Top 10 MISTAKES To Avoid Before Starting A Dropshipping Business
Written by Deimantas Brandisauskas
Today we will be covering the top 10 mistakes you have to make sure to avoid before starting your own dropshipping business. These 10 mistakes are being repeated over and over again by a lot of merchants, and we still get these sorts of questions every day when talking with dropshipping business owners up to date.
Dropshipping is a great way to start an eCommerce business with little or no money. However, there are some mistakes that you should avoid before starting your dropshipping venture. In this article, I will go over the top 10 mistakes to avoid when starting a dropshipping business so that you can have a successful and profitable career in the world of online retailing!
Why not jump right in with the first mistake our merchants tend to do?
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Mistake #1: Worrying Too Much About Shipping/Delivery Times
Shipping & delivery times should not hold you back because it’s simply not that important as everyone thinks. And we’re mentioning this part not without a reason - we get contacted every single day with people wondering whether shipping and delivery times are going to break their business (before even starting it out).
We know that the psychological aspect of shipping and delivery times can make you wonder whether anyone will want to buy from you if you're offering 20-day delivery. But even if your shipping times are about 20 days - it should not worry you too much because of the fact that your potential customers who get to your store are (most often) from social media, ads, influencer posts, etc.
They want your product right now, and if your product page copy clearly defines shipping and delivery times - you just gained additional trust from your customers as they are aware of how much time it's going to take to get that product. And it’s all ok.
Nonetheless, AliExpress is doing a great job showing you products that can be shipped cheaper and even faster.
AliExpress suppliers store some products in warehouses outside of China, such as United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, and many others.
If you want to provide faster shipping times, then you can filter products by a warehouse location that is closer to your customers. For example, if you're targeting the US market, then you can filter products that are shipped from US warehouses.
- Go to aliexpress.com.
- Search for products by entering a keyword or select a product category.
- At the top navigation bar, click on the selected country and currency.
- In the Ship to the field, select a destination country for your product shipments.
5. In the Ship from field, select a country that the products will ship from. If the origin country is closer to the destination country, then your delivery will arrive to your customers at that destination country faster.
Ship from country availability depends on the country you select in the Ship to field.
Mistake #2: Expecting Easy Money
Dropshipping provides a level of convenience that may appear to make your job a simpler one, like not holding any inventory, creating your store rather quickly with Shopify, and the only thing that (it seems) you got to work is your marketing.
Yet, you cannot forget how essential marketing your product is and all of the competition you will be coming up against. This requires research and the developmen ft of a unique approach that will make your product more appealing than everyone else’s.
Additionally, you just have to understand that this is a real business you’re creating and running, so please don’t forget to take into consideration other things like:
- Customer support
All of this is really important for you to launch & scale your business. And if it doesn’t seem really important to you right now, you will eventually realise that you’re starting to face numerous challenges during your entrepreneurial journey and you will need to not only face them, but overcome those challenges to further develop your business.
Mistake #3 - Not Knowing How Facebook Works
We talked about the importance of your marketing & advertising, and, most probably, you will be running Facebook Ads to your Shopify dropshipping store to generate that traffic. And this is where your Facebook Advertising skills will need to develop and you will need to put them into practise.
Simply put - you should understand how Facebook works and if you’re just getting started, reading Facebook Blueprint and/or taking our Dropshipping 101 course is going to help you a ton.
You can also choose other Oberlo courses to learn for free:
- Design your dream life
- Build your first dropshipping store
- Use TikTok to get sales
- Build your brand on Instagram
- Take stunning product photos with your phone
- Find winning products to sell
- The Hidden Secrets of Copywriting
- Creativity for Business Success
Later on, once you start spending your first dollar on ads, you will start seeing certain patterns, how Facebook works, how your audience reacts to your ads, as well as what is needed to run your ads on a daily basis profitably.
Mistake #4 - Not Knowing Your Numbers
So many merchants don’t realize how important it is of knowing their numbers. By not knowing your gross margin you’re risking your ad budget. And by not knowing how to calculate your Cost Per Purchase you are, again, risking your ad budget.
