Little or big, there are certain mistakes that dropshippers make, that cause them to lose money, and experience an endless struggle with their dropshipping stores. Here are 7 of the biggest that you need to avoid.
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It’s every beginners dream: To build a successful dropshipping store in the smoothest, fastest, most fail-proof way.
In reality, however, this is nothing but an illusion.
But the BEST way to fast-track your success is by avoiding costly mistakes that the majority of new dropshippers make (and don’t even know they are making).
Mistakes that you can make that can lose you money, customers, and literally rob your chances of succeeding with this online business.
Fortunately, when you aware of these mistakes, you can pivot away from them (if you’re already making them), or completely steer clear of them when you start your store.
We want to help you with this.
That is why, in today’s article, you are going to learn the 7 big mistakes that cause dropshipping stores to fail. So you don’t have to suffer those same mistake yourself.
Mistake 1) Selling on products with a limited lifespan.
This is a rookie mistake that new dropshippers tend to make.
The problem with selling products with a limited lifespan is that, sooner or later, their sales will start to plummet. They might receive a hundred orders today, but next month could be total opposite.
It would be extremely difficult to build a sustainable dropshipping store with inconsistent sales. Because you are putting your time, energy and money into something that has limited returns.
Before deciding on a product to sell, ask yourself: Does my product have a limited lifespan?
Does it sell throughout the entire year, or just in the summer or winter?
One way you can find this out is by using Google Trends. This shows you real-time data of interest on a specific search term on Google throughout the years.
Now, don’t get us wrong: products with a limited lifespan are not bad to sell.
Selling seasonal products around a certain time of the year (e.g. Christmas) can be a great advantage and an easy way to boost your sales.
Just keep in mind that this doesn’t last forever, and you should always have a clear exit strategy in place for when this period fades.
And your main focus should be selling winning products that have ongoing demand. As it is these products that will bring you in consistent sales and profits – year after year.
Mistake 2) Selling one-off products.
Selling one-off products completely removes the opportunity to gain repeat customers.
There isn’t much of an advantage to selling one-off products. After making that single sale, the chances that the customer will ever return to your store are slim to none.
Take phone cases as an example. After buying a phone case, how often do you replace it with a new one?
Unless you are phone case fanatic, you’ll probably keep that same phone case for another year or more.
And so if you were to build a store around a phone case, and somebody comes and buys one, it’s likely they won’t come back to your store to buy again.
Why is this costly for dropshippers? Because one of the most effective ways to maintain a profit is to keep customers coming back.
If customers don’t return to your store, you have to rely on new customers coming in to keep your profits afloat. And it’s much harder and expensive to bring new customers in, than it is to nurture existing ones.
The solution? Get customers to purchase multiples of the same items!
This method dramatically increases your profits and the average order value (AOV) for each customer in your store.
Think about it: why would somebody want to purchase multiples of these dog collars? The answer is a lot of people tend to have more than one dog.
Products like these encourage customers to increase the quantity of their orders. And this means more sales and profits for you.
Other examples of items you can sell in multiples include cushions, socks and t-shirts.
Mistake 3) Having no upsells.
So, if you are subscribed to our YouTube channel, you know that we’re really big on using upsells.
But for those who don’t know what an upsell is, it is very simple to understand.
Upsells are when you promote additional products directly after a customer has purchased from you. And it works like a charm!
We love to use McDonald’s as an example. Directly after you order a cheese burger, you’re usually asked “Would you like to add fries and drink to your order?” And nine times out of 10, the answer would is usually a yes. And this is basically what an upsell is.
But… what makes it so effective? Can you just sell anything?
The best upsells are relevant or go hand-in-hand with the previous item they bought. And you can really get creative with your upsells:
- If you’re selling a necklace, upsell customers to complimentary earrings that match your necklace.
- If you’re selling a humidifier, upsell customers to complimentary essential oils.
Upsells are actually the “secret” to building a profitable store.
Because this is what bumps up your AOV (average order value), and most times doubles (or even triples) your profits.
Whereas without upsells, it’s very challenging to make any profit on a sale after deducting expenses like the cost of the good and advertising costs.
