3 Common Pitfalls When Starting a Dropshipping Business (And How to Avoid Them)

Earlier this year, PwC, a global leadership company that provides services to hundreds of Fortune Global 500 firms as well as hundreds of thousands of other companies, released their Total Retail Survey 2017. This survey crossed six continents and included more than 24,000 respondents and provided valuable information to retailers across the world.

For dropshippers specifically, the results point to several areas where these types of businesses may be falling short. Three stood out the most.





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#1: Not Being Mobile Friendly

This survey found that 11 percent of all shoppers buy items weekly off their mobile devices, with three percent saying that they make purchases daily. An additional 38 percent admitted to comparing prices amongst competitors on mobile devices, with 44 percent indicating that they also use them to research products.

Though these numbers suggest that mobile purchasing is on the rise, 26 percent of those surveyed reported that they felt that mobile sites “are simply not easy to use.” This means that if you want to succeed in ecommerce in the years ahead, being mobile-friendly is an absolute must.





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#2: Not Using Data to Better Identify Customers

Succeeding in any type of business requires that you know your customers, sometimes better than they know themselves. Yet, this study revealed that 39 percent of retail businesses are having a difficult time analyzing the data they’ve collected in a way that gives them greater insight into their customer base.

The lesson learned here is that any data collected on your site really needs to tell you something useful about your customers. If it doesn’t, then it really is of no value.





#3: Not Leveraging Your Assets

It can be extremely difficult to compete against ecommerce giants like Amazon. So, if that’s what you’re trying to do with your dropshipping business, you may be struggling more than you need to be. How do you overcome this common pitfall? You leverage your assets.

PwC suggests that one way to do this is to sell unique or exclusive merchandise that your customer cannot get just anywhere. Another option is to create a loyalty program where your customers earn better rewards the more they do business with you.





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Additional Ways to Create a Stronger Dropshipping Business

Though these types of pitfalls can trip up even the most well-intentioned dropshipping-based entrepreneur, there are many additional things you can to keep from gaining business momentum. Let’s go into a few of them now.

  • Create a system. In business, a lot of situations (a.k.a. problems) will be thrown your way. Though each one has the possibility of derailing you, if you have a system in place, one which is designed to deal with a number of potential scenarios, the more likely it is that these cases will be bumps in the road versus actual STOP signs. When creating a dropshipping business specifically, this means creating systems for orders, returns, cancellations, and other common areas of customer service related to product transactions.





  • Check out your competition. While some people suggest that you should check out your competition so that you can find ways to do things better, the reality is that sometimes seeing what our competitors are doing can serve as great inspiration when creating our own business. So, take a look at online stores that have figured out dropshipping and ecommerce. Notice what they do to create a stellar customer experience and figure out how to incorporate those same qualities and characteristics into your dropshipping business.





  • Learn from someone who has already mastered ecommerce. The more you understand what it takes to run a successful ecommerce business, the better you will be. An effective way to achieve this goal is to read guides that share tips and tricks for starting ecommerce businesses. Learn from those who have traveled this road before you so you don’t make the same mistakes they did. This alone can save you a lot of time and frustration.





Dropshipping can be tricky, but it can also be extremely successful. Avoid these common pitfalls, create a system, check out your competition, and learn from someone who has already mastered ecommerce, and you’ll be well on your way to setting up an ecommerce business that grows stronger every year.