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You've just landed on the first in a series of posts about how I can help solve the most common problems people face when they start dropshipping! Here, we are going to focus on a probably overrated issue that dropshippers may encounter, especially in this time of the global pandemic: the long shipping times associated with dropshipping from AliExpress in China.
Long Shipping Times in Dropshipping?
I want to get straight to the point right away. I was browsing through a Facebook group and saw a post saying how concerned the author was concerned at how (and if) he should put estimated shipping times in his website. To be honest, it's really hard to make an accurate guess on order arrival times before you actually start buying traffic and getting conversions through the door. You can actually just type in "Your package will arrive in 2-4 weeks" and that's it; problem solved.
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"But Grant! That's a long waiting time! Won't people get discouraged from ordering from my website because of that? What if my competitors offer shorter shipping times?"
Actually... I people don't really care about long shipping times as much as you might think! If you stop and ponder for a bit, aren't people already used to that from Amazon? Despite the long wait, people still choose to buy, simply because they want or need a specific product.
What we actually want to do is to get people to engage with our Facebook ads in a way that they would land on our product page and make a purchase without having to check and compare our product with a similar one being sold on Amazon (although I haven't really encountered a customer who complained that they found a much cheaper alternative some place else).
Dealing With The Long Wait
I just want to stress this out again. People don't particularly pay too much attention to long shipping times. They usually see our Facebook ads, click on them, land on our product page, add the product to their cart and check out. And we have a shipping and delivery page on our website, but when I go to Google Analytics and see what my customers are doing when browsing my website, I find that not too many people go and check out those pages.
So what if someone checks out of our website, and a few days later, he or she sends an email that goes like this:
"I just realized that it would take a while for my order to come to my door! I would like to cancel my order; can I get a refund for it?"
With more than 40,000 orders being processed every month with my main store, I have received a ton of messages like this. What usually happens is when they place an order and successfully check out, we will instantly send them an order receipt. 2 to 3 days later, we will send a tracking number so they can keep watch of their package as it makes its way to them. This is usually the time when the customer would realize that it's going to take a long time before their orders would arrive, and the refund email would be sent our way.
Now, the tracking number should imply that the package has already been shipped out of the warehouse from China via ePacket. And through the years, I have proven that shipping via ePacket takes only 4-5 days. So how do I handle these customers?
First, I send them an email stating that they can expect their order within 2-4 weeks maximum. And then I use a software called AfterShip to automatically send tracking numbers to my customers, and whenever there is an update for a specific tracking number, an email will be sent to the customer, notifying them about it. "Your order has been received," "Your order has been packed," "Your order has arrived in your country," "Your order will be delivered today."
Furthermore, AfterShip shows the average delivery time of all your packages, so they never would have to doubt your emails or your brand at all. It shows a breakdown by the number of days and how many packages from your store are being delivered within those periods of times.
When I get a thousand orders from my store, from the software, I can see that most of the packages sit within the 14-16-day period, so it's only fair for me to tell the customers to wait for 2-4 weeks for their orders to arrive.
BONUS: Why Your Orders Are Delayed
Most of the time, the delay in delivery is not your (nor your supplier's) fault. Now in 2020, at a time when COVID-19 is still negatively impacting a great number of business regardless of size and years of experience, AND because most of your dropshipping products are coming from China, you could say that the courier is having problems with customs clearing. I myself have experienced this with almost all of my stores, and it is never a good experience to receive backlash from my customers -- especially when they type in their complaints on my Facebook Ads!
The best thing to do in this situation is to instruct your customer service representative for him or her to remain calm and collected when handling these issues, and to inform the customer of what is really happening with their orders. Usually, your customer's frustrations will slowly fade away once they talk to someone who handles the job professionally and in a way that does not invalidate their insights and opinions.
Let's Wrap It Up!
Long shipping times? No worries! All you need is a really good software and a top notch customer service representative.
When you are shipping via ePacket, you can trust that your customers' orders will arrive in no less than 5 days, but as a dropshipper, you need to think ahead and expect delays due to unforeseen circumstances. As such, it is only right for you to be prepared and generate solutions that would satisfy your customer and prevent them from pushing you to make a refund as much as possible.
Take note of the amazing software that I have used (and still am using) in my own stores: AfterShip. Said software sends real time updates to your customers so they never would have to make nonsense theories about you taking their money away without giving them what they asked for!
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If you have any more questions about how to become successful at dropshipping, finding and selling winning products, creating the most profitable dropshipping stores, dropshipping in Australia or anything regarding this video, feel free to personally contact me via the Contact Form HERE. You can also leave your comments and feedback below, and our team over at WagePirate will definitely get back to you with a response. For more reviews, news and updates, do not forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel!