Running a dropshipping store is engaging and entertaining. While bringing you an impressive profit, this business is relatively easy to manage – still, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing much to improve and enhance now and then! If you browse the Web, you’ll see that it’s quite a common cry for help: “I just got a dropshipping store and I see no sales. What’s wrong?”
What’s wrong, indeed? Let’s take a look at the most common dropshipping mistakes that store owners make. As a BONUS, we’ll give you simple action plans to help you fix them!
Dropshipping mistake #1: Doing nothing
Oh, that’s the easiest way out, right? It sounds really tempting to create or to buy an online store, and to simply wait until someone stumbles upon it, gets interested, and makes a purchase. Passive income, yay!
In the real world, it doesn’t always happen.
No promotion means no sales, and no sales means no profit.
If no money and effort is invested into the dropshipping store promotion, it will just stay there dead as a rock – a professionally developed, smoothly working, beautifully designed, but completely unused website that brings no income.
That’s exactly what happened to Alex – after he got a dropshipping store, he just put it aside. In a month, though, it became clear it’s time to start doing something. Trying an ever-changing mix of promotional techniques, he gained an impressive audience of loyal customers and, as the result, sold one of his stores for a breathtaking profit.
Your action plan: Read these real-life stories on what it takes to make the first online sale, and follow these tips to achieve your first sale faster. This list of free traffic sources that can drive more visitors on your website will be helpful, too!
Dropshipping mistake #2: Taking a too broad niche
To be honest, we’ve all been here. Choosing the perfect dropshipping niche is not easy at all.
Even the successful dropshippers who have a huge experience in the field definitely had troubles with the niche choice at some point of their business journey. The case of Mousslim is a shining example – even though his dropshipping business brings him dozens of thousands of dollars every month, his very first niche was a really bad choice. That’s why it’s vital to deeply know the niche and to be genuinely interested in it!
The saddest dropshipping mistake that can be made at this point is going for a VERY broad niche.
Let’s take ‘Clothes’, for example. If ‘Clothes’ is the niche AND the main keyword, the store owner is definitely going to have a bad time. No doubts, he (or she) will find thousands of matching items on AliExpress, and will gladly upload them on the website. Then what? What to do next?
From the point of view of SEO optimization, the ‘Clothes’ niche is hopeless. An extreme competition, a vague keyword – none of this is good for a webstore. Even carefully targeted Instagram ads won’t help much.
Your action plan: Take a look here to see how to work in the apparel niche, and use the same approach for any other niche you choose. Don’t hesitate to ask us for a deep niche research if you need expert assistance!
Dropshipping mistake #3: Having no knowledge about the target audience
Customers are the driving force of any online store growth.
That’s why it’s absolutely vital to know as much about them as possible! A familiar customer segment means a lot for the success of the whole business.
A serious dropshipping mistake that can be made on this stage is going with blind guesses.
It happens when dropshipping store owners don’t rely on any researches, statistical data from their own stores, or actual clients’ feedback. They have some general idea about the people who might want to buy from them, and they just don’t go any further.
It leads to absolutely weird marketing decisions. As a rule, such actions take lots of time, money, and energy, but bring little to no results.
Your action plan: Check out these 3 ways to identify your target audience, and apply them to your business. To make your promotional messages well-targeted at a proper audience, consider ordering video ads and ads packages for Facebook and Instagram that go together with recommended audience settings.
Dropshipping mistake#4: Choosing poor marketing tactics
If dropshipping store owners know nothing about their customers and don’t understand the market (this is why it’s so important to be passionate about the chosen niche!), strange things start happening.
- Store is promoted to everyone. The marketer does nothing to narrow down the target audience and just goes through Web shouting about the store. Lots of time and energy (and money) goes into attracting the wrong people. They just don’t have the slightest relation to the store and show no interest towards the offers.
- Ads are placed on unsuitable channels. The marketer makes no research and randomly promotes the offers through all the media imaginable. As you can guess, the efforts are mostly put into absolutely fruitless channels that bring no return.
- Store is promoted through 1-2 channels only. The marketer relies on a few channels and uses them over and over again, not willing to try anything else. It’s good if these channels work well; but what if other ones work even better?
- No tests are performed. To see if a new channel will be beneficial for a dropshipping store promotion, it is necessary to try it several times with different settings, different audience segments, and different product categories. If there are no tests, it’s impossible to say which channel works the best for specific audiences and items.
Your action plan: Use this monumental guide on how to promote your dropshipping store. If you need any professional assistance, there are lots of ways we can help you: look through the list of expert marketing services here.
Dropshipping mistake #5: Using no automatic promotion tools
There’s actually no wonder why dropshippers stick to a few randomly selected promotion channels and rarely use anything extra.
There are only 24 hours in a day.
Even if there is any interest towards the use of some new and awesome strategies and techniques, there simply might be no time for it.
Automated solutions can do the trick; the most useful of them, for example, automatically promote a store in social networks using the owner’s settings and preferences. Unfortunately, ecommerce entrepreneurs tend to overlook such solutions.
Your action plan: Watch this video explaining how to automate your social media marketing effortswithout making you look like a spammer. Don’t forget to also check out this handy tutorial on auto-running your Instagram account!
Dropshipping mistake #6: Neglecting SEO
In our experience, there are some people who hardly ever pay attention to search engine optimization.
That’s really sad because SEO constantly works for a store in the long term! Even if the results don’t seem to be immediate, they accumulate over time.
Ideally, SEO should work for the benefit of the webstore since the very moment of the store launch.
In reality, it commonly turns out that store owners don’t even do a keyword research at the planning stage, to say nothing about further product pages optimization and so on.
Your action plan: Follow this SEO ecommerce checklist to see if your online store is properly optimized, and make sure you’re not making any of these critical SEO mistakes! If you assembled your store on your own, without any developers’ or marketers’ help, you might also want to check out this SEO Starter Pack.
Dropshipping mistake #7: Learning no lessons
And this is the most serious dropshipping mistake a store owner can make.
All of our first business steps are shaky – it’s impossible to be 100% confident about things we never tried before.
All the people who nowadays run highly profitable dropshipping stores had some difficulties throughout their way. It’s absolutely fine to have no knowledge about something; it’s not that fine to keep staying unaware of important things.
An awesome feature of dropshipping in particular is the possibility to learn from one’s experience and mistakes. There are tons of helpful ecommerce materials that are available for free, and this is an educational opportunity that you simply can’t miss out on.
Your action plan: Monitor your store performance, gather the clients’ feedback, take free courses, read guides, watch tutorials, attend webinars and exchange experience with other entrepreneurs – this is what helps you grow your business and prosper.
All the experiments, tests, trials and discoveries are the drivers of your online business growth. And you know what’s the best part? You’re not alone on your ecommerce journey.
By Olga L.
Olga is a Copywriting Director at AliDropship. She works on guides, tutorials, and other educational materials to help you start and run your dropshipping business with ease.