Chinese New Year doesn't need to hurt your business! Many new dropshippers are unprepared for the Chinese New Year. One of the world’s biggest new year celebrations, Chinese New Year also means that the more than 2.8 million factories in China will shut down for over 3 weeks as workers take time off to spend with their families.
In this article, I will discuss what Chinese New Year means for your online store or dropshipping business, what you can do to prevent a break in product supply, and how you can avoid unhappy customers.
This year, Chinese New Year will be on Friday, February 12th, 2021. Each year, the festival will typically last for around 3 weeks after the start of the holiday.
During the holiday, just about everything in China will be shut down. This includes your manufacturers’ factories, any distributor’s offices, and shipping ports. To be fully clear, your shipments will not be leaving China. This means that you must plan ahead. To ensure that all your customers’ orders get to them in time they must be shipped before the Chinese New Year begins. You should also prepare any inventory that you will need during the Chinese New Year Festival, as well.
Most Common Ways the Chinese New Year Impacts an Online Business
China has been a main source of manufacturers for private label brands that are Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA), Etsy E-commerce, and other dropshipping platforms. With this being said, it is important to remember that Chinese suppliers are going to be closed down for the holidays. They are not going to have any way to get inventory to your shop or to your customers. Be sure to plan ahead for your customer’s shipments and deliveries during the Chinese New Year celebrations.
Many mothers in business forget to plan for the Chinese New Year. If you are a parent entrepreneur or other parent in business, it is important to remember that although Chinese New Year begins on February 12th, that day isn’t the only day you won’t get shipments from China.
Shipments will be stopped until after the end of February. Chinese workers are simply not on the job during their biggest annual holiday. Therefore, manufacturers won’t be sending packages during this time.
The breakdown of Chinese New Year’s impact on mom bloggers, digital nomads, and Shopify store owners includes the following:
New orders won’t be accepted (sometimes new orders aren’t accepted past late December)
Suppliers located in China (including CJDropshipping, Chinabrands, AliExpress, and others) will be closed for at least 3 weeks, usually starting before the Chinese New Year begins
Production will be slower even when the Chinese New Year is over because the suppliers will have such a backlog of orders from before the holiday
However, now that you and other stay-at-home dropshipping business owners know about the Chinese New Year or are reminded of it, you can prepare for these slowdowns. You can make a plan to ensure that you are still taking care of your customers, even when the factories shut down.
Tips to Prepare for Chinese New Year 2021
If you are thinking ahead for the Chinese New Year Holidays in 2021, there are many tips that can help you to prepare. Whether you are focusing Chinese New Year’s effect on suppliers like AliExpress, Alibaba, or on any other supplier in China, these tips are going to help you keep your business's reputation intact.
Plan Ahead for the Chinese New Year Factory Shut Down 2021
The most important thing that you can do to prepare is to talk to your suppliers in advance. I recommend that you reach out to them in November of each year long before Chinese New Year.
If you’re reading this after November, don’t panic, but do speak to your suppliers as soon as you can. Ensure that you make a reminder to yourself to plan the orders that you will need no later than early December in the coming year. Although you can stall some orders into early January, the rest of your orders should be set up with your dropshipping supplier in China 2 weeks after Chinese New Year ends.
If you follow this tip, you can ensure that all of your customers for your online business will receive the orders they place with your company.
Forecasting the Dates and Timelines for Chinese New Year
It can feel challenging to figure out exactly how many orders you need to prepare for your store, but it doesn’t need to be. You can use information from past sales to guess how many sales you can expect.
By using information from your previous orders, you can even take note of which shipments were delayed. If you can anticipate which future shipments may be delayed, you can also anticipate which customers you may need to contact with this information.
For those of you who are in your first year of business and don’t have any data to predict future sales, you can look at the average amount of sales that you’ve had each month so far. Then, you can order that amount of products plus an extra 10% to play it safe.
Creating Backup Sources
Although you have an established relationship with your supplier, you can reach out to another supplier if your usual supplier is out of stock. While products may vary in price, using another supplier will ensure that you do not have a break in your product supply.
Suppliers in China are typically cheaper than suppliers from other countries. However, by using a supplier from another country you can stay competitive by continuing to ship out your products during the Chinese New Year or any other time when there are issues with your normal product supplier.
Taking these steps will ensure that your customers are taken care of while factories in China are shut down for the holidays.
Tips for Informing Your Customers Regarding Shipping During The Chinese New Year
It is very important to inform your customers of your shipping policies during the Chinese New Year. Here are some tips to help you keep your customers informed during this time of year.
Putting a Banner on Your Website
One of the easiest things that you can do is to put a banner on your website. Your banner can state that there will be some shipping delays during the 2021 Chinese New Year holidays. If you would prefer not to tell customers that your products are shipping out of China, you can simply put shipping delay dates on this banner.
Emailing Your Customer
If you have a list of customer emails, this is a great time to use it. I suggest that you use an automated email sequence to inform your customers when they place an order in addition to a banner. This way, when your customer places an order, they will be instantly notified about any shipping delays.
In your email, be sure to give your customers the option to wait for or cancel their order. This way, your store can continue to get orders and your customers can choose for themselves if they want to wait. While you may feel concerned that this will lose you sales, more importantly it will definitely save you from bad reviews.
Answering Questions from Your Customers
If orders have recently been placed s, but your customers aren’t getting their packages due to the shut down of factories during the 2021 Chinese New Year celebrations, they will likely be asking you what is going on. Be sure that you answer your customers’ questions. Although they might be upset about the delays, they are likely to be even more upset if you ignore them. This could lead to bad reviews, which can negatively impact your sales. Answer their questions quickly and send them a response letting them know that orders will be shipped as soon as possible once the Chinese New Year is over.
If you are keeping your customers informed of your shipping policies during the Chinese new Year Holidays, then all should be well with your business.
Shipping delays can be intimidating, but a little preparation can ensure that they don’t impact your customers. Chinese New Year is a well-deserved holiday for your hard-working suppliers. Whether you’re a mompreneur, parent, or child in business, we all know how important it is to take a step back sometimes to spend time with the ones we love! Take a deep breath, do some prep, and enjoy another prosperous month in e-commerce.