Dropshipping Shipping Methods: The Complete Guide
Dropshipping is a successful business. And it is amazing if you have thought of starting dropshipping. Successful dropshipping depends on different factors, and shipping is one of them. The role of shipping in dropshipping can be understood by the name “dropshipping” itself. It refers to picking up and dropping off the products by shipping them to another place. Thus, choosing the best shipping methods is critical to dropshipping.
Did you know 66% of buyers say they prefer sellers that offer better shipping options?
While shipping costs were high in the past, low shipping has become essential to business. Customers do not want to pay much above their order. Thus, they will opt for retailers selling products at lower shipping costs.
Let’s have a look at some shipping statistics related to dropshipping:
- Most buyers, around 63%, expect fast shipping when ordering online.
- About 66% of online buyers also say that free shipping is necessary.
- Many people shopping online want sellers to be open to free returns. 54% of buyers consider the return policy when purchasing something. A huge 85% want it to be a self-service.
- Buyers do not consider the shipping company’s fault in case of late deliveries. Delay in shipping makes the experience negative for 70% of consumers. They do not find the courier responsible as they pay the seller.
Now that you know how important customers find shipping. Good or bad shipping contributes majorly to the decision-making process. If your reviews reflect negative feedback on shipping, buyers may avoid buying from you. There could be various reasons. They might think that your shipping service will damage their goods. Another reason could be a delay in receiving the product.
How to Choose the Right Dropshipping Method?
As shipping is critical to dropshipping, choosing the best shipping method is necessary. Here are a few factors to consider while selecting a shipping company for your business.
As we mentioned earlier, most buyers expect free delivery from sellers. But no courier company offers free delivery. So, the best choice is to opt for a low-costing option. Low shipping charges will allow you to provide minimal or free delivery to the customers. Thus, you can increase your local customer base.
Price is important when choosing a shipping method. Yet, do you know what is more important than pricing? Reputation.
When you find a low-cost courier company, make sure it has a good reputation. A bad shipping company can negatively affect your business. You can find shipping companies in the region by talking to other drop shippers. Another option is to check their websites and look for reviews. Make sure you choose a dependable company for your shipping tasks.
Estimated Delivery Time
Besides costs and free returns, customers look for fast delivery. Many times they want to get a product in a specific period. Thus, they opt for retailers with the least shipping time. It is good to get in touch with drop ship logistics and take information about the delivery time. Shipping products to your customers within 3 to 4 business days is ideal.
Bonus tip: Always mention the estimated delivery time on your store to avoid negative reviews.
Many delivery companies have a sound tracking system. But, some need to improve in this department. They may offer you the best rates and shipping time. Yet, the lack of tracking details might stop buyers from shopping from your store.
It is recommended to get in touch with a company with an adequate tracking system. They should provide you step by step path to your order fulfillment when needed. The best courier companies update you automatically about the progress. Adding tracking options also reduces the burden on customer support. Customers do not have to ask chat support for order status. They can add the tracking number on the website to check the status.
Tracking systems also offer mental relief to buyers. They understand how long transit will take and when to expect the delivery.
Mode of Payment
Dropshippers often forget about discussing the mode of payment before finalizing the vendor. If you offer free shipping, you must ask for possible payment methods. Alternatively, you can discuss the terms of the FOB (free on board) with them to avoid issues. Discussing the mode of the payment beforehand prevents problems leading to negative reviews.
How to Improve Your Shipping Service?
USPs or unique selling points are vital to any business. They make you different from others and offer a specific identity. Adding a few elements that most other sellers lack can help you become a favorite. Here’s how you can take the lead through added shipping benefits to the buyers.
It is a fast world, and people immediately want everything at their doorstep. You might observe on eCommerce platforms that people prefer faster shipping options. Most sellers are trying to offer competitive service in dropshipping. But it is not that simple. You have to put more effort into keeping in touch with your courier service throughout. It also requires you to take continuous, so they ship your orders earliest.
You may look for options that allow your parcels to be labeled differently. A few people ask for their parcels to be shipped from the US. A reliable warehouse and vendor in the USA can help you cater to their demands. It is an excellent drop shipping method to make sure you cater to a wide customer base.
Sell When the Others Don’t
Many companies shut down their operations during the festive season. What if you don’t?
Most drop shippers stop their businesses during holidays. On the contrary, people often want to order at the last moment. You can find out about courier companies that work on holidays. Employing extra staff during the holidays will ensure work continues while your regular staff takes a break.
Let’s look at the best shipping methods for your dropshipping business.
Best Shipping Methods for Dropshipping
DHL is one of the most popular shipping methods globally. It is a division of the renowned logistics company Deutsche Post, DHL. DHL is so widely known as it operates in around 220 countries worldwide. The best part is that it is a reliable delivery company that people globally trust.
As we mentioned, DHL is one of the most trusted logistics companies in the world. It has made a name because of its efficient service. It offers swift shipping as early as only 1 day with DHL Express. Usually, it takes around 3 to 7 business days to send parcels from China to the USA.
