When it comes to starting a business online, becoming your own boss, or picking up a side hustle to support your regular daytime job, the entrepreneurial journey is always an interesting adventure.
For so many new entrepreneurs out there trying to find their feet in the e-commerce and dropshipping industry, there are several things to consider and decisions to be made regarding advertising, marketing and distribution.
However, you’re human and not a Superhero from outer space who decided to do business, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Mistakes are bound to happen in e-commerce and dropshipping, especially if you’re new and inexperienced. Learning from your mistakes is another way to build experience in the industry, and all major dropshipping companies you know today started the same way.
But what if you could avoid making these advertising mistakes altogether, not by experiencing them yourself but learning from the mistakes of other successful entrepreneurs who are well established in the industry. Well, we’ve taken the time to speak with some of the big names in online dropshipping and e-commerce to find out what the most common advertising mistakes new entrepreneurs make and how to avoid them, so keep reading to find out more.
12 Mistakes New Online Dropshipping Entrepreneurs Make
1. Not Realizing Paid Advertising Is Important
Whether you believe it or not, there are entrepreneurs out there who don’t realize that they can’t make their dream sales and profits without considering paid advertising.
Asking your friends and family to share your business on social media is a great start, investing in SEO for your e-commerce store is another good idea, but paid ads (PPC) is the final piece of the puzzle that will significantly ramp up your traffic and sales.
Investing in paid Social media ads is an affordable way to target specific people in different countries, and because paid ads appear at the top of the search pages, you get more people seeing these ads every single day.
2.Advertising Without Enough Research
Do you know who your target audience is? The type of products you have on your e-commerce store determines how you’ll approach your advertising campaign. In dropshipping, if you sell jackets, t-shirts, or other items, you should answer a couple of questions before placing a single ad.
Are your products mainly for men or women? What age range are you looking for? What region do you want to target? Advertising without enough research data will most likely lead to failed campaigns.
3. Not Diversifying Your Advertising Strategy
Are you focusing all your advertising energy on Facebook? Are Instagram ads the only source of traffic for your website? Don’t get me wrong, these are pretty awesome ways to pull traffic to your e-commerce website and make some sales, but why stop there? Why put all your eggs in one basket when you don’t have to limit yourself to one basket?
The best way to reach a wide range of potential shoppers is to use every available medium of advertising. There’s email marketing, Instagram ads, Facebook sponsored posts, Google PPC ads, SEO, local events, and print media could be considered. The return on investment is likely to be huge.
4. Copying Other Companies' Ads
Just when we thought all the copying we did in high school chemistry class was in the past, so many new entrepreneurs wrongly focus their energy on copying other dropshippers’ Facebook ads.
I understand it’s only human to want to emulate what already established e-commerce websites and dropshippers are doing. Still, experience shows that carbon-copy ads are more likely to fail than succeed.
So it’s advisable to utilize original content, captivating images and video, a copy that attracts and use your own voice to sell your brand.
5. Not Having Defined Advertising Goals
Goals give our advertising meaning. Every single time you market your e-commerce store via a chosen medium, having a goal helps you gauge the success of your campaign and know when to change your strategy.
Good examples of goals when creating a campaign could include having a target number of likes for the month, email sign-ups, website click-throughs, leads, and sales. When you don’t reach your designated goals for the month, you can easily pinpoint what’s not working and change your strategy.
6. Setting Up your Website Without Considering SEO Keywords
Search Engines can be a source of FREE TRAFFIC to your e-commerce store, and you wouldn’t have to spend a dime. Not considering Search Engine Optimization (SEO) when creating your website will deprive you of this type of traffic, and your website will continue to underperform until you do something about it.
If you don’t have the time to learn about SEO, there are tons of SEO agencies out there that can handle your search engine optimization.
7. Stuffing Your Ads With Complicated Messages
While it may seem classy to bombard your ads with complex words and grammar, most of your audience will get bored easily. Everyone logs into Facebook and Twitter to laugh at memes, read interesting updates, and pass the time.
Some new entrepreneurs don’t understand this and find themselves struggling with pulling traffic from social media to their e-commerce store. Your ads should be fun straight to the point and eye-catching enough to increase engagement.
