Learning from store reviews is one the best ways to avoid mistakes – and fast-track your success with dropshipping. Here’s what we had to say about Kevin’s store.
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When it comes to opening your first dropshipping store, or any other online business, the best way to avoid failure is to learn from other people’s mistakes.
That is why every now and again, we love to share the lessons from our recent store reviews. Because there are usually key insights you can learn from – and apply to your own store.
In this article, you’re going to see a full review of one of our subscribers’ stores. You’ll see what they are doing right, but more importantly where they’re going wrong – so that you don’t end up making the same mistakes.
Sound good? Let’s get started.
Kevin’s Niche: Kawaii Culture
Kevin’s dropshipping store is based around the “Kawaii” niche.
The word “Kawaii” refers to cute Japanese culture. It’s usually made up of cute, cuddly and kinky products. And is a super popular industry that is loved and adored by fans all over Japan.
While these cute products are mainstream culture in Japan, it wasn’t until recently that it rapidly grew to become a raving niche in Western culture. And also a great niche to build a dropshipping store around.
So, how did Kevin do?
Upon first glance of his dropshipping store, our first impression was that his store was beautifully designed.
He did a great job at presenting his store as well-established and aesthetically pleasing. In fact, his design was so appealing, that we were almost tricked into thinking that he’d been dropshipping for years!
Here are a few positives in particular that we hand-picked out from this store:
- Clean and attractive design. A professional design is an easy way build trust with customers and appear well-established (even as a beginner).
- Mascot character. While a brand mascot is an integral part of Kawaii culture, in general, they are incredibly powerful for growing brand awareness. And helps your brand stick in the mind of customers even after they’ve left your store.
- Appealing graphics. It’s not every day you see a dropshipping store using GIF-like images to promote their products! Eye-opening graphics help your store to stand out from other competitive stores in your niche.
- High-Definition product images. This is arguably one the most important factors when a potential customer is deciding whether or not to buy a product. HD images are proven to increase conversion rates compared to low-res images.
I think it’s fair to say that Kevin scored a high 10 in the ‘store design’ department!
But as we looked beyond his store appearance, Kevin’s store started to reveal a number of big, costly mistakes.
Here’s three of them that you can learn from.
Mistake 1) Grammatical mistakes.
Now, grammatical errors are not the end of the world. We all make them every now and again.
But from a customer’s perspective, errors in your grammar or poor spelling often implies a lack of professionalism.
In this case, Kevin displayed a number of spelling errors and some weird phrasing on his product page.
Keep in mind that, when somebody lands on your website for the very first time, they aren’t completely “sold” on what you have to offer yet.
Customer’s may have had (or heard of) a bad experience with shopping online in the past.
And so even if they are interested, they still require more convincing that you’re legitimate, and that they can trust you enough to hand over their credit card details.
And so in order for customers to ‘qualify’ your store as safe, they tend to scan around your online store for signs of credibility.
And one of the biggest signs of a credibility lies in the words that you use.
Why? Because in the customer’s mind, a lack of care in the way present the words on your website is also a reflection of how you treat your customers.
They’ll think “If a business can’t take care of their own website, how can they take care of their ME?”
So if you don’t take the proper care in how, you risk scaring away potential customers. And this applies to even the most beautifully designed website with the most amazing products.
With this in mind, be sure to proofread any text in your store for grammatical errors or spelling mistakes, BEFORE you publish it on your website.
And this isn’t doesn’t just apply to product descriptions. This also applies to your about page, contact page, legal-related pages, and any other text in your store.
And if English isn’t your strongest language, you can easily hire a proof-reader to proofread on your behalf (using a website like Fiverr). Or even hire a copywriter if such an option is available.
Mistake 2) False shipping disclaimers.
Oh boy… this mistake here is a big one.
On every one of Kevin’s product descriptions, he claims that his products will take “7-21 business days to deliver.” And that his store also offers “FREE worldwide shipping.”
