Whether you’ve just started or you’re thinking about dropshipping, one of the biggest concerns for new dropshippers is the length of time it takes to get that all-important first sale.
The length of time until your first dropshipping sale depends on your audience and your conversion rate. If you’re smart about picking your products and you’ve got your advertising campaign dialed in, it’s not uncommon to get your first sale within a few days.
In this article, we’ll look at how long it takes on average to get your first dropshipping sale, how you can calculate how long it should take for you, and cover some methods you can use to expedite the whole process.
If you’ve not started yet, don’t worry! We’ll also cover some tips for picking a great product and managing your audience so you can get started on the right foot.
How To Speed Up Your First Dropshipping Sale
Getting your first few sales is a crucial milestone in dropshipping since it validates your produce and process and allows you to start scaling.
Dropshipping is a deceptively simple concept. Find a great product, market it to the right audience with a compelling offer, and watch the sales will start rolling in. While the concept is straightforward, there are lots of moving parts, and some things are easy to miss.
With that in mind, let’s check out some of the most important factors that affect your first sale, and how to optimize them to speed up your first sale and get the ball rolling:
1: Pick The Perfect Product
Selecting the right product is absolutely crucial. So many dropshipping businesses fail before they even get off the starting line because they select a product that isn’t viable.
When choosing a product for dropshipping, here are a few things to consider:
- Price – Choose a product that has enough margin for you to make a profit.
- Quality – Poor quality products will destroy your business with refunds and complaints.
- Availability – Make sure you pick a product that you will be able to order long-term.
- Supplier – Picking a reputable supplier will make your life so much easier. You would be surprised how many suppliers will disappear overnight when things start to go wrong, leaving you in the lurch.
- Legal – Some products require the seller to hold specific permits or licenses. This applies to medical and chemical products, so it’s important to know this beforehand.
If you’re still looking for the perfect product or supplier, check out Spocket. It’s a free tool that lets dropshippers like us compare dropshipping products and suppliers. You get access to a huge database of pricing information so you can compare prices, availability, margins, and see reviews of suppliers to make sure you’re setting yourself up for success right from the start.
Spocket integrates directly into your Shopify or WooCommerce storefront too, so you can get everything set up with minimal effort.
2: Cultivate A Large Targeted Audience
When you’re thinking about your dropshipping audience, it’s important to think about both the quality of your audience (how well targeted they are) and the quantity of your audience (how many people you can reach).
There’s no point in having a laser-targeted audience if you can only reach a few people, and there’s no point in reaching a million people if none of them are well-targeted to your audience.
One of the best ways to create a large audience is using an ad management tool like Spott to create and test different ad formats and audiences. It works with all the major ad providers including Google ads and Facebook ads and comes with comprehensive analytics.
If you’re not testing your ads, you’re leaving money on the table. Click here to check out Spott today, you could be running your first ad 20 minutes from now!
Once you start receiving targeted traffic to your site, capture their emails and add them to your mailing list. Retargeting is extremely effective since you’re marketing to a warm audience.
3: Create Compelling Ad Copy
Even if you have the perfect product for your audience, you still need to be able to convey the value of your offering in some way to get them to click.
Creating compelling ad copy is a whole discipline in and of itself, but there are a few basic frameworks that you can follow to get a compelling ad in no time, including AIDA, FAB, and PAS.
Let’s take a look at the PAS ad copy framework and learn how you can use it to make a compelling ad for your dropshipping product:
PAS – Problem, Agitate, Solution
Did you notice the intro of this article? There was a problem, it was agitated, and a solution was offered.
- Problem: It takes a long time to get your first dropshipping sale.
- Agitate: There are several things you may be doing incorrectly that are hurting your business.
- Solution: Read this article and find out how to fix them!
It obviously worked on you if you’re still reading this far, think how well it will work on your customers! PAS is a great ad format for products that solve a problem.
Nowadays, there are several tools that can help you come up with ads that fall under one of these frameworks. One tool I’ve used extensively is Longshot.ai. It’s a great tool for writing compelling ads and titles that follow the PAS formula.
4: Optimize Your Conversion Rate
Optimizing your website to improve your conversion rate is all about taking down barriers and making it as easy as possible for your customers to buy.
Even a tiny change like adding an extra confirmation page to your checkout page, or not having a payment processor that your customer is used to can have a massive impact on your conversion rates.
Check out this infographic from WorldPay showing all the reasons customers abandon their checkout:
Once a potential customer has decided to leave, they are a lost cause, right?
NEVER let your customers abandon their cart without giving them one last chance to buy. You might think it’s annoying, but you have nothing to lose once the customer has decided to leave already.
One of the most effective ways of capturing customers and saving a cart from being abandoned is with an exit-intent popup.
Exit-intent popups notice when your customer is about to leave their cart without purchasing and presents them with a compelling reason to stay, or an option to save their cart for later so you can retarget them.
Usually, this will be in the form of a discount coupon that they can have emailed to themselves. This gives you the opportunity to capture the customer’s email to retarget them later if they don’t buy even with the discount.
The best free tool I’ve found for creating exit-intent popups is HelloBar. There’s a free plan that lets you create an exit-intent popup to capture emails, offer a discount, and boost your conversion rate. (It works great for adding to your mailing list too!)
HelloBar integrates with Shopify and WooCommerce, as well as mailing list managers like MailChimp.
It’s completely free, easy to use, and will boost your conversion rates instantly.
Dropshipping First Sale Calculator
Dropshipping sales are simply a product of conversion rate, and traffic. If you send enough people to your site, your audience is suitably well-targeted, and you’ve taken care of the steps above to make sure there are no barriers to conversion, you can work out roughly when your first sale will be using the following formula:
Days until first sale = 1 / Daily Traffic * Conversion Rate
As an example, the average eCom conversion rate is between 1% and 4%. If we say your conversion rate is 1% and you’re sending 50 targeted users to your site every day, you should expect your first sale in two days.
- Days = 1 / (50 * 0.01)
- Days = 1 / (0.5)
- Days = 2
You can see from the calculations that any reduction in conversion rate or traffic will increase the length of time it takes to get your first sale and decrease your overall ROI.
This formula also shows us that conversion rate and audience size are both crucial and one won’t work without the other.
Hopefully, you learned something useful here. If you’re interested in dropshipping, sign up for our mailing list to get the latest tips, tricks, and tools straight to your inbox.