How Long Does it Take to Be Successful in Dropshipping?


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We should all have more patients but let’s be honest, we want to make money fast, not slow. Dropshipping gurus often give you the perception that you can be successful with dropshipping in no time if you follow their advice. But is that really true?

In this article, I’ll cover all the need important parts of a dropshipping business and give you a realistic timeframe for how long each will take. These times are from my own experience and the experiences of others I have helped in the dropshipping industry.

This way you’ll have a reasonable idea of when you can expect to start making money so you know whether it’s worth pursuing.

How Long Does it Take to Make a Sale in Dropshipping?

The time it takes to make a sale dropshipping really depends on how you plan to market your products. Are you planning on going for paid advertising or organic marketing to drive traffic to your store?

Once a dropshipping store is built, full of products, ready to drive traffic and start making sales, you can make your first sale within the first 24 hours of that store being open for business with paid advertising. However, making your first sale can take months with free organic advertising strategies.

This is why most drop shippers opt for paid advertising in the beginning stages of a new dropshipping business. They can test how viable a product or niche is for a relatively low cost by paying for ads and testing how many sales they make.

The reason it can take months to make a sale with organic marketing is platforms such as Google and Pinterest will take a lot of time before they rank you for specific keywords for visitors to find your dropshipping store.

They want to be sure you are a legitimate business before they trust you enough to rank your dropshipping store using their platform. It can take 3 to 6 months to make a sale via Google search and between 1 to 3 months to make a sale via Pinterest.

How Long Does it Take to Learn Dropshipping?

For an inexperienced beginner, you can learn the fundamentals of dropshipping within a week. This includes sourcing products and suppliers, building a Shopify store, running basic marketing campaigns and managing a store.

With this level of knowledge, you could run a basic dropshipping store and make some sales. The problem is you can expect sales to fluctuate and you may run at a loss throughout this time. It can be difficult to know which changes need to be made to turn your store profitable with only 1 week of learning.

However, the more technical side of a dropshipping business can take months or years to learn. This includes transitioning from dropshipping to working with manufacturers and building a brand, managing shipping lines for selling worldwide, advanced marketing strategies, writing persuasive copy and store optimization.

Dropshipping is ever-evolving, especially with the introduction of AI. Don’t expect you’re ever going to learn dropshipping, there will always be more to learn as the industry changes.

There are ways of speeding up the learning curve for dropshipping which include taking a comprehensive course or your prior experience in e-commerce, website design or marketing. Having some background knowledge in any way part of the dropshipping industry will speed up your progress.

For more information, I have an article on how long it takes to learn Shopify dropshipping.

How Long Does it Take to Be Succesful in Dropshipping?

How long it takes to be successful with dropshipping will really depend on your definition of success and what your starting point is. I’ll assume your idea of success is to replace your full-time job income and you have no previous experience.

A realistic timeframe to be consistently making $4,000 per month profit dropshipping is between 6 months and 2 years. The gap is wide because there are many variables that can impact someone’s success including how much time they have to learn, the niche they choose, whether they’re tech-savvy, their financial budget and much more.

Many people never find success with dropshipping because they’re looking for an easy way of making money online only to realize dropshipping takes time and isn’t easy before giving up.

Successful drop shippers don’t give up when they fail, they understand failure is a pre-requisite to succeeding with dropshipping. Instead, they are persistent, adaptable and understand they have realistic expectations.

For more info, I have an article on the success rate of dropshipping.

How Long Does it Take to be Profitable in Dropshipping?

Profitability in dropshipping can fluctuate drastically based on several factors. You can be profitable within the first month of a new dropshipping business only to find you’re running at a loss the second month. This would be unusual but also possible.

Typically, a dropshipping store would use Meta ads with a Meta Pixel that can help you better understand your visitor’s needs by tracking their activity. This makes optimizing your store easier and increases your return on ad spend (ROAS) which makes your profitable faster.

However, a big factor that can impact your profitability is copycats replicating your store’s success. As soon as other drop shippers see your profitable using Meta ads, expect competition which will increase ad costs and affect your profits.

The most effective strategy to avoid this is to buy in bulk and build a brand. This is the route most successful drop shippers take and is the best way of building a sustainable and semi-passive source of income.

By using dropshipping to test and validate products and then pivoting to building a brand, you make it difficult for your store to be replicated. You can go from dropshipping to having a unique brand making you consistent profits within a year.

The majority of that time will be working with a manufacturer or agent based in China to make changes to your products. This process takes time because you need to receive feedback from your customers on how to improve your products and ordering samples from each step throughout the process takes several months.

I have an article on dropshipping profit margins if you want more information.

How Long Does it Take to Build a Dropshipping Store with Shopify?

The time it takes to build a dropshipping store will vary based on several factors, including your experience level, tech skills, the type of store you’re building, and how much of a perfectionist you are.

Once you understand how to use Shopify, a dropshipping store can be created within 1 – 2 hours. However, it can take months to make changes and optimize a store for conversions. This can include product descriptions, images, testimonials, reviews and adding apps.

Writing unique product descriptions is an important yet time-consuming part of building a dropshipping store. This step of building an e-commerce store has been sped up and improved with AI writing tools.

I used Koala AI to write some product descriptions and I was shocked by how much better they were than me at writing sales copy and it can be complete within seconds.

You can also use apps such as DSers to upload products to your store quickly and easily. Glorify is ideal for creating unique and professional product imagery.

With the help of tools, you’ll be amazed how fast a professional dropshipping store can be created. At the same time, a Shopify store should never be complete. There are always changes and improvements that can be made to increase conversions.

If you really want to speed up the process, I have an article on buying pre-built Shopify stores and whether it’s worth it.

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