The online world has welcomed many businesses to sell their products and services to a massive audience worldwide. Currently, there are around 12-24 million online stores in the world. The number is escalating with each passing day.
Establishing an eCommerce store has become pretty popular in the past decade. The primary reasons brands enter the online arena are because of its ease of establishment, and it enables the entrepreneur to track all their efforts and results.
Online stores can track their potential customers’ behavior onsite and offsite. They can also measure their marketing strategies’ effectiveness by monitoring their reach and the traffic it generated. An entrepreneur of a physical store lacks these benefits.
If a person wants to open a physical shop, he needs to have a store, inventory, a few people for help. However, an online store can be launched without any of these prerequisites.
You can open your online store without stocking the inventory. Dropshipping business has enabled many people to fulfill their online entrepreneurship dream without spending a single dollar to buy the merchandise.
Dropshipping has gained immense popularity, and people view it as a safe and sure-fire way of minting money.
Yet, not all dropshipping businesses succeed. Many of the dropshipping stores couldn’t stand in the highly competitive market and collapsed due to some common mistakes.
But hey, it shouldn’t stop you from launching your dropshipping store.
In today’s article, we will highlight some common dropshipping mistakes that will enable you to expand your business and increase your dropshipping success rate.
13 Most Common Pitfalls And Mistakes In Dropshipping You Should Avoid
1. Selecting A Wrong Niche
The most common mistake that beginners make is selecting the wrong niche for their dropshipping store. Choosing a niche is a significant decision and should be taken after careful consideration and weighing the pros and cons.
Do not invest your time and efforts in building a dropshipping around the niche in which you have little to no interest.
You can start your dropshipping business by selecting any industry. Once you do, make sure that you educate yourself about the basics of the industry or niche. It might look tempting to opt for a niche that many entrepreneurs select. Before you jump into the same niche, make sure that it has something valuable to offer to the audience. The secret of increasing the dropshipping success rate is to deliver value to the people around you. The goods that you sell must be helpful to the people and solve their problems.
To select the niche, list down all your interests and figure out which interest you can leverage to build your store. For instance, if reading is your hobby, you can sell books of different genres in your store or sell stationery, bookmarks, and book covers.
Before finalizing your niche, use free tools to understand if the niche will be profitable or not, how many consumers it will capture, and how many businesses are operating under the same niche.
Enter the keywords on Google to check the results that come up. Join different forums and communities to check if people are interested in the niche you plan to select.
2. Failure To Develop A Proper Promotional Strategy
You will find many motivational videos on YouTube to make thousands of dollars overnight by setting up the dropshipping store.
No! That’s not going to happen.
Understand one thing that, like any other business, dropshipping needs proper planning and promotion to target the audience and convert them into customers.
Before you launch your store, make sure to have a solid promotional strategy to make people familiar with your store and products. Do not expect the audience to come running to you after viewing your first ad. People usually do not purchase goods from a new website. It takes much time to win the trust of the audience so that they can shop from you.
Use the following ways to market your dropshipping store:
a) Influencer Marketing
Collaborate with micro-influencers of your niche. Your business will be introduced to thousands of prospective customers.
b) Paid Ads
Use Google and Facebook ads to target your ideal buyers. Do not invest a lot of money in it. Stick to a simple plan and do not overspend.
Do not expect your sales to soar in a few weeks. Keep promoting your brand to increase your brand awareness and target your prospective customers.
3. Not Diversifying The Investment
‘Do not put all your eggs in one basket.’ Many beginners put all their resources on one platform for promoting their business. In the above paragraphs, we have mentioned two of the most important and popular channels of advertising the business.
Instead of diversifying their investment on different platforms, many amateurs invest in just one source of marketing. Relying on a single channel to promote your business and expect incredible results from it is a deadly mistake that online sellers make.
Remember a simple rule when it comes to marketing your brand, the more channels, the merrier. We are not asking you to invest heavily on each marketing platform, no. Divide your resources and invest them in different channels. For instance, you can allocate 40% of your budget for influencer marketing and 60% for Facebook and Google ads.
4. Cluttered Store
Newbies are often swooned away while choosing from the variety of themes, widgets, and other elements. They tend to forget that adding unnecessary items will not make their store look cool or unique from the others.
If the website’s structure is not clear and organized, people will not feel comfortable exploring it, let alone shopping from there.
Keep your store simple, clear, and valuable for the audience. Categorize your products page properly to make it easy for the customers to look for the products.
Your store visitors will not be tech gurus; therefore, select the Shopify theme that is user-friendly and easy to navigate.
5. Using Automated Names And Descriptions
There are many third-party plugins available on the internet that automate the dropshipping store. It adds the products to your store from AliExpress or Alibaba with product names and descriptions.
If you use such plugins or plan to use one, remember that it imports the product names and descriptions created for the buyers on AliExpress or Alibaba. Those names and descriptions will be futile for your buyers.
The purpose of adding descriptions to the products is to help the store visitors understand the pros and cons of the product. Therefore, write a unique description of the products that will be useful for your buyers.
