A common question people ask is how long they should keep dropshipping a product if it does not sell.
For beginners, this can be difficult to tell because it requires some amount of intuition and experience.
However, one thing is for sure. When a dropshipping product does not sell, there must be something wrong.
When a dropshipping product does not sell, it's crucial to try and find out why it does not sell. Based on this, you can decide to stop selling it or keep it alive for a few more days or weeks.
In this article, we will try to highlight some of the possible causes why your product is not selling. Once you know why your product is not selling, the decision of whether or not to keep selling it will become a whole lot easier!
What should you do if your dropshipping product is not selling?
If your dropshipping product is not selling, you have got a problem.
Imagine you are spending a lot of money on your store and marketing. You are creating video ads and advertise them on a platform like Facebook Ads, but you don't see any returns because no one is buying your product.
So, what should you do if your dropshipping product is not selling?
Well, what do you usually do when you have got a problem?
You try to find the cause of the problem, and then you try to find a solution for it, right?
That's exactly what we will try doing today. If you can find the cause of the problem, you can try solving it!
If your dropshipping product is not selling, you should find out why that is the case. There may be several reasons why your product is not selling. It can be your target audience, pricing, store design, or the product itself.
Today, we will help you find the reason why your product is not selling and help you solve it!
4 Main causes why your product is not selling
You may think that there could be thousands of reasons why your product is not selling.
While that could be true, almost all reasons can be grouped into four leading causes. These will be covered here!
The causes originate from the ecommerce purchase funnel:
This is a simple overview of the steps a customer goes through from the moment he sees the product until he purchases it.
It is pretty easy to follow. Here is how it goes:
- Awareness: When a customer becomes aware of your product (often after seeing an ad of yours).
- View content: When a customer takes a look at your product page.
- Add to cart: After the customer clicks the “Add To Cart” button.
- Initiate checkout: After the customer clicks on “Buy Now” in the cart.
- Purchase: After the customer filled in the whole checkout and purchases the product.
You will often find a step in the funnel with a significant dropoff in customers by looking at your analytics. For example, if you find that many people are adding your product to their carts, but few of them actually initiate the checkout!
So, let's check out the four main causes of significant dropoffs in the ecommerce purchase funnel.
1. You are not doing the marketing correctly
From search engine optimization to social media marketing, there are many ways to do marketing for a dropshipping store.
If something isn't right with your store's marketing, you will generally see a considerable dropoff from the awareness stage to the view content stage in the ecommerce purchase funnel.
Another option is that you aren't reaching any people at all, which means there is no one in the awareness stage to start with.
To sell products, every dropshipping store needs to do some marketing to attract customers. Just because your domain is live doesn't mean that customers will find your store!
There are 12-24 million online stores in the world, but only around 650,000 of them generate more than $1,000 in annual sales.Source
With so many marketing options, it's essential to know which method suits your product best. Each marketing method has its pros and cons, and knowing them can help you pick the right one for your company.
For example, influencer marketing is great if you have a smaller budget but a lot of free time, and Facebooks Ads work very well for products that solve a problem or have a “wow factor”.
If you’re looking for an easy-to-understand infographic on how to pick the proper marketing method for your dropshipping store, check this out here:
Using the correct marketing method is only one side of the story. If you noticed that you are reaching many people with your ads, but few of them click the link to your product page, you may be targeting the wrong audience.
Before starting to market your product, you should have a good understanding of your ideal customer, also known as your buyer persona.
Here are some questions that fit with identifying a buyer persona:
For online stores, essential information to know about your ideal customer is their personal info, value & fears, negative info, and their interests!
Tip: Having trouble identifying your ideal customer's age, gender, hobbies, interests, and so forth? If so, learn to develop a buyer persona here!
When knowing this information, targeting people who are most likely to purchase your product will become a whole lot easier.
For example, when promoting your store using Facebook Ads interest targeting, you will be able to enter your buyer persona's interests directly into your ad campaign!
After perfecting your marketing efforts, a good amount of people should enter the awareness stage of your purchase funnel, and a reasonable percentage of those people should click the link to go to your product page.
