If dropshipping seems to be an ideal solution to start the e-commerce adventure, without having to invest too much, it has a drawback.
Indeed, depending on the suppliers you work with, delivery times can belong. This has an impact on your activity and on the reaction of your customers. But it is possible to consider solutions to avoid these inconveniences that can harm your business! Here’s how to improve your dropshipping delivery times for a successful and sustainable store.
Why is it necessary to improve delivery times in dropshipping?
Stay competitive and don’t lose money. In the field of e-commerce, many large groups have short delivery times and immediately available stocks. The goal is therefore to remain competitive by implementing fast dropshipping deliveries.
If not, you risk :
- having unhappy customers who can damage your reputation ;
- lose customers;
- avoid that buyers contest the order and ask their bank to intervene:
In the latter case, if the delay extends inordinately, the customer agrees with their bank to charge the order amount back to their account.
In the mind of the consumer and the banker, the specter of fraud is very present.
On your side, there is a loss of profit. Several of the same procedures may be a problem with the payment solutions you have in place. For example, your PayPal or Stripe accounts may be closed because your business is at risk. Under no circumstances should you go to these extremes. They are harmful to the durability of your dropshipping store.
Offer added value to your e-shop
In dropshipping, as for any online business, it is sometimes difficult to define your added value compared to the competition.
What if your value proposition was built around a fast delivery time?
Not only would you stand out from many stores, but you would build an effective strategy. In fact, it leads to customer loyalty. If you manage to obtain delivery times of no more than a few days, you can build your communication around this feature. This is where you will find your added value that can make all the difference with the competition.
Inform customers of delivery times
Whatever the time frame, remember to inform consumers. Do so directly in the product description, if possible, and in your FAQs, adding a disclaimer. It will be more difficult for the customer to complain about delays if they are informed about them. You will be able to enforce this in case of difficulty.
How to obtain satisfactory delivery times?
Choosing your suppliers. When you work with suppliers based abroad, especially in China, delivery times are necessarily quite long. Even if some of them have warehouses in Europe, you have to make sure that the products are available.
An article that is not available in a European warehouse and that comes from abroad will be delayed for weeks.
In this case, it is essential to have access to a system that allows for the synchronization of stocks in real-time. This is a feature I mentioned in the article on dropshipping software, available on Dropizi.
Before choosing which wholesaler to work with :
- do some sourcing to get an idea of what to expect;
- check the delivery times, and keep the wholesalers that offer the shortest delivery times;
- favor European, French, or even local suppliers.
Of course, the last solution may reduce your margin compared to the Chinese market, but think about the benefits you will get:
- products in the vicinity and quickly delivered ;
- no disputes with unhappy customers;
- avoid the problems of customs delays which can drag on for weeks and generate additional costs.
Carefully select your products
Some products may have higher expectations than others.
First of all, absolutely avoid selling products such as medicines. These can be life-saving for the people who order them, and the ethics of doing so may be questioned.
Secondly, while it may be tempting to sell products with a high price tag, it is much more difficult to moderate customer expectations in this case. Their concern becomes legitimate in relation to their investment.
Finally, focus on items that are in high demand and may be more difficult for consumers to find. This way, the waiting time, even if it is a bit long, will be compensated by the buyer’s satisfaction of having obtained the product of his dreams.
If it is justified, you can call upon an agent specialized in dropshipping.
This can be useful if you are working with a country like China. He will act as an intermediary in order to reduce the delays as much as possible and will be able to direct you towards the best suppliers and to guarantee the quality of the products. Obviously, this has a cost. It seems more reasonable to wait until your company is sustainable before using this solution.
Have your own inventory
The interest of dropshipping is not to have to manage stock. However, in order to reduce the waiting time of the customers as much as possible, it is possible to have a stock of a few products in advance which allows to anticipate the orders and to satisfy them quickly. This requires a small investment and a little organization if you have the space to store a few pieces.
In this case, it is important to make sure that the products leave as soon as possible.
In summary, it is absolutely essential to improve the delivery times in dropshipping to differentiate yourself and succeed in this business. To do this:
- Select the suppliers who offer the best delivery times;
- Choose carefully your products, their nature, and their price;
- Choose European or French wholesalers;
- Make sure the products are available in stock;
- Store products in order to have an advanced stock in case of problems.
This will allow you to bring a real added value to your dropshipping store.