Dropshipping is one of the most popular ways of running an online store. Many entrepreneurs get attracted to this business model because of the impression that it’s the easiest way to enter and succeed in e-commerce. You don’t need to hold a big inventory. The finances you invest can be as small or big as you’re comfortable with. Some people even start dropshipping with almost no money.
However, like in any business, there are mistakes that many entrepreneurs make that can discourage them from continuing or even ruin their business altogether. Here are the three most common challenges dropshippers face.
1. Customers Receiving Damaged Items
Since dropship business owners don’t physically pack and send their products, there are times when customers receive broken or damaged items. Some dropship operations are so big that it can be difficult to process damaged items, especially when the warranties differ from each supplier.
Fortunately, there’s warranty management technology from logistics companies like ReverseLogix that you can take advantage of to make sure that damaged items eligible for replacement are addressed immediately. Being familiar with the suppliers’ and manufacturers’ warranty details and Terms & Conditions is important in the dropshipping business, so it’s best to be on top of these things before the return requests start piling up.
2. Customers Getting the Wrong Quantity
Getting the product right is crucial in dropshipping. However, there are cases where the product is correct but the quantity isn’t. This, more often than not, has the same effect on the customer. Customers can feel like they’re being scammed or that the store they’re dealing with isn’t professional. Some can also immediately sound off their frustration on social media even before reaching out to you — and this can impact your business negatively.
To prevent this from happening, always check the invoice you get from the fulfillment center. It’s an extra step, but it’s required to make sure that customers get what they paid for. The invoices usually arrive before the deliveries are made, so if there’s a discrepancy, you can call them immediately to stop the shipping and correct it before going out.
3. Delays in Order Processing
When dropshippers receive orders, it’s best practice to process it immediately to avoid any delays. You forward it to the manufacturer or the fulfillment center and provide a tracking code to your customer for the shipment. However, this process doesn’t always go smoothly. Each order has to go through many steps, and delays can happen on every single step.
It’s typical in dropshipping and any e-commerce operation for orders to take 24 hours to be processed. Make this your deadline internally and reach out to the fulfillment center if you don’t receive a tracking code after 24 hours. Customers expect orders to be processed quickly, so it can affect your brand and your reputation if orders are always delayed. Your fulfillment center should be able to provide a definite reason for each delay and a guarantee that they will do everything to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
If the delays persist after following up repeatedly and discussing with your fulfillment center, don’t be afraid to go looking for a new one.
Running a dropshipping business doesn’t have to be overly difficult, but it does require you to address issues as they come up. Don’t be complacent and always put the customers first.