The following may sound like a huge whine (I'm sorry, it probably is) but I am genuinely looking for advice from others who may have experienced the same thing, so thank you in advance for reading on...
I honestly thought a camping and outdoor supplies store was the best dropshipping store to open due to pandemic related travel restrictions and multiple different outlets talking about how popular camping has become recently etc. My store website address is www.campingclever.co.uk.
However, my store has been open since January and I have only made 3 sales - all from people I know!
I have spent a small fortune signing up to multiple sites like eSources; Wholesale2B; Wholesale Scout, Wholesale Deals etc. but I have not been able to find a decent supplier of outdoor goods at all. I have products from GoTen and Avasam on my site which are UK based but if I do sell anything from these suppliers, I will make £1-£2 profit at the very most, per product because the price they're charging me is so high but if I add more profit, I will be charging way more than everyone else selling the same stuff so won't make any sales anyway.
I have products from Aliexpress via Oberlo and only choose items that have a 10 day delivery promise - however, this is often changed without warning/notice to 30-50 days etc. so I have to check each product individually every day and remove the ones that no longer offer 10 days delivery. This is time consuming and frustrating and I wouldn't mind at all if I was actually making any money.
I have paid for Google ads and multiple Facebook ads and still nothing.
My aim was to be a standalone store - I don't want to advertise or compete on the already overly saturated Amazon and eBay.
Have I chosen the wrong niche? Are there UK suppliers out there that I just can't find? Should I just give it up altogether and move on, or should I try a different niche?
If you have read this far, thank you so much and if you have any advice I would be so incredibly grateful, even if the advice is to cease and desist!!
Many thanks forum friends,
Hello @sueclever !
I understand it can be extremely frustrating when you put so much effort on something you believe in but hasn't yet delivered! I really like your name, the brand, the website and its design - you have a lot of good things going on. There might be a number of factors that could be hindering tour progress.
Firstly, the fact that you launched in January in the midst of the winter and the second wave. Surely the timing wasn't ideal given the restrictions and the weather. The weather is nice now and less measures are in place. People want to go out now so try running a new marketing campaign.
Secondly, do you run a social media campaign? I see you only have a Facebook page but nothing on Instagram. You should invest your efforts on Instagram and potentially even Pinterest and Tik Tok. Hire a social media manager.
Hope my two cents can be of any use!
Hi Digital Artisan,
Thanks for your feedback.
All of our paid advertising was targeted for when UK campsites reopened so it's all fairly recent. I also paid for a one year ad on the Camping Directory website.
I have a job and an 11 year old as well as running this site so haven't gotten round to setting up Instagram or anything, I don't have these things personally, only Facebook but I agree that I need to remedy that asap.
I was thinking of setting up a second store selling pet products as this is a more evergreen product, however, although I can find some UK suppliers with great products in all ranges, the profit margins are really small so the prospect of paying another monthly fee for a Shopify store is putting me off.
What I really want is one or two UK based suppliers who can supply good quality items and delivery them reasonably quickly. A lot of my GoTen products are regularly out of stock and their products and the Avasam stuff isn't really all that good quality.
Sorry - I'm whining again.
Anyway... thank you for taking the time to reply and offering good advice. I will set up Instagram and will look into Pinterest and TikTok as I don't know anything about them and I will persevere!
No worries I understand your situation!
Alternatively, you could look into cosmetics (skin care, health products, etc.). That space is also evergreen/recession-proof and it's the industry with the highest margins!
Best of luck,
I understand your frustration! We have had a product online that was ultimately doing zero sales for us. We had an SEO expert look into our site and tell us we were ultimately non-existent on the internet; and we put a lot of money into it! Our problem was that we were just not seen. With billions of products online, you may just be getting lost in outer space...so it may not necessarily be a reflection on your products or brand. I like your concept/idea and believe it is on trend with what people are wanting nowadays...plus online demand is only increasing.
What has slowly started working for us is we found a Google PPP (Pay Per Click) expert who really knew their stuff and how to target the right customer. You may want to try to find someone who really knows how to manage the PPP well and read your customer...and also will offer the service for a fair price. Perhaps you can even offer a temporary profit share with them instead of money up front as an incentive until you grow. I would check out Fiverr.com. They have affordable freelance experts in this field, but I would really dig in to find the best one for you who knows their stuff and will be diligent in babysitting the performance of the ad for you.
Also, maybe you can offer your customer an incentive as well on your home page to catch their attention such as a guarantee or spend $60 get a free camping chair, etc.
Just some food for thought. I hope this will at least stir up some ideas! Your idea is good. Online can just be very difficult. It's like watering a plant and you sometimes just have to keep watering it with a tiny bit of growth at a time.
Sanctity Industries, Inc.