We’ve been talking a lot on our blog about how easy it can be to start a dropshipping business. And we don’t think it can be easier than now to own an online store. You don’t need a ton of cash, physical stock or warehouses, an actual store or many employees to start selling online.
You just need time to find the right niche for your business, set up an ecommerce site, find the right supplier or manufacturer and then find ways to get your products in front of your audience so you can start selling.
I mean how awesome does this sound?
And yet, despite being so easy and simple to run a dropshipping business, and it truly is, there are many that fail. Why? Well, mostly because they make a few basic mistakes that set them from the start on the wrong path.
So, let’s break down some of the most common mistakes you need to avoid when setting up your dropshipping store.
1. The wrong supplier
We think finding the right supplier is just as important as finding the best products to sell. How reliable your supplier is has a huge impact on the success of your store. From the quality of your products to the long or short delivery times, all of these factors come directly from your supplier.
So pay extra attention to this step when starting a dropshipping business. Check which supplier is the most reliable and can offer the highest quality possible. You can do your research and check what reviews they have from other dropshippers like you. If you want to be extra careful, you can even place a test order, that way you can see for yourself how they handle orders, how the product actually feels and looks, how’s the delivery process, or if they are available when you have a question.
2. Don’t put all your trust in a single supplier
Now, as we just said above, it’s essential to choose a reliable supplier that can tick all boxes but don’t choose just one. You need to have a backup option in case your first choice runs out of stock, for example. Or worse, what happens if your preferred supplier goes out of business all of a sudden?
That’s why we recommend not putting all your trust in one supplier, pick at least one more if you have the opportunity. Again, a platform like AppScenic is just what you need, as it has multiple top suppliers that provide the same product category.
Having more than one supplier for your online store and knowing that you always have your products in stock and delivered in time also means you can finally put all your efforts into other areas of your business, like advertising or market research.
3. Shipping fees
Another mistake many beginners can fall into is not checking the actual shipping fees when choosing the suppliers or the Marketplace.
So, the first step before adding any information about the shipping on your website is to check what the suppliers offer, how fast they can deliver and what their shipping fees are.
Only then can you add all these fees to your website and communicate them as clearly as possible to your customers. We recommend having the shipping fees in your store even if they are quite high because it’s worse when the customers only find out about them when they pick up their order. Surprise shipping costs will not make a customer happy and they will probably be so angry that they won’t even order again from your store and even give you a negative review.
Keep your shipping costs from the beginning, and make it easy for them to calculate how much they have to pay extra once they make the order. Some retailers use the same rate for a certain region and give free shipping only after a certain threshold is reached. Others even implemented a “shipping calculator” tool to make all this information clear for their customers.
We highly recommend having a free shipping option too, as there are many surveys out there stating that 90% of consumers said free shipping was the No. 1 incentive when asked what would make them shop online more often.
4. Order tracking
Not caring about what happens after your customers placed an order it’s one of the biggest mistakes you can make as an ecommerce owner.
Customers want to know where their order is and when it will get to their address. So, in our opinion, order tracking is an essential tool for your online store.
Providing your customers a tracking number for their order will reassure them that your business is serious and they will in fact get their product as promised. Be sure to choose a supplier that can offer an easy-to-use order tracking system.
AppScenic is again the answer for that, as our App does all of this for you, including importing tracking numbers from the suppliers to your store automatically.
What you need to do on your side is to set up some automatic email updates that will let your customers know when the order is confirmed, shipped and delivered.
5. No clear return policy
Having a clear return policy in place will give your customers the reassurance they need when they decide if they should purchase an item for your store. And this is especially true for clothing and fashion accessories.
So, to make sure the return process will go smoothly, you need a supplier that you can trust. Again, it all comes down to the supplier you choose. Make sure to check all these when you decide on the supplier.
Your suppliers should have a clear and easy return process and can reply fast to your customer questions (about a refund or a replacement item). Also, we recommend keeping an eye on the whole process so you can be sure your customers are refunded or get their replacements in a short period of time.
A great return policy can become an advantage for your store in the long term, as it is well known that customers will prefer stores that make it easy for them to return a jacket than other stores where the whole process is too difficult.
6. Not paying attention to customer reviews or complaints
Another huge mistake is to ignore your customers’ concerns, thinking that has nothing to do with you. It’s true that suppliers are the ones that store and ship the products, but if one item gets damaged or lost, you will be the one to blame in the face of your customers.
Remember that you’re the face of your brand or store, not the supplier, and your customers will turn to you for all their problems and questions. As such, you need to be there for them and find solutions to their issues as fast as possible.
So, always pay attention to their reviews and requirements. When and if a customer sends you a request make sure you can reach out to your supplier so that they can solve it fast.
To sum up, yes, dropshipping done right can be a great business model for your online store. If you choose the best suppliers and a marketplace like AppScenic that can automate everything, you will definitely stay away from these basic mistakes.
Pay extra attention when you choose your suppliers and get access to the right dropshipping platform, so that right from the start, you will be able to put together one of the best dropshipping and ecommerce businesses possible.
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