With the recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus, US and international dropshippers have been left struggling to maintain their supply chains.
Now, more than ever, it’s become clear that you need to diversify your supplier and product mix.
In this article, we’re going to show you how coronavirus affects eCommerce, and how you can generate revenue by diversifying your suppliers.
Let’s take a look!
How Does the Coronavirus Affect eCommerce?
In the beginning, dropshippers whose suppliers were in the Hubei province, including the city of Wuhan that was struck by the epidemic, had problems with delivery.
Factories were closed for longer than expected, even with the Lunar New Year in mind.
Even AliBaba, the biggest supplier platform, struggled with shortages.
And even if your suppliers weren’t in the Hubei province, you’d have still been impaired. Some of the most important product components are produced in Hubei, and then shipped to where your suppliers are located.
Today, we’re facing an even bigger crisis.
The world is connected, so if one part of the world is affected by a crisis (be it a pandemic, or a natural disaster), and you have business ties to them, your business will be affected, as well.
And while China seems to be handling the issue well so far, dropshippers are still affected.
Not all logistical operations are fully operational at the moment – there are still truck driver shortages and cargo issues, which affects the shipping in your dropshipping business. Cargo terminals are shutting down, affecting deliveries.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that it’s dangerous to depend on one supplier only, or suppliers from one country.
At the same time, consumers are turning to eCommerce because it’s the safer alternative to physical shopping.
While consumers are mainly stocking up on groceries and sanitary products at the moment, there is no doubt that the rate of eCommerce usage will grow exponentially, even as we move out of this crisis.
How to Diversify Your Product Mix in the Age of Coronavirus
Right now, your main question is probably: But what if the whole world goes on lockdown?
This is highly unlikely.
Even with different lockdowns in place in Europe, the US is still one of the biggest economies in the world.
The geographical spread of the US also means that not all areas will be affected equally at the same time. If you add US suppliers from different areas to your product mix, you’ll stay operational.
The Benefits of Adding USA Suppliers to Your Dropshipping Supplier Mix
The first benefit of using suppliers based in the USA if you’re dropshipping within the States is that domestic suppliers mean faster shipping.
When you ship from China, the average delivery time is 14 days. But within the US, your customers could have their products within a day or two.
The US is well-connected logistically, so running out of stock is not likely.
Additionally, if there is a stricter lockdown that impairs delivery times from overseas regions like China, having suppliers based in the US will allow you to stay operational.
Depending on your niche, you may experience higher demand levels.
In that case, you may not be able to rely only on US suppliers, but you should definitely add them to the mix. The more suppliers you have, the better.
Finally, you can’t deny the psychological effects of this crisis.
As different flare-ups occur in different countries, your US consumers will be more likely to trust businesses that operate within the US.
The Long-Term Outlook: Coronavirus and eCommerce
Ultimately, the main benefit of diversifying your supplier mix is the ability to maintain your operations.
Even in worst case scenarios where one of the countries your suppliers are located in goes into lockdown, you’ll still have back-up suppliers to keep you operational.
And with more and more people turning to eCommerce, you can turn this crisis into a safer future for your business.
How to Find Dropshipping Suppliers in the US
There are two main ways to find dropshipping suppliers in the US:
- Directly (e.g. through referrals or directories)
- Through supplier platforms
Finding US Wholesale Suppliers Directly
You might have heard of a wholesale supplier that you’ve always thought would be a good fit for your business.
Now is the prime time to get in touch with them.
You can also turn to Google or competitive analysis to find the best suppliers for your business. Simply look at other US dropshippers, and pay attention to who their suppliers are.
Just make sure they are open to working with dropshipping businesses.
Then, get in touch with US-based dropshipping suppliers:
- What are their terms for dropshippers?
- Do they have per-order fees, and how much are they?
- What precautions are they taking during this crisis? Do they have backup plans if they have to reduce their workforce?
- How long have they been in business?
- Where do they source product parts?
- Who are their shipping partners?
In addition to basic questions that you’d normally pose, it’s important to pose crisis-related questions. You want a supplier with a plan.
For example, if they only rely on one shipping service, there are chances that they won’t be able to fulfill your orders if that service decides to pause their operations.
Similarly, you want to emphasize your partners’ safety measures.
You’ll give your customers a sense of security, and make sure they don’t choose a different dropshippers during this time.
Finding USA Suppliers for Dropshipping through Platforms
Our recommendation is finding vetted US-based suppliers through platforms.
Since platforms conduct checks and allow you to read supplier reviews, it’ll be much easier to see if your target supplier is reliable.
Modalyst has a huge database of US suppliers and products for USA dropshipping.
You can pick from suppliers that ship a variety of products, as well as customize your packaging and labeling to make your product truly your own. Modalyst suppliers love working with dropshippers.
Additionally, Modalyst is completely automated.
Modalyst has various integrations:
- Retailer apps: Wix, Shopify, BigCommerce
- Supplier apps
- Partner integrations
All you’ll have to do is make sure your customers are happy – Modalyst will handle the rest!
The Hobby plan that is limited to 25 products is completely free, so you can try Modalyst before you commit to a paid plan.
After you choose and add products, you’ll be able to set pricing and shipping rules to increase your margins. This essentially allows you to adapt to market trends quickly, an extremely necessary feature in these changing times.
Another platform you can use to find US dropshipping suppliers is DropCommerce.
On DropCommerce, you’ll be able to find suppliers from both US and Canada. They offer fast shipping times (at shipping rate averages of $2.99), and 7 day free trials.
DropCommerce also doesn’t charge transaction fees.
And even though you’re dropshipping, you can expect 30% discount rates from suppliers.
It’s a great chance to increase your profit margin while making sure your supplier and product mix is diverse.
Finally, Wonify also puts you through to US-based suppliers.
This platform offers over 15,000 products sourced from US suppliers. There’s also a great diversity of products, since Wonify has 550 product categories. Even if you’re operating within a specific niche, you’ll likely find a good product on Wonify.
Wonify promises your customers will get your products in 3-5 days. They also offer to set up your Shopify store for you.
Finally, you can use Spocket to get in touch with US and EU suppliers. This is a great option if you have customers in Europe!
Where to Find US Suppliers for Your Dropshipping Business?
Platforms are certainly one of the most reliable options for finding and vetting suppliers in the United States.
If you’re finding your suppliers directly, you’ll have to make sure they’re comfortable with dropshipping, and have a track record of reliability.
But with platforms like Modalyst, which has a history of cooperation with reliable suppliers, you don’t have to worry.
Modalyst helps you:
- Find reliable US-based suppliers for dropshipping
- Automate your sourcing and fulfillment
- Diversify your supplier and product mix
- Run your business seamlessly
The times may be uncertain, but with domestic suppliers, you can make sure your business doesn’t suffer.