There’s a buzz around the topic of dropshipping. A model that presents opportunities for entrepreneurs who are into ecommerce, dropshipping entails that you run an online store without the hassle of stocking items. What’s not to love about it? You can sell a wide selection of products and start with a minimal investment. Moreover, you don’t need to handle the packing and shipping process.
However, dropshipping isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. As with business methods, it has its own share of challenges. Knowing the possible problems that may arise allows you to prepare ahead and succeed. What follows is a list of 5 dropshipping issues and strategies to get past them. Let’s begin.
1. Finding the right supplier
A dilemma that business owners new into dropshipping face is finding reputable wholesale companies. Nowadays, it’s not unlikely that you’ll come across fraudulent suppliers who want to make a quick buck. Watch out for fake suppliers who require ongoing fees and aggressively market their products to everyone, claiming that they have “wholesale prices.”
Start your search and brainstorm using dropshipping supplier directories. Supplier directories list out various companies you can choose from. Consider options such as Worldwidebrands.com and Salehoo.com. Make sure that a prospective supplier has knowledge in your chosen niche and is responsive to your concerns.
2. Out of stock items
Popular items easily run out and this poses the risk for a poor customer experience. When a customer orders and finds out that it’s not available, that creates a negative impression on your business. Despite the fact that you have no control over the availability of the items, customers won’t understand because they see only you – not the dropshipping supplier.
The most practical way to deal with the possibility of running out of stock is to partner with multiple suppliers with certain products that overlap. This way, if supplier X runs out of items, you can count on the availability of supplier Y. Another solution would be to arrange for a substitute item to be sent to the customer while keeping him updated.
3. Getting more dropshipping sales
There are many business owners who start off on the right foot – they chose the best dropshipping suppliers and were able to source profitable products. But when it comes to acquiring customers, marketing takes a backseat. To grow your sales, it’s important to leverage simple strategies to capture and convert your potential customers.
Most of the marketing techniques you’ll be using in dropshipping are similar to when you’re promoting any online business. For example, you can blog, engage in email marketing, publish an ebook, start a podcast, and use the best SEO practices. You just need to explore your options and find out what works for your business.
4. Dissatisfaction with a product
Your customer demands a money-back because he says that your product is bad. There are many reasons for this dissatisfaction. It may be that the customer had a different expectation or that the dropshipping supplier failed to provide a factual written product description.
Regardless of the reason, you as a business owner should apologize for the inconvenience and failure to meet your customer’s expectations. Make sure that your email also contains a few questions to elicit information as to why the product was “bad.” Knowing what part of the product a customer didn’t like helps you do something about it. This saves you the hassle of dealing with returns for the same reasons.
5. Complaints on social media
Social media has become a place for customers to express their joys and sentiments. The last thing a business wants is to face social media rants. Your reputation is at stake and you have no idea how to effectively deal with negative comments said publicly.
First of all, it’s important to respond to customer complaints every single time. By staying silent, you are giving out the impression that you care less. Moreover, potential customers who are reading reviews about your business will doubt your credibility. When you respond, acknowledge your mistake and do something to make the situation right.
In a business model such as dropshipping where you rely on a supplier to stock and deliver products on your behalf, problems can happen. Do these dropshipping challenges send you running for the hills? They shouldn’t – as long as you’re aware and prepare for them. We hope that our tips are able to help you get ahead, satisfy your customers, and gain more profits.