2. Something is wrong with your store's design
After sorting out your marketing, you should have enough people looking at your product page.
If you still aren't getting any sales, something may be wrong with your store's design that is keeping customers from progressing the purchase funnel.
To find out what is wrong, looking at your store from a customer's perspective can be helpful:
- Does your product look like a great deal?
- Does your store look trustworthy?
- Are the steps needed to purchase the product clear?
If you are having difficulties looking at your store from a customer's perspective, you could ask friends and family to check out your store and give you any points that you could improve.
There are many possibilities for things that could withhold your visitors from buying your product.
You will find many causes for it in our article covering the most common Shopify store mistakes, but we will also cover some of the most important ones next:
Missing the standard ecommerce store pages
Remember, when people are shopping at your online store, they:
- Can’t try out the product in real life before purchasing.
- Have to give their payment info to a website they don’t know very well yet.
- Have to wait for a few days before the product gets delivered.
This is one of the reasons why trust is so important for an online store.
There are several ways to increase your visitor's trust, and one of them is adding the ten standard pages for an online store.
These include pages like a refund policy, a shipping policy, and the FAQs page.
Optimizing your theme for desktop users
Often, people are designing and configuring their dropshipping store from a desktop user's perspective.
Unfortunately, this often leads to instances where your store is displayed differently than how you designed it for mobile users.
And, that isn't good, since mobile users will likely be your most common visitors!
In 2021, mobile users already take up 72.9% of total ecommerce sales:
Not using the right payment gateways
Another reason why your dropship products are not selling could be related to your payment gateways.
First of all, you should do a test order for your store to ensure that all of your payment gateways work correctly.
To do this, you can refer to Shopify’s manual, which will perfectly explain how to do this in different ways.
It's also possible that your payment gateways work, but you aren't offering your audience's most preferred payment options.
To learn all about this, check out our article about the seven best payment gateways for online stores to learn more!
Not configuring the shipping costs the right way
The shipping and delivery settings can be complex to set up for some dropshipping stores.
If you are using Shopify, you may have to deal with questions like:
- How do I set up the shipping rates?
- Do I need to create new custom shipping rates?
- Do I need to configure the “Packages” and “Packing slips” settings?
- How do the shipping zones work?
There are many settings, so it's easy to make a mistake here.
For example, when the shipping zones aren’t correctly configured, people from some countries might not be able to purchase products on your Shopify store.
3. Your pricing strategy does not work
If you have perfected your store's marketing and design, your chances of selling a product will vastly increase.
Many people should be getting their first sales by now, but if that's still not the case for you, your product's price may be too high.
When choosing a selling price for your product, picking a price based on your feelings is not the way of doing it. It would be best if you considered things like product costs, taxes, and psychology.
A pricing strategy will help you to set an attractive selling price and maximize profits.
To learn more about using a pricing strategy, check out our in-depth guide on how to price your products!
4. Your product is not suited for dropshipping
If the main causes I listed above are not the reasons why your product isn't selling, then there is only one possibility left, you aren't selling a winning dropshipping product.
Sometimes, products lack the characteristics they need to be sold profitably on a dropshipping store.
Often, winning products solve a problem, have a “wow factor”, have good profit margins, and/or are not easily available in local stores.
If your product lacks these characteristics, don’t worry, it’s okay to step away from a product and move on to another one. (Don’t get “married” to your product!)
In other words, you should stop dropshipping the product at this point if it still doesn't sell. You will have more chance of succeeding by testing new products than marrying one product and trying to make it work for too long.
Before picking your next product, it's crucial to learn how a winning product looks. Also, take a look at some winning product examples for inspiration!
With this knowledge and previous experience, you will have a much better chance of succeeding with your next dropshipping store!
5 Tips to get your first dropshipping sale
To get your first dropshipping sale, many things will have to be set up correctly.
You will have to find a combination of ads, descriptions, images, colors, price, and much more that will make your visitors think, “I want to get that product!”.
Once you start getting your first sales, getting an extra one becomes much easier since you will already have everything set up correctly.
So, if you are struggling with getting your first dropshipping sale, let me give you some tips!
