There is a recent upheaval about drop shipping being dead and oversaturated. In this article, we debunk this statement and explain why and how it is true or not.
You might have already realized the growing number of articles and social media posts about the drop shipping business being full and not worthy of creating new stores. Lots of people talk about niches that are impossible to make sales in. But is this really true or this is only a hoax created by narrow- and mono-minded people? Let’s take a look at why online retailing became more difficult, harder to start, how it affects the market and the solution to overcome it.
What makes it more difficult?
We will elaborate on each cause of this phenomenon one by one in this section.
With the technological advancement, more and more people have access to the foundational requirements of establishing an online store. What is needed for it in a nutshell? Electricity, Internet connection, laptop or PC, subscription for an e-commerce platform or hosting company, domain registration, and a great idea. As these services most of the time have a worldwide reach, people from all segments of the world are able to create an online business. This development is a double-edged sword. While it provides greater opportunities for people and contributes to the improvement of the third-world countries, from the standpoint of an online retailer it makes the drop shipping field harder to penetrate.
Same strategy over and over again
In many of our previous articles, we emphasized the importance of a business strategy. Yes, it is true that you cannot successfully run a business without a master plan about how you will get and engage your prospect. Although you need to be creative. Learning from paid courses and videos from video sharing sites will only teach you the basic and most obvious approaches. If all those newbies who enter the market follow the same pattern, there is no way they will succeed. The strategy behind these stores is the same, which gives the old, regular and habitual experience for shoppers. You need to think outside of the box in order to catch their attention. Don’t stick to years old marketing and business strategies and don’t believe naively that every advice of the “gurus” will work out for you. What they do basically is just to repeat the method that worked out for them and sell the same idea to numerous people without minimal variation. Don’t fall for this trap and get off the beaten track.
Struggles with product sourcing
As the market seems to be more and more full, people start to look for various product resources. However, many of them are still afraid to break their connections with marketplaces. The reason for this is that suppliers usually require real contracts and sometimes they only partner with registered companies. This approach narrows the target market of real suppliers because only a small amount of entrepreneurs are ready to take a leap and quit their 9-5 jobs for a raw and risky business. Because of this, they decide to work with marketplaces, but those products are all over the internet. They will have a very very hard time to position and to brand their business and to distinguish it from all those thousands who sell the same items.
Not to mention the fact that from marketplaces the quality of the products is unexpected, sometimes they do not fit the product description. Shipping time takes forever, taking much away from the customer experience. Moreover, there is a lack of quality support or with broken English, refunds take a lot of time or sometimes it is not even viable. Most sellers are unprofessional because they do not need high business skills to market cheap products. All things considered, this is a vicious cycle and people really need to get away from familiar methods, because it just doesn’t work anymore. There is no huge success without sacrifice and a little bit of a risk-taking.
I honestly believe that this factor has been the cause of years long Shopify and guru marketing. People from all around the world saw articles, advertisements and social media posts about how to get wealthy within weeks. They clicked and jumped on every new possibility that offered them better living standards and a freelance life. And why wouldn’t they? I mean who doesn’t dream of getting rich with minimal efforts? Social media was full of screenshots from the Shopify store admin with 6 figure profit generated within 2 and 3 weeks, with no capital investment. Those entrepreneurs who entered this opportunity early on had very high chances to be this successful because the competition was still low.
I feel like Shopify and all of its advocates were rolling this marketing catch so forcefully ahead of them even when it was not feasible anymore. Now, with this bubble being burst, people finally see the unveiled truth. It is not possible to earn millions or thousands or even hundreds of dollars within a few weeks with no work. Today 80% of social media posts are about high store traffic but without sale, not making any profit for months, and people looking for alternatives to Shopify. Well, the struggle is real. This is the outcome of years long false marketing strategy, getting people’s hopes up then letting them down when they are ready to start drop shipping.
Where is the egress from all this mess?
What is the solution?
Even though it might seem an impossible situation to create a drop shipping business in these circumstances, it is not true. It is harder than before, and requires more persistence, outside of the box thinking and more creativity, but still possible. Break your business away from the binding threads of regular processes. Look beyond the familiar solutions and the offerings of the gurus. Don’t use Facebook and IG marketing and influencers who consume your money for nothing. Do great SEO, use interactive advertisements, for instance with Wyng, write guest articles for other sites with backlinks to your store. Most of all, use suppliers instead of marketplaces. This way you can make sure about having high-quality products, which are unique and unsaturated. Choose a slight variation of drop shipping, remote warehousing, to check the products you sell and to deliver better buyer experience to your customers. It also helps you to shorten the shipping time, as it is recommended to work with local suppliers. Furthermore, if you work with more suppliers and one of your customers’ orders from more, you can make sure that all of the items ordered by the buyer will arrive in one parcel.
It is painful, but yes, invest money and time in it. Try to forget the fake marketing messages about the process saying that only a couple of hours per day are enough. You will need to put great efforts in your business to launch and to maintain it. Yes, you need to put money in it. Just think about the Shopify subscription, the theme, the store setup, the marketing, the products, the supplier etc. All the messages you heard before about its easiness and cheapness are wrong. Of course, you can go on with the same methods and approaches, following the herd of thousands of drop shippers, but as you see, eventually many of them fail. If all of these made you wonder whether Shopify is the right fit for you, check this article to contemplate about its worthiness.
Don’t think that hustling during the evenings after your work will suffice. Neither will you be able to sleep enough, nor open a fully-functional store. You may open it half done, but what is the point if it won’t generate revenue? We know that these sentences and statements are the total opposite of the mainstream messages channeled through other media platforms. It depends only on you whether you want to take our advice or not. The most important thing is that you should never give up on your dreams and take a little bit of a risk to implement them. Go further than others.
Guest-blogger at Syncee. Professional in SaaS & startup marketing, social media, and e-commerce. Passionately seeks new business opportunities, executes marketing campaigns and always ready to write new articles on the industry.