Many aspects of business change from year to year and ecommerce is no exception. For instance, some site design trends to expect in 2018 include using full-screen search forms and guided selling - helping shoppers find the products that will benefit them best.
One more change you're likely to see in the next 12 months involves the way ecommerce companies get their goods into customers' hands. Drop shipping is a relatively new way of managing an ecommerce business and it offers some distinct advantages.
What is drop shipping?
Key considerations for anyone setting up an ecommerce site include:
- How they're going to get the capital to buy the products they plan to sell;
- Where they're going to store the goods until they're sold;
- And how they're going to manage shipping.
Drop shipping solves all of these issues because, when you use this method, you never actually handle the products at all.
With drop shipping, you list the products you want to sell on your website but you don't buy them until your customer actually orders them. Then, when they do, you purchase the items directly from a wholesaler and have them ship directly to your customer.
Because you never hold the items, you don't have to spend money up front to buy them, nor do you have to invest in a warehouse to store them. And because shipping is handled by the wholesaler, you don't have to worry about that either. This is, by far, one of the easiest ways to run a business online today.
Of course, in order for drop shipping to work well, you need to work closely with the right wholesale suppliers. If your customers aren't getting their goods when they expect them and in good condition, you're not going to be in business for long.
How do I pick a good wholesale supplier?
This is probably the most time-consuming part of setting up an ecommerce business based on drop shipping because you have to make sure your wholesalers will deliver. This involves looking at what makes a good wholesale supplier – and that includes everything from organisation and efficiency to reliable customer service.
As well as being experts about the products they sell, top quality wholesalers are also able to supply you with up-to-date product data. The more knowledgeable they are and the more they are willing to keep you in the loop, the easier it will be to do business with them.
What if I don't know which products to sell?
One challenge for new ecommerce companies can be deciding which products they're going to sell. Because the options are truly endless with drop shipping, this can be a tough one to narrow down.
There are a few different things you can do to generate ecommerce product ideas. Think about how many products you want to offer, how you want to list them and what product details you want to share. Spend time online and see what types of products other ecommerce sites are offering. It may spark some ideas that you didn’t even know you had.
What about returns?
Another important consideration is how to handle returns. Because you didn't ship the items to the customer, you have to consider what you will do if they wish to send them back.
One option is to have the consumer send the items back to you, and you can then correspond with the wholesale company. It means more work on your part but making the process easier on your customer increases the odds that they'll continue to do business with you in the future.
Drop shipping is a new way to do ecommerce. As long as you pick good wholesalers, choose the right products and offer stellar customer service, there's no reason you can't create a profitable ecommerce business when using this method.
Sponsored post. Copyright © 2017 Tim Erinwright, Wordpress developer and digital marketing consultant.