The dropshipping model of online business has many advantages.
It has low start-up costs, gives you access to millions of buyers, and could be a huge success. So much so that the dropshipping industry is expected to be worth more than $500 billion by 2025.
So, it makes sense that you would want to get a piece of the profitable dropshipping pie. But whether you are new to dropshipping or have been doing it for a while, it would be smart to know what mistakes to avoid.
14 Important Dropshipping Mistakes to Avoid End of list
Having this information could keep you from losing money or even putting your business out of business. So, to help you avoid dropshipping disaster, here are some key things you shouldn’t do.
Putting yourself in a niche that is too small
As a dropshipper, one of the first things you’ll have to do is choose a niche for your business. This should be based on market and product research data as much as possible.
Most dropshippers make the mistake of going into a niche that is too small and doesn’t have room for growth. How to avoid dropshipping mistakes
Like, think about nail polish. You might make sales if you choose that as your niche, but it is a very narrow idea. If, on the other hand, you sold nail care products in general, you could offer more options, attract a wider range of customers, and make more sales as a result.
Here, the goal isn’t to pick big, vague niches. Instead, they should choose product categories that give them some room to move.
Thinking that dropshipping companies run themselves
Dropshipping doesn’t have to be a 9-to-5 job, but it’s also not a business that runs itself. Whether or not your business has automated systems, you will still have to put some work into different parts of it.
Some key areas that will need your direct help are:
Making sure your suppliers know about customer orders so they can fill them
Responding to questions, complaints, and suggestions from customers Marketing your dropshipping store
Making sure that any automation systems you have work as they should
You might want to set aside about two hours a day to deal with these things. You could also hire a virtual assistant to help you if you are busy with other things or just need a break.
Putting your preferences ahead of facts
At first glance, it’s easy to think that some items are popular and would sell out quickly because of that.
At the end of the day, it’s not bad that you have your own thoughts and preferences. But working with analytical data is the best way to avoid epic failures.
Analytic data, like that provided by Facebook Insights, helps you understand your customers’ shopping habits better. It tells you what your target audience likes and wants, so you can make sure your product listings are right for them.
An online dropshipping store with bad design
Imagine going to a grocery store and finding no aisle signs, a confusing order, and no natural flow. How much time would you need to shop? More importantly, would you shop at a supermarket or try to find one that is better organised?
This is what it’s like to shop in a poorly organised online dropshipping store, like the one shown here. If customers can’t find what they’re looking for or have to keep reentering their information, about 30% of them may abandon their carts.
- Platforms for online dropshipping stores like Shopify are easy to use. When you sign up, you can choose from a number of templates that you can change to fit your online store. If setting up an online store yourself is not your thing, you could also hire a professional.
Site pages that make sense and are easy to use
Putting products and services into the right groups. (Also try to tag your products, as this can make it easier for customers to find what they want)
Tabs that make it easy to get to all the categories
A legible font
Picking the wrong way to market Medium
Customers can be brought to your dropshipping store with the help of video or poster ads. Other things, like newsletters and email alerts about special offers, can also help keep customers coming back.
Video ads and posters, on the other hand, can’t be sent separately. You will need to find a way to run them. To get this right, compare social media platforms with your target audience in mind.
Social media drop shipping
For example, Facebook is great if you want to reach a wide range of people of all ages. It has a wider range of people who use it. On the other hand, TikTok is mostly used by people who are much younger.
It’s also important to choose the right platform to get the most out of your advertising budget. If you pay for ads but don’t get many sales from them, it defeats the purpose.
Poor Inventory Management
As a dropshipper, you don’t take care of any of the stock. But it’s important for your customers to be able to see how many units of a product you have in your online store. This is where managing the stock comes in.
Keeping track of different suppliers to see what they have in stock can be a lot of work. Then you would have to change the number of items in stock on your online store.
This takes a lot of time and energy. But it’s very important if you don’t want buyers to order items that are already sold out.
Inventory management can be automated, which is good news. Inventory apps automatically update this kind of stock information between your dropshipping store and your suppliers’ websites. They make your job easier and make it less likely that you’ll post wrong information.
