Are you ready to set out to make your own fortune – on your own time? Dropshipping has quickly grown to be one of the best and most popular ways to sell online. In fact, a recent study by eMarketer found that nearly $4.89 trillion USD of products will be sold via dropshipping by the end of 2021 alone!
If you are looking to get started in dropshipping, you will need to carefully consider your shipping strategy. You may be able to find great products, design a rockstar website, and even get a great audience built up, but if you don’t have a strong shipping strategy in place – your business might not be viable in the long run!
The Top Shipping Methods for Dropshipping
As you set out to deliver products to paying customers, you will find there are several shipping options at your disposal. Here is a list of the top shipping options on the market today:
- China Post
- AliExpress Shipping
- Cainiao shipping
How do you know which is the best choice for your investment with so many to choose from? When considering dropshipping shipping methods, there are three main factors to consider:
For customers and clients who expect fast shipping to pick the right shipping method. However, the price for ultra-fast shipping may not be worth your investment. Let’s break down the best options available based on speed, and some tips on picking the right methods:
Slow Shipping Options
If you aren’t concerned about speed but want reliability and price, slower methods may be a better bet. On the slower end of the shipping spectrum are:
- China Post
- AliExpress Shipping
These dropshipping shipping methods are widely used by eCom sellers and AliExpress sellers who are looking for access to products at lower costs.
These methods have long been a favorite for dropshippers who want to build a successful business from scratch. With low prices and reliable delivery, these lower-cost options may be right for you – especially if you are shipping lightweight products.
However, with slower shipping come downsides such as slower delivery and potentially lower customer satisfaction.
These options often take 30+ days for delivery and offer little to no tracking capabilities. When the holiday season strikes, you may find that the delivery times become even longer.
Fast Shipping Options: 3PLs
If you are looking for faster shipping with more experienced help, consider partnering with a third-party logistics company (3PL).
3PLs work with local delivery networks and flight carriers to provide a fast yet affordable shipping solution. These services are also known as ‘special line shipping’ or ‘fast line shipping’ in the eCommerce industry. There are several 3PL services to consider, such as:
- SF Express
With these dropshipping shipping methods, you can enjoy faster service – with tracking often built-in to the delivery. On average, shipping times to the US and Europe are around 7-12 days.
However, you may find that but the cost is just a bit higher than services such as ePacket – especially with the faster delivery options and tracking included. These options are the most popular with established dropshipping professionals due to their cost-effective pricing and faster delivery.
When partnering with a 3PL, make sure to do your research and study the market. As conditions change, 3PL prices and delivery capabilities may shift.
Super-Fast Shipping: DHL, FedEx, and More
If you are in need of lightning-fast shipping options for your dropshipping business, it may be time to bring in the big guns.
Shipping companies such as DHL and FedEx are well-known global shipping carriers – featuring their own chartered flights and extensive ground shipping network. Their capabilities allow global shipping that delivers in as little as 4-7 days – a must for those who are in need of fast shipping of high-ticket items.
The primary downside of these services is the price. With ultra-fast shipping to the US and other countries, you can expect to pay much more than the options listed above – and the price only climbs as your shipments become heavier.
If time is a factor and your budget allows it, these shipping companies may be perfect for your dropshipping business. Just make sure you take extra care when choosing a carrier – ensuring that you get the lowest price and the best customer service to help you along the way.
Warehouse Fulfillment Shipping
Another option to consider is warehouse fulfillment shipping. This dropshipping shipping method is similar to an FBA-alike model.
With warehouse fulfillment shipping, dropshippers will order a batch of inventory and then have that parcel shipped to a warehouse. The warehouse will act as your fulfillment center and send out the parcels to customers as orders are received. The process works similarly in both the US and EU – making it a popular choice for dropshippers.
This dropshipping shipping method is more expensive than some of the other options listed above due to the warehousing fees that are built-in to the process. But with warehousing, you can get super-fast shipping that can withstand even high-ticket items and holiday surges.
Yet it is essential to know that warehouses often require you to purchase a minimum amount of inventory to qualify for the service.
This is a trade-off that you may need to consider when dropping prices in order to compete with your competitors – who may have already invested in their own warehouse fulfillment.
Plus, you may have pricing trade-offs that you need to consider to establish the infrastructure necessary for the service.
Shipping Tips for Dropshipping Business Success
Knowing which shipping method to choose can help you establish your dropshipping business. However, choosing your shipping method is only part of the equation for dropshipping success.
Here are some tips to help you make sure your shipping strategy is set up for targeted success:
1. Make your shipping times available on your website.
If you want your dropshipping business to be successful, it’s important to make space for shipping times.
Your customers order items on a tight timeline – and if they can’t get an accurate time estimate from your website, the order may go elsewhere. If you are not able to offer fast shipping options, at least provide customers with an understanding of how long it will take before the order hits their doorstep.
2. Avoid slow and untracked shipping. Choose a fast and reliable 3PL.
It is essential to choose the 3PL which allows you to track your shipment in real-time. If you are selling products at a premium price, your customers deserve to receive their orders as quickly and securely as possible.
3. Hire a dropshipping supplier with an automated App.
If you are not shipping your own items, it’s important to use an automated app that can help you calculate shipping costs. This will help ensure that the 3PL you’ve chosen can provide your business with accurate rates for each of your products.
This also helps minimize human error by preventing manual updates and ensures accuracy throughout the process.
4. Offer free shipping/flat rate shipping to encourage cross-selling.
If your business does not have a warehouse, you will need to require that customers pay for freight. However, you can still encourage cross-selling by offering free shipping over a certain price point.
If the customer spends enough on their order, they will receive free shipping – and this method can help increase average order value and boost your revenue.
When creating your dropshipping business, it is essential to learn the ins and outs of shipping. There are several ways that you can ship your products from the 3PL to customers, and which you choose depends on a variety of factors.
Partnering with an experienced 3PL team can help ensure that you choose the right shipping method for your business – ensuring long-term success and growth.
And if you’re looking for a powerful 3PL to work with, check out HyperSKU. HyperSKU has partnered with the top-notch 3PLs to provide dropshippers fast shipping solution. Our team has the knowledge and experience necessary to help your business succeed. Visit HyperSKU online today to learn more – and build the shipping strategy that will help your business grow!