Dropshipping success stories can motivate many and can even be the reason why some choose to start a dropshipping business.
In this article, we're going to discuss a few dropshipping success stories and how each company built its brand successfully. We'll also cover a few keys to their success and how to apply those to your dropshipping business.
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Let’s start with some of the popular dropshipping stores and top dropshipping success stories.
Dropshipping Success Stories: Gymshark
It surprises many to learn that some of the big brand names you've likely already heard of are either dropshipping companies or started out as a dropshipping company initially.
In reality, though, many brands are involved in dropshipping in some sort of fashion. Large corporations often work with suppliers to ship directly to their customers when possible. By doing this, they're saving freight costs and the cost of holding inventory.
Gymshark is an example of a larger brand that most don't realize started as a dropshipping company. This famous sports apparel brand now has a valuation of more than $1.3 billion.
Ben Francis, the founder of Gymshark, was very nimble and scrappy when starting Gymshark. The company started selling supplements. Ben chose to follow the dropshipping model initially to save money. Once he saved up enough capital, he was able to invest in a screen printer and sewing machine to expand into apparel.
The cost savings is one of the primary benefits of following a dropshipping model. With dropshipping, you can start with very little money upfront and still launch a business. This opens the doors for many entrepreneurs that would otherwise not be able to launch their business idea.
By not having to invest capital in inventory, you're cutting down one of the largest costs of getting your business up and running.
After pivoting to apparel, Gymshark focused on making the most stretchy and comfortable athletic wear on the market. They built their brand very quickly and were able to scale successfully to the brand that they are today.
Let’s take a closer look at some of their keys to success.
Focused on Customer Needs
When Gymshark was first launched, it was selling supplements as a dropshipping business.
However, when the Gymshark team identified another gap in the market they wanted to pursue, they were able to quickly pivot to a new product. This was partially enabled by the fact that they hadn't invested large amounts of capital into inventory for supplements.
The main learning here is to be sure to focus on your customer needs and structure your business in a way that allows you to flex according to what the market demands.
Dropshipping can be a Path to Another Model
In this scenario, Gymshark did eventually decide to pivot away from the dropshipping model. This is an important concept for new entrepreneurs. Many often think that if you set up your business with a dropshipping model it’s difficult to pivot to a traditional business model.
This in fact is not the case. You can start a business as a dropshipping business, which may be advantageous for many reasons. Many lack the capital to invest in large amounts of inventory. For new entrepreneurs, dropshipping may be appealing to you for this reason.
Once you've set up a dropshipping business and are beginning to make some money, you could choose to invest this money into pivoting towards a new business model. Some options include private labeling products or creating a brand-new product and following a more traditional business model as Gymshark did.
Dropshipping can open the door for you to launch your business, but there may be a time that you feel you've outgrown it. You can always pivot to another business model if that is right for your company down the road.
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Dropshipping Success Stories: Meowingtons
Meowingtons is a well-known dropshipping store for a few reasons. This store has created a great brand in a niche where consumers are passionate about buying products. Many dropshippers choose to launch their store in the pet niche because of stores like Meowingtons.
Meowingtons is particularly impressive because of the branding they've done to set their store apart from the competition. When looking at their product selection, you'll likely recognize a lot of their products from AliExpress.
With competition high in this marketplace, it can seem tricky to find a unique product and high quality, but Meowingtons makes it look easy to find top sellers in their niche.
Why is this? Many look at Meowingtons and wonder why their dropshipping store doesn't have the same success behind it. Meowingtons has done a great job at branding its store and establishing a following on social media.
Let’s take a closer look at their two keys to success.
Their social media presence is arguably one of the biggest factors for success. With over 600k Instagram followers and almost 1.5 million Facebook likes, they've done an excellent job establishing themselves on multiple platforms and engaging with their target audience.
Many dropshippers tend to rely solely on paid ads to get this exposure, as it’s one of the quickest ways to get impressions and traffic to your website. However, this can be expensive for those with a small budget and can often cause new dropshippers to not be profitable and get discouraged.
Other alternatives to paid ads on social media are to focus on content development for channels like Instagram and Facebook. This will be a slower growth plan, but it is free and over time you will start to build your brand.
Another method is to focus on influencer marketing. This can be done by reaching out to influencers and offering free products in exchange for a review or endorsement through posts and stories on their profile. This does cost some money, but often influencers with a smaller following are willing to partner with brands for a free product or a small fee.
This method will help increase your brand awareness, drive people to your website, and increase your following on social media.
Branding and Web Design
Meowingtons' website and design is another differentiator for their company. Their website is cohesive, and their logo is a custom design that reflects their store well. The entire website design flows well and looks professional.
This might seem like a basic concept, but many dropshippers overlook the importance of having a custom logo and cohesive color scheme and layout on their site.
Dropshipping Success Stories: Warmly
The last success story we'll cover in this article is for Warmly. This one is maybe slightly less known in the dropshipping world, but they're no less of a success story than Gymshark or Meowingtons.
Warmly is another niche dropshipping store that focuses on home improvement items. They sell items that range from light fixtures to sink faucets, and more.
Their website design is high-end, and they've focused on a different target audience than the other success stories we've covered so far. Warmly's goal is to appear luxurious, expensive-looking, and high quality.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the differentiators for Warmly and their keys to success.
High-End Products in a Specific Market
Warmly's target market sets them apart from other dropshipping stores for a couple of reasons. The first is that because they're going for a luxury feel, they can mark up their product more than many other dropshipping niches.
Often with dropshipping, it can feel like a race to the bottom with prices. Many dropshippers are willing to take very slim profit margins to remain competitive. Warmly has avoided doing this by creating a website that displays its products as high-end items that are worth the extra cost.
Of course, this strategy only works if you have a product that is high quality to back up your brand. You must work closely with suppliers to ensure there are no concerns from this perspective too.
Another key reason that this sets Warmly apart from other niches in dropshipping is that with high-end home décor, customers are often fine waiting longer to receive their product.
One of the biggest drawbacks to dropshipping is that shipping times can be much longer than for a traditional business model. If you're dropshipping from suppliers in China, you can be waiting weeks for your customer to receive their products.
This is annoying for most customers, but for people waiting on a high-end light fixture for their home, they're likely willing to wait. Many other companies offering custom furniture or home goods have longer shipping times also. This keeps Warmly competitive with other businesses within their niche.
Using Pinterest to Drive Traffic
Another often overlooked marketing channel is Pinterest. Pinterest is essentially a search engine where many people go when they already have the intention to buy.
Another lesser-known fact is that you can often get impressions and traffic to your website for a lower cost than other channels like Facebook and Google paid ads.
Warmly has used Pinterest heavily to drive traffic to their website, which sets them apart from other dropshippers primarily using Facebook and Google ads.
Conclusion: The Path to Success with Dropshipping
Looking at each of these success stories and popular dropshipping stores, you can see some similar themes running across them such as ensuring that you have a cohesive website and logo. Focusing on branding is a major part of ensuring your dropshipping store‘s success.
There are also a few factors that are unique to each niche. However, these learnings can be taken and applied to whatever niche you're evaluating for your business as well.
Be sure to focus on the customer's needs in whatever niche you're operating in. This will help ensure the success of your dropshipping store.