Mistakes in shipping info
Most suppliers need you to fill out the details of your order on their platforms so they can fulfil it. This is usually done by putting the address of your store as the “billing address” and the address of your customer as the “delivery address.”
If you make a mistake when filling in these details, it’s likely that the orders will be sent to the wrong places. So, it’s best to always double-check these details before moving on to the payment step.
Bad services for customers
Taking care of customers is an important part of being a successful dropshipper. Customers will probably give you a chance to fix any mistakes or problems if you are kind and helpful.
Quick responses and proactive service are both good ideas because they make customers feel like they are important.
Customer service for drop shipping
The fastest way to close your dropshipping store is to not take care of your customers well. Try to always be nice to your customers. Don’t lose your cool, even if someone says something mean.
Even if customer service isn’t your strong suit, you shouldn’t hire someone else to do it.
You might be able to find a good freelance assistant. The problem is that they might not be a good fit for your dropshipping store. Bringing in a third party can also put your customers’ private information at risk.
Selling things that aren’t very good
Because you never get to see what your suppliers send out, dropshipping requires a lot of trust in them. Because of this, it is easy to end up selling low-quality goods that disappoint customers.
This could lead to people sending things back and saying bad things about your store.
Dropshipping to make sure customers are happy
If you can, you should try to buy some samples from your supplier before you hire them. This will let you figure out how good the products are that your customers will get. You could also keep an eye on product quality in other ways, such as:
Use a dropshipping company that only lists suppliers who have been checked out.
Reading reviews and ratings of the supplier. Getting a lot of low ratings is always a bad sign.
Considering how much something costs; if the deal seems too good to be true and it’s not even a sale season, be wary of the quality. Choosing the Wrong Platform for Your Dropshipping Store
The good news is that there are many different e-commerce platforms for you to choose from. The bad news is that finding the right one for your needs can be hard.
- Make a list of your needs before you sign up for Shopify, Woocommerce, or any other platform. This will tell you exactly what you need from a dropshipping store platform. Here are some important things to think about:
- Can people in your country use the platform?
- What would be the best and most convenient way for you to pay?
- Add-ons and integrations that can be used
- Whether or not customer service is available
- How much it will cost and whether or not it’s worth it for what you’ll get out of it
- If you choose the wrong e-commerce platform, it could hurt your profits, your customers’ experiences, and your business as a whole. You don’t want to decide something like this on a whim.
Not keeping good financial records
Accounting is not for everyone, which makes sense. Even more so when you have a dozen other business tasks to take care of.The problem is that if you keep running your dropshipping store without managing your money, you might soon find yourself in a financial hole.
Try to keep your books regularly. It’s much easier to deal with than a bunch of accounts that you can’t make sense of.
Think about automating your accounting as well. It might cost something, but it would make your work easier.
Picking the Wrong Vendors
Suppliers are like anchors for drop shipping. No one chooses a supplier who isn’t reliable or who gives bad service on purpose. It’s just a risk in the dropshipping business.
To find the right supplier, try to do as much research as you can. If your suppliers are close by, try to even go to their places of business. Don’t leave anything to chance, because this is very important to the success of your business.
In some situations, it may also be worth it to have backup suppliers. They might not be able to fill most of your orders, but you can keep them on call in case one of your other suppliers lets you down or runs out of certain products.
Scaling too quickly, too soon, or not at all
A good entrepreneur is keen on making profits. A good business owner wants to grow because that means making more money.
In reality, though, it’s not easy to grow your dropshipping business or any other business. How do you really know if you are ready for the next big step? If you do indeed scale, how big is too big?
The growth of dropshipping
Being too comfortable will stop your business from growing, and taking too big of a leap will make your operations less effective. So, the trick is to move slowly. Slowly add new products and test new markets carefully to see how well you do in them. Grow your business slowly.
This way, your business won’t get too busy if a lot of orders come in at once. It also keeps you from losing too much money if the scaling doesn’t work out.
Lastly, as your business grows, you should always make sure that your suppliers can meet your new fulfilment needs.
Now that you know what to look out for, you can make changes to your dropshipping business and keep these kinds of losses from happening.
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you’ve made any of the above dropshipping mistakes. Don’t be afraid to mess up if you’re just starting out. You can learn new things and get a chance to get better by making mistakes.