Coronavirus trading impact
Many online sellers reliant on the dropshipping of their customers' orders direct from China are expressing concerns that delays in shipments caused by lockdowns in certain cities will lead to large scale order cancellations. Some have also said that customers are expressing concerns - rational or not - that the goods being shipped to them direct from China could be at risk of contamination with the virus, and are switching to alternatives where stocks are known to be produced or held locally (in their own countries). Importing retailers are also being affected by delays to their orders being produced and shipped via bulk containers which may lead to stock-outs which could take a month or longer to rectify.
Meanwhile, within China itself, JD.com is one of a number of employers offering roles to some of the thousands of Chinese workers who have been laid off by businesses forced to close or scale back their operations due to the virus. It is also said that a number of businesses are shipping goods via drones to areas affected by the lockdowns as normal transport is unable to operate and the lack of deliveries into retail stores in affected areas is causing many Chinese consumers hardship. This is driving a surge in online ordering within China as the option of delivery via unmanned drones appears, for now, to be the safest current solution.
In speaking with a number of buyers who regularly attend the major Chinese tradeshows, many are now seeking alternative sources of supply believing that, in the shorter term, customers will be put off buying products produced in China.