The Dropshippers’ Survival Guide to Coronavirus
With the spreading concern of Coronavirus all over the world comes the wide-reaching concern on the effect it’s having on ecommerce. With stock shares falling for numerous ecommerce businesses, companies are scrambling to work through supply chain interruptions. China is an epicenter of supply chains, so with the high impact Coronavirus has had on that area, multiple industries are feeling the strain. Dropshippers that are utilizing suppliers based in China are trying to figure out how to keep their businesses running during this time, which is why we are here to help you get through it!
Prepare for Delays
The first thing you should do as a dropshipper affected by Coronavirus is prepare for delays and make sure you are getting that messaging across to your customers. So, if someone has placed an order on your store that you are afraid will not be fulfilled, make sure you contact that customer informing them of the situation and the high potential for delays. Consider also adding a banner or note on the front page of your website highlighting this. You also need to be prepared to give refunds for pending orders in case they do not ship or if customers are concerned about the delay.
During this delay while we await for factories to open back up in China, it is important to make sure you are saving as much money as possible during this time to keep your business afloat. One way you can do this is through pausing any current ad campaigns whether that be through Facebook, Instagram or Google Ads. If you don’t want to pause your ads completely, you can just not test out new ad strategies for a bit and stick with what has been working. You can also take more time marketing to your existing customers as opposed to trying to acquire new customers. The amount of time and money it takes to obtain a new customer is significantly more compared to retaining an existing one, and you can do this through email campaigns and organic social media posts.
Another way you can cut costs is to audit your expenses for your business and ensure you are only paying for business essentials and not spending crucial budget on things you are not utilizing or are not vital to the operations of your company.
Modify Your Strategy
Once you have prepared for delays and have worked on cutting expenses, then you can take into consideration the modification of your dropshipping strategy. With Coronavirus affecting the supply chain in China, it is worth considering changing your dropship product strategy.
Finding New Dropship Suppliers
One way to do this is to start utilizing a dropship supplier based and manufactured in another country, such as the United States. A lot of aspiring ecommerce entrepreneurs currently utilizing China dropshipping don’t realize that it can actually be just as simple dropshipping from a U.S.-based supplier.
Most of the time, suppliers based in the United States don’t label themselves as “dropship” suppliers, but more so wholesale suppliers or distributors making them seemingly harder to seek out. However, by utilizing a dropship supplier directory, it’s easier than ever before to find dropship suppliers in the United States and apply to become a reseller.
Here are some of the top online dropship supplier directories:
- Inventory Source
Inventory Source has the best dropship-only supplier directory in the industry. Not only is accessing the supplier directory free to every user, it only includes the best suppliers from a broad array of product niches offering top brands. You can also preview full product data and supplier contact information.
- Worldwide Brands
Worldwide Brands is one of the longest-running dropship supplier directories online. They have a strict supplier qualification process before being listed on their directory. You have to pay for one lifetime membership fee, but then you’ll have access to the directory forever.
SaleHoo is another popular online supplier directory that lets you research over 8,000 vetted wholesalers and dropship suppliers. They also allow the ability to find ideas for high-demand, profitable products. You have to pay in order to access these features through either a lifetime or annual fee.
- Wholesale Central
Wholesale Central allows you to easily find dropship suppliers by searching by product niche. If you’re looking specifically for only dropship suppliers, you can simply click on the “dropshippers” category. This site is free to use.
However, with the ever present concern of Coronavirus, you will want to ensure you are able to get started with new suppliers quickly and may not have time to go through a reseller application process right now. There’s now a solution called US Direct that allows you to get started dropshipping products from trusted, U.S.-based suppliers without any approval process. Not only will you not have to worry about the extensive China delays, but you will also have a great decrease in shipping times since the products would now be shipped domestically.
Finding Product Opportunity
Another way to modify your dropship product strategy is to find new product opportunities due to the spreading virus. With Coronavirus now becoming prevalent and appearing in countries outside of China, more people are now becoming more health conscious and want to prepare. You can help supply the products that these people are now purchasing in large amounts. Products such as hand sanitizer, vitamins, supplements, masks and other health related items are a given, but also online grocery sales are booming!
Not only do you have the potential to make a hefty profit during this time period, but you can feel good that you are helping the general public in trying to stay healthy and prepared.
Your dropshipping business can get through the Coronavirus epidemic by not panicking, being prepared and utilizing the cost cutting and strategy modifying tactics above. Remember, you are not alone in this – a vast majority of ecommerce businesses are feeling the effects from the virus in one way or another, especially other dropshippers. The impact may last for a few months and some may give up on their business or just wait it out, but by being proactive with these steps, you can be prepared for business to resume as normal stronger than before.