In the ever-changing landscape of digital entrepreneurship, it’s rare to find someone who sticks to one business model, especially when trends seem to shift as often as the wind changes direction. Even rarer is to find someone who not only sticks to one model but excels at it, adapts it to the changes and rides it into the future. This is the story of a dropshipping entrepreneur who’s done just that, and what’s even more fascinating is the future he sees in TikTok dropshipping.
The Evolution of Dropshipping
The concept of dropshipping isn’t new. It had its moments of ‘mania,’ especially around 2017 when everyone seemed to be diving into it. It was a time when anyone with a keen eye for trending products could make it big by smartly investing in advertising and social media influencers. However, like all trends, this, too, saw a decline; it became increasingly difficult and less popular. But while many moved on to newer trends like cryptocurrency, some, like our entrepreneur, let’s call him John, stuck with it. And it’s this tenacity that sets John apart.
Why Stick to One Business Model?
John isn’t a genius, by his admission. What makes him exceptional is his focus. He believed in dropshipping, saw its potential, and invested his time and resources into mastering it. The math for him was simple, even if he grew his knowledge and skills by just 10-20% annually, he would be light years ahead of those who kept jumping from one trend to another.
A New Wave: The Arrival of TikTok Shop
While many people see TikTok as just a platform for viral dance moves and comedy skits, the platform is evolving into something far more impactful in the e-commerce world. Enter TikTok Shop. Launched just about 60 days ago, TikTok Shop aims to become a formidable competitor to Amazon, featuring a marketplace that allows sellers to list their products directly on the platform. The real kicker? The incredible reach and engagement that TikTok offers.
How Does TikTok Shop Work?
TikTok Shop is similar to Amazon’s FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon), except it’s more integrated into the social media aspect. Here’s how it works:
- Seller Account Creation: Much like Amazon or eBay, you start by creating a seller account.
- Product Listing: Once your account is live, you can start listing your products on the platform.
- Collaboration with Creators: This is where TikTok Shop trumps other platforms. TikTok has an integrated creator program where sellers and creators can collaborate. The creators are incentivized to make content around your products through an affiliate system, and they can make anywhere from 5-20% commission per sale.
- In-App Sales: When a user watches a video that promotes your product, they can purchase it without even leaving the TikTok app, making the process seamless.
You can also become a TikTok Shop Affiliate rather than selling products directly. You make money referring people to products other shops make or promote for dropshipping.
Finding Dropship Products on TikTok
- Start With TikTok: Begin your journey on TikTok by searching hashtags like #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt. Look for products with high engagement and see if there’s a consistent trend over the past three months.
- Optimize Your TikTok Account: Create a fresh TikTok account dedicated to market research. Follow accounts selling dropshipping products, interact with their content, and watch how the algorithm starts showing you similar products.
- Emotional Engagement: Look for products that strike an emotional chord with viewers. Products that solve a problem or enhance one’s lifestyle tend to perform well.
- Assess Market Potential: Validate that the product isn’t just a fad and has the potential for long-term growth. Check out the competition and the product’s presence across social media platforms.
- Product Uniqueness and Wow Factor: Identify products that are unique and have a wow factor that can entice an impulse buy. It should stand out from the mundane, everyday items.
- Cost and profitability: Ensure that the cost of acquiring the product and the price point you set to provide a healthy profit margin.
- Use Product Research Tools: Implement tools like AliExpress Dropshipping Center, and Facebook Ad Library to find trending products and successful ads.
- Consult With Suppliers: Build relationships with suppliers or sourcing agents who can provide insights on what products are currently popular.
- Track Your Findings: Keep a detailed log of products, trends, and your research findings for future reference.
- Stay on Top of Trends: Use tools like Google Trends and social media to keep an eye on what’s gaining popularity.
The Organic Reach
The organic reach on TikTok is astonishingly high, especially for TikTok Shop items. Essentially every other video on a user’s feed is likely to feature a product from TikTok Shop, thus boosting visibility massively. This is the essence of integrated e-commerce and content — a feat that Instagram hasn’t achieved.
What’s unique is that creators have to either buy the product or receive a sample before making any content. This adds a layer of trust that is generally missing in online ads. The consumer now knows that the creator has physically interacted with the product, making it less likely to be a scam or a ‘freak sale.’
John decided to give TikTok Shop a try and the results have been extraordinary. With just an investment of about $100 in sending products to creators, he generated $3,000 in sales and around $1,500 in profit, all without any additional ad spend. That’s a remarkable ROI by any standard, not to mention the fact that TikTok takes a meager 5% cut, compared to Amazon’s 15%.
John believes TikTok Shop is going to be the game-changer in the e-commerce space, especially for those in the dropshipping business. By building relationships with creators who have proven to convert sales, you can essentially create a sustainable business model that’s optimized in a way that has never been possible before.
If you’ve been considering venturing into e-commerce or you’re already in it but looking to diversify, TikTok Shop is where you should be looking. With its unique blend of social commerce, it’s set to revolutionize how products are sold online. And if you’re like John, who’s ready to focus and adapt, the future is brighter than ever.
For those who understand the incredible potential at the intersection of dropshipping and TikTok Shop, the sky’s the limit. The revolution is here; the only question is, are you ready to be a part of it?