Dropshipping can provide immense benefits to e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retailers. The process enables customer-facing brands to offer a wide range of products for sale, without having to tie up a substantial amount of capital in company-owned inventory. Retailers can get customers the products they want in a timely manner, regardless of season, location, or availability of labor to put the stock on the retail floor. The end result is an increase in sales volume in return for a minimal investment in the dropshipping process.
This is the promise of the arrangement, but the success of dropshipping depends on the quality of the partners. Top dropshipping companies understand the pain points of retailers and will keep those interests in mind throughout the course of the business relationship. To that end, they will have certain procedural steps in place to reassure retailers of their ability to deliver. Brands searching for a high-quality partner should check that these core requirements are met before finalizing the arrangement.
1. Fast Shipment
Online ordering is no longer an oddity in the retail landscape. Customers are accustomed to paying for an item and then waiting for it to arrive. While this in and of itself is not unusual, it still involves an element of trust between the consumer and the brand. If ordered goods do not arrive within stated timelines, it can lead to customer dissatisfaction and poor online reviews.
Top dropshipping companies understand the importance of prompt delivery. Regardless of the timeline promised to the end customer, the supplier should ship the goods within 24 hours of receiving the order. That way, the retailer has no worries about delays. Since dropshippers are not visible to the shopper, it is the retailer who is responsible for explaining any problems. Rapid shipment means reduced risk of not meeting the stated delivery time of the order, and therefore, reduced risk of an unhappy customer or requirement to provide a refund.
2. Ample Inventory
Retailers clearly rely on dropshippers to provide inventory. This is essential because the retailer has made the choice to either limit its on-hand inventory or to depend completely on the dropshipper to provide the product. Quality dropshippers will have more than one retail partner, and as such will have several demands on their product supply. In order to avoid disappointing a customer, a retailer must investigate the restocking process at the dropshipper level, so there is transparency about how likely it is that an item may be permanently out of stock or frequently on back order.
Again, this is an issue important to top dropshipping companies, because it is of primary importance to their retail clients. They will handle this issue by keeping sufficient stock of core products at all times. Regular replenishment results in having three months or more of available stock in staple goods at any given time. With this system in place, retailers do not have to worry that their virtual shelves will suddenly be empty of a key turnover product.
3. Seasonal Promotion
It’s often said that “Black Friday” is so named because, during this deal-heavy event, retailers do such high volume that their bottom line turns from red to black. While that may or may not be the reason behind the phrase, it highlights the fact that retail sales increase substantially during the holiday season. That is true not only for the weeks in November and December but other notable holidays during which people tend to buy more. Money is to be made, for certain, but in order for those sales to happen, retailers need sufficient inventory.
That’s why top dropshipping companies can anticipate shifts in volume from one season to the next. In particular, they can ensure coveted holiday items are available so that retailers have enough supply to fulfill online and offline orders. Indeed, it is during the holiday seasons that retailers should feel most able to rely on their dropship partners, lest they lose out on what can prove to be the most lucrative and competitive time of year.
4. Brand Event Support
As much as holidays are important to all retailers, brands have times of year when they put on special promotions. For followers of the brand, it can become a holiday of its own, when they know they will get the best deals on custom textile lines or other in-store goods. During these events, retailers may put all of their offerings on discount in order to push for volume sales across all product segments.
When a retailer and dropshipper have an ongoing professional relationship, that supplier is knowledgeable of these events and can accommodate them with sufficient inventory. After all, if a retailer can’t make good on the promises made during its own in-house events, it’s particularly damaging for the brand, and top dropshipping companies understand this.
Strong Business Relationships Built on Reliable Partners
Retailers can make a substantial profit by partnering with a dropshipper. In fact, as e-commerce has become the driving force of retail, consumers have almost unlimited choices. Brands are therefore under increasing pressure to offer extensive product selection.
In order to successfully implement dropshipping into its supply chain, it is important for retailers to choose the right supplier. This partner should know the pain points of consumer-facing retail and be fully prepared to accommodate them. That accommodation should extend to all aspects of the operation, from product availability to excellence in service.