What is the impact of COVID-19?
With almost the whole world in self-isolation, COVID-19 has halted the whole socio-economic circle of humankind. This follows strict precautions that have been put in place to limit the spread of the virus.
The only way to reduce the spread of coronavirus is to follow the protocol of social distancing, total isolation from the public, and an immediate visit to the nearest hospital if you experience any symptoms. Stay isolated, Stay safe! This is the only solution.
Owing to the current scenario emergency steps have been taken by the authorities all around the world to counter the effect. You will find:
- Most countries are under partial or complete lockdown depending on the severity and resources to counter COVID-19.
- Travel restrictions have been set in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 amongst countries.
- Industries, supply chain service providers and factories are shutting down.
What is the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and some major countries?
This unprecedented situation has many implications on a number of different business types worldwide, including dropshipping businesses. Many businesses are shut down in the local market. clothing, shoe, home decor, construction, vehicles, and several other industries – except food chains, the pharmaceutical industry, and other essential services are closed in maximum countries. However, many online businesses are also affected because of the uncertainty of the supply chain.
In Italy, businesses are on a total lockdown because of the uncontrolled situation and it having the highest death toll per day, which is now only more recently being reached by the US. Spain and France are runners-up and major industries are completely shut down. Warehouses are closed.
Overall in Europe among the top impacted sectors are e-commerce, tourism, transport, physical retail outlets, and the event industry.
In the USA some states are shutting down industries one at a time. The states of Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Michigan imposed stay-at-home and industrial shutdown orders, joining the states of New York, California, Illinois, Delaware and Maryland; the most affected states at this time.
But, don’t despair! This is in fact an excellent time to be in Dropshipping. The reason being that although there is some industry uncertainty at the present time, this is the best time to nurture your dropshipping business and invest in your growth strategies. Moreover, you will find new niches in dropshipping as the world will have changed forever after the end of this pandemic.
Several businesses that were previously using conventional methods are adopting online equivalents as a sustainable solution for their businesses. The products that these businesses will use could be your next niche.
Now, let’s discuss the current scenario and the transformations you’ll need to protect and grow your dropshipping business in the current situation.
How COVID-19 is impacting logistics and services from China?
According to the New York Post, the good news is as of 31 March 2020, China, after announcing success over-controlling COVID-19 has officially started allowing factories to reopen. According to the BBC, Apple has reopened its stores in China. Similarly, many other big companies are planning to resume their services in China.
On the other hand, many groups are raising concerns that this step by China has the potential to generate a second wave of the pandemic. As many people with COVID-19 disease do not develop symptoms and rather, act as a carrier only, this can lead to more negative impacts. In light of this, we can say that the situation is still uncertain.
As the whole world is affected by COVID-19, the supply chain is not working to its capacity. Also with the current lack of logistical support services in China, ports are facing congestion on the China-bound vessels resulting in delays and high transportation prices for trans-pacific shipping.
The bottom line is that you must keep in mind that your dropshipping products might get delayed because of the uncertain situation of logistics and services from China. The Chinese government is pushing hard to come out of this turmoil.
Top 10 Tips for Dropshipping businesses under the influence of COVID-19 and current unknowns and uncertainty:
Now, keeping in mind the current environment, here are the top 10 tips for you to carry forward and enhance your business.
1. Find new niches based on an evolving business landscape
After the end of COVID-19, the scenario is going to change. This is because we have learnt a lesson that we can’t rely on the conventional system without technology. Many businesses like yours will have to consider transforming their business models for improved viability in a situation like this. Many entrepreneurs and business owners, both large and small, will be looking for online solutions and at the online community for evolving their business models.
During self-isolation, you will have a lot of time to research new niches and find gaps in the market to take advantage of. However, be sure to keep in mind that the long-lasting effects of the pandemic could have a significant effect on the way your business will operate.
In addition, we think people will start buying online more than ever before. So, the probability of selling from and opportunities for your dropshipping store will be improved.
2. Find new manufacturers
Around the globe, numerous manufacturers are not aware of the potential of the e-commerce business model. COVID-19 is changing this, so be prepared! We can expect to see new products and market entrants. Find the gold nuggets and this could be your niche for earning a 6-7 figure income monthly as a dropshipper. Many new products are also available on trading websites like AliExpress, Alibaba, etc. Keep in mind one thing, always confirm from your suppliers whether they will be able to fulfil your order or not in advance.
