Is Shopify dropshipping dead or still possible?
This question is a common one now with all of these new dropshippers jumping into Shopify and Oberlo starting stores in all sorts of niches, which makes it hard to compete in this field.
Not to mention the restrictions that advertising platforms, mainly Facebook, and payment gateways suspending accounts of dropshippers, which makes it even more struggle to survive as a dropshipper.
After four years for starting my first dropshipping store, I’m writing this short article to help you know the answer before you start your first store, and to let you know how you can make your business survive in this world.
Let’s dive in!
Is Shopify Dropshipping Dead?
No, Shopify dropshipping is not dead, as many dropshippers, old and new, are succeeding with this business model even today, and they will probably continue to succeed as Shopify is still alive and well-maintained.
There’s a need for dropshipping businesses to help move the economy and to help the manufacturers sell more products and stay focused on what they are good at, which is innovating and creating new products, and let the marketing and sales process be handled by people with different skills.
Not to mention that dropshipping allows the dropshippers to minimize the risk when starting an ecommerce business as they don’t buy bulk quantities that might not sell later, which makes it easier to experiment with many different and new products.
And it helps in reducing the cost on them as they don’t need to store anything in their warehouses, which then reduces the overall cost on the end customer.
These are all reasons why dropshipping is still worth it and necessary to stay here.
And Shopify is a great platform that makes it much easier to start and maintain a dropshipping business as it can be used by non-technical people who want to focus on their marketing and sales skills.
That being said, dropshipping on Shopify is still alive and will continue to live as long as there’s internet, and as long as Shopify is still a reputable and reliable platform.
However, just because dropshipping on Shopify isn’t dead, it doesn’t mean that everyone can succeed with it, like it is with any other business.
5 Reasons Dropshipping on Shopify Is Being Perceived as Dead
There are many reasons that most of dropshippers fail, and that makes them think that dropshipping is dead.
And since more and more dropshippers are using Shopify nowadays, they think that dropshipping on Shopify itself is dead.
Here are some of the main reasons why others consider Shopify dropshipping to be dead:
Low Barrier of Entry
One of the main reasons of the low dropshipping success rate.
Because Shopify is very easy to use and it is good for beginners, and it is a low cost way to start with dropshipping, it attracted a lot of people who have never run any business before, and people with no experience in market research, marketing and sales.
There are more than 4 million stores that are built on Shopify.
You can imagine how many would be dropshipping stores.
They think that it is an easy way of making money online, they start their business in one day, through some money on Facebook ads, and they get disappointed that they didn’t make big profit, and they perceive dropshipping on Shopify to be dead.
But the truth is that asking an employee or a student to start any kind of business and succeed with it from the first try is very difficult to achieve.
Dropshipping on Shopify is still a business, and it needs you to have some business skills in order to succeed with it.
The good thing is that there are some good training programs that can teach you how to succeed with dropshipping as a business, like Shopify Compass’s free dropshipping course.
Copycat dropshippers makes it harder on themselves, and on others to live in this industry.
There are some courses and tools that help dropshippers to spy on others, see what products are selling best, steal the video ads and re-use them in order to sell the same product to the same people.
This will make the product saturate the market, the advertising campaigns will become more expensive, the conversion rate will go lower for every dropshipper, and the product won’t be profitable anymore.
Delays in Shipping
Another issue with dropshipping on Shopify is that most dropshippers are buying from suppliers that are shipping from China.
The shipping times take longer than Amzon’s 48-hour delivery.
And on top of that, the pandemic came in and made it take even longer to ship from China to the rest of the world.
This all made it difficult for many Shopify dropshipping businesses to survive as people might not buy when they see they long expected delivery times, or they might start issuing chargebacks on their credit cards when the item doesn’t arrive after two weeks.
Payment Gateways Are Not Happy with Shopify Dropshippers
Because many dropshipping business owners who use Shopify are beginners, they do a lot of the practices that reputable businesses shouldn’t do, like lying about the expected delivery times, dropshipping low quality products, not being honest in the ad or in the product page, and more.
And unfortunately, some “gurus” teach dropshipping in a way that makes many people ask: is dropshipping a scam or legit?
This led to many buyers requesting refunds and chargebacks through the payment gateways that paid through, like PayPal, Stripe and others.
And this caused a lot of headache and losses for these companies.
This made the payment gateways become more cautious when dealing with stores that are hosted on Shopify, put restrictions on them, hold the money for long periods, and even shutting down accounts that get lots of refund requests and complaints.
Facebook Ads Closing Accounts
Another main reason why dropshipping on Shopify is becoming much harder that makes newbies think that it is dying.
Facebook doesn’t want to send its users to websites or stores that are low in quality, or ones that have a bad user experience.
And because newbie dropshippers on Shopify are rushing their stores, their ads, and even their FB Ads account setup, their acts raise lots of red flags that makes Facebook’s algorithm automatically shut their accounts.
9 Tips to Help Your Shopify Dropshipping Store Live & Thrive
In order to help your Shopify dropshipping business live despite all the hurdles that are threatening this kind of business, here are nine tips to help you succeed:
Understand That Dropshipping on Shopify Is a Business, Not a Job
This is the most important tip that can help you prevent your dropshipping business from dying.
You need to learn new skills that you didn’t have before, you need to wear many hats at the same time (until you can hire others with you), and you need to analyze data, optimize, and try again, until you succeed.
