Starting a Successful Dropshipping Business in 2024: Tips and Pitfalls

Starting a Successful Dropshipping Business in 2024: Tips and Pitfalls

Anyone can start a successful dropshipping business and make money online without any up-front investment, inventory, or logistical worries.

Dropshipping is a low-risk business venture that’s easy to start, scale, and manage. With the right approach and marketing strategy, it’s highly profitable, too.

Industry experts predict global retail eCommerce sales will reach $8.1 trillion by 2026. The thriving market provides a promising business opportunity for people worldwide.

In this article, we give practical tips, explain common pitfalls, and provide potential solutions to help you successfully launch a dropshipping business.

Table of Contents

What Is the Success Rate of Dropshipping?

Woman with glasses holding a phone with a thoughtful expression.

While there are no official figures, industry experts estimate that around 10-20% of dropshipping businesses succeed.

The problem, however, is not with the dropshipping model itself but how most people falsely perceive it – a get-rich-quick scheme, carelessly diving into it without doing their research.

Anyone can become a successful dropshipper, but it requires hard work and a good understanding of the industry.

After all, the business landscape is welcoming – analysts predict the global dropshipping market will reach $476.1 billion in 2026.

Quick Tip:

Increase the likelihood of success by learning how to set dropshipping profit margins correctly.

6 Tips for Starting a Successful Dropshipping Store

To make money in the dropshipping world, preparation is key. Start your business right by considering the following.

Select a Profitable Niche

Woman standing with a laptop in her hands, working on product niche research.

A niche is a product that appeals to a specific target audience, making selling a lot easier. Without it, a dropshipping store might never take off, failing to stand out in the market. 

Today, finding a profitable niche is easy. With a little research, anyone can quickly check what’s in demand. Here’s how.

  • Identify social trends. Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter provide useful insights into ever-changing customer preferences.
  • Try research tools. Use Google Trends, Semrush, or Ahrefs to check the popularity of your business idea. Identify trends, view their monthly search volume, and analyze how consumer interest changes over time.
  • Browse marketplaces. Amazon, Etsy, and eBay are useful for finding niche products that sell the best.

Expert’s Tips:

If a niche is too broad, people won’t resonate with the products a business sells. If it’s too narrow, it can be challenging to find enough potential customers to make a profit. Aim for the middle ground.

Gather inspiration by exploring the most profitable print-on-demand niches to save time and effort.

Provide Unique Value

Finding a profitable niche is only half the battle. The other is providing unique value to your potential customers. This way, it’s easier for a business to stand out and reach its target audience.

By creating an online community, an exclusive club bound by values and interests, businesses can increase sales and build a stronger brand.

  • Social responsibility. Businesses can differentiate themselves from their competitors by incorporating social responsibility in their business model.

For example, donating a portion of profits to a charity or committing to sustainable practices.

  • Eco-friendly products. As demand for sustainable products grows, building a sustainable business from the get-go is a great way to deliver value to environmentally-conscious consumers.

Expert’s Tips:

By building a loyal online community, a business can increase its perceived value and thus have better chances of succeeding. Additionally, it allows entrepreneurs to easily leverage social media platforms, create relevant content, and build profitable marketing campaigns.

Use the market research tool Google Trends to check what people search for and whether a particular product or social trend is popular.

Find the Right Dropshipping Suppliers

Smiling man and a woman holding boxes of dropshipping orders.

Without a reliable dropshipping supplier, launching a successful store isn’t possible. Here are a few vital factors to consider.

  • Location. With local suppliers, entrepreneurs get low shipping costs and quick shipping times.
  • Product variety. A large product selection is a must. When a dropshipping business grows, it’s easier to expand.
  • Minimum order requirements. Avoid logistical worries and buying in bulk by picking suppliers with no minimum order requirements.
  • Ease of integration. Before a final decision, check whether the supplier integrates with the sales channel of your choice.
  • Online reputation. Search for third-party reviews to find out if the supplier offers high-quality service.

Never trust a dropshipping supplier without doing your own research first. Make sure they’re a legitimate business – examine their website, check verified reviews, search engine results, and contact them.

Quick Tip:

Explore the top 15 dropshipping suppliers and learn how to choose the right one.

Start a Print-On-Demand Dropshipping Business Today!

Pick Winning Dropshipping Products

After choosing a profitable niche and a reliable supplier, finding a few bestsellers won’t take long. Here’s how.

Entrepreneurs use them to find best-selling products and gather data about customer demand and market trends.

  • Analyze competition. With a simple Google search, anyone can easily find various successful dropshipping stores.

