5 BIG Mistakes That Cause Your Dropshipping Store To Fail
It’s every beginners dream: To build a successful dropshipping store in the smoothest, fastest, and most fail-proof way.
In reality, however, this is nothing but an illusion.
Like it or not, there are bound to have certain mistakes that dropshippers make when they first get started that will cause them to lose money.
Then they will experience an endless struggle with their dropshipping stores and then they will just simply give up and return back to the 8-5 working world resigning their fate as an employee.
I have seen too many cases of these.
The BEST way to fast-track your success is by avoiding costly mistakes that the majority of new dropshippers make (some 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 ever lucrative online business.
Fortunately, when you're aware of these mistakes, you can avoid them as much as possible (if you're already have an existing store) or completely steer clear of them when you start your store.
And now, I'm here to help you with this.
That is why in this article, you're going to learn the TOP 5 mistakes that will be fatal to your dropshipping store. All of these 5 mistakes are based on my personal experiences that I used to make – so I hope that you won't have to make the mistakes as I used to do.
#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 useful way of finding out is by using Google Trends. This will show you real-time data of interest on a specific search term on Google throughout the years.
Now, don’t get me wrong. That's not to say that products with a limited lifespan are 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.
End of the day, marketing strategic plays an important part in business.
One strategy that I would like to impart to you would be putting your main focus on selling winning products that have ongoing demand while selling seasonal products. As it is these products that will bring you in consistent sales and profits – year after year.
#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 is actually much harder to sell to new customers as compared to a repeat existing customers.
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.
#3 Having no upsells.
If you have been consistently reading on my posts, you know that I emphasize alot 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.
Let's use McDonald’s as an example. After you order a fish burger, you’re usually asked “Would you like to add fries and drink to your order?” And 9 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 difficult 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 or Google), you don’t have to invest any money to advertise your upsell – as this comes AFTER front-end sale.
In short, upsells also have the benefit of saving you money on advertising costs.
Along with the extra money that you've earned from your upsells, you can re-invest back into your ad spend so that you can scale up your store even faster.
#4 Being late with shipping out your products.
Are 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!
Truth is, this is a very irresponsible of a seller.
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 is on the losing end of the spectrum.
Always prioritise working with suppliers who has a excellent track record of having fast shipping times.
#5 Not automating your store.
I'm sure you all have heard the same old phrase – time is money.
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 pack and ship 100 orders everytime if you're handling and shipping the products yourself?
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, marketing 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. 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.
#Bonus - Relying on a single product source of income
This is another big mistake that new dropshippers make, and I've seen it over and over again (x1000).
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, you need to understand that even the most top-selling products will eventually experience a drop in sales.
There're many reasons for this. 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, experienced dropshippers will know that it is unwise to rely on a single 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 profitable if you follow the right strategy.
Mistakes are inevitable, everyone who's just starting out is bound to make mistakes along the way. My goal is to ensure that you make your mistakes in the least as much as possible. If you can avoid these five + one bonus costly mistakes, you can build a thriving dropshipping store in less time, with far less hassle.