Dropshipping has become a well-known e-commerce business model because it offers such huge numbers of benefits for retail sales. With dropshipping, the business owner does not have to keep up a stock of merchandise; they just have to purchase the item from the supplier who handles the stock and the shipping.
Dropshipping is generally adopted by business owners who need to begin a business with insignificant investment. What’s more, this is where the problem begins: because the investment is negligible and the business owner is spared from taking care of stock, amateurs assume that dropshipping is easy and they bounce into it without earlier research. Unfortunately, they often end up leaving the business and losing their underlying investment similarly as fast. Dropshipping business models have more dubious parts than what meets the eye, including multiple business processes, customer service needs, picking the correct supplier, and marketing your store.
Despite the fact that dropshipping is easier than keeping up a conventional inventory, regardless you need to know how the business model functions and what hazard factors are involved. The best method to clear up misconceptions and abstain from making regular blunders is to learn from the mistakes other business owners have made. Here is a rundown of normal dropshipping mistakes and tips to steer your business in the correct direction.
Drop shipping seems like a great way to manage an online shop. Drop shipping is a great option, and seems easy to do.
Stock is not required. You have minimal financial responsibility. Drop shipping eCommerce stores can be started for very little. Drop shipping is a great option because you don’t need to fulfill orders.
Drop ship businesses are not all bad.
Drop shipping is a way to give away control over a large portion of your business.
Your orders are processed by a drop shipper or producer, not you. It is not your decision when it will happen. While you might be at the top or bottom of a queue, you don’t know what will happen. Packaging and the contents of the packs are out of your control. This is only the tip.
In other words, once you have given the order, you lose control of what happens to it.
Here are the most common problems.
Dropshipping is my business, and I can assure you that if anything goes wrong, it will.
You might be interested in starting a dropshipping website. Below is a list with my suggestions on how to fix the most common problems and issues you’ll encounter.
How do businesses come up short at dropshipping?
Here are some basic dropshipping mistakes:
Picking an inappropriate niche
Picking an inappropriate niche is the principal reason for dropshipping businesses to come up short. The market sector you choose impacts your business directly from the earliest starting point. To pull in customers and make revenue, you need a niche that is currently trending and can possibly be successful in the market. You need to do your research to pick the correct one and afterward discover your target audience so your dropshipping business can thrive. We’ve even seen instances where improper market research leads business owners to pick the correct niche yet target an inappropriate nation.
You can get off to an awful beginning on the off chance that you pick an arbitrary niche that you assume will progress nicely, especially on the off chance that you neglect to check where your items are in demand or in the event that they’re in demand by any stretch of the imagination. On the off chance that you haven’t done a lot of research, you may aggravate the problem by not ordering item samples to check their quality and shipping time. Also, on the off chance that you’ve picked a competitive niche, you’ll end up competing with goliaths like Amazon and eBay. In the event that you continue thusly, you’ll end up burning through your time, money, and effort.
A Reddit user, for example, described his experience running a backpack dropshipping site without doing a lot of research before he picked a niche. He picked the primary niche he discovered interesting and continued with it without testing the samples or browsing a rundown of suppliers. This led to him confronting an excessive number of issues like late shipping and results of awful quality. These variables caused him to receive a lot of customer protests and he ultimately decided to close it down. After maintaining his business for a month, he barely profited $200.
His problems started with not researching his niche before investing in a dropshipping business and picking a general niche like backpacks instead of concentrating on a specific type like backpacks for college students or backpacks for office workers. Before you settle for a niche, you should recognize what you’re selling and who you’re selling it to.
Picking an inappropriate stage
Business owners often think that its overwhelming to choose a dropshipping stage. There are several different approaches you can take: creating your website on a hosted stage, creating a seller account on an e-commerce site like Amazon or eBay, or creating your own dropshipping website. On the off chance that you choose one of these haphazardly without weighing your alternatives, you’re likely to face hurdles en route like reduced customer turnout and eventually poor revenue.
It’s typical for business owners to attempt multiple alternatives by exchanging between them. In an article, Connor Gillivan explains how he tried exchanging stages and got into such a large number of before mastering one stage first. When you start exchanging, it’s possible for you to get distracted by multiple stages instead of concentrating on one great stage. You could end up losing your customer base and great reviews by exchanging without breaking down the stages properly.
Picking an inappropriate suppliers
Once you comprehend what to sell and how to sell, the next step is finding reliable suppliers. We can’t stress enough that it is so critical to discover great suppliers and keep up great ties with them. Most e-commerce stages have a rundown of verified suppliers to choose from, so business owners can simply pick one and go with them.
On the off chance that you pick the principal decent merchant, you find, however you end up paying a month to month fee to continue business with them three months later, then your supplier could really be a retailer acting as a wholesaler. In the event that you continue utilizing them as a supplier, you will end up following through on a higher cost for your items than if you locate a real wholesaler. Continuously meet your supplier in person before you finalize a deal with them. Check on their experience, their shipping times, and whatever else you’re unsure about before you seal the deal.
Absence of beginning capital
Some business owners assume that since dropshipping needs negligible investment and capital, they don’t have to have a business budget or save some assets for stormy days. However, remember that it takes money to make money. Neglecting to budget for your operations and processes can cause your whole business to crash. In the event that your customers return items and request refunds, you may need to get assets out of your reserves, so make sure that you have sufficient investment funds and can access them.
Half-baked marketing and advertisement
Let’s assume you have a curated selection of items yet you don’t have assets to spend on marketing. So you primarily rely on the informal exchange and Instagram for marketing. You basically post images and videos of your items on Instagram periodically. You don’t really have the time to include relevant hashtags, set time aside to reply to the comments on the posts or interact with your customers, measure your website details, or attempt paid advancement.