Explore their products and reviews, and identify their customers’ pain points. Use this information to find and sell products that are similar but better.

Quick Tips:

Gather inspiration for best-selling products by exploring some of the best dropshipping business ideas for 2024.

In the Printify Catalog, we have over 850 high-quality products anyone can easily customize with our Product Creator (formerly known as Mockup Generator), creating one-of-a-kind products nobody else has.

Learn how to create a design from scratch using our graphic design tips.

Choose the Best Platform to Sell On

Woman working on her laptop, surrounded by clothing racks and dropshipping boxes.

When starting a dropshipping business, selecting a sales channel is an important decision, as it can significantly impact your sales, reach, and overall success.

Every sales channel is slightly different, with its own set of features, capabilities, limitations, and policies.

Choose a platform based on your niche, target audience, and personal preferences. Here are the options.

eCommerce Platform

An eCommerce platform is a software application enabling entrepreneurs to build their own stores and sell online easily.

They’re easy to customize, provide greater customer data control, and offer various useful features for achieving the best dropshipping results.


eCommerce Marketplace

Marketplaces host eCommerce stores on a single platform – they’re like online shopping centers, allowing businesses to generate sales easily with a pre-existing customer base.

They’re beginner-friendly and easy to set up, but a business has little control over its store’s design and content.


Quick Tips:

Weigh the advantages and disadvantages of the best sites to sell online to choose the right one.

Whether you create a Shopify store or sell on Etsy, simply follow our integration guides to begin.

Focus on SEO and Marketing

Marketing specialist working on her iPad.

In eCommerce, marketing is the engine that drives growth. Without it, it’ll be hard to generate sales, and it is one of the key factors for learning how to be a successful dropshipper.

A few tried-and-tested ways to market your new store:

  • Social media marketing. With a strong presence on various platforms, entrepreneurs can easily connect and interact with their audience.

If you make it interesting – run challenges, post useful content, and host giveaways – new customers won’t be hard to find.

  • Email marketing. An age-old marketing strategy, which is still in high favor today.

Try email marketing tools like Sendinblue, MailerLite, or Omnisend to reach your potential customers directly.

  • Influencer marketing. Entrepreneurs can gain their audience’s trust quickly by collaborating with influencers.

It’s an easy way to get the word out about your dropshipping business and gain broader exposure.

  • Search engine marketing. A method that involves promoting eCommerce stores by increasing their visibility in search engines. There are two approaches: search engine optimization (SEO) and advertising (Google Ads).

Our webinar, SEO Masterclass for Driving Sales, shows how to do keyword research, find the most relevant keywords, and analyze the competition.

  • Content marketing. By consistently publishing relevant content, eCommerce brands can establish themselves as experts in a particular field.

The other benefit of content marketing is that you can use relevant keywords in articles, product descriptions, and reviews, thus increasing the likelihood of appearing at the top of search engine result pages.

Quick Tips:

Our blog’s Marketing Hints & Tricks section provides helpful advice on marketing efforts for successful drop shipping.

To drive more traffic, implement relevant keywords throughout your store – in headers, product descriptions, and alt-texts for images. Learn more by taking one of the best SEO courses.

Start a Print-On-Demand Dropshipping Business Today!

4 Pitfalls to Avoid When Starting a Dropshipping Business

Concerned-looking man sitting at his desk.

With fewer complexities than traditional business models, dropshipping is a great option for aspiring entrepreneurs. However, implementing a successful dropshipping business model requires addressing several pain points.

Here’s why so many dropshipping businesses fail.

Lack of Research

A business won’t succeed without extensive market research – it’s one of the most common pitfalls entrepreneurs face.

As previously mentioned, it’s vital to understand how the dropshipping model works, find a profitable niche, and analyze the competition.

The more research an entrepreneur does, the higher the likelihood of success.

Quick Tip:

Whether you’re looking for marketing tips, advice on optimizing an online store, or inspiring dropshipping success stories, the Printify Blog has it all.

Unreliable Dropshipping Supplier

Woman sitting at a desk, looking annoyed and exhausted.

An unreliable supplier can harm the business – low quality, slow shipping, high delivery costs, and limited branding options are common. If there are any issues in dropshipping fulfillment, you’ll face the heat.

When choosing a supplier, ask about their procedures, evaluate their communication, and check third-party reviews – they’re a good indicator of whether a company is trustworthy.

If you want to establish your own brand and design unique products, print-on-demand dropshipping suppliers are a great choice.

Quick Tip:

In Printify’s print-on-demand dropshipping supplier database, entrepreneurs can access over 80 thoroughly-vetted Print Providers worldwide. They offer various customizable dropshipping products, which make building a brand much easier.

