Dropshipping lets you sell many items without having to keep a single one in stock. You don’t even need to deal with the products directly (other than to test their quality). Therefore, it’s much more affordable than many other ventures out there.
However, that means a lot of people get into this model looking for a quick buck, and they end up calling it a waste of time after their business crashes.
What makes people fail their dropshipping ventures? That’s our topic today.
Let’s get this one out of the way since I sort of spoiled it already: lots of people enter this business expecting to get rich without much work.
After they spent a few months without any results, they tend to call it quits and say it’s a scam.
I’d dare say this is a consequence of the low start-up costs. Money doesn’t really equal the amount of work; in fact, it’s quite the opposite; lower costs usually mean more work.
Not taking it as a serious business
This is a branch of having the wrong mindset. Lots of people see it as a hobby, and they think they don’t really need to work on their brand.
If your store looks iffy, or prices are too high, your visitors will quickly become someone else’s customers. Similarly, success isn’t immediate, but as long as you’re disciplined and remain focused on improving your business, you can find it.
You also have a lot to learn. Building your store is obvious, but many platforms (like Shopify or WooCommerce) make it an easy process. However, marketing is another beast; you want to understand what your customers want and how to present it to them before you stand a chance against other stores.
Speaking of marketing, driving traffic to your store is what gets you sales, not just having a nice-looking website and logo. Getting people into your store should be your priority, and that means learning how to produce quality ads on the most used platforms.
Besides paid ads, you also want to learn how to optimize your store so that search engines can rank it higher, which results in free traffic and more trust.
Consider that your standard eCommerce gets about 2% of their traffic in conversions, so having just a few hundred visitors per month won’t do much for you. That’s why you want to learn how to advertise properly and get as many (interested) people in there as possible.
You should also create more value with blogs and even video content. Having a solid email marketing approach is also necessary.
Of course, your goal here is to generate profits. Selling products for the same price as your supplier is a great way to lose your business. You need to take marketing, taxes, and other business expenses before setting a price.
You also can’t overdo it since your visitors will just go for a better deal. It’s all about keeping a balance.
In general, do the math, adding all your expenses to the base price. You need to profit above this number.
A great way to find a good range is to analyze your competitors. Of course, you can also offer upsells to complement your products and increase how much you make for each order.
Just – again – don’t overdo it.
Not having enough capital
Sure, dropshipping doesn’t require you to spend anything on inventory, but you still need to pay for the tools you might be using and your marketing.
You need money to test promising products through advertisement, and once you find a winner, you need money to actually advertise your business. You also need money to order your products as sales start coming in.
In general running, any business without enough money is a big challenge, regardless of what it is. You can take shortcuts and reduce some expenses here and there, but do it too much and it could get detrimental.
Focusing on a niche that you like is a recommendation, but you should always avoid falling in love with products. You’ll have to kill products which aren’t selling, and this means not wasting time and money trying to save it.
Don’t spend too much time reinventing the wheel, either. Just look at what successful stores are doing and try to replicate it with a touch of your brand’s style.
When testing products, just kill the ones that don’t yield results. You’re not in a stage where you can save ads.
Finally, manage your time properly. Finding products and testing is important, but you also need to dedicate yourself to improving descriptions, finding upsells, working on your SEO, etc.
This often results in the previous problem. I’m talking about not streamlining your business as it grows; this includes automation and other scaling techniques.
Think about customer service, managing your social media, advertising, and even researching products. All of these are tasks that require a lot of time, and they’re also tasks that you can have others doing once your business is profitable enough.
You can find people to hire on websites like Upwork, and prices are quite competitive thanks to the amount of people offering their services.
It might take you some time to find someone you can trust, but it’ll pay off greatly once you can focus solely on growing your business or even branching out.
Falling for fake “experts”
Learning how to dropship is a bit of a minefield. You have countless resources out there to learn how to do it, but a lot of these gurus are just people slapping together a mediocre and overpriced course.
You want to focus on people who can prove their success with hard facts (not just screenshots of their revenue).
Oftentimes, this means staying away from people flaunting their expensive cars, expensive vacations, and other luxuries.
People are used to getting their products quickly from other dropshipping services like Amazon, but dropshipping from China usually take about 2 weeks.
That means you want to find suppliers close to your target audience, so you need to research your demographics properly. You can also offer safe shipping methods like ePacket so they can trust your business.
Tracking their orders lets your customers feel safer even if their products take weeks to arrive. While you’re at it, make sure to include your shipping times on your pages.
Suppliers support your business. Without them, you have nothing to sell, so it’s important to find a good supplier since you’re basically depending on them.
They’re responsible for shipping orders and producing quality products, so keep an eye on customer reviews and all the information you can get from them. Otherwise, you’re giving too much control to someone that could let you down when you least expect it.
Also, try to have several suppliers at-hand to save an order if anything happens to your main choice.
Not Investing in a Proper Course
A lot of people who start out dropshipping always think they don’t need a proper course to guide you through dropshipping. Now, if youtube was enough to teach you about dropshipping you wouldn’t be reading this post.
And I actually understand why people aren’t getting courses. It makes sense because nowadays you see a lot of gurus preaching they have the best course out there. “Buy my $2000 course and you will be successful with dropshipping”. I have actually taken a lot of these dropshipping courses myself so, you don’t have to and what I found was the majority of them are really bad and overpriced.
However, my personal favourite was eCom Elites by Franklin Hatchett. Now the reason why I say this course is the best is that it’s not only the cheapest one out there but, it also contains literally most information in a course to help you along. It’s taught by Franklin Hatchett who has been doing dropshipping EVEN before dropshipping became famous and a lot of other gurus started doing it.
Not understanding your audience
Knowing your niche here is key, and your customers’ interests and responses will vary depending on your niche.
Before marketing anything, try to have a look at how your competitors work their ads and interact with their customers. This includes product descriptions and copywriting as well.
Knowing your audience will keep you from targeting your ads (and money) to someone who simply doesn’t want what you offer.