Our primary goal as Shopify business owners has always been, and will always be, increasing sales. Inspired by the tales of our fellow business owners, we often make decisions and set objectives based on a single metric: revenue. To a greater extent, the higher it is, the better we feel.
Despite its importance, revenue is not the only thing that drives your company. If you’re serious about long-term success, there are a number of other considerations to make. Your company’s long-term success is directly proportional to how quickly you start taking their advice seriously.
Rather than focusing on revenue, you should aim for profit when analysing financial performance. Any company’s bottom line is directly proportional to its revenue and expenses. Costs can be a real problem for a business owner regardless of how much money is coming in. This means that cost management is crucial to the success of your business, especially in the realm of e-commerce and dropshipping.
To put money first is not, however, the best course of action. At the end of the day, everyone wants a successful business with a strong brand and satisfied customers. If these are ignored, it could have an adverse effect on the business as a whole.
This article explores some viable alternates to the traditional “revenue first” strategy. It is our sincere desire that you come away from this with a more complete picture of how to manage your dropshipping enterprise. Therefore, you can make better decisions that bring satisfying outcomes if you are aware and informed about what you can focus on.
Focus on Revenue and Expenditures
According to Shopify, one of the top ten mistakes new businesses make is neglecting profits and cash flow. Put another way, you need to be very good with numbers in the business world.
Let’s say you have a Shopify store and this month you get 10,000 visitors, 100 of which buy something (a 1% conversion rate) with an average order value of $20. If your profit margin is 20%, then you can expect to make about $400. To those who might be fooled by this sum’s apparent excellence, a quick glance at outgoings might prove otherwise. What if that profit is time-folded by the total expenditure? Although these projections won’t be an exact reflection of your final financial report, they will remind you to keep an eye on your bottom line as you go.
Let’s look at three major outlays that all online store owners must make now. In the end, you’ll benefit from having a deeper appreciation for their nature and an appreciation for the significance of efficient tracking.
Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)
If you’re familiar with COGS, you’ve probably thought of it as a constant.
The truth is that the frequency of price changes of this nature may be higher than you anticipate. Your AliExpress suppliers’ COGS will likely fluctuate frequently as a result of sales promotion, inventory adjustments, negotiation, or increased demand.
For the time being, it may not seem like a big deal to disregard this marginal change in COGS. If you’re processing 1000 orders per day, though, that $1.5 COGS increase will set you back an additional $1500. Without your knowledge, this is not good information. Every store owner must take active measures, such as keeping up with the fluctuating COGS and promptly responding, to better manage COGS.
Keeping tabs on cost of goods sold is best done on the fly, in real time. Having a large number of products and variations in stock makes this task appear even more daunting. There are, however, a plethora of resources available that can alleviate the burden of COGS tracking.
After gaining visibility into your COGS fluctuations, you’ll be in a better position to make informed decisions. If your cost of goods sold (COGS) increases, you can immediately raise your selling price or reduce your discounting to maintain your profit margin. In a nutshell, the more vigilant you are about monitoring COGS, the less likely it will be that it will eat away at your profit margin in the future.
Price of Shipping
The shipping price for an item on Aliexpress is often higher than its cost of goods sold. Because of this, transportation expenses will constitute a considerable portion of total product costs. You’re well aware of how reckless ignoring it would be. Then again, you’re aware of how complicated it can be to figure out how much it’ll cost to ship something.
It’s challenging to keep track of a precise number, for one thing. While your suppliers may give you a report detailing shipping costs, you should be aware that it may not be completely accurate. You need a calculator that can give you an accurate estimate of your shipping costs.
However, since shipping has its own unique characteristics, different shipping rates are necessary. Weight, dimensions, and quantity of goods, as well as final resting places, all play a role in these variations. To be more precise, you’ll need to figure out shipping costs according to product variants or country states (destination).
This means that keeping close tabs on shipping expenses and tailoring them to your needs will help you better manage your overall cost structure in the long run. With so many options, it’s helpful to have a cost-monitoring tool that works with your preferred shipping app.
Running advertisements is the primary driver of traffic and sales in the dropshipping industry. We can’t turn a blind eye to the meteoric rise of video-sharing sites like Pinterest and TikTok, or the dominance of advertising networks like Google and Facebook.
You need to know not only how much money you can expect to spend on these platforms overall, but also how much of that will go toward advertising. There are times when a 50% figure is acceptable yet painful, and you know you have to keep running ads despite this.