1. Start with the right mindset
If you are just starting with dropshipping, you might have the idea that it's a simple way to earn a good amount of money on the side.
This idea is often spread into the world by “dropshipping gurus”, who try to sell their online course by making dropshipping look like a way to get rich quickly.
Unfortunately, dropshipping is not a way to get rich quickly. There are some things that dropshipping gurus don't tell you as a beginner.
One of those is that dropshipping is a real business. Generating profits requires consistent and hard work.
Starting a dropshipping business with this mindset makes you much more likely to continue working on it in tough times and succeed.
Be prepared that getting your first dropshipping sale may be harder than you thought.
Expect that all your work will seem to be done for nothing at times, but keep on going, and you will see that your first dropshipping sale will come!
To learn more about having the right mindset when creating a dropshipping business, check out this article.
2. Start a blog
Have you already thought about starting a blog on your dropshipping store? Probably not.
In some cases, starting a blog can be the reason for you to get your first dropshipping sale! A blog is basically another way for your customers to find your store.
Writing a blog will also improve your store's SEO, which means it will be easier for people to find your products on Google.
The best topics for articles on your blog will be related to your store's niche.
For example, I’d Hike That is a hiking store using print on demand to dropship their collection of apparel, hats, stickers, and accessories. So, in their blog, they write all kinds of articles that could be interesting to hikers!
3. Make your store look trustworthy
I already mentioned this one a bit, but it is vital!
People may like your product, but if you want them to purchase it, you should make sure they trust your store!
If something is wrong with your store that makes people think you are not a genuine store, you won't get your first dropshipping sale.
For example, you should never copy a product description directly from AliExpress. Would you trust a product description like the one below?
Try to look at other dropshipping stores and see how they made their store look trustworthy. It can help you to do the same!
4. Try to optimize your conversion rate
Giving your dropshipping store some extra love can make the difference between an abandoned checkout and your first dropshipping sale!
You can optimize your store's conversion rate by making sure you have things like:
5. Organize a giveaway
Organizing a giveaway can be a great way to get some extra sales. Not only that, but it can also increase the trust and awareness around your brand!
Everyone loves free products, and many people will have no problems whatsoever doing a small task like sharing your post for a chance to win free stuff.
When doing a giveaway, you might need to make some costs for the giveaway product costs, but you will get your product in front of hundreds of new potential customers!
Tip: If you liked these tips, check out this article for ten more tips that will help you get your first dropshipping sale!
What should you do if your product still doesn't sell?
After trying to find a cause for why your product isn’t selling, there are two outcomes.
The first possibility is that you found that the problem lies in your product. It may have too low of a profit margin, it may be commonly available in local stores, or there are other reasons why people aren’t tempted to buy it from your store.
If this is the case, you can stop dropshipping it and focus your efforts on finding a better product.
The second possibility is that you tried to find the cause, but either couldn't find it or didn't manage to fix it. In this case, I recommend trying to dropship your product for at least another week.
Sometimes, dropshipping sales are really inconsistent, which is why you may see poor sales in one week and good sales in the following week. If your product still isn't selling after giving it a few more days, it’s safe to say that you should stop dropshipping it and move over to a different product.
A common dropshipping mistake is “marrying a product”.
This means that you are trying far too hard to try and make a particular dropshipping product work, while in reality, it won't sell whatever you do. In this case, it's better to find a different product and try selling that one instead!
If you're interested now in learning how to choose the right dropshipping product for your store, then check out this article here.
Plus, you should check out this article here to learn what to do if you want to start over in a different niche!
I hope this article gave you new insights into the possible causes that may lead to poor sales.
By doing some troubleshooting, you should be able to identify your hurdles.
Once you have done that, you can start thinking about the next steps.
However, don’t be afraid to move on to a different product instead.
Yes, it will be a bummer that you have put in all this work for (seemingly) nothing, but remember that you have learned so many new things in the process!
You will be able to apply that new knowledge to your next dropshipping store and make it a success!
If you have any questions left, don’t be afraid of asking them in the comments.
Good luck with your dropshipping venture!