Whether you have recently launched an online business or you are a seasoned owner, the chances are high that you have come across the term “drop shipping”. This concept is actually quite simple. As opposed to being laden down with physical inventory and forced to deal with complicated shipping logistics, a third-party supplier deals with such concerns so that you can focus on other areas such as client satisfaction and product promotions. Still, not all drop shipping enterprises succeed. This has less to do with the theory behind such a method and it instead involves incorrect decisions and poor choices. How can you truly leverage the benefits associated with drop shipping and are there any lesser-known takeaway suggestions to follow? We will first address your personal strategies before moving on to examine how to choose a quality third-party supplier. So, how can drop shipping take your business to the next level?
How Can Drop Shipping Take Your Business to the Next Level?
Have a Plan in Place
One of the most pervasive issues associated with any drop shipping business (or any online business for that matter) is that the owner has become too focused around a “get-rick-quick” scheme. As a direct result, he or she has little emotional connection to the product or service being offered. You need to develop a passion for what you are promoting. This sense of personal motivation will be reflected in your branding, the associated images and the amount of time you take to ensure superior levels of customer satisfaction.
Another issue to mention involves what some have termed a “passion niche”. While this is not a formal concept, passion niches generally represent those sectors associated with a higher level of personal interest. Let us quickly examine these two categories:
- Hiking equipment
- Bathroom appliances
Items and products associated with hobbies have been historically proven to be more popular than services which can be procured at the nearest shopping mall. Thus, visitors are much more likely to examine a line of hiking equipment as opposed to bathroom-related accessories. This is why it is important to carefully consider your niche audience before moving on.
A final concern involves the physical risks involved with shipping any product. Heavy and fragile items are more likely to become damaged when they are sent to the end user. Let us also not forget to mention that they will inevitably cost more in terms of freight and postage. Lighter and durable products are much easier to deal with and the chances of a sale being nullified due to breakage are dramatically reduced. Once again, keep this in mind before marketing your services to the online community.
How to Select a Reputable and Efficient Drop Shipping Platform
Assuming that the variables above have been sufficiently addressed, the next logical step is to select a quality and reliable dropshipping supplier. What are the main factors that you will need to take into account? Professionals recommend carefully evaluating these metrics:
- The cost of the service
- The number of features offered
- Customisation options
- Levels and types of end-user support
Cost is an obvious concern, as many startup businesses are operating under a limited amount of capital. Some of the best providers in the industry such as Oberlo provide free platforms; an obvious benefit in terms of ROI. This is also one of the reasons why more than 85 million products have been sold since its launch in 2015.
Not all businesses are created equally, so any drop shipping platform should be able to provide a host of in-depth and intuitive features to choose from. Numerous electronic payment methods, inventory control, the ability to track shipments, and a nearly endless selection of products are all hallmarks of a worthwhile firm.
In the same respect, you should be able to customise your drop shipping portal based around the needs of your business. Agility is one of the keys to success and this principle certainly applies here. A flexible platform is one which is easier to use and it can easily be modified as the requirements of your organisation change.
Lastly, customer support (both for the business and the end user) is pivotal. Shipping is a complicated industry and if a problem crops up, you should always be able to speak with a live representative. Methods such as email, a live telephone number and an online chat widget will provide you with numerous options. You can therefore resolve any complaints or issues within a timely fashion while keeping clients happy during the entire process.
Drop shipping is literally transforming the ways in which online organisations reach out to their customers. This trend is only expected to increase during 2019, so there is no better time than the present to leverage its associated benefits.