Dropshipping has surged in popularity in the past decade as access to ready-to-be-fulfilled manufactured products converged with evolving tech allowing anyone to build an online store and go into business for themselves.
Some dream of generating a passive income that allows them to quit their jobs while others strive to build the next big brand. The innate advantages of being able to offer a product for sale without having to buy the inventory or do the shipping has given birth to many of the online stores you shop from every day.
Newcomers to dropshipping quickly learn that even though you aren’t holding inventory you’re still faced with the task of building a functioning business just like any other e-commerce startup.
You have to nail the niche you’ll serve, secure quality products, build that store, get traffic, build your list, market to them, ensure shipments are timely, and handle customer service. It is no surprise then that drop shippers end up using many services to grow their business and that they will often outsource even more as they hit critical mass financially.
The # 1 skills gap for most new online entrepreneurs is marketing in general and lead generation specifically. They may have a strong niche and a solid branding concept, but they are not sure how to get the kind of traffic that produces sales. This is why many look to hire a marketer or agency to achieve those results.
To our surprise, while we found some agencies that mention dropshipping in their literature, there is only ONE company wholly dedicated to servicing the dropshipping community: Why Unified.
Go to the slick and stylish WhyUnified.com website and the very first thing you see is their mission is to assist you to “Dropship, run ads & start selling under one platform & team.”
When we saw that, our immediate reaction was: If you can work with a team that is totally focused on the dropshipping space that is a distinct advantage to have.
It’s a competitive field to get started in and the odds are you’ll need to turn to someone to help you hang in there as you make the commitment to spending on growth.
Being the only agency fully devoted to serving the dropshipping community is a pretty big deal. So we decided to kick the tires and see what Why Unified was all about. Here is our report.
About Why Unified
Established in Delaware and physically based in Clearwater, FL, Why Unified’s roots as a marketing agency goes back over a decade. Around five years ago, as they began to apply their skillset to building dropshipping stores, they became familiar with the risk factors inherent in dropshipping.
This included more than finding trustworthy suppliers. It also meant spending hundreds of thousands of their own dollars on ads to validate product viability which is often the Achilles heel of e-commerce businesses.
As their ratio of winning products increased and their successes in dropshipping grew, Why Unified pivoted from being a traditional marketing agency to an exclusively dropship-focused organization. Now they would be able to address the two core challenges that face all drop shippers: how to get traffic and how to validate their product selection.
At present, they offer three subscription plans. Think of them as existing in two categories:
For Clients with a Store
- The Ads Plan
- The Funnels + Ads Plan
For Clients without a Store or Product
- The Dropship Plan
The first two plans are used by owners of existing online stores looking to increase their traffic and sales. These plans are closer to having a traditional agency relationship where you pay for services rendered, however, the pricing structure seems superior as explained later in this article.
The Dropship Plan is their premium offering where they provide everything including the store, the products, and the whole transactional process from ads to fulfillment to customer service.
Why Unified did tell me they are not financial advisors, so they can’t call this an investment, but that is fundamentally how we see it. You’re placing your bet on having a successful dropship store with increased odds of success because so many of the risk factors have been ironed out for you.
Why Unified’s Core Premise
Dropshipping businesses need three fundamental things to succeed:
- A Strong Niche
- Validated Products
You need traffic for both # 2 and # 3. Paid traffic is how that happens. Organic traffic is the gravy and maybe a bigger piece of the puzzle as your brand scales, but to get off the ground you need to spend money to get those eyeballs on your website and build your list. Sales will come if you’ve got the right products and good branding, but first, you need to buy some traffic.
That’s where Why Unified comes in. All of their offerings are premised on running Facebook ad campaigns (which includes Instagram). You pay Why Unified their flat fee by choosing one of their three plans and then budget your ad spend separately and they handle the rest.
That means they’ll craft your Facebook ad creatives and manage your campaigns as long as your plan runs and you keep funding your ads.
