In a time like this we must not panic. Panic and fear can take away more lives than any disease. Of course this does not mean we should take this situation lightly. It is important to follow directions given by the local government as well as advice from WHO (World Health Organisation).
Chaotic situation, as this quarantine is, could be as good as it can be bad for us. To overcome this situation we have to bring order in our lifestyle and adapt. To achieve this right information must be obtained.
It is reasonable if you, as a dropshipper, worry about your business. Dropshipping relies on transport, mostly between countries faraway. Corona started in China in December 2019. and spread fast to Korea, USA and Europe. As the virus spread fast countries started going into lock down, closing their borders for tourists, but nevertheless slowing and complicating transport of goods. Just having China locked down makes a great problem knowing that AliExpress is based there. But let me first break this situation down, what problems we are facing:
It is a state of isolation in which most of the countries are, right now. Reason for this is to slow down the spread of the virus. It is achieved by closing borders for all unnecessary crossings.
No turistic travels, but what about transport of goods? Situation is rapidly changing from day to day, along with it restrictions also change, therefore it really does depend on order. For example, Germany recently completely sealed their three main borders, whereas some other countries still allow commissions, but transporter drivers ought to stay in quarantine for 14 days.
When they finally reach the local post service some more delays can be expected.
Especially in China, most factories are being closed, especially for non essential products, which does not offer so much comfort, knowing that mostly drop shipped products are not essential. They will certainly remain closed until the end of March, when they will be allowed to resume their operations. This will mostly happen because China is slowly recovering from the virus, and businesses are struggling heavily during the closure. Consequently, everything will be back in the business in just two weeks time.
As it is important for you not to panic, it is also important for your customers to stay calm. Some worry that parcels could spread the virus around, which is proven not to be the case. Some just do not want to risk ordering, not knowing it will arrive at all. Others are just too focused on the situation going around COVID-19 that they forget about online shopping.
This should not discourage you, but just change your approach to your shop and the way you sell.
What does this mean to you?
You cannot control this situation, but you can control your customer service. Great communication is crucial right now. You should be honest and direct. All of your customers are in quite a similar situation, and are very much aware of it. If you inform them of probable delays in the arrival of their parcels expect positive feedback.
Some customers may want to get a refund, just to not risk, and think about offering them one yourself. But there is more you can do. You should focus on marketing your shop through various channels. This way, your business will stay strong during a crisis period.
Social media – social proof
If you are not present on social media as a brand this is the right time to become.
We all know what a struggle it is to build a big and trusted profile on any platform organically. But now you have extra time that should be wisely used, so why not try with social media. Even if you already are present on social media, look for ways to strengthen your profile.
Ads, ads, ads
Sophisticated big data systems successfully connect products with those who want them, so why not use that advantage.
Facebook ads is one way of reaching out to potential customers. Here, you can adjust marketing to your budget, as you can on instagram, but different from Instagram, you can also target an audience. Moreover, Facebook is a huge platform with various users.
Use email, as your tool
Email is a strong tool. It can be found as personal, and gets directly to your customers, who can rely on the information you provide them. You have to use it wisely and tactically.
Have in mind that now people are on the internet more than ever because of self-isolation and spare time they have.
Do not waste this opportunity to try out email marketing.
Dropshipping in the time of Corona Having read all this you can dive into polishing your business and making it grow!