6. Selling Trademark Products
A simple diary would be challenging to sell, but if the same diary has a cover picture of a hyped-up Netflix series or Hollywood movies, it will sell like a hotcake.
Marketing of goods related to movies, celebrities, and famous series is relatively easy, and the results are also fruitful. But, legal requirements can land your dropshipping products in hot waters.
Every country has a strict law for protecting trademark products. The USA has severe legal consequences if the trademark products are sold without proper licensing and legal procedure. Therefore, drop the idea of selling trademarked goods in the U.S. and the E.U.
They have strict rules and regulations. Moreover, the advertising platforms will not accept your store. Be careful about selling the trademark products.
Please educate yourself about the prevailing laws of selling and promoting trademark products before you start selling them in your store.
7. Not Registering The Store
Many successful drop shippers make the newbies believe that they can earn thousands of dollars weekly. The people who enter the arena of dropshipping stores expect the same revenue from their stores too. These successful dropshippers do not mention the legal liabilities that a dropshipping store can face in their videos.
The business environment can get ugly and create many legal problems for you. To shield yourself from being held personally responsible for the liabilities of your business, register a company.
The country’s laws treat the company as a separate legal entity that has nothing to do with its owner. True, you will be the owner, but the law will treat you and your business separately.
You can register your business as a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) or Limited Liability Company (LLC).
8. Overlooking Customer Service
Before we proceed, ask yourself the following question:
‘Why should customers buy from my store when there are plenty of other stores which are dealing in the same products?’
If your answer is the low prices of your products, then you’ll end up having nothing to invest in and a meager profit for yourself. Suppose you plan to provide quick delivery, the chances are that there are already many stores in the market who have their delivery system and deliver the orders within a few days.
Setting low prices and providing quick delivery won’t fetch you many customers.
What you can leverage to grow your business is customer service by providing excellent customer service to your prospective and current customers.
Did you know that due to poor customer service, U.S companies lose more than $62 billion annually?
Stay available for your customers. Reply to their concerns and queries promptly.
9. Relying On One Supplier
This is perhaps the most common dropshipping mistake that beginners make. They like a product, contact its supplier and import the products in their stores.
The survival of their business depends entirely on their supplier. If the supplier doesn’t have sufficient stock, shuts his business, or drops the products’ quality, a dropshipping business will suffer.
The business will not only lose revenue but will also fail to fulfill the prior orders. It can even lead to long-term damage to the reputation of the brand.
To avoid this dilemma, do not rely on one supplier. Have a few backup suppliers you can contact in case any problem arises with your primary supplier.
10. Not Investing In SEO
Optimizing SEO is of the oldest and the key elements to dropshipping success. Influencer marketing and paid ads are pretty effective, but nothing can beat the benefits that SEO brings to a website.
Google handles around 3.8 million search queries every 60 seconds across the globe. A massive audience comes to this platform daily. There are good chances that your prospective buyers will come to Google looking for the products you are selling.
If your website is well optimized with the keywords (that your prospects will use to look for the products), your website will rank higher on the result pages. As a result, your website will receive good traffic.
11. Failing To Plan For Holidays
Holidays are the perfect time for entrepreneurs to maximize their sales and earn a good amount of profit.
The majority of the stores put up a sale and offer deals and bundles on famous holidays and events such as Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve, and the favorite Black Friday.
Entrepreneurs plan sales and stock the inventory for favorite holidays. But what about the special days, for instance, mother’s day, father’s day, Valentine’s Day, International Dog Day, Siblings Day, and many more occasions, when you can boost your sales?
Failing to plan for these events means to bid farewells to colossal revenue.
Make the most of the special days and events. Offer discounts and deals to lure the customers into shopping from your store.
Have a look at this calendar to mark the special days of the year.
12. Failure To Automate The Dropshipping Store
It might appear like a wise idea to save money by manually doing all the work. By not automating your dropshipping business, you will burn yourself out and make errors.
Use the automation tools to automate your dropshipping store. Instead of spending the entire day calculating the cost of products, shipping charges, and keeping the stock record, an automation tool will do the job for you, pretty quickly and without any error.
Moreover, it will import the products’ pictures directly from the supplier and upload them to your store. You will not need to do the monotonous job or upload the image for each product manually.
13. Giving Up Too Quickly
Perhaps you aimed to make $200 weekly, but all you earn each week is $50. It shouldn’t stop you from staying consistent and growing your business.
Like any business model, dropshipping takes time to get stable and generate five-figure revenue. Do not keep unrealistic expectations. Stay consistent, keep on promoting your business, and provide an excellent shopping experience to customers. You will soon take your business to new heights if you do not quit early.
Entering the dropshipping world is quite easy, but staying consistent is another story. An owner who wants quick results and keeps unrealistic expectations cannot survive in this competitive market.
The key to staying in the business world is consistency and rectifying the mistakes that can prove detrimental to the business’s survival and image.
The fear of making mistakes shouldn’t stop you from establishing your business. Mistakes are not only made by beginners but also by experienced people. Learn from your mistakes, apply the remedial measures, and kick start your business to fetch hefty profits.