Dropshipping is such a lucrative business model. You just create an online store, put up products you don’t even own, and start selling them. There are no fulfillment, logistics, and inventory management headaches!
And in Shopify, it just becomes easier than ever to start your own dropshipping store. Shopify is already a pretty intuitive eCommerce platform to get started with as compared to other Shopify alternatives. Plus, with apps like Oberlo, creating a dropshipping store is really a breeze.
However, with such a low barrier to entry, it’s common for beginners to make these Shopify Dropshipping mistakes when starting out.
Whether you’re just starting out or already have a Shopify dropshipping store, here are the biggest Shopify dropshipping mistakes you must avoid.
1. You Don’t Take Your Business Seriously
Unlike other types of businesses, a dropshipping store doesn’t require a big sum of upfront cash. You can get started with under $1000.
While the low barrier to entry is what makes this business model so lucrative, it also tends to make dropshipping store owners non-serious about their business.
Since they don’t have a lot to lose, they take their business non-seriously and wouldn’t invest as much time and money as required to establish their business and make a good return.
Keep in mind that eCommerce is the biggest thing right now. Plus, online businesses have the potential to give you an ROI within 3-5 months for a very low investment. Traditional businesses on the other hand, take several years to make you a profit.
Hence, if you really want to make some serious money, be serious about it. Act like a professional and do all those things that you see professionals doing. Invest in good website and logo design, photography, marketing, branding, and other business requirements like filing for LLC etc.
2 . You Don’t Spend Time Choosing a Good Supplier
While choosing a good product is critical, choosing a reliable supplier is even more so. Your suppliers will be responsible for fulfilling the orders your customers have paid for. And so, you need to take your time networking with suppliers and finding someone you can reply upon.
When choosing a supplier, make sure they’re easy to get in touch with. Having multiple channels of communication like WhatsApp and WeChat is a plus point as you can easily reach out with queries related to products and orders.
Also, make sure the supplier has good ratings and is an established business. You don’t want to work with someone who runs out of business and leaves your orders unfulfilled and customers in the lurch.
When you do find a good supplier, it’s also important to foster good relationships with them. Good business relationships and a solid network can go a long way and have many benefits.
3 . You Don’t Test Your Product
There is no such thing as a perfect product to sell in a dropshipping eCommerce store. You can use product research tools and look for inspiration online. But at the end of the day, you can’t be sure of how your product will do unless you test it.
Before you invest heavily in the product, it’s best to test it first by running paid ads on it. Aim to spend at least $300-500 on paid advertisements on Facebook and Google. If the product responds well to paid ads, it means it can do well. If it doesn’t respond, you need to look for other product ideas.
Also, you need to test and run ads as soon as the product is live on the website. You may be tempted to hold on paid advertising until you get your website looking good. But that’s also one of the mistakes dropshippers make on Shopify.
Like they say in business school, ‘if the product is perfect, you probably waited too long to launch it’. Don’t wait for things to look perfect.
When picking your product, keep in mind that the more niche you go, the better it is for your branding and marketing.
Also, explore dropshipping in B2B. With the rise in B2B eCommerce, dropshipping is coming out to be a lucrative opportunity for eCommerce businesses, in which high ticket items can be dropshipped to other businesses for some serious profit.
Before stepping into the B2B industry, it’s best to learn everything about it, as customers’ needs in B2B eCommerce tend to be different from D2C (direct to consumer). And so, you’ll need to factor in all those customer needs and choose a B2B eCommerce platform that caters to those needs.
4 . You Don’t Know Your Customers Enough
Another big mistake eCommerce storeowner tends to make is not doing intensive market and consumer research.
After you pick the right product, the next step is to find out everything about your customer and your audience. If you don’t know your customer well, your product will likely flop no matter how trending it is.
You need to find out the demographic of your audience, their interests, the slang they use, their pain points, the companies and brands they buy from, etc.
You need to really dive into audience research by joining Facebook groups, forums, and other places where your customers hang out. Listen to what your audience is talking about and educate yourself.
This is a very important step that can determine how successful your store will be. Even the most perfect product can fail if you don’t know anything about your audience.
Your knowledge of the product and your audience will help you as you design your website, write your copy, runs ads, and create content.
One thing you can do to avoid any pitfalls is to always pick a product niche, which you’re familiar with. For example, if you’re a fitness enthusiast yourself, the fitness industry can be a good place to enter. Since you’ll already be using fitness-related products, you’ll have more access to information about your customers and audience. You’ll know things you would have otherwise not known if you hadn’t been a fitness customer yourself. So, be a customer yourself and learn what you need before you try to sell.
5 . You Don’t Know How to Manage Cash Flow
When you’re running a business, you can have some serious cash problems. To scale a business, you constantly need money circulating in to pay for advertisements, stock, and payroll. And this is where things get complicated.
Even if you’re selling your stuff, you won’t be instantly getting your account deposited with all that revenue. All popular payment gateways take a certain amount of time, 30 days for example, to release the money into your account.
And so, you need to manage your cash flow in a way that you never hit a brick wall at any point in your business. Not having enough cash even when you’re making enough revenue can literally kill your business.
Business loans can be an effective way to solve the cashflow problem. And the best course of action is to always turn to friends and family and ask for help.
Nevertheless, make sure you keep an eye on all your numbers. Use accounting apps to calculate everything and embrace the math.
Want to have a successful dropshipping business? Just avoid these top mistakes and get ready for some serious profit.
Tooba is a WordPress writer at Codup, a software house. Her main areas of interest are e-commerce, WordPress, and digital marketing. She enjoys reading and writing about e-commerce and loves to educate people about it. Her work has been published in many popular websites across the internet.