The impact of any shipping mistakes can be devastating to your dropshipping business if not prevented or handled properly.
Running a dropshipping business means giving away the control of a huge chunk of your business to someone else – and that’s the dropshipping supplier. As it is the supplier that fulfills and ships the order, you have very little authority on when that’s going to be done. You simply don’t know whether you’re at the top or bottom of the queue of retailers they’re catering to.
With this arrangement, you can’t control the packaging and what goes into the pack. In short, your control on what happens will end when you passed on the order to the supplier. And this is where most dropshipping problems start.
Shipping plays a vital role in the success of a dropshipping business. It is not just about delivering the shipment to the customers but it also shows your commitment to providing a satisfying overall experience to them. When you avoid common shipping mistakes, you can certainly have an edge over your competitors. Most mistakes are just small but their impact can be damaging to your business.
Here’s a list of 6 common shipping mistakes you are most likely to encounter and how to avoid them.
Mistake #1: Misleading Shipping Times
A lot of dropshippers do not divulge their shipping times because they are afraid that it will put off customers from buying. Some state their shipping time but they declare a shorter period than what their suppliers can manage to do. Both of these things are done to mislead people.
If you don’t put a shipping time, you’re going to be inundated with emails from customers asking about their orders. Meanwhile, declaring a shorter delivery time than what the supplier stated in its store, will lead to numerous refund requests when their packages don’t arrive as promised. If you receive a high amount of requests to refund, some payment gateways can ban your account, ruining your dropshipping business as a result.
Recommended Solution: Be transparent with your shipping times to avoid any issues. Your shipping time will not affect your conversion as customers have a prior notice on when they can expect to receive their purchases. If they like your products and they can’t get them easily from anywhere, they would be willing to wait for 2 – 3 weeks to get their hands on them.
Mistake #2: Incorrect Shipping Address
Any error to the shipping address such as the Country Code, State Code, Zip Code, and so on can lead to delivering the package to the wrong address or product delivery failure. Getting back the product and having it delivered to the right address can be very expensive. There’s also the disgruntled customer that you have to deal with who might go ahead and file a chargeback with his bank for non-receipt of purchases. You’ll end up losing more money when this happens.
Recommended Solution: Take time to thoroughly check the shipping address and small details like ZIP codes before passing the order to your supplier. By ensuring that you’re inputting the right information will save you a lot of money. If the error in the shipping information was committed by the supplier, you should hold some sort of evidence that you provided the correct information to the supplier. This way, you will not pay for the cost of reshipping when the fault is not yours.
Mistake #3: Limited Shipping Options for Customers
Everyone loves free shipping. Yet it is often not the best shipping. Some customers might be willing to pay more to get their orders faster. Other factors customers may choose to pay higher shipping rates are guaranteed, delivery, package security, and so on. If you only use the free shipping method of the supplier, you’ll likely lose customers for it.
Recommended Solution: Provide several shipping options in your dropshipping store to give customers other shipping methods if they want to receive their purchases in the soonest time possible. There are variances to AliExpress shipping times if you’re dropshipping from there but you should test them out to see which one is the fastest before offering them to your customers.
Mistake #4: Wrong Item/Quantity Sent to Customer
Shipping the wrong item or quantity to the customer creates a bad impression on your customers. Regardless if it’s the supplier’s mistake, it is always you who got blamed and it’s your reputation that suffers.
Recommended Solution: Learn your supplier’s return policies before shipping anything. This way, you can immediately inform the customer of what they can do so you can resolve the issue with your supplier. If you can offer the customer a discount for future purchases or a small gift to make amends for your mistake, it will help in appeasing them. They might buy from you again.
You can also stop this from happening by reviewing the invoice being sent by the supplier before the products leave their warehouse. If you found the wrong quantity on them you can immediately inform the supplier to stop the order from being dispatched. However, if the package is already in transit, proceed in the same manner as stated above.
Mistake #5: Wrong Tracking Number
There are times that the tracking number provided by the supplier is invalid or belongs to a different package. If the tracking number does not show up a week after you have sent it to the customer, expect to receive numerous emails from an unhappy customer. The same goes for a tracking number that belongs to a different customer. The customer will surely complain about their orders being delivered to a wrong address when in fact they’re tracking a shipment that they don’t own.
Recommended Solution: Always check the tracking numbers to verify if they are valid and belong to the right customers before passing them to your buyers.
Mistake #6: Dropshipping Without a Tracking Number
Some suppliers that offer free shipping are using non-trackable service. If you cannot track the progress of your customers’ packages, you’ll never know their status and cannot tell for certain if they were shipped or not. You are opening yourself to the risks of getting scammed, disputed, and filed for chargebacks when you dropship without tracking number.
There’s also the Buyer Protection that you have to monitor. If this expires before the packages reach the customers, they may not receive anything at all, and you’ll not be able to recover the amount you paid for the products from the supplier.
Recommended Solution: Either include the fee for ePacket shipping in the product price or charge a shipping fee at the checkout. This way, the supplier will ship your products using ePacket and send you the tracking numbers that you can then email to your customers so they can also track their packages themselves.
I hope you find these 6 common shipping mistakes in dropshipping products useful. Fortunately, they are easy to rectify even if they might look serious at first sight. Do not be afraid of making mistakes as you are going to make tons of them along the way. Just make sure that you learn from them so you will not commit the same mistakes in the future.