How to Prepare Your Dropshipping Business for the Chinese New Year
February 5, 2019, is the beginning of Chinese New Year. Billions of people around the world will celebrate the Year of the Pig, but none so much as people in China.
Fireworks! Food! Travel!
Official National Holiday Lasting Two Weeks!
Wait, what? That’s right, the whole country shuts down for a month-long party.
The dates this year are January 15 – February 4 for Little New Year. Most places will not fill orders and will stop manufacturing.
February 5 – February 19 is the New Year holiday. Expect no deliveries, no orders, and no banks.
If your business depends on drop shipping from China during the month of February, you may be somewhat challenged. Here’s how to prepare for the Chinese New Year business shut down.
Read on to learn more.
How Does Chinese New Year Affect My Drop Shipping Business?
Chinese New Year 2019 will take place on Wednesday, February 5 this year. The official holiday is February 4 -10, but it is customary for most businesses to take a few days before and after to round out the holiday period. This means that on average, your suppliers take at least two weeks off.
The bad news is that dropshipping businesses are definitely affected by this holiday. However, once you understand what slows down, you’ll be in a better position to prepare. There are three main things to be aware of prior to the holiday season.
Firstly, many suppliers will stop accepting orders in the weeks leading up to the holiday starting as half Gennuary.
Secondly, many suppliers will be closed for the entire month which means that along with not fulfilling orders, they will be out of contact as well. So you couldn’t ask them nothing, no info on previous shippings, no quotations for new products, nothing.
Finally, it takes a week or two for things to get going again in the new year. Some suppliers may not return to full capacity until early March.
Contact Your Suppliers
There are more than a few factors that can affect your products’ ship time. You’ll need to contact all the suppliers you work with the most to get specific information. Experienced suppliers might reach out to you, but don’t depend on them to tell you how to run your business, so prepare a list of questions to ask them.
Find out from each supplier when they’ll stop processing orders. Keep in mind, you may need some patience when dealing with supplier communications. Depending on the size of their business, they are likely receiving a high volume of emails from vendors all around the world.
A good way to save time is to create a template to send to each of your sellers. We recommend keeping track of this information using an Excel sheet so you can easily organize this information.
Major Impacts of Chinese New Year Business Shut Down
- No new orders accepted from the 1st part of January
- Banks and postal services take a holiday
- Workers travel and visit family
- Slow production startup after the festival
Some suppliers may want to cut their orders off earlier than the 1st part of January. Contact your suppliers to make sure. Even if your suppliers’ factory is working, there may be a delay in delivery or payment processing because of bank or post shut down.
Stores and factories are shorthanded during this period. After the festival, production starts may be staggered as people return at different times. The worst thing you can do is shut down your business because your suppliers shut down theirs.
How to Prepare your dropshipping business for the Chinese New Year
With a little advance planning and creative thinking, your customer service can appear seamless during the month-long business shut down.
Keep Your Customer Informed About Shipping Times
Your drop shipping platform will have the option to add a banner that is displayed at the top of your homepage. You’re probably already using a similar banner to advertise shipping deals or upcoming sales.
Update the banner to say that you’re currently experiencing shipping delays and provide a link to where customers can find more information. You can also use the banner to inform customers you’re giving a small discount during this time because of the extended shipping times.
You can set up an alert that reminds customers about the extra shipping time when they order. The best way to do this is setting up an automated email that they receive as soon as they pay for the order. Give your customer the option to cancel the order if they cannot wait.
Most people don’t mind waiting a little longer for their package as long they’re kept informed. On the other hand, people hate waiting for responses to their queries. If your customers still have questions after your proactive communications, be sure to answer them promptly.
Automated emails or chats can give the impression that you are available to your customers 24/7. Just make sure to give real and honest information. Keep your customers in the loop about when they will receive their items.
Remember, it’s much better to keep a current customer than try to gain a new one!
Good Option: Stockpile Your Most Popular Products
Once you know the dates of your suppliers Chinese New Year business shut down, you can order a stock for yourself and ship on your own. It’s only for a short period. It can be expensive and it defeats the purpose of drop shipping, but it is effective in maintaining great customer service.
Best Option: Virtual Warehouse with Yakkyofy
If you want to be sure to deliver your products on time during the Chinese New Year business shut down, try the Yakkyofy Virtual Warehouse.
Yakkyofy is a dropshipping app that offers many services and among them one called “the Virtual Warehouse”.
Yakkyofy will help you source in China stock of products, also with private label, and to keep them inside its warehouse in Shenzhen for free.
Using the the Virtual Warehouse on your Yakkyofy account, you will be able to keep track of all your inventory inside the Yakkyofy warehouse and see how many products you have left.
Moreover, once you have connected your eCommerce with the Yakkyofy dashboard, every time that an order arrives on your store, a product will be automatically taken from your virtual warehouse and sent it out automatically to your client, no click required. Not bad, right?
So before the Chinese New Year holiday hits, buy a stock with Yakkyofy, in this way the factory will close but you will still have your best sale product ready to be shipped.
Plus if the factory close one month and the shipping company two weeks, Yakkyofy warehouse will stop only one week (the week of the 5th), so it will be possible for you to continue sales seamlessly with Yakkyofy Virtual Warehouse.
Don’t Let a Festival Shut You Down
With just this little bit of advance thought, you can have your drop shipping e-commerce store run smoothly throughout the Chinese New Year business shut down. A small stockpile of your most popular items can keep delays to an absolute minimum.
There might still be a shipping delay of about a week, but as long as the customer is informed, there should be no problem.
Interested in Yakkyofy Virtual Warehouse services?