The Problem With Shopify Dropshipping: What You Need to Know

Welcome back, Empire Builders! If you’re thinking about getting started with Shopify dropshipping or you’re currently a Shopify dropshipper and aren’t getting the results you expected, keep reading. We’ll be going over the problem with Shopify dropshipping and why it’s difficult to be profitable on that platform. Then, we’ll discuss alternatives that can help you start making money right away.

Over the past few months, we’ve been creating a ton of dropshipping businesses and split-testing different approaches. Now that the results are in, we want to share what we’ve learned about starting your dropshipping business more profitably.

The Typical Problem With Shopify Dropshipping “Funnels”

The typical Shopify dropshipping “funnel” is where you’ll find the problem with Shopify dropshipping that stops so many sellers from making money. The word “funnel” is in quotes here because while it’s technically correct, it’s a very poor example of what a funnel should be. Let me show you what I mean. 

This is what your typical Shopify dropshipping “funnel” looks like:

Ad→ Product Page→ Add to Cart→ Cart Page→ Checkout Page #1: Shipping Info→ Checkout Page #2: Billing Info→ Complete Purchase/Thank You Page

Each of those arrows is a step that customers must complete to make the purchase. They’re also opportunities for the customer to drop off and not come back to finish the transaction. That’s the most costly problem with Shopify dropshipping. Consider how many ads people see each day, how seldom they click them, and that, as humans, we have the attention span of goldfish. When we finally do get that click, we need to get to the money as quickly as possible before life gets in the way and customers don’t come back. The “funnel” shown above does not work!

Many will argue that influencers or popular companies make millions that way. You’re right — your competitors who have warm leads and dedicated followings are making money off their popularity, But that’s despite the flaws in their methods. You don’t have that luxury, and you have to compete with them. So that’s even more reason to optimize your funnel!

What Does a Good Sales Funnel Look Like?

We use ClickFunnels to build our sales funnels, but you can use different software if you like. We use ClickFunnels because they have all the tools we need to make our funnels as profitable as possible and have it up and running within the day. 

Let’s compare ClickFunnels to Shopify. We’re going to say that the ad and the customers who click on it are identical. The funnel is the only thing that’s changed. Here’s the new funnel, done the right way:

Ad→ 2-Step Order Form→ Upsell→ Upsell→ Complete Purchase/Thank You Page

As you can see, the structure has a two-step order form right at the beginning. We get their name, email, billing, and shipping information right up front. That allows us to build our email list and follow up — whether they purchased or not. It also shows them our products and quantity break discounts, so they can choose what they want and how many they want. Then the rest of the steps are one-click upsells, usually including a subscription.

Real-Life Example of a Poorly Optimized Funnel

Screen grab highlighting multiple clicks as the problem with Shopify dropshipping

I saw an ad for a pet product and clicked it to see how many clicks it would take to complete a purchase. Here’s what I had to do:

Ad→ Add to Cart→ Checkout→ Continue to Shipping Info→ Continue to Payment→ Complete Purchase

It took six clicks! That’s three times as many as it should be! That gives customers more time to change their minds, get distracted, get frustrated, or any number of other possibilities.   

Real-Life Example of a Well Optimized Funnel

Instead, you want to set it up so that when leads click on an ad, it sends them to a sales page that highlights one offer with features, benefits, and images. Right next to the offer on that same page is where the two-step order form should be. With this design, you get their information right away, and they turn into a lead on your email list. On most sites, menus and options are great. But for an ad landing page, you don’t want to give them a ton of places to click off and get distracted. It should be simple and to the point.

Most people – around 90% – won’t buy the first time they end up on your site. They’ll want more information and to get to know you better first. When you get the contact information quickly, you have what you need to make that happen. Growing your email list and using email marketing is like printing money. You already have the names. All you have to do is reach out to them.

Good Sales Funnels Solve the Problem With Shopify Dropshipping

Screen grab of a Shopify sales funnel diagram

The value of this funnel is in ensuring that more qualified leads make it to your order form. If they put in their billing and shipping information, they’re more likely to buy. That’s why these funnels convert about 10%, while the Shopify ones only convert 1.33%. That’s nearly ten times more by merely changing your funnel.

On the second page of the order form, they can select their product. I always provide multiple quantity break discounts to encourage them to buy for a better deal. Then I have what’s called an order bump. That’s the pre-purchase upsell, much like the candy aisle at grocery store checkouts. You see it, and it’s convenient and tempting, so you just toss it in while you’re already there.

Make sure your order bump is a no-brainer item that pairs with your original offer. This will increase your average order value (AOV). Then the next clicks take you to one-click upsells before completing the order. I like having a subscription upsell in there to let them sign up for monthly orders. With this option, you can get consistent sales every month without additional work.

Final Thoughts About the Problem With Shopify Dropshipping

Dropshipper building a more convenient sales funnel

I see many people mistakenly assuming that if they aren’t making big profits, the product must be bad. Usually, the product itself is fine. It’s the sales strategy that needs work. Another mistake I see is a focus on lowering their cost-per-purchase. Ad spend isn’t going down — it’s just not. Constantly trying to reduce it creates inconsistencies that cost you more money.

Instead, flip the issue. While your competition tries to lower costs, focus on increasing your AOV instead so you can afford better ads to bring in more leads and still make higher profits. If you use optimized funnels with the right upsells and subscriptions paired with list-building and simple automated email marketing, you can succeed. It’s not unusual to see an average cart value of over $30-$40 on a FREE+Shipping offer with the right funnel and upsells.

To learn more about dropshipping and strategic sales, sign up for my masterclass where I’ll teach you how I made a full-time income online with a 5-page funnel and without touching a product or building a site. You’ll also get my $100k funnel template FREE! Get ready to build your empire. Tagged : / / / /