Do Dropshippers Need a Shopify Shipping Policy? The Answer
Many dropshippers who are just starting their entrepreneurial journey, or even seasoned business owners who have successful Shopify or other eCommerce stores will most likely have questions on shipping from their customers.
To keep customer satisfaction high and ensure they return to your store there are many ways to set their expectations and score highly on customer service.
So do dropshippers need a well-written shipping policy designed exclusively for your business customers?
In our helpful article, we will discover everything you need to know.
Although not required by law, shipping policies will give shipping prices, product arrival timescales, and other shipping details. A robust dropshipping shipping policy ensures good customer communication, fewer customer service issues, and more repeat business.
So with the short answer in mind, so you can more easily understand whether dropshippers need a shipping policy, we can start by investigating what it means.
What is a Shopify shipping policy?
One of the most often asked questions by customers of your Shopify or other eCommerce stores will no doubt be related to shipping.
Some of the most common questions customers ask dropshippers relate to shipping policy and procedures. For instance, ‘how much is shipping?’ And ‘When will my items arrive?’
A robust, well-written Shopify dropshipping policy is where you can give your customers definitive answers while giving all the important details of how your winning products and goods are shipped.
Some of the most common questions customers ask dropshippers
relate to shipping policy and procedures.
Your shipping policy should reflect your own business
The way your dropshipping shipping policy is created will be down to your individual business and how it’s structured, your suppliers, and where your products originate. Essentially your supply chain and business operations will dictate the information you need to supply to customers in your shipping policy.
It’s essential to be as transparent as possible or otherwise, it could lead to bad reviews and previous customers turning to your competitors.
“The way your dropshipping policy is created will be down to your individual business
and how it’s structured, your suppliers, and where your products originate.”
So why do you need a Shopify shipping policy, and more importantly, is it required by law?
Why do you need a Shopify shipping policy?
A good dropshipping shipping policy not only helps you proactively set the right expectations around shipping times and costs, but it also saves time and essential man-hours. The reason for this is because customers can clearly see your policy without having to contact you directly.
Having a Shipping Policy is important for managing the expectations of your customers for some of the reasons outlined below:
- It lets your customers know clearly how much they can expect to pay for shipping
- How long a product will take to arrive
- Different shipping options are available
Although a shipping policy isn’t required by law, it’s definitely recommended for eCommerce best practice
If it takes too long for a customer to discover how much you charge for shipping and generally how long an item will take to arrive, the customer may go on to purchase from your competitors, resulting in a lost sale.
Providing an easily accessible policy that gives your customers clear information can help you gain and not only retain, but increase your customers.
“Although a shipping policy isn’t required by law, it’s definitely
recommended for eCommerce best practice”
Benefits of having a Shopify Shipping Policy
One of the most important advantages of having a Shopify shipping policy is your customers will feel more comfortable shopping with you. A well-written and clear shipping policy will give customers peace of mind that you are a transparent business.
What your shipping policy should include
- 1) Clear and transparent shipping fees: if your shipping is free, you can clearly communicate this to your customers. If there are any extra digits or taxes your customer might need to pay, this can also be mentioned.
- 2) Clear shipping times for different countries and regions: Here you can list the countries you ship to, estimated delivery timelines, and what qualifies as ‘domestic shipping’. Consider adding your shipping times in a table if you offer more than one shipping option.
- 3) Shipping restrictions: Within the shipping restrictions, make sure you include no PO box, outlying islands, or military addresses as most dropshipping suppliers don’t offer shipping solutions to above.
- 4) Where to find tracking numbers and how to track orders: Make sure all the essential shipping information is easy for your customers to locate, so they don’t have to endlessly scroll through your site. Maybe have a link to the details on your product page or website banner. Make sure it’s clearly written using bold text, tables, and clear subheadings.
- 5) Refund and return policy: This should be clearly marked and easy to find on your website
- 6) COVID updates: For any special circumstances when delivery may be delayed, such as Covid, ensure information is clear, such as on a banner on your homepage
“One of the most important advantages of having a Shopify shipping
policy is your customers will feel more comfortable shopping with you”
Is there any more information dropshippers should consider?
- Suppliers don’t accept returns: It’s worth understanding that dropshippers don’t have control over shipping times unless you hold stock. It’s important to understand that most suppliers won’t accept returns.
- Your customers don’t need to know you are dropshipping: As you won’t probably be telling your customers your business is a dropshipping model, it’s important to make sure you set their expectations as to why you may have longer than usual shipping times.
- Don’t overpromise: Make sure you are transparent and truthful with delivery and shipping times
Policy on lost or defective items
A Return/Refund policy lets customers know:
- If you offer refunds and/or exchanges
- If you accept returns from customers
- What a customer must do to initiate a return
- Which party pays if customer returns shipping
- Whether customers can expect a refund or reshipment for lost parcels and defective products. Make sure you make this very clear to customers. For example, returns must be within a specified number of days and pictures must be included.
Policy on return and refund
A Return/Refund Policy gives a clear indication of options after goods are delivered and also details of policy in the event that the customer wants to send the goods back.
A return or refund without reason is not an acceptable process for most dropshippers as in general, suppliers won’t refund without a valid reason.
The best practice for drop shippers here could be for you to offer a refund without a return or your shipping costs may significantly increase your loss.
“A return or refund without a reason is not an acceptable process for most
dropshippers as in general, suppliers won’t refund without a valid reason.”
Shopify Dropshipping shipping template
For an easy to edit example use a shipping template. Don’t forget it’s not a “one size fits all”. So make sure you edit it thoroughly to reflect your own business shipping policies and procedures.
We hope we have given you all the important aspects to consider when planning out a Shopify shipping policy.
Remember, in order to keep your customers informed, you should update your shipping policy every few months.
This is especially important whenever you add new shipping options or carriers, expand your fulfillment network, or anticipate delays.
Your shipping policy is a living document for your business, one that you update and adjust as your operations and circumstances change.
For more help on this and many other areas, sign up to HyperSKU for free now and take advantage of our one-stop dropshipping solution.