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How to Prepare Your Dropshipping Store for Chinese New Year

Gemma Henry

How to Prepare Your Dropshipping Store for Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year (CNY) 2024 falls on Saturday, February 10th. So, if you’re currently sourcing your dropshipping products from Chinese suppliers, you’ll need to properly prepare for this annual Chinese holiday. 

Given that Chinese suppliers often offer the cheapest dropshipping collection (and thus have the highest profit margins), they are very popular with both old pros and dropshipping newbies alike. But during CNY, Chinese factories shut down. All their orders (and thus your orders) are placed on hold, and we reach a period of stagnancy. 

This can be dangerous for your dropshipping business. Unless you properly prepare for the Chinese New Year, that is.

And so, we created this guide to give you a helping hand. We’ll take you through all that need-to-know info surrounding the impact the Chinese New Year holiday could have on your dropshipping store. We’ll even run through some tried and tested solutions to help you overcome certain situations that could present themselves as they arise. 

This guide aims to have you running your store through the CNY as well as a pro. But we also wanted to make sure that you know exactly how to prepare for any other holidays you weren’t aware of during the 2024 calendar too.

Read on to unveil all.

What is the Chinese New Year?

The Chinese New Year, which is also often referred to as the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is the most important festival of the Chinese calendar. It’s a public holiday during which Chinese people are authorised to have an entire week off work to spend time with their families.

The CNY also involves fireworks, family feasts, and beautiful decorations too.

Everything you need to know about Chinese New Year 2024

Now that we’ve explained the basic goings on that the Chinese New Year involves, we’re ready to outline the common dropshipping problems and conundrums that ensue as a result of CNY. 

But don’t worry, we wouldn’t outline the problems without also going over the solutions that will protect your dropshipping business. Here’s that all-important info surrounding the Chinese New Year in 2024 as well as everything you need to know to ensure your ecommerce platform is well-prepped ahead of its arrival.

How will Chinese New Year affect my dropshipping store?

Given that both businesses and manufacturers all over China will be out of action throughout this week-long holiday, you’re highly likely to face numerous, long-lasting delays on purchases. 

But that’s not all. Chinese sellers, dispatchers and customer service agents will also be off for the duration of the CNY. available to answer questions.

Which dropshipping suppliers does the Chinese New Year affect?

The Chinese New Year will impact all Chinese suppliers. So, anyone sourcing their dropshipping or ecommerce products from China will be affected. This includes well-known dropshipping suppliers like AliExpress, Banggood, and CJDropshipping.

So, if you are working with any Chinese dropshipping supplier, it’s time to get your ducks in a row for the expected shipping delays. We’ll explain everything you need to do ahead of the CNY below.

How long are Chinese New Year shipping delays likely to be?

As if closing down for an entire week wasn’t enough, many Chinese suppliers actually stop working a week (or sometimes two weeks) ahead of the beginning of Chinese New Year. And so, it’s best to begin preparing your dropshipping store towards the end of January. 

The earlier you start preparing for CNY, the more seamless the transition will be and the better your operations will run for the duration. 

How can shipping delays with Chinese sources be avoided?

One thing you should be aware of is that some Chinese suppliers source some of their products from warehouses that are based outside of China. This could be from US, UK, or EU warehouses for example.

You can find this out by checking your supplier page. If there are multiple warehouses listed, reach out to them ahead of the CNY and find out whether they will be open for business as usual during the holiday. 

Another thing you can do, particularly if a certain product is selling really well through your dropshipping site, is to reach out to your Chinese dropshipping supplier agents. Ask them whether there are any special lines that will be working during CNY.

On occasion, agents are able to get a special line for your product. And this special line may be able to process select orders for your store throughout the Chinese New Year celebrations.

Which niches does the Chinese New Year affect?

As the Chinese New Year holiday usually runs for a period of 2-3 weeks, it’s a good idea to be aware of the different global shopping holidays that will overlap with it. This is primarily because the CNY will affect shipping lead times for purchases made for those holidays as well.

First off, February 14th marks Valentine’s Day. Every year this aligns with or falls very close to the Chinese New Year celebrations. There is also Family Day in Canada to think about. This is an annual holiday that falls on February 16th. 

So, if you’re planning to sell China-sourced products through your dropshipping store for these holidays, you’ll need to start earlier than you might normally plan. If you make your customers aware of the expected delays, they’ll know to make their purchases for this holiday ahead of schedule too. 

How to prepare your dropshipping stores for the Chinese New Year

With whichever web CMS you’re using, you’ll have to follow a slightly different process to implement the following updates. But here are the steps you’ll need to take to inform your customers about the expected delays due to the CNY. Scroll on to learn more

1. Update your dropshipping site’s announcement bar

Your announcement bar is positioned at the very top of your website and should be one of the very first things your customers see upon entering your platform. 

If you’re using a Shopify store, you can use the dashboard to access and edit the announcement bar on your site. 

Click: Online Store > Themes > Customize 

Then look for the Header section as this is where the announcement bar should be.