But are either of these disclaimers as true as claim to be? We discovered that they were completely misleading. And here is why…
If a customer from the UK were to purchase this from Kevin’s store, they would assume it would arrive within 7-21 days.
But on Aliexpress (the website Kevin is dropshipping this product from), it turns out that the same exact product actually takes 20-40 days to arrive in the UK.
That’s a difference of five whole weeks compared what Kevin claims in his shipping disclaimer!
So what happens next? Twenty one days will pass by, and this customer will start to grow anxious and worried about why their order hasn’t arrived yet.
They’ll send one furious email after the other. And as weeks pass by, and they still haven’t yet received their order, eventually will assume they have been scammed. And to protect themselves by demanding an immediate chargeback or refund.
Can you see how false claims can lead to a myriad of customer issues?
Offering worldwide shipping is a pretty advanced responsibility. And when you make such a claim, you can’t afford not to deliver on this promise.
Unlike shipping to one country (which we recommend), you are now shipping to several others. And so you need enough experience to understand how long orders will take to arrive to each country. As not every shipping time is treated equally.
As somebody new to dropshipping, it’s likely that you won’t have enough experience (or sales) to offer this option.
Which is why it’s much smarter to focus on shipping strictly to US customers. This is a much better option because:
- The US is the largest marketplace to profit from as a dropshipper
- The majority of your customers are based in the US
- It’s easier to measure how long orders will take to arrive. (On average, ePacket from the US to china takes 7-1 days)
- Shipping to one country allows you to create a clear and honest shipping disclaimer
- ePacket shipping from the US to China is much faster, reliable and easier to deal with
- Some orders can even get shipped in as little as 4-7 days (This article here shows you how)
Best of all, all of these benefits help to keep any customer drama at bay. (And save you from going bankrupt from all those chargebacks!)
The biggest takeaway of this mistake is to:
- Always be honest with your shipping disclaimer. Never make a claim you can’t deliver on.
- Focus on shipping to customers in the US. Once you’ve gained more experience, you can the gradually expand your shipping options other countries.
Mistake 3) Misleading refund policies.
Similar to the above mistake, Kevin made another misleading claim inside of his refund policy. And this time, it wasn’t his customers who would suffer from his mistake – but he himself.
Kevin’s refund policy states that for 30 days upon a customer receiving their product, customers could request a refund – for any reason whatsoever.
All they had to do was simply take a photo of the product they ordered, send it to him, and he’d return their money.
Doesn’t that sound a little crazy?
While probably not intentional, Kevin is practically allowing anybody to claim back the money they paid for their item – whether or not the item they ordered was faulty.
In other words, he is saying “Buy an item from my store. And if you want a refund, just take a picture of your item and the money is yours!”
The obvious risk here is that a number of people will take advantage of this rookie mistake inside of his refund policy.
They’ll claim a refund even if there is nothing wrong with their item. And given the fact Kevin wrote this policy, they won’t feel the slightest guilt when doing so!
Essentially, Kevin is giving away free money at his own expense. A little but potentially costly mistake.
Instead, what Kevin should have done – and what you should do – is be very clear of what is being offered inside of the refund policy.
And you can do this by only allowing refunds on the conditions that:
- The customer received their item in a faulty condition
- And that they ship the item back to your suppliers warehouse (at their own expense)
Both of these conditions are used by the majority of online stores. And they work well because they save you from being tricked or taken advantage of by any sneaky customers.
After all, you worked hard and spent money to earn that sale. Wouldn’t be darn right stupid to throw it all away by making such a silly mistake?
Here, the takeaway is pretty crystal clear: Always be clear in your refund policy, and only allow refunds on a conditional basis.
The Bottom Line
This store review is a clear example of “not everything that glitters is gold.”
While creating a store that looks physically appealing plays a major part in succeeding with dropshipping, there are other factors that are just as important…
…Such as gaining the trust of customers.
Learning from these three mistakes outlined in this article can save you money and a lot of hassle when first starting your own online store. And protect you from potential chargebacks, angry customers and bad reviews.
Use each of the takeaways to arm yourself from the mistakes that Kevin made.