Even though the vaccine rollout is underway and we are edging nearer to normalcy, over one year on, COVID-19 is still negatively affecting businesses of all kinds. It has not only caused a lot of brick-and-mortar businesses to shut temporarily or permanently. The situation has also affected online dropshipping businesses. Why? Because the model involves sending physical goods to customers in the mail. With lockdowns in place, supply chain problems have been rife, and they continue to affect dropshipping businesses in the US and throughout the world.
Supply Chain Issues for Products Sourced in China
Entrepreneurs with online stores who are sourcing their products from China have faced many challenges since the COVID-19 outbreak. At times over the last year, shipments out of China have been at a near standstill. Seeing as so many products are manufactured in China and bought by westerners to cut down on costs, the logistic and production issues inside China have created an unsteady supply chain. That means customers who have bought items online are having to wait a long time to receive goods or are not receiving their items at all. That has caused more woes for dropshippers because so many customer refunds need to be made. The supply chain problems from China have made it difficult for many dropshippers in countries like the US to hold their businesses together during these uncertain times.
Another problem that drop shipping businesses have faced during the pandemic is a change in customer buying habits. With many people out of work or working from home, and unable to engage in their normal daily lifestyles, lots of people are ditching previous products they desired for others. For instance, there has been a huge demand for things like fitness trackers, hand sanitizers, and other health and fitness products since the outbreak began. So, eCommerce businesses have been changing the dropshipping products they offer to cater to the new emerging market. However, with so many dropshippers trying out new product lines, at times, that has also caused supply chain issues.
Increased Shipping Fees
Shipping delays have not only been confined to China. All over the world, the logistics of supply chains have had to alter in response to the coronavirus, causing many deliveries to be delayed. Furthermore, it is not only shipping delays that are the problem. There has also been a big increase in shipping fees. In many countries, shipping fees have risen by between 40% and 60%. That is due to flights being canceled and other flights being used to transport important medical supplies instead of non-essential commercial products. With limited cargo space and increased demand for products bought online, carriers have had to increase their fees. That, of course, has had a knock-on effect for the price dropshipping businesses sell their goods.
How Dropshipping Businesses Have Been Handling Their Supply Chain Woes
While COVID-19 and the lockdowns have undoubtedly caused lots of supply chain woes, many drop shipping businesses are still thriving. After all, the lockdowns have made online shopping rocket in the last year. Savvy dropshippers have been optimizing their product lines to suit the new demand. In addition to switching to sought-after items like hand sanitizer and fitness trackers, successful dropshippers have been ensuring they communicate with their customers to provide shipping updates at every step of the way. Customers know that COVID-19 and the lockdowns have caused delays and the unavailability of products, so most will understand when they are informed that they have to wait for their items to arrive. The important thing is making sure customers are always kept up to date with friendly messages so that drop shipping businesses can retain those customers long after COVID-19 has finally ceased to be such a tragic problem.
Image source: https://pixabay.com/photos/logistics-truck-container-plane-3382013/