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The only way to succeed with dropshipping in 2019: put customer happiness first

Vera Smirnoff

The very setup that makes dropshipping so attractive - the fact that you do not need to hold inventory or handle shipping is what makes it so challenging when it comes to keeping up with customer expectations.

It is awesome and crazy at the same time just how easy it is to launch your own business online in 2019. Dropshipping has made it possible for merchants to run 6, 7 or even 8 figure ecommerce businesses without having to store inventory, pay for products up-front, or ship a single package themselves. So it is not a surprise that the number of ecommerce entrepreneurs who don’t touch, see or handle the goods they sell is growing rapidly.

Every year, thousands of hopeful entrepreneurs venture into the world of e-commerce. On Shopify there are over 600,000 active stores that sell over $82 billion worth of goods and services.

But as many aspiring dropshippers had to learn the hard way - managing a successful ecommerce business is anything but easy. In fact, only a small percent of dropshipping stores are successful in the long term.  While dropshipping may be a lot easier to launch than other types of business, getting sales, growing the business and keeping your customers happy is anything but simple.

Why do so many dropshipping businesses fail?

Competition, increasing advertising costs and rising customer expectations are all difficult challenges to overcome. Studies have shown that 90% of online businesses fail within the first 120 days of launching the operations. Other sources, put this number as high as 98%! This is a pretty scary statistic, isn’t it?

If you have a brand new online store, or are thinking of starting one, you will do everything in your power to be among the top 1% of ecommerce entrepreneurs that finds long-term success. What can you do to keep the odds in your favor?

If there was one advice for young entrepreneurs that I could give it would be this one - put your customers first.

The old and ineffective drop shipping model

While dropshipping makes it possible to manage your entire business from the comfort of your home, there are just so many things out of your control!

The exact setup that makes dropshipping so attractive - the fact that you do not need to hold inventory or handle shipping is what makes it so challenging when it comes to keeping up with customer expectations.

Even if you don’t handle the product, if there are problems with delays, damaged goods, or absolutely anything else, you are the one your customer will turn to, expecting you resolve the issue as soon as possible.  You are the one who has to deal with angry customers - not your manufacturer.

So when it comes to customer happiness, a lot of dropshippers are struggling to keep up with ever-growing customer expectations. Dropshippers often struggle with product related issues, such as:

As the popularity of online shopping grows, you can not afford to run a business that disregards customers. Low-quality goods, long delivery times and nonexistent customer service will quickly drive your business out of the game. But how are you supposed to address these issues when you don’t have anything to do with the product?

You can do more than you realize! Here are a few actionable strategies that you can implement today to ensure success of your store in the long term:

Maximize your customer happiness in 3 steps:

Choose local suppliers

Dropshippers cannot get away with long delivery times anymore. Spoiled for choice, consumers will not be satisfied waiting for over a week, let alone a month for a delivery. The key for a successful dropshipping business in 2019 is to work with vetted local suppliers who will ensure your orders reach on time and your customers are satisfied. By going local instead of shipping from overseas, you will be able to significantly shorten delivery times and as a result - make your customers happy.

And the great thing is - you don’t need to vet suppliers individually by yourself. Spocket has already done the work for you. You can easily import products at great discounts from verified US and EU suppliers directly into your Shopify store in just a couple of clicks.

Collect feedback and improve your products

What is the first thing your customers check when they are interested in your product? They check the reviews. When it comes to buying things online – trust is everything, and nothing builds trust as effectively as social proof in the form of reviews and testimonials.

But gathering reviews is not only about a boosting your conversions - it is also about striving to be better. If you get consistent complaints about a specific product or delays from a specific supplier - you can easily act on this feedback and improve your business. In the end, it’s how you handle negative reviews and complaints that makes all the difference.

Reward loyal customers with discounts

People like to be appreciated. That is why it is essential to reward your customers for their loyalty. There are many ways to do that, but a lot of them revolve around email. A good starting point is to think about the customer journey in terms of automation and identify key points that you should be sending loyalty discounts automatically. Another great way to get repeat business from happy customers is to give discounts to those of your customers who have left a review. According to our data at Loox, around one third of happy customers will redeem the discount you provide.

If you have a product that people love, I highly recommend Loox.

Spocket + Loox

Having an awesome product that people love and enjoy is the first and necessary step for keeping your customers happy. That is where Spocket comes in - with its network of professional, domestic-based suppliers and vetted high-quality goods, you can be sure that your customers are happy with the products they receive.  Not only the products are awesome, and domestic suppliers ensure short shipping times.

And the great thing about happy customers? They love to share their experiences! By gathering reviews with photos from your customers you will gain credibility, trust and ensure the long-term success of your dropshipping business. By combining Loox and Spocket you will be flooded with positive reviews and generate tons of sales for your store.

Ready to get started? Learn more about how to user Loox and Spocket together for great results!

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Vera Smirnoff

Vera is the marketing director at Loox, the photo review app that allows you to build social proof and boost your business!

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