DHL also offers tracking services for their parcels. You have to go to their website and enter the tracking number. It will provide detailed information about your parcels’ journey.
You can send almost anything and everything without worrying about safety. They ship the parcels carefully to ensure no damage occurs. However, you might not be able to send a few items through DHL. DHL Express Global Import Guidelines provide information about the prohibited items in some countries. Some of the items DHL does not ship to any region globally include:
- Counterfeit products
- Firearms and explosives
- Bullion of any precious metal
- Precious and semi-precious stones
- Live animals
- Animals’ parts or by-products not suitable for human consumption
- Human remains or ashes
The cost of DHL parcels in different countries depends on the distance and weight of your parcel. You can go to the nearest DHL center to find the delivery cost for your parcel. Or, register on their website for free to find the shipping rates for DHL.
USPS, or United States Postal Service, is the most popular courier service in the US. It is an independent agency of the US federal government. You can send your parcels within the United States of America or other countries through USPS drop shipping.
USPS takes slightly longer than DHL and delivers packages in 10 to 20 days from China to the USA. Due to customs and other factors, your customers may receive the parcel sooner or later than the estimated time. USPS is suitable for domestic and international packages less than 31.75 kg.
USPS also offers detailed information about your delivery package’s status. Use the USPS tracking number to find the location of your parcel. Install the USPS application or visit the website to track your items. Otherwise, you can also track through SMS by sending the tracking number to 28777.
You can find out about USPS drop shipping costs locally and internationally by visiting their website. Go to Quick Tools on the home page and click ‘Calculate a Price.’ You can also mention if you are sending poultry, live animals, cremated remains, or any hazardous materials or batteries. It allows you to choose ‘requires ground transportation.’
ePacket is another name on the list of the best shipping methods for dropshipping. It is affordable, fast, and delivers almost everywhere. It works in cooperation with different delivery services globally. ePacket provides delivery by China Postal Express and Logistics with partner posts like China Post, USPS, etc.
ePacket does not deliver parcels through one carrier only. The parcels go to China’s post office and then to relevant international transport. The customs release the parcels, which the local carriers pick and deliver to the destination. The process takes around 12 to 25 days from China to the US. Sometimes the recipient may have to pay customs duties at the destination country.
You can track ePacket parcels around the world using 17TRACK. It is a safe option; you do not have to worry about delays or scams. ePacket offers fast delivery at a lower cost. It allows you to bring more customers to your store. You can send parcels to 37 countries using ePacket. Some destinations include Australia, Austria, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, Portugal, Russia, Thailand, Vietnam, etc.
However, ePacket has a specific size and weight requirements.
You cannot send a parcel through ePacket weighing more than 2kg. Moreover, the maximum parcel value can be $400.
ePacket calculates the total delivery cost according to the destination country and weight of the package. Check the prices online using the shipping calculator to find the recent ePacket shipping rates.
EMS is an international express drop ship logistics service under the Universal Postal Union. China Postal Express & Logistics (CPEL) provides the service in China. It offers an international e-commerce shipping service known as e-EMS. It delivers in 106 countries across the world with a comprehensive tracking system. e-EMS gives better rates than EMS to facilitate drop shippers. The delivery time depends on the destination country. However, you can get an idea about the estimated shipping time on their website. It also enables you to compare e-EMS shipment time with other methods. China Post tracking page online lets you track your e-EMS package anytime.
e-EMS also calculates your shipping cost based on the weight and size of your parcel. You just have to register on the website to find the shipping rates and other details.
China post may not be the best shipment option. Yet, many vendors and sellers use it to send goods from China. It is convenient, simple, and cheap. Many vendors offer free shipping as China Post charges the bare minimum. You can also use the service to provide free shipping to your customers.But, you must know that China Post may use different couriers in various countries. Thus, it is not the safest option.
Usually, sellers do not choose China Post because of long shipment times. Sending a package from China to the USA can take 4 to 8 weeks. Yet, many people mention that their average delivery time is 25 days. The tracking is also not as smooth as other services.
China Post Cost
China Postal Tracking website has complete details of the pricing. You can check how much delivery by air and surface cost. It also enables you to calculate the price according to the destination and weight of the parcel. The surface lift and surface delivery service are only available in some countries.
The Turkey Post, also known as the PTT, is Turkey’s national telegram and postal service. However, their services are not restricted to Turkey only. Turkey post delivers shipments to many countries globally. As Turkey’s national postal service, they have a high reputation in drop shipping methods.
Besides their local service, international shipping takes a little more time. It takes 15 to 35 days to ship international packages through Turkey Post. However, you can track the parcel through the PTT official website.
PTT allows you to deliver almost anything anywhere in the world. But, you may be unable to send liquids, creams, powders, sharp items, magnetic items, and batteries through PTT.
Turkey Post Cost
The cost of Turkey post depends on the weight of your parcel and the destination country. You can check the website and estimate the amount before dispatching the parcel.
