Unexpected indirect compliment for a struggling drop shipper
Last Update: Apr 5, 2021
About ten months ago, I started a new eCommerce-dropshipping-store following a new(er) version of dropshipping-training of Aidan Booth and Steve Clayton. Three earlier attempts (since 2016) failed and, as we say with a (translated) Dutch verb, “stranded in beauty.”
My dropshipping struggle
What it brought me are experience and knowledge, knowledge about the weak points in the systems and course setup, and (more importantly) my weak points. Those were no real motivation, not investing enough time and losing pace. But by nature, I am not a quitter, and I have a more than average dose of perseverance. So that is why I was looking for subsequent courses and training to find the ultimate solution to drop shipping success.
I discovered the concept of Internet Marketing step-by-step and learned to make the match between the “need and the offer.” Also, where to find the places where the need is surfacing.
The last course I followed beginning 2020 resulted in a Shopify-store that is a general store but built as a collection of one-product stores.
The business concept encompasses driving paid (PPC) traffic from Shopping-platforms directly to the advertised product pages. From the start in April until November, it was a struggle. There were encouraging sales of carefully selected products that suddenly stopped working for me. It was a rollercoaster from “hope to lose.”
This business approach seemed to be a risky and costly model, and many of my fellow students run out of cash before the sales could cover the advertising costs. Thousands of dollars went down the drain, but the belief that this system could and should work for me kept me running, but more and more carefully. I was lucky to have some cash to spend subsequently loose.
My switch to the health niche
In July 2020, I stumbled upon a Health-niche product that drew my attention because I saw its benefits for myself. So I did desk research to find out if this product would have sales and profit potential. And yes, it did. I found a trustworthy supplier with competitive pricing and shipping times, and off I went. The first order was for me :-).
It started with a few sales per week to sometimes a few per day. Many times I was on the brink of dumping it to find another one. But somehow, I could not.
In November last year, I started to run advertisements on Facebook with quite an intensive campaign around BlackFriday and CyberMonday. Hundreds of dollars for two sales; not something that helps to stimulate happiness.
And then, in December, without other FB advertising, it started to grow slowly. My leading traffic supplier is still Microsoft Shopping, but more traffic comes from other (organic) sources.
It sounds as I am finally there, but no, sales are plummeting again. So, where to get your motivation to persevere? I have to be honest with myself. If a product is not profitable after almost 300 sales, maybe this is not the right one for me?
Phonecall from an interested customer
Suddenly, out of the blue, I got a phone call from somebody in the United States (our target market). She told me that she had an operation and was in the recovering process. So she needed the product I sell. But she had no computer nor a smartphone, so she asked me if she could order by phone. “Yes, I can process that,” I answered, and we finished the sale online (over the phone, in this case).
But one thing made me curious. How could she know about us when she is not able to surf the internet?
Well, she said, “my physiotherapist told me about the product and your store and gave me the telephone number, so that is why.” A feeling of extreme gratitude came over me, and at that moment, this was more important than the extra dollars I can earn. This woman was referred to us, mouth by mouth, which is something rare nowadays. The social proof we mostly get from written reviews by strangers.
What it did to me
For a moment, I forgot about the endless struggle to become profitable with my store, and I could be happy with the experience that it is good what I do because it is acknowledged and referred.
We are a few weeks further since this lovely event, and I experience a positive development after tweaking and optimizing my Microsoft Shopping campaign.
My metrics are improving, and I have CTR’s 3-4% and conversion rates 7-8% (impressive for eCommerce), while ROAS is climbing to close to 200%. Happy I stayed in business, and I trust the trend will remain.