Long Shipping Times With AliExpress? Top 3 Tips to Keep Your Customers Happy
Updated: Jul 6, 2021
Dropshipping is among the easiest ways to start a business for newbies due to many reasons. One major contributing factor is its affordable shipping cost, which is usually attributed to its longer shipping times compared to other business models. For instance, packages ordered from AliExpress, one of the most popular platforms used to source suppliers, could take any time from 12 up to 60 days depending on countries of destination and shipping methods. That could take even longer if there are unexpected issues arising in the process, such as lost packages. Therefore, in this blog post, we will discuss some tactics that you can implement in order to mitigate the negative impacts that long shipping times might have on your store.
1. Opt for paid shipping alternatives
If you have been in the industry for some time, you should already know that there are various shipping options with varying fees on AliExpress. In most cases, free shipping is also available. Now you might be thinking:
However, this may not benefit your business as much as you thought. Yes, you might save a small amount of money on shipping, but you might risk losing your customers and a larger amount in profit. Furthermore, paid options allow package tracking, so it would give your customers additional guarantees when buying from you.
Assuming you are now convinced to pay for shipping, which is the best alternative then? When doing your own research, you might have come across ‘ePacket’, which performed relatively well previously. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused some disruptions such as package delays and non-availability in some countries. Therefore, you are advised to use AliExpress Standard Shipping as it is affordable and the shipping time is relatively short. In any case, you would still need to weigh the pros and cons of utilising each option by considering your USPs, available resources, and priorities. If this sounds too complicated, you can choose to work with a reliable dropshipping agent instead. With their help, you will not need to worry about this issue as they will make sure to meet your requirements (including reasonable shipping times) in the sourcing process.
2. Be honest with your customers about shipping times
Besides choosing faster but affordable shipping options, you should be up-front with your customers from the beginning about the delivery time. This would minimise confusions and conflicts of interest as well as help your customers manage their expectations.
Some dropshippers think it is best not to disclose this information because it poses the risk of losing sales. In reality, consumers sometimes do not think as much about shipping time as you might expect as long as you are transparent with them. Moreover, if they value your products, they would not mind waiting. However, the situation could turn out chaotic if you never say a word about shipping and make them wait for a long period of time. In some cases, you might even be regarded as a scammer.
Now that you have decided to communicate the shipping time to your buyers, the question is how you should do it. There are various ‘locations’ and ‘stages’ where you can implement this:
FAQ and/or Shipping/Delivery Policy page: Since delivery time varies, depending on various factors, such as product and country of destination, you can consider listing some common items with estimated time.
Order and Shipping Confirmation page/email: You should clearly state the time. For instance, you could write ‘Please allow 2 days for processing and 15 days for shipping. We would inform you should there be any major changes’.
Product page: This can be a double-edged sword, so you should approach with cautions. Depending on what types of products you sell, you might choose to do this or not. If your products are unique, and you are confident that customers would not mind waiting for a while, go ahead and put the shipping time on the page. However, if you are selling white-label and generic items that can easily be found online, you might want to weigh the pros and cons of doing this.
3. Be responsive to your customers
Last but not least, no matter what business you are conducting, it is always a good idea to communicate any issues that arise unexpectedly to other parties. For example, if there is a possible delay in delivery, you should notify your customers immediately and if possible, explain what happens. More often than not, they will understand if provided with good justifications. You may also consider using software and/or virtual assistants to keep them updated of the processing and shipping process.
In addition, if you receive any queries from customers, you should aim to respond within 24 hours. Anytime longer than that, you might lose them for future transactions. If you do not have the answers to their questions, you are still suggested to reply to them and promise to update them on the situation once more information is obtained.
To sum up, besides opting for affordable but reasonable shipping options, you should strive to provide good customer services and maintain good communications with other stakeholders (e.g. customers, suppliers). All of the above can be easily achieve when you work with a trusted dropshipping agent since they will handle most back-end issues, allowing you to focus on the front-end.
At Xianchao Logistics, we practice what we preach to help you grow your business to its full potential. We strive to maintain transparency in our shipping times and pricing models because we value long term business relationships. This means we will also proactively inform you if shipments will be delayed. As we partner with many trusted shipping companies, we can divert the packages to another shipper if there is any major issue in the shipping process.
Do you have a dropshipping business to grow? Discuss with us and let’s get started ASAP!
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