What to Know in 2023


There are various reasons why you might have to cancel a dropshipping order.

Maybe your customer changed their mind, or you discovered that your supplier doesn’t have the product in stock.

But what do you do if a customer asks to cancel an order? And how exactly do you cancel a dropshipping order?

That’s what we’ll show you in this article!

What do you do if a customer asks to cancel an order?

First things first, take a deep breath and stay calm.

When a customer reaches out to cancel an order, they might feel frustrated or uncertain.

Be prompt in responding to their request and assure them that you’re here to help.

Take steps to cancel their order with the supplier and on your ecommerce platform and refund their money.

As a tip: Try to find out why the customer wants to cancel an order and use this to improve your business so that it doesn’t happen in the future.

Turning a negative into a positive!

The 3 steps to cancel a dropshipping order

Now let’s examine the three steps to properly cancel and handle a customer’s order:

Step 1: Cancel the order on your ecommerce platform

The first thing you should do when a customer asks to cancel an order is to cancel the order and refund their money within your ecommerce platform.

As an example, we will show you how this process works on Shopify.

Note that this process is similar on all ecommerce platforms.

To cancel an order on Shopify, sign in and head to your Shopify home page.

From your Shopify admin, go to ‘Orders.’

Shopify software homepage

Click the order you want to cancel.

Then, click ‘More actions’ and ‘Cancel order.’

Cancel a Shopify order

Shopify will then fill in the refund amount in the box with the total amount the customer paid.

If you want to change this to a partial amount, you can do so by changing the amount in the box.

Awesome! You’ve now canceled a customer’s order on your ecommerce platform.

Step 2: Let your supplier know

The next step is to let your supplier know about the canceled order.

But remember, you only have to perform this step if you have already placed the order with your supplier.

In most cases, your supplier will have processes for this kind of thing, so be sure to check out your agreement with them or their policies.

One common way that suppliers will have you cancel the order is by sending them a quick message that could look something like this:

Dear [Supplier’s Name],

I hope this message finds you well. My name is [Your Name], and I am writing to address an issue with one of our recent dropshipping orders.

Unfortunately, we have received a request from the customer to cancel the following order:

Order Number: [Order Number]
Customer Name: [Customer Name]
Product(s) Ordered: [Product Names]

I understand that order cancellations can be an inconvenience, and I apologize for any disruption this may cause. As our valued supplier, I wanted to inform you promptly and discuss the best course of action to resolve this situation.

Best regards,

If you use a supplier such as Spocket, it might look something like going to your orders, going to the specific order, and then canceling.

Be sure that your supplier will offer you a refund for what you paid for the product.

Note that in some cases, like returns of print on demand products, they might not offer you a refund because they’ve already created the custom product.

This is why it’s important to read your supplier’s policies and have a return policy of your own in place.

Now, let’s talk about dealing with an order that has already shipped when a customer wants to cancel.

In this case, you can either do one of two things.

You can try to track down the order and have it canceled with the carrier (the more uncommon option).

Or have the customer return and send the product back to your fulfillment partner for a full refund (the more common option).

In this case, you might use a tool such as AfterShip Returns.

Aftership returns homepage

Step 3: Message the customer

Now, after you’ve canceled the order on your ecommerce platform and with your supplier, it’s time to take care of the customer and message them back to keep them informed on what’s happening with their canceled order.

Express genuine apologies and empathy for any inconvenience caused by the cancellation.

Even though cancellations are a part of business and can be annoying, acknowledging their inconvenience and empathizing with them shows that you care about their experience and satisfaction.

And who knows, maybe they’ll buy from your store again if you show that you care about the customer experience.

Someone sending an email

Here are a few things to remember when messaging and managing relations and keeping them informed:

  • Clear refund process and timeline. Clearly communicate the refund process to the customer. Explain how the funds will be credited back to their original payment method and provide an estimated timeline for the refund to be processed.
  • Status update for shipped orders. If the order has already been shipped, update the customer about its status. Let them know that you are aware of the shipment and that you’ll assist them with the return process, if applicable.
  • Available for further assistance. Offer your assistance and support throughout the cancellation process. Provide multiple contact options, such as email, phone, or live chat, so the customer can reach out if they have any additional questions or concerns.
  • Keep them informed of future updates. If there are any changes or updates regarding the cancellation, refund status, or any other related information, proactively keep the customer informed. This proactive approach shows that you are committed to maintaining transparency and keeping them in the loop.


Before we go to the conclusion, we’ve created a quick summary of this article for you so you can easily remember it:

  • Manage the cancellation effectively. Canceled orders are an aspect of running an ecommerce business, and effectively managing them can greatly impact customer satisfaction and overall success.
  • A canceled order can be an opportunity. Understanding the reasons behind canceled orders, such as customer change of mind or stock unavailability, presents an opportunity for growth and building trust with customers.
  • The three-step process for canceling an order. The process of canceling a customer’s order involves canceling the order and refunding their money on your ecommerce platform, notifying and working with your supplier, and messaging the customer with empathy, clear refund information, and ongoing support.


So there you have it!

That is how you effectively and properly manage and cancel a dropshipping order when a customer asks to cancel.

We hope you see that it doesn’t have to be daunting when a customer asks to cancel.

Hopefully, this article helped you!

Want to learn more about dropshipping?

Ready to move your dropshipping store to the next level? Check out the articles below:


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