[EXPERIENCE]Our tough dropshipping journey

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Doing with the dropshipping is extremely hard than you imagine.

Hi everybody:

I'm HatterTaiser

Since October 2017, my team and I discovered that, many sellers from Amazon and Aliexpress, in addition to setting up shop on these platforms, more and more of them start to use Shopify to build their own online store.

As we all know, on the case of Shopify, whether selecting products, traffic acquisition or sales conversion is much more difficult than that on Amazon or Aliexpress.

However, with the traffic saturation of the major platforms, not only their rules become more stringent, and the amount of commission also increasing continuously.

When it becomes more and more difficult to find a breakthrough point for our team,I led the team starting the tour of Shopify in March 2018 to see if we can try this out.

E-commerce is a long chain business, probably because we still keep the old e-commerce thinking, so we are very cautious when making any decisions.

The result is that although we've been used third-party tool such as Shopify, it still takes us almost one month before the website can be formally launched

What is more?
We stepped into uncountable traps in the next 4 months.
Finally, at the end of June, we made our first $100 thousand revenue.

Which worth mentioning is that after testing our advantage product of Amazon at FaceBook, we found that it's not a good idea to start from them.
In able to accomplish this task, we finally become one so-called " Dropshipper "

As a result by now, looks like we might have found some skills and methods, but when going through this experience, I have to admit there are countless mistakes.

In order to communicate with more online store owners.
(ESPECIALLY for some Shopify experts, we really hope to hear opinions from you)
I'll try to share some experience in this thread and keep updating, regarding what we exactly did in.

1.Category and Niche Product selection

2.Facebook ADs testing

3.Things we've done to improve our store data.

On one hand, I was hoping to help newcomers to avoid some basic traps
(I'm not going to sell any course in this thread)
On the other hand, I was expecting to communicate and exchange opinions with the senior experts in this industry, in the meantime find out our deficiencies.
(I will reply to each comment, if you can come up with some valuable information, it will be very grateful)
#dropshipping #experienceour #journey #tough
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  • Profile picture of the author erin31
    It's great this thread because I also want to start doing dropshipping business.
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  • Profile picture of the author Hatter Taiser
    UPDATE 1

    Same as many Dropshippers
    When we first decided to start this business, we also faced two extremely important and headache problems:

    1. Where to sell?
    2. What to sell?

    Speaking of this, I have to admit that our team spent almost 3 weeks to collect data and debating these two problems,
    Because of standing from my own e-commerce experience,The difficulty of starting a new e-commerce project, is as much as starting a company in Silicon Valley with some awesome idea.

    You will face not less than 100 decisions from 0-1 stage.
    These decisions may include some macro part such as the two issues we mentioned above.
    It will also include some micro one is like how to shoot pictures, which model to choose, how to describe the product, etc.

    While, the sad fact is that any mistakes in decision-making phase may increase the possibilities of your subsequent failure.
    And when you finally survive staggeringly, you will face another 100 decisions during the 1 to 10 stage...or even more...
    So that, when we first wrote these two questions on the blackboard. We actually were very carefully

    I believe that most people who want to start Dropshipping would be same as us.
    In the beginning, you must have Google for various Shopify successful cases, join various discussion Groups, in order to get all kinds of support and help, we are no exception.

    Finally, you will find that whether the experts' course on YouTube, or the non-active members in the Group, or the various successful experiences and articles in the forum, after learning the whole things, you may feel that you understand everything, and both feels understands nothing at all.

    So when this feeling first came out to our team during the discussion meeting, I decided to let the team give up all the study work, and turn to analyze some real markets' data from our own experiences to make decisions.

    You guys might quiet familiar with the concept of Niche products.

    It always says that when you decide to start an online store, be sure to choose the Niche product.

    The answer is yes without a doubt!

    But if you asked me about this, I will add a few prerequisites ahead, like:

    -If you have some resources advantages, please try to choose the category related to your superior resources. (The resources herein may refer to the social net, product selection, design, promotion, KOL, supply chain, etc. )

    -If you want following others or make quick money, please ensure that your FB testing ability and efficiency are very powerful.
    (I mean you'd better be proficient in Facebook ads and sensitive to data)

    At that time, we thought quite clearly:
    Although our team has 3 years' e-commerce experience, our supply-side resources are not strong enough. In this case, in order to survive in the intricate Amazon market, our team's traffic acquisition ability and data sensitivity forced to increased a lot, besides this, we also have the genes of FB advertising as used to be Affiliate.

    In this background, we almost spend the whole March to make out our data analysis based on some real data that we can get in the market.
    Then comes to the first question

    Which country shall we start?

    In our case, the suitable countries should have at least the following characteristics:

    1. Online payment has become habits
    (Whether it is PC or mobile, online payment habits will mainly affect by the cash flow, if cash trade is still the country's mainstream, it may be more suitable for COD)

    2. Not monopolized by single e-commerce plate-form
    (Consumer online paying habits are not monopolized by platform, if there is one platform dominance such as China, purchasing habits of consumers will be difficult to educate and migrate, and trust will be difficult to cultivate. The direct result is that your sales converting will be very low)

    3.The population is sufficient for a Niche consumer market
    (If the total population of one country is too small, even if you really find a Niche market, it will soon touch the ceiling)

    4. The competition of independent site is within an acceptable range
    (The number of competitors can prove industry heat on the one hand, and also directly shows the fierce competition you will face. We actually want to find and choose countries that are not that competitive.)

    5.The English speaking population should be large enough
    (To be honest, you basically can't compete with some e-commerce teams that use local languages)

    6.Logistics service is well developed and popular
    (Developed status herein refers to fast speed, enough areas that can be reached and reasonable price)

    I admit that the US is the leading country in Dropshipping industry:
    good online consumption habits, big market, rich people, and convenient logistics service.
    On the other side, it is also the most competitive country globally.
    (If you've also opened a shop on Amazon and run it like us till now, you'll understand how much the word "real competition" brings to your daily anxiety.)

    BUT , when you once decide to do a dropshipping business , I suggest choosing a familiar place, where at least you know some brand and people habits.

    Everyone knows that the competition in the US market is very intense, while in Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, online payment habits have not yet been cultivated.China has Alibaba, JD, and Japanese Internet environment is relatively closed.

    Here is the first trap which we wasted a lot of time to analyze


    The most usual result is , when we look at the countries and amazon hot category sales in these countries, the goods is very different from the USA,
    Actually , rushing into a market which is totally unknown such as local culture, people's habits, is very risky for everybody.
    So after researching a lot of data for a long time , even until we found some possible countries which are not so competitive,we finally have the US as our choice.

    And when we made this decision, here comes the next problem, which I believe should be more interested in most of the Dropshippers.

    Which category shall we do?

    The next update, I will share how we do market research in the US. Also, share some of the methods and ideas we used to find the Niche product. Please feel free to leave comments below for discussion.
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  • Profile picture of the author merek gaya
    hello hatter
    nice update i didn't start in real experience with e-commerce yet am just studying now for over 1 year still am so confused and feel that am not ready yet
    1- product research: i searched over and over and there is so many products that make me indecisive and uncertain if it will be successful.
    2- low budget 120 $ at most i heard so many advice to start ebay or etsy.
    Should i give more thought in to this or just make quick actions.
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