In today’s relentless eCommerce markets, it has become common practice for retailers to use drop shipping services when sending their products. As drop shipping costs are usually low, retailers are able to keep their prices competitive and consumers happy.
How Does Drop Shipping Work?
Drop shipping is a simple concept. Essentially, it involves retailers who don’t keep an inventory of goods on hands. Instead, they work with wholesalers that fulfill orders and ship directly to customers when an order is placed.
The general timeline of the process looks like this:
Customer places an order with the retailer -> The order is forwarded to drop-shippers -> Order is prepared and shipped -> Customer receives their order
The Pros & Cons [restrict]
This strategy has become very popular as retailers no longer have to worry about unpurchased inventory and storage rental. The fuss of packaging and shipping are also negated. Retailers get the sales and drop-shippers curate more orders. It is a win-win situation with customers too, as fast and prompt delivery is possible.
Sounds too good to be true? Well the downside to drop shipping is just that. It has become such a popular strategy that profit margins may be incredibly small. Furthermore, due to this saturation, it is harder for you to get your business or services noticed. Not being able to physically see your products also poses a problem. It’s hard enough to secure customers, but if there are any issues pertaining to customer dissatisfaction, resolving it is much harder.
Selecting The Right Wholesalers & Suppliers
It goes without saying that any you would want to work with reliable partners in any business venture. With drop shipping, you are heavily reliant on your wholesalers, so spend time researching your options.
Finding the right wholesaler is the most critical aspect for business to begin. As we said, drop shipping is an incredibly saturated market so there are bound to many inexperienced or inauthentic people posing as wholesalers. Make sure you ask the right questions:
• What is the minimum order?
• Are their shipping and fulfilment speeds competitive?
• How do their return policies work?
• How efficient is customer service?
• Do their policies cover lost or stolen goods?
• At what volume do they stop accepting orders?
A safe way to test how reliable wholesalers are is to order a few products for yourself. This way you get a first-hand experience on your business’s capabilities.
Be sure to also have backup suppliers. If products are sold-out and you are unable to deliver orders on time, your customers are going to flock to another business that can do it better.
eCommerce is a new age-of-opportunity for big and small businesses alike. It is easy for many people to come up with the same ideas, but their value propositions are sometimes lacking. Drop shipping is easy to get into with little investment initially but consider providing something unique to help your services stand out from the rest.