Can you make millions as a dropshipper?
Many experts position dropshipping as an easy business, but is dropshipping harder than you think?
Today, I want you to be able to answer this for yourself. The ads you see always portray an expert who claims that it is easy.
The problem with this is that not everyone has the same skills. So, while something is easy for them, it may not be easy for the rest of us. Or it is the other way around: I may have dropshipping experience and you don’t, so some things are easy for me.
We will talk about these things:
- You need to choose products that sell
- You need to build a store that works
- You need to make sales and do marketing
- You need to comply with the law
Let us breakdown what it takes to dropship. And then, we will have an objective answer to the question: Is dropshipping harder than you think?
You need to choose products that sell
Many people think that in dropshipping, you simply choose a product and you will make sales. Choosing a niche and the products to sell are the first two of the most difficult steps to master in dropshipping.
No, you do not just go to AliExpress and say, “this is a great toy, I will sell it!”
There is no magic formula to select a niche, but there are logical steps that make sense—steps that will reduce your failure rate.
Here are some examples:
- Demand – do you know if your chosen product has a demand? You will only know this if you dig deeper than your own personal desires. You need to know how many products were sold, which countries are buying, and how long this product has been out in the market. Look at what everyone likes, not just you 🙂
- Understanding – you cannot just sell drones if you want to. No, you need to understand how that industry works. If you have ever been to any physical store, you know that you can ask the retailer what a product does, what its limitations are, etc. you will need some type of product knowledge to fulfill this role!
As a dropshipper, you need to choose a product that has a demand, and it must be a product you understand. You cannot just rely on trends and numbers—your dropshipping success rate depends on how you select products that sell.
You need to build a store that works
Today, building a store is not as hard as it was. You no longer need to code, and you can use drag-and-drop tools to build your online store.
But it is not as easy as it seems. Here are the things you need to think about:
- User experience – after building your website, how does the customer perceive it? Is the site easy to navigate, and will customers find your products easily? How does your checkout process work, does it require so many steps?
- Layout – your home page is your landing page. If the product photos and collection images do not make sense, your website is not going to look credible.
You need to put a lot of thought on how you sequence the content of your website—should you add a testimonial or should you use a video that demonstrates your products? Do you follow marketing strategies where you put important information above the fold? (basically the top part of your webpage that the consumer sees first).
- Graphics – beautiful images and graphics do not make themselves. You either do it yourself, or you hire a freelancer to do it. The same thing goes with branding—you need to standardize the use of specific colors, borders, and fonts all throughout your website.
You see, successful dropshipping stores are those that project an image of professionalism and credibility. What happens almost all the time with novice dropshippers is that they stitch together random photos and sections on their website, the end result of which is an incoherent website that is difficult to use.
If it is your first time building a website, building a store could be a serious challenge for you. While you do not need to code or anything, you will still be staring at a blank piece of canvas—it is up to you to produce art on this canvas. If you are totally lost on your store design, why not just go look at a whole bunch of successful stores to get an idea 🙂
You need to make sales and do marketing
This is by far the most difficult aspect of dropshipping—making sales.
People always say that if you build it, they will come. This is not true. You can build as many websites as you want, but each of these is just a tiny speck of dust in the billions of web pages in the world.
Here are some things to ponder about:
- Awareness – how will people know who you are? You can advertise, post blogs, do blogger reach out, offer freebies—there are so many things that you can do. But at the end of the day, what works? There are so many things you can do to make people aware of who you are, but this leads to our next point: customer acquisition.
- Customer acquisition – this is the process where you acquire a sale or the process by which you convert cold traffic into a paying customer. After showing your product to a potential customer, what can you do to ensure that he takes action and makes a purchase?
To succeed in dropshipping, you need to learn how to find your target market. You need to do A/B split tests, and then you need to learn how to create a customer avatar. Marketing is more than just plastering ads on social networks—you need to create an ad copy that works.
You need to comply with the law
Is dropshipping legal in your country?
While the legality aspect is not as difficult as the others, it can have a massive impact on your business. For one, the tax you pay has an effect on your profit margin.
Here are some other things you need to know:
- Copyright – are you sure you are not violating copyright laws? You cannot just sell branded products—you need written documentation that you are an approved retailer, and you must only get your products for sale from an approved supplier or manufacturer.
- Taxes – you need to register your business, and this requirement depends on your country. If you don’t, your internal revenue system will catch up with you one day. The last thing you want is to pay a fine or worse, get jailed.
You need an accountant who will help you with your paperwork. You also need to educate yourself about your legal boundaries. Just because people are selling counterfeit goods does not mean you should do the same.
Dropshipping Can Be Hard if You Don’t Research 🙂
There is no business system in the world that is automatic. While many companies have created software programs that make things easier, the thought process that goes behind a business is what makes things difficult.
At the very least, we should be thankful that there are platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce that makes store-building intuitive, and that there are programs like Spocket and Oberlo that makes product importing and order fulfillment easy.
What we can do best is to use these tools and put them together to create a coherent and functional business.
So yes, dropshipping is harder than you think. It is not a walk in the park—building a store is easy, but making a profitable business out of it is what’s going to make you grit your teeth.