3. Develop relations with Sourcing Agents
Sourcing agents are the eyes and ears of your dropshipping and online retail business. They are your representatives that can make your life easier. If you are entering into a dropshipping business, try to find the best sourcing agent that suits you in a certain country. Search for the people who are working with them and get their opinion or research about them using different social media platforms. Then get in touch and develop a strong and healthy relationship with them.
On the other hand, if you are already in the business, try to nurture a strong relationship with your sourcing agent for your next niche that you are planning. Considering the ongoing situation, if your supplier is unavailable ask your sourcing agent to jump in and arrange similar products from other suppliers that they know are available. This approach is quite effective in matters like these because of the nature of the services they offer.
4. Reduce your budget for ad campaigns
Amid this pandemic, search demand is down. Decrease the volume of your paid advertisement related to luxury products, as in the current situation of COVID-19, most people around the world are in quarantine mode. Necessities such as food, hygiene items and medicine will take priority. Be sure to use social media and check what people are doing at home in quarantine. Suppose if you find that people are into video games, add products related to gaming.
5. Start email marketing campaigns
Email marketing is the best way to make consistent customers. It is cheap and effective. As sales are hit by COVID-19 in dropshipping business, this is time to engage your existing and consistent customers. Let them know that you care about your customers in these critical days. Make a discounted email campaign and offer them the products you think will be of best interest to them. We recommend that you also set up automated emails if you haven’t already. These are a great way to recommend products to customers based on their recent activity or remind customers to purchase items left in their cart.
6. Start gathering a social media audience
People in self-isolation are intensively using social media these days. Try to get creative in order to capture the attention of these audiences. Make strategies for your product that you want to present the audience. It could be funny, catchy, or emotional, select according to your expertise. Try to approach different influencers on youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Ask them for a shout out for your product. Negotiate with them on profit-based margin. By this, you will see a sudden rise in your product sale.
7. Help and get helped: grow your traffic rather than sales
Make a bundle offer or fundraising campaign and collaborate with a legitimate donor organization. Start selling at break-even point to increase the traffic to your store, which is viable in the current situation. When someone buys your product, send the money to the donor. Some online businesses have a system that lets their customers know where they have spent their donation. Consider implementing something similar either via email marketing or social media. This will develop trust and you will have a good amount of dedicated customers for your dropshipping store. So, this is a win-win situation for all of us.
8. Build up your Customer’s trust
Customers are the driving force of every business around the world. In other words, our businesses run because of them. It is in your best interest to be honest with your customers. Suppose if your product gets delayed or warehouse is shut down and reopening after a few days, don’t make excuses, tell them about the issue as soon as possible.
9. Prepare yourself for delays
As discussed earlier, you will surely be expecting delayed deliveries. It could be because of vessels, air services lockdown or port clearance. Emergency policies placed by foreign governments can also affect delivery times. It is better to mention clearly about delayed deliveries based on COVID-19 in a product’s description section or any other relevant place. Moreover, you should also prepare yourself for the returns of products or payments. This is a critical period, we all hope that it will end soon. Still, we should be prepared for every possible issue that can hinder the process.
10. Find a Mentor and Learn in this time
If you are a newbie and looking for an opportunity in dropshipping, this is an excellent time for you to sit and learn. Dropshipping businesses are currently experiencing a lower return compared to before COVID-19. Thus, we can learn and prepare in this time. This can help you prepare for better times and get a working strategy ready.
In dropshipping, there are many influencers, entrepreneurs and mentors who are at the peak of their profession. Because of the current scenario, there is a high influx of newbies in dropshipping businesses. These experienced Mentors have started webinars and free courses to help the less experienced understand the technicalities and issues they have faced while starting their businesses. You can follow them and learn from their experience. Furthermore, massive content is available on the internet to guide you. So find a mentor for yourself. This will lead you to the path of success in the dropshipping business.
COVID-19 has changed the demography of the contemporary world. Worldwide businesses are severely impacted. As far as dropshipping is concerned, many businesses are under the impact but some are also making progress. An example of this is dropshipping businesses that were related to masks, and protective items of clothing. Many new buyers have emerged and started buying online. The audience is increasing. But, on the other hand, the selling items have narrowed down because of the lockdown.
As industrial and production units of the world’s biggest brands are operated in China, which was the epicentre of the Corona Virus pandemic, a lot of the supply chain has been halted. China is trying to revive, but the growing death toll and the number of effective people in Europe, the USA and the rest of the world is very alarming.
Nevertheless, COVID-19 has impacted every business around the world. However, we believe that eCommerce and automation industry will be the future after the end of this pandemic. For now, we need to fight with this pandemic by staying at home to regain economic stability of the whole world. While staying at home, it is an excellent time to jump on the bandwagon.
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