Poor Customer Experience

Man speaking on the phone about a delivered package he is not happy with.

Happy customers are a cornerstone of a successful business. If they’re happy with their purchases, they’re more likely to buy again and suggest your store to friends.

Here’s how to keep your customers happy.

  • Excellent customer service. Answer customer inquiries quickly and politely, providing them with all the information they require.
  • Free shipping. Offering free shipping (adding it to the product’s price) makes people more likely to purchase a product.
  • Social proof. When designing your eCommerce website, add a section for social proof – product reviews or customer testimonials. This builds trust and makes people feel comfortable buying from you.

While small, these actions can make a world of difference and pay off in the long run.

Unattractive eCommerce Store

UX designer working on an app layout.

As with any other business, the appearance of a dropshipping store is vital. Without a professionally designed storefront, a brand can quickly lose its credibility.

While building a successful eCommerce store isn’t difficult, there are a few key factors to keep in mind.

  • A great interface. Online stores should clearly communicate the business’s value, encouraging customers to purchase. Pay attention to the store’s features, functionality, navigation, and structure.
  • Useful content. Whether it’s shipping free of charge or a special offer, focus on the information that brings value to customers. Try to capture the visitor’s attention as soon as possible.
  • High-quality images. Beautiful images make it easier to hold people’s attention and show that the store is trustworthy.
  • Easy checkout. Create a checkout process that’s quick, easy, and convenient to avoid cart abandonment.

Quick Tip:

Learn from professionals by exploring the most successful Shopify stores, and use the elements that make them great.

Examples of Successful Dropshippers

Although new beginnings can be frightening, don’t lose hope. Many have leaped into entrepreneurship with inspiring success, paving the way for anyone to follow.

Success Story Hustle Ninja

For entrepreneur Rich Khun, running a successful online business comes naturally. From making $500,000 a year to becoming a successful YouTuber – Rich is an inspiration to entrepreneurs worldwide.

On his YouTube channel, Hustle Ninjas, he provides practical advice for people who want to open their own online store.

Success Story - Sell More After The Holidays with Christina Umerez

After trying various business ideas, Christina discovered print-on-demand dropshipping. By focusing on timeless designs, she quickly became a true dropshipping success story, making around $6-8,000 per month.

Quick Tip:

Classic designs are always relevant – they’re not tied to a trend or a holiday, selling well throughout the year.

In our blog, we cover dozens of success stories, providing actionable advice for aspiring eCommerce entrepreneurs who want to learn how to be successful dropshippers.

Start a Print-On-Demand Dropshipping Business Today!

Start an eCommerce Business With Print-On-Demand Dropshipping

Starting a business with Printify’s print-on-demand dropshipping service has never been easier. 

Here’s how:

Step 1: Sign Up for a Free Printify Account

After signing up, you can access over 850 high-quality products and our extensive network of carefully-vetted Print Providers.

Step 2: Design Products

With our beginner-friendly and free design tool, the Product Creator, anyone can design one-of-a-kind products.

Step 3: Select a Sales Channel

We offer seamless integrations with some of the world’s most popular eCommerce platforms and marketplaces.

Step 4: Sit Back and Start Selling

After you make a sale, our Print Providers will print, package, and ship the orders directly to your customers.

Opening a Successful Online Store With Dropshipping: FAQ

While anyone can become a successful dropshipper, not everyone will. Knowledge, skills, and dedication are essential.

A few helpful steps for soon-to-be dropshippers:

  • Select a profitable niche
  • Provide unique value
  • Find reliable suppliers
  • Pick the right products
  • Choose a suitable sales channel
  • Build a functional eCommerce store
  • Create an all-encompassing marketing plan

If a dropshipper does their research well, chooses suppliers wisely, and brings their marketing A-game, success is likely to follow.

The time for a dropshipping business to become successful varies depending on several factors: niche, quality of products, the competitiveness of the market, the effectiveness of marketing, and the level of dedication.

As a result, nobody can give a precise estimate. Some dropshippers succeed in a few months, others in a year or more.

The earnings of dropshippers can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars per month. The average profit depends on the niche’s popularity, product pricing strategy, and quantity sold.

Ultimately, all dropshippers are unique – the money they can make depends on their knowledge, abilities, and commitment.

Start a Print-On-Demand Dropshipping Business Today!

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  1. kate
    August 27

    I love this. Well detailed. I hope to open an online store in the future.

    1. Martha Simmons
      August 28

      Hi Kate,
      We wish you the best of luck! If you need any help, feel free to reach out to our merchant support team.


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