8. Over-targeting and Wrong Targeting
Paid ads are an important investment for new entrepreneurs to make, but it’s always worth the money when done correctly. Every dropshipping store has a target market and the only way to ensure every dollar is yielding maximum profits is by running targeted ads.
New entrepreneurs make the mistake of targeting a too broad or too narrow audience and this leads to wastage of valuable advertising money and efforts. To avoid this mistake, research your audience and target them based on your marketing budget, demographics, and use reports data to make adjustments where necessary.
9. Not Utilizing Images and Videos
It’s a no-brainer that everyone would prefer to look at videos and images than read long boring texts. Studies show that posts that include images produce 650 percent higher engagement than text-only posts.
Many new entrepreneurs make the mistake of focusing primarily on text when taking advantage of visual content marketing can significantly increase engagement.
10. Focusing On Sales More Than Engagements
In social media advertising, success should be measured in engagements and not sales. This is because most people you encounter on social media are not primarily looking for products to purchase, unlike Google search ads.
Focus on increasing likes, shares and comments, build a rapport with your audience and gradually but continuously introduce your e-commerce products to them to make sales.
11. Running Just One Ad And Not A Campaign
An ad is just an ad, and potential customers can easily get over it by swiping their screens in a fraction of a second. However, a campaign is an advertiser’s strategy useful for telling the entire story of a brand. Having a couple of different ads creatively and powerfully tell the same story is the best way to create a long-lasting impression in advertising.
Repeating each ad strategically will help your brand stick in the minds of your prospects.
12. Engaging In Clickbait Advertising
So many times, I’ve come across mouth-watering ads online that promise unbelievable deals like getting an iPhone 11 Pro max for just $200.
Clickbait ads like this are counterproductive and will almost certainly doom your e-commerce store. No doubt, Clickbait ads have been proven to pull massive traffic from social media and online communities, but this traffic could hurt your website SEO. Misleading titles and deceptive information puts your brand reputation in the mud, increasing your website’s bounce rate.
Instead, flee from using Clickbaits and focus on using clear, compelling, and unique titles and content for your ads.
Advertising is a necessity for e-commerce brands to attract a relevant audience to their websites.
I vividly remember reading every single article I could find to learn every single trick online and compile them all together to create a winning ad. And I did create a winning ad. The second ad I ever created brought more engagement than I could’ve ever imagined.
Since then, I’ve created countless ads in various niches such as automotive, skincare, yoga, pets, home decor, and much more.
Let’s take a look at the three of the most common e-commerce advertising mistakes and how you can overcome them.
Failing to try retargeting ads sooner
The magic of a retargeting ad is that it’s a way to win back first-time visitors. Not everyone is ready to buy their first time.
I’ve spent so much money on cold traffic, never thinking of what would happen if I had spent more time trying to bring back those people to reconsider my store and make a purchase.
Had I tried a retargeting ad sooner, I would’ve saved myself a ton of advertising money long-term.
Repeatedly serving the same ads
There are times when you see the same ad wherever you go in the digital space. It doesn’t matter whether you’re scrolling through your feed on Facebook, watching a video on YouTube, or reading content on a website.
For weeks and sometimes even months, that ad will show you the same product over and over again. And the worst part is that the pricing doesn’t ever change, not even one bit.
All of this will result in ad fatigue, and the audience becomes less responsive to those ads. So you will end up spending a lot more money on your ad campaigns without getting much response.
Failing to monitor my margins
The biggest challenge when it comes to margins that people don’t take into account is how many failed ads you’ll have before you create one that succeeds.
And that does eat away at your margins. If not done correctly, store owners could potentially spend $1000 on ads and only generate few sales.
It’s essential to take ad costs into account when pricing your products.
Sending traffic to the homepage
If you only sell one product, or if your homepage is a landing page, you’ll want to skip this advice.
However, if you’re selling several products on your online store, you’ll get more bang for your buck by promoting a product page instead of a homepage.
These tips will help you get the most bang for your efforts. Have fun with it!!!!
American political figure, diplomat, and activist, Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.” Unless you’re somehow in a video game and have multiple lives, why not adopt these strategies to help you avoid making the same advertising mistakes. Now that you have this knowledge … go ahead, get creative, and design your ad campaign. And remember, if you are not sure about something, that’s what we’re here for. Leave a comment below or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.