Presently, there’s a potential customer out there who is ready to spend any add up to get one specific item from your collection however they’ve never heard of your store since you barely spend on marketing. What’s the use of having astounding items when they’re hidden from your potential customers? Once you’ve discovered a decent item to sell, marketing is the best approach to get customers to get it. Compromising will definitely hamper any business development.
Here’s an example of a drop shipper from Reddit who made $100k per month. At first, they didn’t set an advertising budget; they simply used Facebook and Google promotions credit from Shopify. They didn’t customize the advertisements to generate the most extreme traffic and played around with the promotions credits arbitrarily. Eventually, they got no sales from these promotions – they were a complete waste. Fortunately, things showed signs of improvement when they started setting a budget for marketing and they spent on retargeting advertisements and influencers. This time they planned well and did focused marketing instead of haphazardly advancing their items.
Inefficient customer support
Like in every other business model, customer support assumes a critical role in dropshipping. First-time sellers tend to assume that once a sale is made, the customers are no longer on the up and up. However, while you realize that it’s your suppliers who handle the items by then, your customers don’t have the foggiest idea about that. So in the event that they have a problem with the nature of the item or the shipping time, they’ll approach you.
Not giving sufficient resources for your customer support will sabotage your online reputation and can eventually lead to the destruction of your business. In the event that you don’t respond to customers’ questions and grievances, whether they’re sent through private channels or open stages, they won’t have any desire to purchase your items once more.
Out of stock
This is probably the most common problem you will encounter.
Even though order fulfillment companies and producers do their best to inform Ecommerce partners about product availability, sometimes the product that someone ordered from you is not in stock. Oder it has been discontinued completely.
The Best Way to Handle: Ring Your Client. Don’t send them emails. Even if they have to inform you via email, customers prefer to be contacted personally. If possible, you might also try to source the product from a different supplier. You might also try to source a product from another manufacturer. You can also suggest any other options to the customer. They will often be more than happy to switch to another product.
Refuse to Process an Order
Imagine this. Your store has received an order. You rush to place the order with the producer immediately. Then you wait for the shipment to process so that you can inform the customer about the shipping status and provide the tracking code. The order confirmation doesn’t arrive.
How to handle: It takes up to 24 hours to process an order. Follow up immediately with the drop shipper or producer if you don’t hear back. Customers expect their orders to be processed within 24 hours. Your brand must be able to tell customers why an order hasn’t been processed in the given time and when it will happen.
Why? Because they might call you. This is usually the case if your products are expensive and a customer has just purchased from you. They have low trust in you and are putting your skills to the ultimate test by placing an order.
Send the wrong item to customer
This has not happened to me yet, but it’s something I know is a nightmare for many Ecommerce store owners so I am adding this issue to the list.
A customer who is shipped the wrong product to them is bad customer service. It leaves a negative impression, regardless of how good the customer is. No matter the circumstance, you are always the one responsible.
Drop shipping is a terrible business model. It doesn’t matter who made the mistake, it is you and your reputation that are affected.
The Best Method to Handle: Firstly, get to know the return policies of your drop shipper or producer. You should actually know these policies before you send your first product. You will then be able to direct the customer on how to handle a complaint.
It is also a great idea to give a customer a discount on a future order or to at least offer a token of your regret.
Send the wrong quantity
Similar to the problem described above, even though the product was shipped correctly, the quantity may be incorrect. This has happened to me a few times. This isn’t a problem if there are more items sent, but it can be a problem when the item isn’t what the customer ordered.
The Best Way to Handle It: Sometimes, you can actually stop this error from ever happening. Always check the invoice sent by drop shipping companies. They will usually send them before the goods leave the warehouse. If you see an error in the invoice, call them immediately and ask them to stop shipping the order.
However, if the order has been shipped already, you can proceed as in the previous issue.
The Billings Were Wrong
This is a problem that doesn’t affect the customer but is still very common.
The Best Way to Handle: Make sure you carefully review your invoice. This is especially true if you pay immediately with a credit card or don’t have a credit account with the producer. Although you’ll most likely get a credit from producer, your spending power will be limited for the month.
The shipment went to the wrong address / Orders got confused
Different producers may have different ways to handle orders. Some producers prefer that you email them, while others prefer that you order by phone. Even though email reduces the chance of spelling errors, it’s easy to make a mistake over the phone.
Orders may be sent to an address that isn’t there. Oder to another person (if the orders are mixed up).
The Best Way to Handle: You must have proof of the shipping address that you provided the drop shipper or producer. Shipping items costs money. Before you agree to pay any fees, you need to be certain who was responsible.
The item arrived damaged
This has fortunately never happened to me. However, I do know drop ship business owners who experienced it.
The Best Way to Handle this Problem: It is actually quite simple to fix. Most cases will be handled by the producer who will send a replacement or complete item. It is important to understand your producer’s warranty terms and conditions. While I have been fortunate to work with producers who offer a lifetime replacement guarantee, this might not be the case for you. You might want to check this out.
Bad Tracking Code
This is a minor issue, but it still needs to be addressed. Sometimes, the tracking code that you receive is invalid or it’s for a different package.
It is easy to see that the producer or drop shipper you work with issues hundreds if not thousands of tracking codes per day. It is easy to make a mistake with this volume.
The Best Method to Handle: Make sure to test your tracking codes before passing them on to customers. Simple.
Drop-shipping may sound easy. Drop-shipping is a business model that requires you to rely heavily on the producer of your products or the drop shipping company that they use to ship their goods. Mistakes can occur when you give up control of such an important aspect your business.