At the end of the day you also need to include any transaction fees from PayPal or Stripe, as well as how much of the revenue you have to keep to pay your taxes. All of this comes to the fact that you need to open up your Google Sheets document and start looking/calculating different costs and numbers that will be super helpful down the road.
For example, if you don’t know how much you have left after product costs + shipping costs, you don’t really know how much you can afford to spend on Faceboghrt dy5nthf b ok Ads to continue running your ads. At the end of the day you want to be profitable after all of the costs, and by knowing your numbers you are saving a ton of headaches.
Mistake #5 - Making Order Information Difficult to Access
When you’re guaranteeing a quick and easy process for your customers, they’re going to want to see the evidence. Set up estimated ship dates based on location and require vendors to keep you updated on the order’s status so you can keep the customer informed. This way, you can monitor orders if you expect them to arrive later than planned and troubleshoot quickly.
Also, make sure to have that “Track Your Order” page in your store so your customers can track their orders in real-time. Furthermore, make sure to have estimated delivery dates in your store. You can write those within your product page or in your “Shipping” page in your store. Most of your customers will actually read those and having such information will, again, increase the trust level of your store.
Mistake #6 - Not Having A Proper Customer Support
Having bad customer support (slow, or no customer support at all) can easily break your business really quickly. Make sure to set proper refund policies, but besides that, make sure to try to be fast with emails, chat, and also make sure to help your customers with any questions, doubts they might have.
For customer support questions you can set up a live “Messenger” app in your store so your customers can ask questions, or add a live chat app like “Tidio” (which is free) so they can write their questions and expect to get an answer from you! Remember, your customers are your biggest value.
Mistake #7 - Not Networking Enough With Suppliers
Your supplier(s) are going to be super important for your business not only when scaling, but also when getting started.
Make sure to maintain a good relationship with your suppliers, meaning, you want to make sure that you are communicating with them not only AliExpress but also on platforms like WeChat or WhatsApp.
Also, networking is important because when you can start thinking about how you could negotiate with them so you are saving some bucks on product costs.
Mistake #8 - Not Doing Enough Product Research
Now, your product selection is the single most important factor when it comes to starting your dropshipping business. Your product is almost everything. Your marketing and your store come second. This is where you need to spend a bit more time on product research (not too much though!).
Go to AliExpress or to the Oberlo app, browse through a couple of pages of products, see what’s trending right now, what has the most orders, check reviews, and import it to your store. Once done, what you can do is to add that product not only to your store but also to a Google Sheets document so you can keep track of products that you have already tested, what’s working, what’s not.
Mistake #9 - Not Optimizing Your Shopify Store
This might be the one of the biggest mistakes that beginner dropshippers make.
We’ve seen too many poorly designed dropshipping stores that lack certain features to have, or they are just a bit too boring. Shopify makes it really easy to create a successful dropshipping store so make use of it as you can design a great store within a couple of hours and be ready to import your products to your store.
There’re certain things that are the most important ones for you to create and be sure to launch a truly great dropshipping store.
👉 For this, we’ve prepared a winning Shopify store checklist for you that you can use to design a truly great store in a couple of hours! We will post the link to this checklist in the chat section right now, so just make sure to follow it along and don’t spend too much time on it. It’s simply yet you just need to know certain things and you’re good to go!
Mistake #10 - Giving Up Way Too Quickly
So you’ve launched your store, run a few Facebook ads, not getting much traction… now what? Time to give up? That would be a mistake. We’ve yet to meet a successful dropshipper who was successful immediately.
Almost all of them failed over and over before they discovered the winning combination of great product + great store + great marketing = sales machine.
If you really want to have success with dropshipping, you can’t give up when you hit your first obstacle. You could be one small tweak away from your winning formula. Test, review, refine, test again. Do this enough times and you’ll surely find a combination that works. Don’t give up on your dream just because it’s hard.
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These are the top 10 things you have to keep in mind when running a Shopify dropshipping store. It's super-important to keep all of those in mind when running it. Also, make sure to let us know in the comments section if you like to hear more on these or have any topic ideas that we could cover in the future episodes!