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How to improve customer satisfaction when dropshipping items from China to the US?

Asked 3 years ago

Phil K

Monday, January 25, 2021

In short, you can offer some or all of the following: A unique experience Branded feel Great service Quick shipping Let's address each of these in more detail. A unique experience - It can take a creative mind to truly think of something which will make your customer think "wow, I wasn't expecting that!" But it's not ONLY about being creative to get that wow factor, it's not always relevant to create such an experience. For example, if you're selling a really cheap product with very low perceived value, it probably isn't worth spending the extra time, effort and money creating a unique experience. No matter how you package some products, the perceived value won't increase.

In most cases, you won't need to go that far, just think back to when you last purchased something which impressed you, or made you feel special.

Did it have a unique unboxing experience? Did the box package double as a reusable item? Was an extra, unexpected gift included? Or was it just the quality of the item and high perceived value that stood out?

What you need to remember here is that, the customer isn't expecting an "eBay experience" when buying directly from a website, particularly if that website looks like a professional brand (I hope yours does!).

Unless you're purchasing a high ticket item, the parcel will most likely come in a plain mailing (postal) or jiffy bag. Within that, the product itself and nothing much more. That's what I mean when I type "eBay experience", not always the case, but you get my point.

Let's face the facts, your customer's don't know they are making a transaction with a dropshipper, so they don't expect that.

I remember when I purchased a gift for the x wife years back from Groupon. It was a piece of jewelry, RRP was over £100 but it was on "Special Offer" at a heavily discounted price of £19.99.

It was extremely underwhelming when I received a jiffy bag with the piece of jewelry inserted into small, OPP bag (a cheap, transparent plastic film bag).

I didn't care about the product much, I was at least expecting some kind of jewelry box or something which increased the perceived value. As I received it this way, there was obviously no way it was worth £19.99, let alone over £100!

I have to go and purchase a jewelry box separately, gifting anyone with OPP bag presentation doesn't exactly make the recipient feel special.

You're probably asking yourself "How can I do that as my vendor doesn't offer such services". You won't know unless you ask. The problem with dropshipping is that most order from random vendors on platforms such as Aliexpress, hardly ever speak to their vendors or even know who they are.

Contact them and ask if they offer a custom box, wrapping service or can include gits. Even if you have to pay a little extra, that little effort can potentially make a single purchase into a lifetime customer.

If you have decent volume, then you should be using an agent or fulfilment company. This is where many options come in. There is almost no limitation in how you want to present your customers their products and shopping experience. It just comes down to how much you want to spend.

Branded feel - A little more difficult with dropshipping as, unless you have decent volume, sometimes it's not worth risking the upfront inventory for printing thank you cards and logo branded postal bags.

Although you can find manufacturers that will print 100 units of each, the cost of doing so means you'll be paying way more per unit compared to when printing 1000s. So it doesn't represent good value at all.

As a comparison, if printing 2000 A6 thank you cards, including the labour to pack those per order, you'd be looking at around $60 in total. On the flip side, printing 100 of those will probably be $15-$20. Same goes for branded logo bags. Printing 100 A4 bags will likely work out to around $1 each or just under, where as printing 1000-2000 will reduce that to $0.19 or so.

Card inserts, logo stickers or mailing bags, should be the first thing to consider when wanting to offer a branded feel as it's the easiest, most inexpensive option.

When you start talking about custom boxes and white labeling products, generally speaking, you require MOQ of 1000s.

Great service - This is the number 1 reason why customers return, because you treat them VERY WELL, you offer quick support, resolve any issues seamlessly and go the extra mile. This is almost unheard of in the dropshipping space because most think it's a get rich quick scheme and believe it's about the initial transaction, nothing else.

Don't come across robotic, if you're still doing customer service yourself, have fun, let your personality show, make jokes, communicate with them as if you were doing so face to face with a friend, it goes a long way!

Sending courtesy, follow up emails is a perfect example, I hardly see any dropshippers do this. As soon as they make the first sale with a customer, that's it. They don't bother to create any kind of relationship, in their eyes, the customer is just a single cash payment, which is the completely wrong way to look at it.

Quick shipping - Easier said than done. Again, if you don't have the volume to be using an agent or fulfilment company, you have to choose your vendors carefully.

Don't skimp on shipping services, or at least give your customers options at checkout for faster shipping and use a reliable, efficient line.

As there are many variables here, it may not be that easy. If you're sending to Brazil for example, even if you use the faster eParcel service available, it will still likely take close to 30 days. But then again, customers from Brazil are usually aware of the long shipping times, so expect it.

What I'm getting at here is, you should always try to improve shipping times because this, along with product quality are the top reasons why chargebacks and refund requests occur. DON'T USE EPACKET!

No matter which service you use to a country, if it's an international shipment, it's more likely to go wrong or be delayed at some point. That's why you should transition to local fulfilment in your best selling country wherever possible.

To summarise, just put yourself in the shoes of your customer, what would satisfy/impress you when you shop online?

Once you get to 10+ consistent orders day, switch to a fulfilment company who will be able to help you with everything mentioned, be that card inserts, customer packaging, combining multi orders into a singe parcel and just automating the process overall.

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