The internet has drastically changed how we buy and sell products; in its wake, came the eCommerce stores. Now, borders and shores don’t limit the ability of marketers to sell off their products; once you can maintain a digital presence, you can sell or purchase any product online and from any part of the world in a twinkle of an eye.
Apart from this ease of doing business, opportunities such as drop shipping have also come up. Many people who have little capital and never thought they could start any form of business are now retailers.
With drop shipping, you don’t need to have an inventory to sell products. All you need is a wholesaler, manufacturer, or another retailer who stores the product you want to sell. Once you have the client base that will order products, your angle is just to fulfill their orders.
However, because you don’t come in direct contact with the products you sell, the packaging and delivery are handled by a third party; these are very vital to your success, especially the delivery time.
When your products arrive late, your customers will not be happy with you; this greatly impacts the reviews you get and ultimately, your conversion rate. Product quality is of high essence, but that may not be enough; customers want to get what they order in the expected time.
There can even be online businesses that can ship orders within 24 hours, after all, what customers thrive for now is real-time experience. Also, you must always have in mind that 46% of global shoppers expect to get their orders within 2-3 days.
The majority of products consumers buy today are produced in China and if you target the U.S. market, you must contend with eCommerce giants such as Amazon and Walmart. To overcome the competition from these giants, your delivery time is of high essence.
For instance, Amazon can offer extremely speedy shipping times and boasts of ensuring that customers get their products between 1 and 7 days. To this effect, you must drop ship products from wholesalers who have warehouses in the U.S.
For drop shippers who depend on products from China, you may also want to know that many AliExpress sellers now store their products in the U.S., this will go a long way in ensuring that you can compete favorably with the eCommerce giants as regards delivery time since you can effectively shorten your shipping times.
Shipping the product is not necessarily an integral part of drop shipping, but you want to get good reviews from your customers based on their experience with your drop shipping business. The actual shipping of products involves a lot of documentation and based on the volume of products that your shipping agency handles daily, it may be difficult to depend solely on human labor to ensure effectiveness.
eCommerce giants you are going to compete with are deploying emerging technologies such as AI-powered Chatbots to ensure they keep on top of their delivery time; every business today knows how important it is to give real-time service, and this can only be possible if you deploy AI to handle documentation and customer service. You, therefore, must ensure that the agency that will handle the shipping of products for you must be relying on advancements in technology to enhance customer satisfaction.
If you can’t deliver within 24 hours, you may not be kicked out of the drop shipping market, but you need to know the following to enable you to resolve the problems of long shipping time.
Since you are not directly in charge of shipping products, you must endeavor to let your customers know the time frame they will have their orders delivered. This is very instrumental in ensuring a good customer experience.
You may want to believe that when you tell your customers about your shipping costs, they will be discouraged, but in reality, being honest and ensuring you meet up with your delivery time may even be what will make you relevant in the market. The fear may be that when you make your shipping costs public this will affect your conversion rate; incidentally, by being honest with your potential customers, you will avoid any embarrassment that can come from disappointments.
The information about your shipping costs and delivery time can be displayed on your FAQ page, shipping policy, and on your product pages. This can come in the form of this question,
‘How long will it take to ship my order’ on your FAQ page.
Even when you are not actually handling the shipping, you can get accurate information from your shipping agency and pass it on to your customers on your FAQ page.
The internet has indeed made it quite easy for you to sell products from anywhere in the world, however, it may be more convenient for you to satisfy your customers by drop shipping from suppliers who are close to you; this effectively reduces the long shipping times you will experience if you drop ship from far distances.
Even if you are drop shipping from AliExpress, you can still have a supplier from your country, notwithstanding that AliExpress mainly has Chinese suppliers.
The market is very competitive; customers can easily purchase products from anywhere; they will not want to wait for you to deliver a product they can easily purchase from a store nearby after 30-40 days. However, if your product is unique, customers won’t mind the extra days they will wait before you deliver the product.
This is why you need to go for outstanding and unique products. Your focus must be on drop shipping products that are exclusive and not common.
Drop shipping is the type of business where you don’t keep any inventory, and you don’t come in direct contact with the products, however, the business world has become overly competitive. Customers want the best experience; delivery time is very important.
Even if you don’t have to involve yourself in the shipping process, you can always ensure that the agency that handles your shipping integrates technology such as AI and Chatbots to ensure customer satisfaction. This is the only way you can remain relevant in the highly competitive market.