Trying to dropship on Shopify with the employee mindset is a recipe for guaranteed failure.
If you are doing it part-time, then you need to reserve a certain time slot on daily basis in order to do what it takes to succeed.
Customer Satisfaction for Long-Term Growth
Making big profits with dropshipping on Shopify is not really easy.
It is much easier and cheaper to sell existing, happy customers than to acquire new ones.
And this is why you need to focus on keep your customers satisfied with their experience on your store if you want your business to live on the long run.
Branded Shopify Stores Outlive Others
If someone told you that he bought a certain watch from a store that is called “Eleganter Zone”, while someone else told you that he bought the same watch from another store that is called “Best Elegant Watches Store”, which one you feel more trustworthy to go and buy from?
I bet you said the first one.
It looks more like a real brand, and you feel that it is there to last and to take care of customers.
And that’s why if you want your Shopify dropshipping store to live, you need to make it brandable by using a unique name that is easy to remember, and one that makes shoppers trust your store more.
Know The Numbers & Monitor Them
The conversion rate, the average order value, and the customer lifetime value are all important numbers that decide if your Shopify dropshipping business will live or die.
You need to increase your store’s revenue with the same marketing expenses in order to make and increase your profit.
Use the different tools of increasing the conversion rate, like offering a one-time discount code for new visitors in exchange for their email address, offer bundle upsells, retarget those who visited your store and didn’t buy, and remarket to those who already bought from you.
These all can help your store go from a negative or neutral cash flow into a positive one, which then helps your Shopify Dropshipping business survive and grow.
Find Suppliers from US & Europe
Because the long shipping times can affect the conversion rate on your Shopify dropshipping store, aim to reduce these times as much as possible.
You can do this by finding dropshipping suppliers who can ship from US or from certain European countries.
Their prices might be slightly higher, but the shorter delivery times can increase the conversion rate in a way that make up for the difference.
You can find these through the “Ships from” tab on AliExpress for example.
Or you can use tools like SaleHoo Dropship in order to take benefit of their hand-picked suppliers that ship from different locations.
Offer Different Payment Options
You need to do everything in your hand in order to make the shopper comfortable in buying from your store, and this includes providing more than one payment method so that they pay with the one that they feel more comfortable with.
Some people prefer only to pay with PayPal, while others don’t even have a PayPal account, and prefer to pay directly with credit cards.
Offer more than one option in order to increase the conversion rate and to provide security for your store in case that one payment gateway decides to suspend or limit your account for some reason.
Avoid Cheap Products
Cheap products that everybody sells in order to make fast sales with high margins are going to hurt your Shopify dropshipping store.
These are easy to find on many online stores, which will make the shopper look for the lowest price, and it would hurt your store’s conversions.
Add to that, these usually get lots of return requests and chargebacks on credit cards, which makes you lose money.
And worst of all, you lose the customer trust when you give them low quality products, and they won’t buy from your store again, which will make your Shopify dropshipping store eventually die.
Find unique, quality, and useful products to sell by researching a little bit more on the marketplace where you outsource the products, or use any of the available tools like Viral Vault for example that helps you find new and useful products that are good in quality.
Don’t Put All of Your Eggs in Facebook
Facebook is notorious for automatically closing Ads accounts these days.
And this can let your store’s revenue drop, or even die, almost instantly, unless you are using other advertising channels to reach your audience.
You can explore with other paid ad networks, or explore new, untapped advertising platforms like Brave Browser’s ads for example.
Explore other channels to reach your target audience, based on their demographics and interests, use paid and free traffic methods to get visitors to your Shopify store, and focus on building a long term success with email marketing.
Most of the training courses makes you feel that the only way to advertise your Shopify dropshipping store and products is through Facebook Ads, but I like Franklin’s eCom Elites course
Content Marketing for Sustainability
Content marketing can help your Shopify dropshipping store live longer and acquire more new customers using free, or low cost advertising methods.
And Shopify helps dropshippers to use this method as it gives the ability to create a blog for the same store, where the dropshipper can create helpful content that targets certain keywords that people use in order to search for products or solutions on Google and other search engines.
You write helpful articles based on these queries, and offer your products as solution to whatever problem these people have.
Articles that target keywords like: “how to stop my cat from scratching furniture” where you recommend a cat scratcher that you sell as one of the possible solutions.
Or articles like, “cheap espresso capsules brands”, where you can promote reusable espresso pods that you sell as a dropshipper on Shopify.
These articles can help with branding, trust, conversions, and long-term sustainability as the article that you right once can get traffic for a long time without having to pay for ads or rewrite it every few days.
And the more helpful articles you have, the more new customers you can reach.
Conclusion – Shopify Dropshipping Will Remain Alive
Shopify dropshipping is NOT dead, and won’t die anytime soon as long as Shopify is a reliable platform to host ecom stores.
But for your particular store to live, you need to do what more than 95% of other dropshippers don’t do, and you need to have a different mindset that thinks of long-term success and treats dropshipping as a real business that takes time and requires skills.
Dropshipping is not a quick-rich-quick scheme, and you need to work hard if you want to succeed with it.
But you can do it if you focus on learning and implementing what you learned the right way.
If you are interested in starting your Shopify dropshipping store, then you can read my guide on how to sell on Shopify without inventory.
And if you still have any question about anything in this article, or if you still have any reason why you think that dropshipping on Shopify is dead, then please, tell me in the comments’ section below, and I would be happy to answer you asap 🙂