All that can be done is to look for ways to reduce such a high percentage. You can reduce your CPM (Cost per Mille) by adjusting your ad audience, ramping up engagement activities, and increasing the CTR (Click through rate).
Status of the Brand
Well done if you’ve identified a specific segment of the market where your one-of-a-kind wares are selling like hotcakes. This is not the time to stop working on your brand’s reputation; quite the opposite.
Many new business owners have entered the market in response to the popularity of drop shipping, making competition fiercer than ever. There is more at stake for your company in making a name for itself and preserving its reputation than you may have thought. According to what Niel Patel once said, “the company that builds a strong brand is usually the one that will last.”
Remember that the reason your audience chose you in the first place is because you are providing them with useful content (information and visual elements). And as Yotpo co-founder and CEO Tomer Tagrin put it, “transparent, socially-integrated, personalised, data-driven, and insightful” content is best when it comes from your own customers.
Keep in mind that your brand is more than the products you offer. The more you can do to help customers identify with your brand, the more success you’ll have.
Contentment of the Buyers
Without physical stores, a customer’s interaction with your business begins the moment they click on your link and continues well after they’ve made a purchase. Therefore, you should be able to meet the needs and expectations of your customers even if you do not have direct visual contact with them.
Consider the customer’s trip to the store as a journey, and plan accordingly. Your team and partners, not the customer, should be the ones to tackle any problems that crop up during the buying process. Examine your Transaction and Checkout Procedure, for instance. When using it, do you feel safe and confident that everything is running smoothly?
Having no say over stock or shipping times can really put a damper on customer satisfaction when dropshipping. What if there was an unforeseen delay or the package never arrived? If the item arrived significantly different or damaged, what would you do? Can you imagine the uproar if a customer demanded a refund because they were dissatisfied?
Customers should be appeased as soon as possible in these situations, but the repercussions hurt just to consider. If you consistently receive low ratings on Facebook, the company may decide to terminate your account.
The funds from your PayPal transaction may be temporarily frozen while a claim or dispute is investigated, or you may incur additional fees in the form of a “chargeback.” Get rid of these problems by keeping your customers in the loop about what to expect from your service (products, shipping tracking, instant customer support). Plus, be sure to get back to them quickly after they ask questions.
If you are at a loss for where to begin your investigation, one alternative is to gauge the level of satisfaction your customers have with your services. Getting helpful suggestions from customers is simpler than ever before. In order to avoid having to deal with an angry customer in the future, try using these techniques to gain a new perspective on your business.
Business owners frequently utilise the services of virtual assistants to aid in running their enterprises. Everything from creating product pages and fulfilling orders to managing ad campaigns and keeping tabs on stores’ finances could fall under this category. Which means you’ll have more time on your hands to focus on what really matters in life.
Digital Personal Helpers
Freepik was used as a reference for this article.
There is a danger, however, in letting others help out with the operation without your constant watch. Threats include information theft, excessive resource usage, and the disabling of advertising accounts. Thus, your digital helpers may act inappropriately or even cause problems behind your back.
Keep in mind this. Use any safety measures you can think of to avoid problems. First and foremost, you can let your employees know about any relevant company policies or codes of conduct. In addition, you can have them report on their progress via a platform like Monday on a regular basis. To prevent employees from accessing or changing data they shouldn’t, you can give them limited permissions based on their assigned roles.
You can always find a solution that works for you. If everyone just remembers to be cautious, we can avoid most of the scary stuff.
No matter how well-oiled your machine may seem, there are always ways to improve the output of your staff.
The value of experiments should not be discounted. Don’t limit your ability to come up with novel approaches to your media content, ad copy, or intended audience because of preconceived notions or past results. You may miss a major opportunity if you don’t have proof (data) that this experiment is failing.
One more way to boost your efficiency is to get better at managing your time. Break down your team’s work into manageable chunks, and give everyone on the team a due date. The time allotted should be sufficient to complete the task at hand, whether it be writing product descriptions for one product or editing an ad photo. Try out the Pomodoro Technique as you go, and you might be surprised at how much you get done in a day.
To Sum Up
Keeping a business afloat or successful in today’s market can feel like an uphill battle due to intense competition and picky consumers. While receiving orders is certainly cause for celebration, keeping them coming in for an extended period of time requires a greater investment of time and energy into a variety of operational aspects.
Now that we’ve covered a lot of ground that’s just as crucial to a successful dropshipping business as making sales, we hope you have a better grasp on how to run your operation as a whole. Keeping this in mind will help you create longer-lasting positive results that are in line with your original vision and goals.