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Some People Make These Critical Drop Shipping Mistakes. Here’s How You Can Avoid Them

By Olga L.

How to avoid critical drop shipping mistakes

Running a drop shipping store is engaging and entertaining.

While bringing you an impressive profit, this business is relatively easy to manage – still, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing much to improve and enhance now and then!

If you browse the Web, you’ll see that it’s quite a common cry for help: “I just got a drop shipping store and I see no sales. What’s wrong?

What’s wrong, indeed? Let’s take a look at the most common drop shipping mistakes that store owners make.

Table Of Contents

1. Doing nothing

Oh, that’s the easiest way out, right? It sounds really tempting to build or to buy a webstore, and to simply wait until someone stumbles upon it, gets interested, and makes a purchase. Passive income, yay!

In the real world, it doesn’t always happen.

No promotion means no sales, and no sales means no profit.

If no money and effort is invested into the drop shipping store promotion, it will just stay there dead as a rock – a professionally developed, smoothly working, beautifully designed, but completely unused website that brings no income.

That’s exactly what happened to Alex – after he got a drop shipping store, he just put it aside. In a month, though, he realized it’s time to start doing something. Trying an ever-changing mix of promotional techniques, he gained an impressive audience of loyal customers and, as the result, sold one of his stores for a breathtaking profit.

2. Getting a too broad niche

To be honest, we’ve all been here. Choosing the perfect drop shipping niche is not easy at all.

Even the successful drop shippers who have a huge experience in the field definitely had troubles with the niche choice at some point of their business journey. The case of Mousslim is a shining example – even though his drop shipping business brings him thousands of dollars every month, his very first niche was a really bad choice. That’s why it’s vital to deeply know the niche and to be genuinely interested in it!

The saddest drop shipping mistake that can be made at this point is going for a VERY broad niche.

Let’s take ‘Clothes’, for example. If ‘Clothes’ is the niche AND the main keyword, the store owner is definitely going to have a bad time. No doubts, he (or she) will find thousands of matching items on AliExpress, and will gladly upload them on the website. Then what? What to do next?

From the point of view of SEO optimization, the ‘Clothes’ niche is hopeless. An extreme competition, a vague keyword – none of this is good for a webstore. Even carefully targeted Instagram ads won’t help much.

Speaking of targeting, let’s go to the next paragraph.

3. Having no knowledge about the target audience

Customers are the driving force of any online store growth.

That’s why it’s absolutely vital to know as much about them as possible! A familiar customer segment means a lot for the success of the whole business.

A serious drop shipping mistake that can be made on this stage is going with blind guesses.

Knowing nothing about their customers, drop shipping store owners don’t rely on any researches, statistical data from their own stores, or actual clients’ feedback. They have some general idea about the people who might be interested in their offers, and they just don’t go any further.

It leads to absolutely weird marketing decisions that take lots of time, money, and energy, but bring little to no results.

4. Choosing poor marketing tactics

If drop shipping store owners know nothing about their customers and don’t understand the market (this is why it’s so important to be passionate about the chosen niche!), strange things start happening.

  • Store is promoted to everyone. The marketer does nothing to narrow down the target audience and just goes through Web shouting about the store. Lots of time and energy (and money) is invested into people who don’t have the slightest relation to the store and show no interest towards the offers.
  • Ads are placed on unsuitable channels. The marketer makes no research and randomly promotes the offers through all the media imaginable. As you can guess, the efforts are mostly put into absolutely fruitless channels that bring no return.
  • Store is promoted through 1-2 channels only. The marketer relies on a few channels and uses them over and over again, not willing to try anything else. It’s good if these channels work well; but what if other ones work even better?
  • No tests are performed. To see if a new channel will be beneficial for a drop shipping store promotion, it is necessary to try it several times with different settings, different audience segments, and different product categories. If there are no tests, it’s impossible to say which channel works the best for specific audiences and items.

5. Using no automatic promotion tools

There’s actually no wonder why drop shippers stick to a few randomly selected promotion channels and rarely use anything extra.

There are only 24 hours in a day.

Even if there is any interest towards the use of some new and awesome strategies and techniques, there simply might be no time for it.

Automated solutions can do the trick; the most useful of them, for example, automatically promote a store in social networks using the owner’s settings and preferences. Unfortunately, such solutions are commonly ignored.

6. Neglecting SEO

In our experience, there are some people who hardly ever pay attention to search engine optimization.

That’s really sad because SEO constantly works for a store in the long term, even if the results don’t seem to be immediate.

Ideally, SEO should work for the benefit of the webstore since the very moment of the store launch.

In reality, it commonly turns out that store owners don’t even do a keyword research at the planning stage, to say nothing about further product pages optimization and so on.

7. Learning no lessons

And this is the most serious drop shipping mistake a store owner can make.

All of our first business steps are shaky – it’s impossible to be 100% confident about things we never tried before.

All the people who nowadays run highly profitable drop shipping stores had some difficulties throughout their way. It’s absolutely fine to have no knowledge about something; it’s not that fine to keep staying unaware of important things.

An awesome feature of e-commerce in the whole and drop shipping in particular is the possibility to learn from one’s experience and mistakes.

Monitoring the store performance, gathering the clients’ feedback, reading guides and watching tutorials – all these and many other actions help the business grow and prosper.


All the experiments, tests, trials and discoveries are the drivers of a webstore growth. If Tony Hsieh found the way to grow a multibillion-dollar e-commerce empire out of a simple drop shipping store, you surely can, too!

By Olga L.
Olga is a Copywriting Director at AliDropship. She works on guides, tutorials, and other educational materials to help you start and run your dropshipping business with ease.
Josh August 25, 2017 17:57:26

Mistake # 8 – Using only AliExpress as your supplier. Millions of local suppliers in the back door.

    Alex August 29, 2017 9:07:32

    Not all suppliers want to drop ship. Big problem there.

      yaros August 29, 2017 9:15:52

      For our 2+ years experience of dropshipping with AliExpress, I have never heard about any AliExpress seller who does not want to sell you a product:) It does not matter at all for them if you dropship or not! You are buying from AliExpress as a regular customer but gives your client’s address for shipping. That’s all.

ANDREW GIOWEN August 27, 2017 10:48:43

I appreciate the advice.

Dave September 1, 2017 16:19:04

I quite SEO, takes way too much time and money to have any decent results

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