What’s also great about upsells is that they are basically free money.
Unlike your front-end item (the one you advertise on Facebook), you don’t have to invest any money to advertise your upsell – as this comes AFTER front-end sale.
And so upsells also have the benefit of saving you money on advertising costs…
…And leaving you more profit to re-invest back into your ad spend, so that you can scale your online store even faster.
Mistake 4) Not having a reliable source of products.
This is another big mistake that new dropshippers make.
Not having a reliable source of products can limit the number of sales you make.
But you might be thinking “Doesn’t the majority of your sales come from one product anyway?”
In most cases, this is true. However, when it comes to dropshipping, even the most top-selling products will eventually experience a plateau in sales.
Maybe interests start to fade. Or demand drops. Or trends die. Or the number of sellers advertising the same product become too saturated.
Whichever the reason, smart dropshippers understand that it is not wise to solely rely on just one product to bring in profits.
That’s why it’s very important that you are constantly testing other products behind the scene. So that once your current winning product starts to drop in sales, you still have other products to replace it, and tide you over any potential sales slumps.
One of the best ways to do this is by combining both print on demand and dropshipping products into one store. In the industry, we call this a “Flex Store.”
So instead of simply dropshipping winning Aliexpress products, you are also selling winning print on demand products. And this can be mega-profitable if you follow the right strategy.
We teach you how to do this inside of our premium course The Ecomm Clubhouse. Click here to check it out.
Mistake 5) Being late with shipping out your products.
We’re sure you are familiar with the rush of excitement after your order is confirmed and on its way.
Now can you imagine placing this same order… knowing that the seller on the other side of the computer screen is busy playing golf, and only getting to your order when he feels like it?
I’m sure that feeling sucks. It might even feel as if you’re being ripped off!
The truth is, being lazy with shipping can lose you a lot of repeat buyers and customers in the long-term.
You need to genuinely care for your customers and be prompt with shipping out orders on time.
Never take customers for granted. Customers who aren’t happy will simply never come back to your store. And in the end it’s you the seller who misses out on potential sales.
With this in mind, prioritise working with suppliers who have fast shipping times. And a proven track-record of happy customers who received their item on time.
Mistake 6) Avoiding tasks that you don’t ‘feel’ like doing.
And this doesn’t just go for building an online business.
In other areas of life, there are tasks we all know we should be doing, but find it extremely hard to.
- Putting your phone to the side when it’s time to sleep
- Avoiding sugar or unhealthy foods when trying to lose weight
- Saving money rather than mindlessly spending it
The problem here is, avoiding tasks you don’t feel like doing, only limits you from growing and reaching success.
If you want to get rich with a dropshipping business, then you need to be willing to do the tasks you don’t feel like.
Don’t be lazy with sending out orders because you feel it’s not fun. Don’t avoid writing product descriptions just because it’s ‘not your thing.’
You can’t pick and choose the only tasks you like. Because usually what is hard is what leads to the biggest growth. So learn to embrace every task in your business.
Or if you have the money, simply outsource tasks that aren’t worth your time, so you can double-down on the tasks you enjoy.
Mistake 7) Not automating your store.
This ties in with the mistake above.
The truth is that you won’t get rich anytime soon if you’re busy fulfilling orders by yourself. Can you imagine how time-consuming it could be to package and ship 100 orders every?
Tasks like product fulfilment can quickly swallow up the hours in your day, and leave you little to no time to work on other important parts of your business.
Time that could be put to better towards tasks such as product research, ad testing, and working on your sales funnel.
Fortunately, in today’s world, there are tools and apps available to help save you time in your dropshipping business.
For example, there are apps like Oberlo which can dramatically reduce the time it takes to fulfil orders. Or Print-on-demand apps like Printify that automatically scan your store and fulfil orders for you – totally hands off.
These apps are designed to practically “work for you,” and make your store as automated as possible.
Always focus your time on income-building activities and outsource other tasks whenever you can. Remember: You don’t get rich by hoarding your money. You get rich by hoarding your time.
The Bottom Line
If you can avoid these seven costly mistakes, you can build a thriving dropshipping store in less time, with far less hassle.