Thriving as an online retailer today takes more than being successful on selling channels like Amazon or Walmart Marketplace. In order to truly prosper, online retailers need to also prevail with their .com, direct-to-consumer, customers. But gaining the loyalty of .com customers can be made difficult thanks to legacy software solutions that often do more to discourage repeat business than they do to encourage partner loyalty.
Drop shipping is a method of fulfillment where the retailer you’re buying a product from does not keep the item it’s selling in stock. That item is purchased form a third party, usually a wholesaler or manufacturer, where it is then shipped directly to the customer.
Winning the drop shipping and e-commerce war comes down to seeing order processing through the eyes of your customers. The easier you make the process, the likelier it is brands will reward you with their repeat business. This is where technology plays a huge factor and one drop ship automation provider, Logicbroker, only sees the leveraging automation as a necessity. Logicbroker CEO, Peyman Zamani, shared,
Technology helps today's successful online retailer create stronger partnerships with their suppliers. Our retail clients don't limit their supplier network by imposing burdensome per-order fees or rigid integration guidelines. We're in an age of democratization of brands."
To ensure success as an online retailer, perfect the process for your partners. Integrate the following tips into your e-commerce/drop shipping process and you'll win the battle for online retail supremacy.
1) Expanding a drop shipping program shouldn't be difficult and causing your partners unnecessary friction is costing your company business. Legacy software can make your suppliers and brands wonder if drop shipping with your company is worth the hassle. Go through the exercise of reviewing your current systems to see how many hoops they need to jump through just to do business with your company. Then wear the optimization hat.
2) Quickly onboarding new drop ship vendors is essential for success — time is money and patience is thin. Whether your business partners are brick-and-mortar or online only, the need for speed is essential. Make it easy to onboard new companies and they'll continue to do business with you thanks to your ease of use.
3) Effective and secure EDI integration (aka, ‘electronic data interchange’) is crucial for increased sales. Order fulfillment for both drop ship orders and restocking/replenishment orders needs to be a seamless experience that doesn't leave brands feeling frustrated.
4) Order automation and ease-of-use allows brands to focus on growing strategically with your company. EDI order simplification allows suppliers/brands to streamline their interactions with your company and focus on increasing sales. Supply chain automation technology can significantly increase your growth rate and that of your business partners.
5) Fees will kill your conversion rates — it’s true. Make it simple for brands to do business with you regardless of their order sizes. You're trying to build mutually beneficial partnerships, not nickel-and-dime your partners with unnecessary fees.
6) Forcing partners to comply with SLA (service level agreements) can cost you business and negatively impact your conversion rates. Make doing business with your company as easy as possible and you'll be rewarded with increased revenues. Synchronize requirements for maximum efficiency.
7) Retailers who have adopted an agile approach to business development by offering application programming interfaces (better known as ‘APIs’) often win partner loyalty thanks to their ease of use. If you haven't already done so, consider incorporating new APIs into your vendor acquisition strategy.
8) The ability to scale as your partners grow is crucial. Expansive growth shouldn't be derailed simply because an e-commerce partner can't meet the demands of a flourishing business. If you want to turbocharge your growth as an online retailer, you must offer partners solutions that can scale as they grow.
9) Offer a single point-of-contact to your business partners to ensure client satisfaction. Address issues, offer solutions, and be quick to implement new ideas by connecting business partners with a digital commerce expert.
Bear these tips in mind and you can significantly increase your odds of success as an online retailer. Winning the retail wars today truly is a battle. Only the most agile and customer-focused will survive.