Dropshipping is a growing trend in retail, among entrepreneurs in general. It provides several benefits not only for small businesses but also for larger companies, particularly manufacturers and distributors. This scheme, however, is far from foolproof. It offers numerous advantages but there’s no guarantee that you will always succeed with it. You still have to do something to make dropshipping work for you.
Pay Attention to the Prices
One disadvantage of dropshipping is the fact that dropshippers are very unlikely to get the lowest price. Don’t expect wholesale price even if you are getting the product directly from a manufacturer. That is simply unfeasible for a manufacturer. Wholesale prices are only given to those who order products in bulk; the dropshipping scheme does not involve such bulk purchases.
Study the prices of suppliers before deciding to have a dropshipping arrangement with them. Ascertain that you can sell them for competitive prices and that you can make some reasonable profit. Certainly, you are not doing business only to make losses.
Plan/Strategize Your Sales
Selling through dropshipping is comparable to doing it the usual way. You also need to make use of strategies to get sales with dropshipping. However, there are a few slight differences. For one, you don’t have control over the delivery time. Before you promise your customers anything with regards to delivery, you need to ascertain the time period the manufacturer you are dropshipping for needs to fulfill an order. You need to plan the shipping of the products you are selling. Likewise, you need to clarify the return policies and the handling of defective orders.
Of course, it’s also very important to pay attention to your marketing campaign. You may not have to worry about moving your inventory or stocking up when you run out of it, but you still have to make sure you continue to generate sales. Hence, you need a good marketing strategy. Make good use of social media. Make sure you have a presentable and intuitive online store or ecommerce site. You can also use email marketing.
Moreover, don’t forget to make sure that the product information you post are accurate. You need to coordinate with your supplier (the company you are dropshipping for) the correct specifications of the products. Otherwise, you might end up disappointing your customers and accumulating complaints. Set up an efficient line of communication with the supplier. It’s imperative to have orders processed and shipped promptly and accurately.
Carefully Organize Your Dealings with Different Suppliers
There are no rules against having multiple suppliers unless suppliers clearly indicate that you shouldn’t be carrying products from their competitors. In fact, you may need many suppliers to have a good range of product to sell. Just make sure you establish order as you deal with different suppliers. Dropshipping can lead to a logistical nightmare. You can’t afford to make mistakes as even the simplest mistakes can create huge impact on your operation. Orders should be completely accurate and should go to where they must go.
Charge Higher Shipping Fees
This is a reality every dropshipper has to face. You have to charge higher shipping fees unless you are only dealing with one supplier (which is rather unlikely). The higher shipping fee is to compensate for instances when your customer may order products that are supplied by different suppliers. When an order involves multiple suppliers, there will be multiple shipping costs. You can’t cover these if you only charge the usual shipping fees. Most dropshippers are already aware of this so it’s unlikely for your relatively high shipping cost to be the culprit if your dropshipping business is not competing well.
Avoid Price Wars
Winning a price would be an extreme rarity for a dropshipper. That’s why it’s advisable never to get involved with one. Set prices that are competitive and can still yield a good profit margin. Instead of lowering your prices, focus on ensuring that you are offering only good quality products. Emphasize good customer service. Be prompt in processing orders so they can be shipped as soon as possible.
Monitor Your Site Analytics
Your online store or ecommerce website statistics can provide useful information for improving your business. For instance, it can show you that you are not generating sales not because of your price but because your online store is not generating traffic. How will you sell if you are not getting traffic on your online store? Web analytics can help you implement changes to improve your traffic and the time potential customers spend on your store.
Use Dropshipping Software
Many aspects of dropshipping can be automated by using the right software. A good dropshipping software can allow you to import dropshipped products into your online store, automatically fulfill orders, manage inventory and price updates, track sales and shipments, and securely allow multiple people to run your online store. Using a dropshipping software can give you more time to focus on the more important aspects of your business such as marketing.
Ditch Bad Suppliers
Never let bad suppliers drag your business down. If they more than twice commit offenses such as the shipping of a defective or wrong product, it’s better to dump them than to suffer a blow on your business reputation. Bear in mind that these suppliers rely on your marketing efforts and business reputation. They are not the ones directly affected when they commit mistakes.
Provide Exceptional Customer Service
Customer service will always be important for any business. Always strive to leave a good impression. Make customers feel that they are special. This is not just about sending thank you notes and offering occasional discounts, though. Cover the basics well, like promptly responding to inquiries and addressing complaints. Ensure that orders are accurately processed. Never react irately to customers even when they become irritating with their repetitive questions or when they keep asking you for details even though these are already clearly presented on the product information section. Always be polite and show that you have adequate knowledge of what you are offering. Customers definitely hate it when sellers are unable to provide sufficient details about the products they are offering.
There are many reasons why you should consider dropshipping but you also have to do things to make it work for you. You can’t benefit from dropshipping’s benefits passively. Use the points discussed above as your guide to make the most of dropshipping.