The coronavirus outbreak has reached almost every corner of the world, with cases only continuing to soar day by day. In the months since the virus has emerged in Wuhan, China, there have already been signs of a shift in consumer behaviour all over the world. With the outbreak still in its early stages in India, sales of groceries, household goods and healthcare items have seen a boost as consumers look for ways to protect themselves. But analysis shows that it has had a reverse impact on other sectors. The government is taking various precautionary steps to contain the spread of coronavirus such as Janta curfew and 21 days lockdown during which only shops or businesses selling essentials are allowed to remain open. While, the other businesses are strictly closed.
At the same time, the impact of the coronavirus on ecommerce and online store is great. It’s a fact that a lot of things have been and will still be affected by coronairus. Unfortunately, one of them (what will be affected) is dropshipping! But what is Dropshipping? It is a retail fulfillment method where a store doesn’t keep the products it sells in stock. Instead, when a store sells a product using the dropshipping model, it purchases the item from a third party and has it shipped directly to the customer. As a result, the seller doesn’t have to handle the product directly. In other words, it is more of online store. One of the biggest concerns these store owners may have is that consumers will stop making online purchases over fears that they might get the virus from overseas shipments.
With many manufacturing and logistics facilities restricted or shut temporarily, experts have recommended them prepare for delays and take that into account before continuing to run paid ads and take orders. It is a good idea to check with your supplier, but assume that your items will not be shipped promptly. Or, if they are shipping things on time, disruptions to domestic shipping in the destination country could still cause delays. As a result of the continuous widespread of this virus, transportations all around the country are shut down partially or completely. This has caused the inability of all workers and employees to go back to factories and companies to work, which has affected operations in most companies.
The Effect of Coronavirus on Drop-shipping
The impact of COVID-19 has been massive on dropshipping.
First, it means significant delays. Since the priority of the government is public safety, the authorities set prevention and control measures such as lockdown in place that disrupt the free movement of goods and people. These policies have left logistics companies in difficult situation, incapable to navigate the new restrictions, and without the government’s guidance, many are forced to freeze operations as they can’t provide a concrete answer. Moreover, Western sellers are confused about their action plan because most of them don’t know how to lower the possible financial risks. The forecast is not too encouraging if we consider the roadblocks and temporary closing of airports, highways, railways stations, and ports.
In the same way, this uncertainty will disrupt the business of startups & smaller vendors who very often depend on the products they sell; smaller retail traffic could push them into bankruptcy. Their ability to survive depends not only on the quality of goods but also on a speedy delivery process since customers want to have access to products as fast as possible. So, these circumstances obviously unfavourable for them to survive. Stocks have been said to fall on fears that the Coronavirus could take a more significant economic toll than initially expected.
In addition to this, the directive, orders from government during this lockdown have asked people to avoid travel and going out by working from home. These directives, orders from government which excluded emergency service workers and people who work for essential public services, urged the private sector to enforce similar arrangements. This means almost all the workers involved in the dropshipping process won’t have the chance to go work.
The fact is, most suppliers of dropshipping business depend on factories. As a result of COVID-19 and the compulsory -stay indoor- thing, factories will not be able to produce products at the expected date. Because of Coronavirus, the majority of workers will not be able to come back to suppliers’ factories to start producing. However, according to the current situation, the return date of workers may be delayed, which means dropshipping will suffer.
If in case, supplier or suppliers have product stocks available, what about logistics? Logistics companies are also affected due to coronavirus outbreak as most of their workers are at home because government has allowed transportation of essential goods only. With the Government announcement of borders closing and all cities’ transportation systems closed, there’s no way logistics companies could work. If logistics companies don’t work, then there’s no way parcels and other dropshipping fulfillment products will be shipped out to their various destination. Most of the suppliers’ facility has been temporarily shut down by the government. So, it has left businesses with dropshipping with no option but to wait for the situation to get better.
How to manage Dropshipping during Coronavirus
- As mentioned above the reduction in logistics and suspension of flights is disrupting the supply chain that is causing delays in shipping, reduced transport capacity, and inflation in shipping costs. As a dropshipper, it is your duty to inform your customers about the delay. The delays should not be affecting for a long time. However, you still need to put confidence in your customers and ask them to wait a little longer. One also needs to be prepared to refund them and wait for the situation to become normal.
- The capacity for carrying couriers has been compromised after the lockdown. However, services will be resuming at a slow pace and should return to its normal operations in the upcoming weeks. It is in the best interest of dropshippers to avoid standard shipping.
- One must try removing fear from the customer’s mind by letting them know that coronavirus does not survive for long on a surface. The postal services are already using disinfectants and taking extra precautionary measures to ensure the safety of their staff and packaging.
- Remove fear from the customer’s mind by letting them know that coronavirus does not survive for long on a surface. The postal services are using disinfectants and taking extra precautionary measures to ensure the safety of their staff and packaging.
- Avoid selecting standard shipping and choose a faster shipping method until the outbreak is controlled. It is recommended that you use only the express shipping method during this time.