It might seem like ancient history, but there was a time when customers would place online orders and be content to wait weeks for their products to arrive. These days, online shoppers expect almost instant gratification no matter what items their order contains. Because of this shift, dropshipping with fast shipping has become a necessity for any online retailer.
As dropshippers, we work with entrepreneurs who run real businesses. So we don’t just want to meet the status quo. We want your customers to rave about their shipping experiences! Whether your customers are ordering furniture, clothing, groceries, electronics, or more, online shoppers expect immediate fulfillment. If you're unfamiliar with the dropshipping business model, we have a blog post that explains "What is dropshipping?"
So, with companies like Amazon setting the bar for 1-2 day shipping for their customers, how can the rest of us try to meet similar expectations?
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What is Fast Shipping?
Shipping as fast as Amazon just isn’t possible yet for most online retailers. In some states, Amazon can get items to its customers within 24 hours! However, dropshipping with fast shipping can help you get closer to meeting that expected time-frame.
With the Drop Ship Lifestyle method, fast shipping means having items shipped within 24 hours of an order being placed. Then, in your customers’ hands in 3-5 business days.
We like to set expectations at 3-5 business days because there are variables that can affect how long shipping will take, such as, is it:
- Shipping with UPS?
- Shipping with FedEx?
- An over-sized item being shipped through a freight company?
Even if your customer’s order is a large item (like furniture) shipping as freight, we can still get it to them within 5 business days.
How Does Dropshipping with Fast Shipping Work?
1. No Dropshipping From China
One of the questions we regularly get is if dropshipping from China is a good idea. Unfortunately, most people who try this method are disappointed with the results.
Dropshipping from China is an outdated model that is being replaced by companies that can provide faster shipping speeds domestically. Very few customers are willing to wait 2-3 weeks for the latest trendy item when they can buy it for less on Amazon and get it within 2 days.
Customers are getting smarter and savvier every day and regularly use tools like Google Shopping. Instead of waiting 2-3 weeks for an item to arrive, they can do a quick Google Shopping search and get the same product delivered much faster - often at a better price.
If you’re still trying to make dropshipping from China work for you and your customers, you’re fighting a losing battle.
So what’s the solution?
2. Only Use Domestic Suppliers To Dropship With Fast Shipping
We’ve found that the best way to dropship with fast shipping is by only working with domestic brands and suppliers. Partnering with domestic brands who keep their products fully stocked locally is the best choice. This not only helps support local economic growth, but it also allows items to be shipped and delivered quickly.
If you’re selling to customers in the United States, be sure you’re working with product suppliers who already have established warehouses in the country. These are the types of companies that will keep the products your customers order in stock and respond quickly.
As soon as you send them an order, they can get it out the door using a traditional carrier like UPS, USPS, or FedEx. You won’t have to worry about a delay in shipping due to international carriers using ocean or air freight. On top of that, with domestic shipping, you don’t have to worry about your customer’s products being delayed going through customs or being quarantined at ports.
If you want to dropship like a pro and keep your customers happy, working with domestic suppliers and brands is a must.
There’s still one more step in this process that will save you time and help ensure your customers get their orders in 3-5 business days...automation!
3. Automated Order Processing And Fulfillment
Automating processing and fulfillment is essential if you want to provide fast shipping when you dropship. It’s the key to making sure you or your employees can’t unintentionally delay the speed of orders being submitted for fulfillment.
If you aren’t using an automated order fulfillment system yet, your manual process is likely:
- Your customer places an order online
- One of your employees (or you) manually sends that order information to your supplier
- Your supplier confirms the order and begins the shipping process
It’s not a bad way to do things, but if you want to offer fast shipping efficiently and free up yourself and your employees to handle other things, automation is the key. If you haven’t tried automating your sales process, this can seem daunting, but there are tools available that make it easy for any business to do.
We use a tool called Zapier and an automation sequence to forward new Shopify store orders directly to the correct suppliers. Zapier is a versatile tool that you can use to build a variety of automated sequences customized to meet your business’ needs. By automating this process, you save valuable time and make sure orders get in the customer’s hands as quickly as possible!
Think about it this way: if you don’t have an automation process like this in place, you’re likely checking your orders once or twice a day and sending them onto your suppliers. Instead of having to do that, the second an order comes in, it’s automatically sent to your supplier in real-time so they can start shipping products immediately.
Let’s Recap How to Drop Ship with Fast Shipping
- Don’t dropship from China
- Only use domestic suppliers who keep their local warehouses stocked with products your customers order
- Automate your order processing and fulfillment through a tool like Zapier.
If you want to learn more about the Drop Ship Lifestyle system and how we build highly profitable, semi-automated online stores with fast shipping times, register for my free training class below.