In a survey conducted in 2021, 86% of US marketers and agencies said that they planned on including shopping features within influencer marketing campaigns. Given affiliate links are the most popular revenue-generating strategy for influencers, it is no wonder their impact in the industry continues to grow from year to year.
Ultimately, this transition will give e-commerce brands and affiliate marketers a lot more in-depth insights about what customers want and do. In 2023, e-commerce will start seeing the merger of affiliate and loyalty marketing, with influencers, ambassadors, publishers, and other forms of affiliates being used to drive repeat purchases among existing customers, by pushing products directly along with rewards, incentives, points, and other reasons for buying from the brand multiple times.
If you are planning to grab a slice of the e-commerce cake in 2023, you could start by drop shipping products. Dropshipping is a method of retail fulfilment in which the store does not hold in-stock any products that they are selling. Instead, when a store sells a product using a dropshipping model, it purchases the product from a third party and has it shipped directly to the customer.
Dropshipping offers an alternative, which allows retailers to just fill orders, and then leaves inventory management, warehousing, and fulfillment - the higher-overhead aspects of sales - to the designated supplier for the dropshipping, typically a wholesaler or manufacturer. One possible drawback of the dropshipping model is that the sales agent is removing responsibility for the timely and correct delivery of products, placing the bulk of customer support directly in the hands of the manufacturer or supplier.
Perhaps most significantly, if you decide to start drop-shipping, you would be under no accountability in terms of delivery, it would be your suppliers job to deliver products on time, but your customers would place blame on you for any defective products or delayed deliveries.
You do not control the supply chain, you must depend on your suppliers for the quality, authenticity, and shipping of products. When you are relying on a dropshipper to fill orders, you have a limited ability to offer customer support for the products you are selling.
The benefit of dropshipping is that you do not need to buy hundreds or thousands of the same products before you can sell them on your e-commerce store. You can use dropshipping as the main order fulfillment method, or as an addition to your existing business model.
Using dropshipping means when you decide that a product is worth having on your website, you can begin advertising it nearly instantly. You find the right supplier for dropshipping, you set up your website, and you begin selling. Once you receive product information, you can upload your products on an online store or sales platform of your choice. If you are looking to start an online store and test new products, you might want to check out dropshipping marketplaces such as AliExpress or Direct Dropship.
With the growing success of influencers and a massive social media content consumption during the 2 years of pandemic, a growing number of marketers are producing content for social media to share with their followers how to use and appreciate the products that they are selling, either via affiliate marketing or dropshipping.