Starting a dropshipping store is easier than it has ever been. Building the webstore with platforms such as Shopify can be done in an afternoon.
Web apps like Dropified and Spocket have made finding quality suppliers and products simple.
And with the various social media channels, blogging sites, and Google ads, marketing your products can be done with minimum experience.
However, despite all of this, when you launch a dropshipping business for the first time, you will undoubtedly make mistakes.
In this article, we will look at 5 rookie errors that you can avoid in order to get the best possible start.
1. Failing to find your niche
One of the most common mistakes a rookie makes is to jump into dropshipping without really thinking about their niche.
It is an exciting business model, so it is no small wonder so many entrepreneurs dive straight in and start looking for products without considering the bigger picture.
Finding your niche allows you to hone in on products, your target audience, your style of marketing, and a whole lot more.
It is imperative that you have this clear in your mind from the beginning as it will form the foundation of your business.
So many decisions and choices that you make are dependants on your niche. Fail to find your focus and your business will suffer.
- Related Content: Important Factors When Choosing a Dropshipping Niche
2. Chasing Trends
Another mistake rookies make is to chase current trends.
Don’t get me wrong, selling products where there is evidence of a market is not a problem.
However, choosing to sell a product or jumping on a niche based on the fact you have seen it all over your Facebook feed is a mistake.
No matter how quickly you either set up your webstore to sell the product or pivoting an existing store to accommodate, your competitors will already have the lead on you.
Trending products are more difficult to sell due to the highly competitive marketplace.
Unless you have a significant differentiating feature or have the means to outdo the market with the quality of your offering, you should avoid chasing a trend.
3. Using very few (or too many) dropship suppliers
Unless your dropship webstore is very small and you are focusing on a limited amount of products, it is a mistake to sell items from only one supplier.
As a beginner, utilizing a range of suppliers allows you to ascertain the varying quality in terms of delivery and response times as well as overall quality.
If you stick to just one supplier you will not have this frame of reference.
However, the same applies to the other end of the spectrum.
If you leverage marketplaces such as AliExpress or Amazon (via one of the many dropship apps available), you will end up with multiple suppliers all of which you have no real direct relationship.
Ultimately, you should spend time building up a pool of suppliers you can trust to serve you and your customers in the best possible way.
- Related Content: Dropship Software Comparison: Spocket vs Oberlo
4. Not ordering samples of creating test orders
We have talked about the importance of this in detail here. Essentially, this is an extension of the last point in that by ordering samples you are creating a better relationship with your supplier.
You will better understand how they work, their response times, and the quality of the product.
This knowledge will help you better serve your customers. If the sample doesn’t hold up, you do not list the product.
The test order also helps you experience your entire sales chain through the eyes of the customer.
What is your site like to use, how is the ordering process, communication, etc?
If there are any issues it is better that you are aware of them now so that you can address them before your customers complain.
5. Not obsessing over the customer
Without your customers you are nothing. That is an important mantra to remember, however, due to the semi-hands-off nature of dropshipping, some rookies can forget this.
Everything you do when setting up and running your business should be done to make life easier for your customer.
From the design of the site (easy to navigate, plenty of payment options), to the product and delivery (high quality and fast) needs to benefit the customer.
If you are writing blog content, does it help and provide value to the site visitor? It shouldn’t be there just to enhance sales.
Is your communication on point, can your customers get hold of you, do you have a FAQ? All of these elements need to come together so that your customers leave satisfied and hopefully recommend you to others.
6. Starting without a marketing plan
Alongside choosing your niche, finding suppliers, and building your webstore, you need to think deeply about your marketing efforts.
This involves creating a plan.
You do not need to have a marketing degree to achieve this, (although, with the many online courses available, it wouldn’t hurt to take one if you have time).
Fundamentally, you need to know who your target audience is, what your budget is and what marketing channels you feel comfortable using.
The choices are vast mind you. From Facebook and Google ads to launching your own blog, (here are some marketing ideas for your dropship store) and joining forums.
Whatever methods you choose, you will need to get it out there that your webstore is live. Failing to do so, will generally mean very limited sales.
By having a marketing plan that you can follow, you can see what’s working and what’s not, and keep track of your efforts as you grow.
7. Not being ready for the long game
Unfortunately, the internet is full of dropshipping “success” stories, where so-called gurus make tens of thousands of dollars a month and you will too, (if you just buy my course).
These stories fuel the belief that dropshipping is a quick root to riches and it can all be achieved with minimum effort.
This is far from the truth.
To reach the stage where your dropshipping business is making thousands and is running on auto-pilot takes time, a lot of effort, and even with guides such as this, mistakes.
In order to succeed you need the right mental attitude. This means being ready for the long haul and the trials and tribulations that any new business owner has.
The good news is, the ned result is more than worth it.
Dropshipping is a fantastic business model that allows a work-life balance you could never hope to achieve with a traditional 9-5.
It can also give you the flexibility of being a digital nomad, (I am writing this from a cafe by the water in Croatia), an enviable lifestyle if ever there was one.
So, as a rookie, you need to be prepared for the hard work ahead. By doing so, you will be many steps ahead of your newbie competition.
- Related Content: Dropship Software Comparison: Dropified vs Oberlo
There you have it, 7 rookie mistakes you can now avoid when you start your dropshipping store.
As I have already said, dropshipping is an exciting business model that can change your life.
Launch your business the right way and with the correct attitude and I am confident you will be successful before long.