Australia Line is another popular name for dropshipping services globally. It offers direct shipping from China to Australia. Australia Post delivers the parcels to their destination after they reach Australia. It is among the best shipping methods to send goods to Australia directly.
Australia Line takes 14 to 20 days to ship your parcels to the destination. Factors like customs, weather, holidays, etc., may impact the delivery time. But do not worry. You can track your parcels by visiting Australia Post’s official website. Enter the tracking number to locate your package.
Australia Line may not be the best option if you want to send parcels weighing more than 20kgs. It also does not allow items like powders, liquids, sharp objects, and batteries.
Australia Line Cost
Similar to other shipping services, the cost depends on the size and weight of the package. The destination country also makes a difference in the overall cost. You can find out the approximate cost on their official website.
Shipping Tips for Dropshipping
Vet the Supplier’s Shipping Service
We often think it is important to check the quality of the product only. Many drop shippers pick a vendor based on product quality. Yet, they forget to discuss the shipping process and service they use. The best way is to order products from your vendor. Your experience will allow you to understand their service. You can judge if they are using a reliable shipping service. It also lets you see how well the package is packed and how much time it takes. Remember to track your parcel, as sometimes the tracking numbers are incorrect.
Sellers may feel that they are disturbing the vendors with any questions. But you must ask questions to ensure they use the best shipping method. Make sure to ask them everything about shipping. From the time it will take to reach the country to the time the parcel will reach the buyer. It will also inform them that you are seriously concerned about shipping.
Mention Correct Information
When you know that your vendor will take 20 – 30 days to deliver a parcel, do not mention two to three weeks. Your customer will be worried after three weeks. For example, if the package does not reach the destination country in three weeks. It will lead to more chaos. So, it is important to put correct information about shipping on your eCommerce store.
Clearly mention 20 to 30 days or one to two weeks per the shipping company.
Mentioning one to four weeks will not increase sales. Instead, the consumers will be confused about the shipping and move to another retailer.
Inform through SMS
Customers sometimes leave reviews that they did not receive their parcels. And it leaves a negative impact on the store. On asking the courier company, they realize that the customer was not available at the given address. Thus, it can be a good idea to inform the customers through SMS or phone call. You can add a necessary question about the phone number of your order form. You will have their phone number to deliver the parcel safely. You can also use it for SMS marketing later.
Offer Flat Shipping Rates
While customers love free shipping, all drop shippers cannot offer that. You can look for drop ship logistics services that charge less. This way, you can offer flat shipping rates on all orders. It will help improve the influx of customers as it saves them from the hassle of calculation. They keep adding the items to the cart because they know the shipping fee is not high for more items. You may also waive the shipping charges for orders over a particular amount.
Restricted Items in the United States
If you want to send packages to the US, remember that a few items are restricted. You may choose to omit these from your dropshipping store. Other countries like Saudi Arabia and UAE also stop the entry of a few products. Here’s the list of items you might not be able to send to the US.
- Biological samples
- Raw or prepared food products
- Live animals or dish
- Seeds and plants
- Hunting trophies
- Animal hides
- Cat or dog fur
- Photographic film
- Ceramic tableware
- Firearms and explosives
- Cultural property
What to do when USPS dropshipping tracking shows delivered, but the package is not received?
It is common for courier companies to make the order delivered a few hours before delivery. So, you can wait for at least 24 hours before panicking. Ask around to see if any of your friends or family have received the parcel for you. If you are still looking for it after twenty-four hours, visit your local post office and inform them.
Which is the best Shipping Method for Dropshipping?
Choosing the best shipping option for order fulfillment can be challenging with so many choices. The choice depends on the factors most important to you. Some sellers want fast shipping while others prefer cheap options. Similarly, a few like convenient shipments. e-EMSand DHL is the most convenient but expensive. Yet, China Post is cheaper with a longer delivery time. Thus, it all comes down to the qualities you want.
Which shipping method is best on AliExpress?
Most drop shippers on AliExpress use AliExpress Standard Shipping to ship their products to the buyers. Yet, you can also opt for EMS as it is a safe and fast shipping option. Some AliExpress drop shippers opt for SunYou. But, it has longer estimated delivery times than EMS and AliExpress.
Finding the best shipping methods is critical to engage more customers and having a successful dropshipping business. The choice of drop shipping methods depends on your preferences. You can opt for a service with fast delivery, lesser costs, convenient shipping, or easy tracking. Dropshippers globally use services like EMS, DHL, ePacket, China Post, Turkey Post, and USPS drop shipping methods. Yet, remember to ask your vendor about their courier company. Ordering from your supplier will let you check the delivery time and efficiency. Checking the list of restricted items is also important when choosing shipping methods for dropshipping.
shailesh is a Design Founder & Advisor, Berlin School of Creative Leadership Executive MBA participant, Zippie advisor, Wolt co-founder, and Nordic Rose stakeholder.