At the start of 2020, people naturally had new goals and expectations for the year. A new year is always a time to be hopeful and look forward to conquering new frontiers.
Alas, Covid-19 sent a shockwave affecting people and businesses on a global scale and shattering those expectations. The economic effects have been dramatic, and e-commerce has seen its fair share of disruption. Entrepreneurs in the e-commerce space have had to contend with supply chain issues and regulatory changes on various platforms. Some of the biggest challenges we’ve seen include logistical delays and changes in consumer habits.
While the crisis has presented dropshippers with new challenges and opportunities, it is time to start thinking about life post-Covid-19, too. So, what can dropshippers expect after the pandemic, and what can they do now to position themselves for success?
With international business, you should understand that each country has its own policies on trade and regulations. Many changes were put in place to combat the virus, and it’s wise to look out for new changes post-Covid-19.
In effect with the lockdown, operations in factories and logistic companies across China came to a complete halt, which had an untoward effect on the global supply chain. This action was put in place to protect public health and safety, but we cannot deny the implications it had for dropshipping businesses.
Although China is getting back on its feet and factories have reopened in recent months, the same cannot be said for many logistics companies and their operations. The rest of the shipment process is highly dependent on logistics companies, but cargo terminals have been temporarily shutting down due to low volume.
Some dropshippers are opting for shipping out of China from countries in Europe and the U.S., but it’s still not clear how the travel restrictions will impact cargo shipping moving forward. I recommend dropshippers keep in touch with their manufacturers to stay updated on new policies as they come.
Changes In Customer Preferences
An online survey of 700 people by marketing company Influence Central found that consumers appreciate companies that have focused on customers’ needs during the crisis. The survey also noted that a majority of consumers reacted positively to brands that provided a necessary service and those that made changes to help customers.
In addition, many consumers are showing increasing concerns over product safety. They’re more aware of the importance of hygiene and safe practices. These common concerns are manifesting themselves in various ways. We have consumers adopting new behaviors and lifestyles.
Dropshippers must analyze what consumer needs and feelings will continue to trend even after lockdowns have been lifted. The key is determining which products will still be in demand.
Bottom line: Dropshippers cannot afford to be spectators during the pandemic. They need to be proactive and prepare for the post-Covid-19 era.
What Can Dropshippers Do Now To Position Themselves For Success?
Because of current circumstances, a lot of dropshippers have suspended their businesses. Few, from what I’ve seen, are making the most of the current situation while preparing for the post-Covid-19 era.
But if you’re looking to adapt to current conditions and stay grounded after the pandemic, you might want to follow some of these suggestions:
1. Optimize your product line
With the current restrictions on selling personal protective equipment, researching different niches to determine products that are most likely to sell is important. There have been growing and declining niches in e-commerce since the pandemic started.
For instance, a March report from retail data company Stackline found that online sales of groceries, home cleaning items, toilet paper and other home supplies were skyrocketing. Furthermore, home fitness equipment has also seen a huge increase in sales since gyms have been closed during the pandemic. Data from Adobe Analytics suggests that online sales for fitness equipment increased 535% between February and March this year, compared to the 70% increase experienced during the same time frame last year. Additionally, with so many people working remotely, the need for desktop accessories keeps increasing. These are a few examples of niches dropshippers can look into as the pandemic continues.
2. Market your products accordingly
Marketing your products effectively during the pandemic provides a lot of advantages. Apart from earning some cash, you get the chance to retain customers since you must have proven your worth. Here are a couple suggestions that can help you market your products effectively.
Use email marketing campaigns. One of the best ways I’ve found to sell products, build business, educate customers and inspire loyalty is through email marketing. Email marketing is an especially helpful tool when your marketing strategies on other platforms are restricted. It is also great for transactional, promotional and life cycle messages.
Have you considered changing your target audience during this pandemic? This could go a long way to increasing sales. Since you won’t be dealing with products personally, changing your target audience shouldn’t be a problem. Just be mindful of any differences in your new audience, such as language barriers. Make sure to tailor your marketing to each new audience.