Less is often more: Product selection in dropshipping stores

When dropshippers start their own store, they’ve often learned from YouTube dropshipping gurus that you should have a wide selection of products in your store. So, they use Spocket, Dsers, or other traditional dropshipping solutions and add hundreds or even thousands of (random) products to their store, but almost always fail because there are tens of thousands of other stores selling the same no-story, no-brand, often low-quality products with low-quality pictures and poor product descriptions.

Classic dropshipping products

Now when they come to us (and we have lots of former users of those traditional dropshipping solutions coming to us) and start using Hertwill, some of them struggle because they are so used to traditional ways: thinking quantity is quality and just trying to crowd their store with lots of products. But with us, we see this approach generally doesn’t work. The reason being the products we provide are more expensive as they are from real brands with real stories and come with high-quality pictures, meant for building long-lasting sustainable online businesses with repeat customers, not to make quick bucks with one-time purchases.

Dropshipping products at Hertwill

So, we see from stores partnering with Hertwill that successful online stores often start small, with 1-4 brands and under 50 products, expanding only after proving they are at least somewhat established. Basically, initially, the store should feel more like a boutique that offers a curated selection of great products with great content than an everything store — you can’t compete with giants anyway.

When we launched our test store Saapavabrik in the Estonian market, we initially offered only one brand, with about 25 products for the first six months. Even now, Saapavabrik carries only 6 brands, generating over €300,000 last year. Based on this, here are a couple of simple recommendations to keep in mind when you want to build a dropshipping store that selles real products:

  1. Select a few key brands: Choose a couple of brands and products from the Hertwill catalog that you believe have potential. Build your store around these selected brands. Remember, all brands at Hertwill come with compelling, unique stories—make sure to leverage these narratives everywhere.
  2. Tell the story in your store: The main value proposition or slogan of your store should reflect the stories of your focus brands/products. Take time to craft compelling and engaging descriptions for these items. For example, in Saapavabrik, we use witty descriptions (e.g., ‘If you care about the brand, these boots are not for you, but if you want no-nonsense boots made in Europe, you are in the right place’) and even add personal reviews to the product descriptions (e.g., ‘One of the owners of Saapavabrik online store, Joosep, wears these hiking boots.’).
    Shoe store specializing in Samelin boots and their slogan.
  3. Tell the story outside of your store: Direct your marketing efforts—ads, social media, emails—towards these few products and brands. Use the brand’s story to sell the products. For instance, if you select Pykok, as a focus brand, tailor your marketing to match its edgy vibe. If you choose Noel, highlight that all bags are handmade in Europe, and the team behind Noel has over 25 years of experience creating high-quality mountain climbing bags that have even been to Mount Everest.
Pykok Kora Harness No 3

In summary: A smaller, more focused selection can make it easier to generate demand and sales, as proven by many stores. If your store already carries a broad range of brands and products, consider focusing your efforts on the 1-2 most promising ones. By telling engaging stories about these products both in your store and through your marketing efforts, you are likely to see increased sales.

If you haven’t started using Hertwill yet, you can install our Shopify app here and our WooCommerce plugin here. Hertwill is a dropshipping app that offers products exclusively from European brands.

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