t forget to check the engagement on the posts. See how many people have liked, commented and shared it. While doing that, take both negative and positive comments into consideration.
If the majority of the comments are positive, and you’ve also bagged in a couple of sales, then your test was a success and you’re ready to fully launch the product.
The majority of the dropshipping stores fail, mainly because people have the wrong mindset.
They think of it as an easy money-making scheme and completely disregard the importance of product testing.
However, product testing is one of the most important steps of setting up a dropshipping store.
It can not only help you save your time and effort, but also a ton of money.
In addition, it isn’t that difficult either and you can get the results rather quickly by following the strategies we’ve discussed in this article.
So if you think that you’ve found a winning product and are looking for a supplier then NicheDropshipping has got you covered.
We can not only help you source the product, but also assist you with private labeling, warehousing and much more. So contact us today to learn more about how you can benefit from our services!
About the Author
Over 10 years experience of foreign trade
Help 2k+ customers improve their dropshipping business