Dropshipping Case Study: How One Dropshipper Made $187,000 in Sales During the Peak Holiday Season
In the role of a dropshipping supplier, BrandsGateway is devoted to building a wide network of dropshippers to whom it will deliver premium services and help them thrive in the dropshipping industry. Therefore, every story of customer success that is born from this tireless dedication and commitment is a story that BrandsGateway’s team takes pride in.
As the peak holiday season is approaching, our dropshippers are preparing their marketing plans and strategies at full speed. For this reason, we decided to talk to one of our most successful dropshippers who has been part of our journey for more than a year. We took interest in knowing more about the personal and professional story before getting into the dropshipping industry and the journey with BrandsGateway. In addition, we will delve into our dropshipper’s success last year and this years’ plans for the holiday season that is at our doorstep.
1. How long have you been dropshipping with BrandsGateway, and what made you decide to work with us?
I joined in April of 2020 when I lost my bank job due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I had some previous experience with eCommerce dropshipping from platforms like Oberlo but decided early on that I didn’t want to continue with suppliers from China. I researched high ticket categories and suppliers that could offer fast shipping, and that is when I discovered BrandsGateway. I was intrigued by the brands you offered and the high-profit margins.
“I researched high ticket categories and suppliers that could offer fast shipping, and that is when I discovered BrandsGateway. I was intrigued by the brands you offered and the high-profit margins.“
Having well-known brands would lower the marketing cost for me since I wouldn’t need to waste my budget on the storytelling of the products themselves. Additionally, your team was very responsive and willing to help and answer any questions I had.
2. What are some of the benefits of the partnership you have with BrandsGateway?
Besides the professional customer service, the two biggest benefits of having BrandsGateway as my dropshipping supplier are – first, the Shopify plugin you offer lets me focus more on promoting my business instead of managing the inventory. Second is the expansion of the inventory and brand selection – between now and the time I started, you have doubled the inventory by more than 5,000 new SKU’s and added over 30 new brands.
3. The holiday season is just around the corner. Can you tell us more about your success and results in 2020?
Last year in November and December during the peak of the holiday sales, I generated a total of 187,000$ in sales with around a 47% profit margin after marketing cost and paying for the inventory. I actually had to hire 1 VA to keep up with the workload.
“Your Shopify plugin you offer lets me focus more on promoting my business instead of managing the inventory.“
4. What was your experience with paid advertising and SEO prior to joining BrandsGateway?
I knew the very basics, nothing advanced, but I took the liberty to attend some online courses on Udemy to deepen my knowledge about paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram. Additionally, I was listening to different podcasts. It was nothing that happened overnight, with eCommerce, in general, you need to have patience and accept the fact that you will make mistakes.
5. What were some marketing strategies that you executed for the peak holidays in 2020 – Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, etc.?
I started testing my Facebook and Instagram Ads already during the months of September and October. I was creating at least 5-7 Ad Sets per campaign with a small daily budget of 5$ per Ad, to see what resonates with my customers. Additionally, I tested different creatives and content for each Ad. I have partnered up with flash websites similar to Groupon to run different types of campaigns where I requested to reserve a certain amount of quantities of an item and run a one-week or weekend campaign.
6. What are the preparations for this year’s holiday season? Are you going to put into place a specific strategy?
No, I will stick to the same strategy as last year, but with a bigger budget and since you increased your inventory and brand selection it will give me more opportunities to target a wider audience.
7. Are you willing to share one secret that helped you succeed last year during the holiday season?
One big secret is to create deals or coupon pages that are specially designed to promote affiliate products during Black Friday and Cyber Monday week. The aim of these deal pages is to get rankings for particular keywords and provide discounts when the sale goes live.
8. During last year’s holiday season, what did you sell most? Which products, categories, and brands were best-selling? How much profit did you make?
My focus was to promote certain products and audiences around the festive holidays. For example, for New Year I was promoting blazers, shirts, shoes, ties, dresses, etc. On the other hand, for Christmas, I targeted the spouse that is purchasing the gift. I targeted “husbands/boyfriends” and displayed Ads with lady wallets or scarves and vice versa for “wives/girlfriends”.
“Last year in November and December during the peak of the holiday sales, I generated a total of 187,000$ in sales with around a 47% profit margin after marketing cost and paying for the inventory.“
The number one selling brand was Dolce & Gabbana. However, since you recently added Versace and Jimmy Choo to your catalog of products, those might be this years’ best-selling brands.
9. Which channels from Social Media Advertising, Google Advertising, and Email marketing do you usually use for promoting your dropshipping store and products?
All of the above-mentioned and Tiktok is a new channel that I will be trying this year. Not sure what the results will be, but the Ads are cheap and the reach is good.
10. What is the budget that you allocate for your holiday advertising efforts yearly?
In the beginning, when starting out, my daily budget was about 30-50$, but as the sales were growing I increased the budget. For this holiday season, I will be spending around 400-600$ per day. However, I haven’t changed the budget for testing Ad Sets, that is always the same.
11. What countries do you usually target in your campaigns?
I target mostly the USA, but specific cities, not states or countries, since I think that targeting a massive audience is a waste of money. Also, the location always determines the type of campaign I run. For example, I’m promoting sunglasses in LA and gloves in New York.
12. What is the usual return rate during the holiday season?
Last year it was around 10%, but sometimes I make an agreement with the customer to keep the particular item by offering a discount for the next purchase or a small refund.
13. What are some of the challenges that you encounter when promoting branded items online?
Copywriting is always a big problem, but the simple solution is to create your own design content and not steal anything from the brands or online.
14. What are the marketing trends in 2021 that you think every dropshipper should follow?
One marketing trend I see becoming more popular is mobile eCommerce. Last year, around 40% of my sales were on mobile. Making sure that you are mobile-friendly is very important as this will give your business a higher chance of making more sales.
15. What are your predictions for the upcoming holiday season and sales in 2021? Are you expecting an increase in sales in comparison to last year?
Because of Covid-19, I’m expecting the holiday season to be better than 2020, considering that most people won’t be going to the traditional brick and mortar stores because they got used to purchasing online for the past 18+ months. I honestly have no clue what my sales will be this year, but I do hope and believe that it will be better than 2020, considering that you doubled your inventory and brands since last year.
16. Any final words of wisdom to our readers?
Just do it! I regret not starting this sooner, but just like the other 98% of the people, I kept pushing it off. Now it’s the best decision I have ever made. Keep educating yourself and never stop developing.
“I’m expecting the holiday season to be better than 2020, considering that most people won’t be going to the traditional brick and mortar stores because they got used to purchasing online for the past 18+ months.”
If this success story has inspired you to enter the dropshipping industry, you can kick-start your dropshipping business with BrandsGateway right away.
Our dropshippers’ business’ success is our company’s success, therefore we are determined to support their endeavors and help them grow their businesses to their full potential. We are always happy to see how our dropshippers are performing and open to feedback for improvement in any segment of our business.