As a dropshipper, late shipment is one of the most painful problems you have to deal with, day in day out.
It’s undeniable that dropshipping is becoming more and more popular thanks to its advantages, such as low operating costs and mind-free inventory management. Essentially, there should not be too much complexity in an e-commerce platform to assist a store owner in running this fulfillment method, that’s why a large number of merchants choose this approach to get their business off the ground.
However, with all the goodies it brings, there are still some struggles dropshippers encounter, one of them being late shipment – something that 75% of dropshipping businesses cope with.
What causes late shipment?
There are tons of reasons leading to this problem. There can be external effects starting from unpredicted circumstances such as virus outbreak, bad weather, logistics congestion,… which we are unable to control.
At the same time, some internal activities turn out to be the most common reasons why late shipment normally happens.
- Lengthy processes with multiple suppliers: Working with multiple suppliers can give you more chances to test more products and identify the market’s demand. However, the truth is, the more suppliers you are working with, the more likely you are to get overwhelmed, with lengthy processes requested by each supplier. For instance, supplier A requires you to use their own in-house system to input order data. Supplier B may ask you to update your orders information via emails. They won’t use one same system to record your orders’ data. In such a case, you will definitely need to find an alternative method – manually update data to Google Sheet and report to each supplier.
- Time consumption in reporting: Imagining you were selling home kitchen accessories, recently, the number of orders has increased to reach 200 orders/week (30 orders/day). That’s the great news! Also, a new challenge would appear: you are unable to update the order information to the Google Sheet in real time because of your getting stuck with sales & marketing campaigns, or even your small family stuff. Besides, it may take you up to 10 minutes to update 20 fields (product information, shipping address,…) to a Google Sheet. In total, you will waste more than 3 hours per day just to look at the screen, click on each order, type the details one by one to the Google Sheet. You will definitely lose patience and get super tired to know this will be the main reason the late shipment often happens.
- Sudden out-of-stock status from suppliers: You go for a dropshipping model because you don’t have to handle the stock management. That’s one of the advantages of this method, but simultaneously, you will lose control of when the suppliers’ products run out of stock. So what will you do in that case? You will leave the customers there waiting in vain for the package? Or remove the products from the catalog? No matter what you do, this is a real fact you can’t change, which then causes serious late shipments to your end customers.
All of these, when combined, can create an intensive hindrance in the on-time shipment between suppliers and the end-customers.
As a results, dropshippers will face serious outcomes
- Negative customer experience: To all businesses, especially dropshipping businesses, late shipment is the most painful issue that causes a headache to the owner, because it will leave a really negative impression for the customers. Customers emotionally bought from you, but are really sensitive if they have to wait 15-30 days for the shipment. As a result, they will definitely abandon your eshop and back your competitors. More seriously, they will leave biased reviews about your store. Last but not least, word of mouth can become a great way to make your business fall.
- Negative brand image: Long term reputation is what you aim at, certainly, but after the late shipment causes your customers’ frustration, it will lead to the collapse of your branding image you spent tons of time to establish. No customer trusts you anymore as they are fed up with waiting.
Atom8 Automation to help merchants avoid late shipment in dropshipping
Automation is exactly the powerful means of success to save you from the above complex and disencouraging cycle. Automation helps to unleash you from time-consuming tasks, and even more, completely stop the late shipment situation. No more customers’ complaints, frustration, negative reviews, angriness,…instead, there will be more happy customers, more positive reviews, and especially higher profit margins and greater opportunities to scale up your business with more diverse products and suppliers.
- Auto-sync data to Google Sheet in real time
As soon as an order is placed, all of its details will be synced immediately to a Google Sheet without any mistakes.
By doing so, you can now stay away from this overloading and repetitive process. No need to stay with your computer from morning till midnight just to update orders’ data.
Whether you get 10 orders or 100 orders, they will be synced to Google sheet right away, thanks to the webhook’s utilization between Atom8 Automation systems with the Google Sheet.
- Auto-centralize data aligning with each supplier’s file format
Communicating with lots of suppliers with different system formats may cause you the overwhelming and exhaustion, but don’t worry as now you can centralize and manage data under the same Google Sheet page following each supplier’s format.
Now, you can have up to 3 hours per day saved to concentrate on what’s the most important for you. In the meantime, the suppliers can receive the updated information on time to deliver the packages. The late shipment will no longer bog you down.
- Auto-update products’ status to pre-order and auto-adjust their stock
For now, even when the suppliers’ stock reaches low level, you can immediately have the Automation system auto adjust the products’ status to Preorder and their status.
That being said, if each supplier needs 6 weeks to re-stock, you can totally have them prepare the restock earlier than they should (3 weeks) to deliver the products for your customers earlier than they’d expect.
- Auto-notify customers about the status of the order
Last but not least, you are serving your customers, so their satisfaction must be your highest priority. It means for everything that you do, your customers must be the ones who should get notified about their orders’ status. Don’t forget to send auto-notifications to them after 2 or 5 days since the suppliers start to fulfill. By doing so, you are showing that you really care about them.
Add on, how to segment customers for a more successful marketing plan is also what most dropshippers pay attention to. Why don’t you let the Automation tool handle this activity? Then done! You just need to move to the next steps and earn more from returning customers.