Dropshipping might be the next big thing in the world of entrepreneurship. What’s so great about it is that it allows you to turn your idea into reality without leaving your home. Everything is done over the internet, starting with the creation of the product. You also get to sell the product online, as well as organize its delivery to the buyer.
Becoming a dropshipping retailer means owning a virtual store rather than a real one. Instead of coming to your brick-and-mortar store to take a look of the products you offer, potential buyers will check them out on your website. And if they decide to buy an item you sell, you won’t be the one who sends it to them. That role is taken care of by the wholesaler/manufacturer, who will ship the item straight to the buyer without using you as the ‘middleman’.
Still, this doesn’t mean that you’re not in charge of anything. Apart from promoting the products to the potential buyers, your job is also to ensure all other processes are done the right way, parcel delivery included. The fact that you won’t physically deal with parcel delivery does not mean you don’t get any say in it. Actually, you do get your say as the dropshipping retailer is the one who gets to decide which courier service to do business with.
The Importance of Courier Service in Dropshipping
Sure, you can let the buyer, or even the wholesaler, to decide how the items will get shipped. Still, for the sake of your business, it is better to take the matters in your own hands. After all, shipping is an important part of the dropshipping business.
In this day and age, you can buy almost anything on the internet. There are literally thousands of online stores out there, meaning that the competition is fierce. In order to succeed in this type of business, you need to do all in your power to keep the customers satisfied. And you can bet they’re not gonna be satisfied if their package gets lost, damaged, or takes much longer to arrive than expected.
If a courier service makes a mistake, the buyers are probably not going to blame them, but you. In order not to lose your customers due to the mistakes of others, you need to find a good courier company. But, what are the things that make a courier company good?
If an item is going to be shipped from another part of the world, let’s say China, the wholesaler probably won’t be willing to risk anything. Instead, they’ll insist on getting paid in advance. That means that either you or the customer is going to have to pay for it before the item gets on its way. And because of that, not receiving the package (or getting a damaged item) is going to mean loss of money.
To reduce the risk of such a scenario, the best thing you can do is find a reliable courier company, even if that meant paying more for the service or waiting a little bit longer for the delivery.
When you buy something online, you want it to get to your address as soon as possible. The problem is that it takes time to ship items from another part of the world. Unfortunately, for some customers, a long delivery time can be a deal-breaker. However, what’s even worse is not getting a parcel at the expected time. And that’s exactly what’s likely to happen if you put your trust into an unreliable shipping company.
If the delivery time they offer seems too good to be true, it’s because it probably isn’t. The fact is that it takes about 3 weeks for a package to arrive from China to Europe if sent by sea freight. It’s much faster if air freight is used, but it’s also much more expensive.
Speaking of shipping price, this is another big deal-breaker for your customers. You can try to solve it by letting them decide on the shipping method, but as we’ve already mentioned, this would increase the risk of the parcel not arriving at time, or not arriving at all.
The second option is to pick the best-possible shipping option, but that would increase the cost of the item and that could make the customer decide to give up on it. Sure, you can cover the shipping fees on your own, but that would greatly reduce your profits. So, what are you supposed to do?
Finding some middle-ground is what you got to do, based on the distance between the wholesaler and the customers, the value of the items, and many other factors.
A big factor in deciding which shipping company to use is their coverage. You need to pick it according to the location of the wholesaler, as well as the location of most of your customers. There really is not point in offering a worldwide delivery (and paying more for it) if 99% of your customers are from the UK, for example.
For low-value shipping, some shipping companies don’t offer parcel tracing. And this increases the risk of the package getting lost. With no parcel tracking option, neither you, nor the buyer, nor even the wholesaler will know where the item is.
If the buyer isn’t pleased with the product for whatever reason and wishes to return it, who pays the shipping fees? You, the buyer, or the shipping company? Problems do happen in the dropshipping business and you need to have a solution ready.
Finding the Perfect Shipping Company
These are the things you need to take into account, as they can affect your dropshipping business significantly. A poor shipping company can tear your customers away from you. A good one, will keep them by your side.
But, the question is are you prepared to give up a little bit of profit in order to ensure your customers get their items in flawless condition, within the expected time frame? Finding the perfect balance between user satisfaction and your profits is of utmost importance here.