If you have a dropshipping store and you need traffic, that’s what you get with their Ads Plan. If you want more, the next step up is their Funnels + Ads Plan which runs the ads campaign and pushes the traffic through their funnels complete with landing pages, email capture, and email autoresponder sequences to build a list you can market to which is how successful eCommerce stores operate.
Maybe you don’t want to build a store and find suppliers or deal with cantankerous customers at all and are looking for a true Done For You solution. For that, Why Unified offers their premium Dropship Plan which solves the issue of validating products while handling everything for you from ads to emails to shipping and customer service.
The Dropship Plan is Why Unified’s answer to the question: How do you know if a product is going to sell without spending thousands on ads first? They remove that risk by spending tens of thousands of their own capital to verify if the product is a winner.
Based on my conversation with a company principal, those products are in perennial categories that avoid the pitfalls of relying on trends and seasonal items. In other words, they should have legs over many years.
If Why Unified can do that for you, this is a strong sales pitch that is unmatched in the marketplace. Unlike vendors who hawk websites to dropshipping wannabes by saying their websites make hundreds of thousands per month, Why Unified merely states their tested products are proven to sell. That is exactly what you’re going to need because you will still have to commit to spending money on ads to build your sales pipeline.
Why Unified’s Value Proposition
Why Unified’s implied advantage, aside from its expertise, also comes from the value they pass on to its clients by operating at scale. They package multiple services that would otherwise cost much more if purchased separately.
Elite funnels, email autoresponders, and analytics can run into thousands per year and that’s without even factoring in your ad spend.
Their Time Is Money pitch is they can save you months of headaches and money with their streamlined and optimized processes. As previously highlighted, by offering pre-tested products in their premium plan that would otherwise cost you thousands to test yourself you save both time and money while lowering key risk factors.
Most agencies are structured to lower their costs by scaling and keeping those gains for themselves while taking a percentage of the client’s budget. The more the client spends, the more they make. It is pretty clear that is not how Why Unified does business.
Why Unified has turned that model on its head by offering fixed prices on the three plans they currently offer. They treat your ad budget as a separate line item and 100% of your ad spend go directly into funding your ad campaigns.
As your campaigns grow and your ad spending increases, your plan with Why Unified remains a fixed cost. They do not skim anything. Everything is clearly priced and you get impressive discounts by paying them in advance for 3, 6, or 12 months.
Why Unified decided to group together all of the savings they could and pass them on to you. Their business strategy is thus predicated on continued scaling and becoming the world’s dropship super agency which in turn creates more scale and pricing power.
That should be good news for current and future clients as Why Unified relentlessly scaling on Facebook should mean enhanced targeting, increased pricing power, and valuable protection against Facebook bans when you’re operating under their Dropship Plan.
Who Would Benefit From Using Why Unified?
Why Unified has done a solid job of identifying a large market gap in the dropshipping world and filling it with a targeted suite of services that nobody else offers. That alone attests to their insight into market supply and demand which bodes well for their savvy in researching and validating product niches for the stores offered under their Dropship Plan.
One thing to keep in mind about their Ads Plan and their Funnels + Ads Plan is those services should perform equally well for most e-commerce stores, not just dropshippers since they provide traffic and list building to any targeted site.
We see significant value in locking in the pricing on an extended managed ad campaign plan for store owners who have a sharply focused niche offering.
If you have not yet spent over a thousand dollars to validate a product you’re just getting started so please remember all e-commerce and dropshipping success stories are built on data.
That’s what you’re paying for when you fund an ad campaign. You’re acquiring actionable data. If you get extra sales during those early months that’s a bonus. Some products take off sooner, but many of the most successful brands were built steadily until they hit big upticks in sales.
What you’re doing initially is validating your product and optimizing for conversion. Once you know your product has traction, that’s when you increase your ad spend.
And this is where Why Unified’s Ads or Funnels + Ads Plans make sense. They give you a reasonably priced service to achieve those goals while gaining the leverage of the large data sets from spending millions on e-commerce ads.
We’d recommend the Ads Plans for those store owners who want someone to manage their ads, but want to run the rest of their tech stack themselves or have already contracted for those needs elsewhere.
We’d recommend the Funnels + Ads Plan for those store owners who want to free up their time from running ads or marketing funnels and managing their emails and lists so they can concentrate on their store selection and presentation.
The notion of Build It and They Will Come doesn’t work for 99% of the market so as long as you accept you’re going to have to spend a minimum of $10 a day of ads to get started then you can plan ahead. The reality though is you’ll need to spend more along the lines of $20-30 per day pretty quickly to get the data that will tell you whether to stick with your products or find new ones.
First-Timers and/or Investors
We’d recommend the Dropship Plan to either newbies or experienced entrepreneurs who want a passive-earning dropshipping store.
The reason we framed this as two demographics is that a newbie may not fully comprehend the value of getting an optimized website stocked with vetted product selection in a successful niche.
This is not the same as posting a greatest hits list of products available on AliExpress which is not vetting a product. These are firewalled products only available from Why Unified through their exclusive supplier partnerships.
Spending more upfront may scare the beginning drop shipper, but the Dropship Plan may actually be the best choice for a newcomer because it lowers your risk factors considerably. You’d probably spend as much or more trying to go it alone because one way or another you’ll still need to finance ad budgets to grow a dropshipping store.
For the experienced entrepreneur, the Dropship Plan represents a time-efficient way to invest some of their capital to grow an additional income stream. This candidate would already understand the inherent value in vetting for perennial sales and would thus be inclined to invest thousands of dollars to fund the campaign for their unique store managed by Why Unified.
Whomever the client is, Why Unified’s Dropship Plan eliminates the learning curve and puts you in the role of a financier allocating resources to develop a dropship asset. Getting that first successful web property under your belt is a real confidence booster. This may be a good choice to achieve that result.
We did have an anonymous sales call with Why Unified before we reached out to them for the purposes of this review. We did this to determine if they were congruent in both contexts and we can say they were consistent in their statements and claims.
At no point were we offered hard promises of future earnings. We understand results may vary, but when pushed harder they did more or less say that those who stick to their guns and consistently funded the made-for-you stores under the Dropship Plan for 3-6 months did average healthy revenue multiples on their ad spend. And they have had such clients then scale to hundreds and more per day on their campaigns. Fair enough.
This makes sense to us because it is a game where it takes money to make money. If you take your foot off the pedal and slow down your ad spend for fear of throwing good money after bad in the first few months you may end up burying your store before it has a chance to turn the corner. If a client does that and then feels cheated if they get no sales, any accountability issues they have maybe with themselves and not with the company they contracted with.
Dropshipping has taken some heat due to unrealistic expectations created by YouTube personalities who overstate earnings while downplaying the raw truth that dropshipping is a business where things can go wrong.
`The failure rate in business is always high and it is no different in dropshipping. And the biggest lie in dropshipping is omitting the real costs of growing a successful dropshipping store. Why Unified was very upfront about the capital required to achieve success.
Why Unified can only validate the products offered in their drop ship stores. If you bring the store with you, that is up to you. They can run your ads, but it is up to you to pick good niches, find winning products, and have good supplier relationships.
It is up to you to finance the ad campaigns that test your products. That said, Why Unified will not likely be the core reason for the success or failure of your self-built dropship store. You will. What they can provide is the extra sauce you will need if you are going to succeed.
We have looked for a service comparable to Why Unified and found no true competitors. They are growing fast and scaling internally as their client list grows. If they keep this up they may become a name brand known around the world.
Will their success help your business? Yes, as long as they provide consistent service we do believe the leverage they will gain from scaling will actually help quite a bit.
They have already managed to do something no one else has done and they seem very focused on remaining dropshipping-oriented. Why Unified caught our attention and they have kept it.