Is Your Business Prepared For The Chinese New Year?
Friday, February 16th is Chinese New Year. While the whole of China and some parts of the world celebrate this event, every drop shipper should be preparing their eBay store for the impact of Chinese New Year on their business.
As East-West company has pointed out in the paragraph below, all offices including manufacturing companies shut down during this time of the year.
Once you understand that China shuts down nearly everything for CNY and nothing, absolutely nothing, will get out of China during that time, the better you can plan. Your orders need to ship prior to CNY, and don’t forget to plan for inventory needed to get you through the holiday. There is no way to avoid CNY — it happens every year (albeit on different dates) and it requires advanced planning to minimize interruptions on your end.
How Chinese New Year can Hugely Impact your Business in Drop Shipping?
China had always been known as one of the main sources of products in drop shipping. The fact that Chinese New year is going to be celebrated for about 23 days, it follows that many suppliers are going to shut down to give way for the event. This fact will highly affect many drop shippers who are sourcing products from China mainly in shipment and delivery.
Understanding Chinese New Year
If you did not make a plan for the coming Chinese New Year 2018, you are in fact way too late. Officially, the holiday starts February 16, however, businesses are going to be disturbed for pretty much a month because workers visit their homes from coast to coast. Nonetheless, you can still make some adjustments in your preparation for the slowdowns in terms of shipping during China’s most significant holiday of the year.
Three major impacts of Chinese New year on your dropshipping business.
- No new orders accepted even as early as late December. Many Chinese suppliers may not accommodate new orders even through late December as they anticipate a delay in shipping as a result of the Chinese New Year’s preparation.
- Suppliers in China (including suppliers in Aliexpress) are closed for a month. 2 or 3 weeks prior to the festival, many stores shut down to celebrate the festival. Therefore, orders during that time cannot be accommodated.
- Slow production after Chinese New year. After the festival, other stores may have already resumed but a majority of the stores slow down on production resulting from lack of people or laborers during that time.
Looking at all three impacts of the festival, these highly affects drop shippers who mainly source products from China. Therefore, every drop shipper must have a backup plan to support their business during this time.
While bigger organizations may have a backup support for their clients in customer service, shipping may be delayed in many cases. The delay in shipment may highly affect the drop shipper’s customer feedback and may jeopardize their business as resellers.
How Drop Shippers Must Prepare for Chinese New year?
Planning ahead is important.You may want to talk to suppliers as early as November. Plan your orders as early as December. Stall specific orders as early as January. And revamp your orders at least 2 weeks after the Chinese New Year.
Forecast dates and a possible timeline for the Chinese New Year. Just like any other businesses, forecasting or looking ahead can help a lot in your line of business. Forecasting makes use of data from the past years in order to somehow make smart decisions for your business. Your data can determine products that may go through delayed shipment. Use the same data to contact certain suppliers that may shut down on CNY. The same information you already have should also help you find possible alternative sources.
Create a backup source for a product. A good drop shipper knows that a product is never exclusive to one supplier. One product can be available to many suppliers but varies in prices. Sourcing from China usually provides the lowest price possible. Nonetheless, to prepare your store for the coming Chinese New Year, it is nice to look around for other backup sources other than China and adjust your price according to your alternative source.
There is nothing more effective than communication. Talk to your suppliers to know specific dates on when they are shutting down operation and when they are going to resume. Knowing these specific dates can help you slow down on ads for certain products and when to put it back in full blast. This may also help in your line of customer service where you are able to provide a timeframe on when a product can be available for purchase.
Prepare your store to keep your customers informed
Take a few steps to prepare your store for the upcoming Chinese New Year for you and your customer’s peace of mind.
1. Consider adding a little banner that informs customers of delay in shipping. If you don’t want to tell your customers that your products ship from China, you can provide dates on shipping delays.
2. Use email to remind customers of shipping delays. You may want to set up an automated email to send out as soon as they made an order. The automated email will let customers know the time frame for delayed shipment. Give them an option if they are willing to wait or cancel the order.
3. Respond to all customer questions. There could be orders that had been set out already. These orders could be affected by the month-long festival. These orders may upset a few customers. So it is just right to answer all their queries to give them assurance and peace of mind. The least you can do for the moment is to provide exemplary customer service.
4. Place orders on time. Follow your supplier’s timeframe. By doing so, you can still get your orders before the store shuts down for the huge festival. Do not place orders outside your supplier’s timeframe.
Chinese New Year could be the most significant holiday in the Chinese calendar. Nevertheless, you will find a number of other Chinese holidays that may have an impact on your dropshipping business. Find out about these other Chinese Holidays to keep your store prepared all year long. Happy Selling!
- Kfir is a Co-Founder and the CEO of DSM Tool. He is working with eBay since 2008 and 8 years later in 2016 joined the founding team of a revolutionary drop shipping management platform - DSM Tool. He has a B.A in Business and Entrepreneurship from IDC Herzeliya. Kfir also plays the drums and owns a dog named "Bamba".