Once you’ve located it, check that the ‘Show announcement’ checkbox is ticked. This means that the announcement bar is live on your dropshipping website. 

In the text, you’ll need to write something that clearly indicates that the CNY will be impacting your business. Something like:

 ‘We Are Expecting Temporary Shipping Delays During The Chinese New Year Holiday’

Will suffice. Then, remember to save your announcement to display the announcement bar on your dropshipping website.

2. Update your product pages

To make doubly sure that your customers are aware of the potential for delays, you’ll need to add an update to your product pages. Beneath each product description (on products that are impacted), leave a short but sweet, informative note. Something similar to the below would be ideal:

NOTE:  We are currently celebrating the Chinese New Year, and all the factories and postal services are now closed. As a result, it will take longer than usual to process and ship your order. Hang tight – we’ll keep you updated with the progress of your order as soon as we can!

But do make sure you only add this messaging below the product descriptions relating to products you are sourcing from Chinese warehouses. 

3. Set email notifications for post-purchase communication

Another step you can take is to add an additional note to your email notifications. That way, once your customer has placed an order, they’ll receive an email with a message reminding them of the shipping delays.

If you’re doing this through Shopify, head to the store dashboard and follow the steps below:

Click: Settings > Notifications > Order confirmation. 

Ignore the HTML codes and triggers. Instead, look out for the following sentence:

Hi {{ customer.first_name }}, we’re getting your order ready to be shipped. We will notify you when it has been sent.

When you see it, create a line break and type something along the lines of:

NOTICE: We are celebrating the Chinese New Year from February 10th-17th, and all the factories and postal services are now closed. As a result, it will take longer than usual to process and ship your order. Hang tight – we’ll keep you updated with the progress of your order as soon as we can!

Remember to hit ‘save’ so that following every new order, your buyers will receive the delay notifications within their order confirmation email.

4. Update your shipping policy

If you’re using a Shopify account, you can access this through your Shopify store dashboard:

Click: Settings > Legal Pages.

Then you’ll be able to update your shipping and handling information to factor in the potential delays due to the Chinese New Year.

How to reply to customers that were not aware of the Chinese New Year

No matter what lengths we go to, some customers will be completely blind to the warnings you’ve issued at every opportunity. But as long as you’re ready with a reply to every scenario, you’ll get through this scenario.

You need to have a bank of templates ready for rapid responses to queries of this nature. So, if your buyer does reach out to query the delivery time, save the following message template to reply. But remember to adapt the message to make it applicable (and personal) to your customer and their query:

Dear (insert customer’s name),

Thank you for getting in touch.

Please accept our sincere apologies for the delay. We are currently celebrating the Chinese New Year and unfortunately, delays are to be expected. We have endeavoured to adjust our shipping policies in advance to keep our customers as best-informed as possible. 

Rest assured, we will do our best to speed things up as much as possible from our side.

However, given that most postal offices in China are now closed, it can result in longer than usual shipping times. The holiday dates are February 3rd-17th.

If there is any further assistance we can provide, please don’t hesitate to let us know!

Best regards,

(Your name/store name)

Having a bank of message templates makes the customer service aspect of our role easier and smoother to maintain, especially during periods such as CNY.

Diversify by working with multiple dropshipping suppliers

Choosing to partner with Chinese dropshipping suppliers is easy and profitable. But, sticking to one supplier, or working with multiple suppliers in the same region leaves us in a vulnerable position at times like during CNY. 

And so, working with multiple suppliers is more effective for your dropshipping business. And to better balance where you are sourcing your products from, try to partner with one supplier from China, and another from the US or EU.

This way, if one supplier is the source of problems, you can lean on the other supplier and your business can continue (almost) as usual.

Take time off and study up on dropshipping

If your business comes to a standstill during the Chinese New Year, don’t just sit around waiting for the holiday to end. Instead, you could use the time you have to learn more about dropshipping. Doing so will give you all the tools you need to grow your business, boost sales, and gain greater dropshipping successes.

We have plenty of tips, tricks, and how-to guides you can access for free through the Spocket blog. So, if you’re looking for a productive way to pass the time, dedicate some time to research, knowledge expansion, or even planning out and drawing up some marketing campaigns. 

Final thoughts

Now that you’re armed with everything you need to properly prepare for the Chinese New Year, you’re all set to handle the obstacles that ensue like a pro.

As long as you work hard to maintain excellent customer service levels and keep your customers informed, CNY shouldn’t have any negative impact on the success of your dropshipping business. 

You customers appreciate good, clear communication. And by maintaining that year-round (no matter what is impacting your business) you’ll be able to continue expanding the success of your store and your customer base at the same time.

Prepare your dropshipping store for Chinese New Year with our expert tips. Navigate the holiday season, manage inventory, and boost e-commerce success. Get ready for the festivities now!

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Gemma Henry

Gemma has a passion for writing, an enthusiasm for eCommerce, and a flair for creating informative content that drives others to follow their dreams. Her work foundations are built on thorough research to allow you to find all the need-to-know info in one place.

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