Just because you don’t have a huge warehouse full of products doesn’t mean you can’t make a successful living off of ecommerce. Ecommerce has a solution for people with little inventory space. Drop shipping is a type of system where you take the orders on our site and ship those orders directly from the supplier to the customer. If you want to expand your ecommerce store, drop shipping is a great way to increase sales and inventory without actually spending the money for storage space.
Do Your Homework When Finding Suppliers
Unfortunately, with drop shipping, your reputation and customer service depend a lot on your supplier. You want to find the cheapest supplier, because this increases your overall revenue. However, cheap doesn’t always mean the supplier is reliable. You need a supplier that will ship orders fast, answer your inquiries quickly and ship orders from a geographically close location to your customers.
There will be times when you accidentally sell a product that the supplier no longer stocks. You might have shipping issues, and customers will want to return products even if there is nothing faulty with them. All of these issues involve your supplier, so you must find a supplier who is organized and willing to take on some customer service responsibility. Of course, for a supplier to do business with you, all of these issues must be minor compared to the benefits he gets such as revenue and a good reputation of his own.
Sell Products You Know Well
You can’t vet a supplier if you don’t know the products well. You also need to answer questions from current and potential customers. If you don’t know the products, you have a disadvantage and could get scammed by a supplier. You must know the product well to do your homework when searching for a supplier. You can also market and write content based on your products more efficiently and with more expertise when you know your products as an expert.
Buy from More Than One Supplier
What happens when your main supplier falls through? Maybe a business disagreement severs your relationship with your supplier. You need backup or your ecommerce site will suffer. To keep your site safe from a flaky supplier, you should always have at least one backup supplier. Some suppliers won’t do business with you if you don’t buy in bulk or at least purchase product regularly. You can keep both suppliers (your main and your backup) happy by regularly purchasing from both of them. Frequently buy from the supplier you trust the most, but keep the backup happy by purchasing the minimum amount of product each month so you don’t lose him.
Give Customers Reasonable Expectations
With drop shipping, you rely on your supplier to ship packages. You want a supplier to ship product fast, but sometimes they need a little time before they send packages. Display reasonable shipment times on your web pages. It’s better to overshoot your delivery dates and deliver early than give customers unrealistic deadlines. If you give your customers reasonable deadlines, you won’t have as many customer service issues and you will have repeat customers instead of losing them after the first order.
Don’t Forget Website SEO
Ecommerce competition online is fierce, so you won’t be the only one with a drop-shipping business. Drop shipping has become much more popular over the years, so it’s given more people the opportunity to create online web stores. Make sure you read Google’s guidelines and fully understand SEO concepts and digital marketing. Avoid buying links, and only create high quality content. If you skimp on these two factors, you can find yourself with a manual penalty from the search engine. Manual penalties destroy online sales and revenue.
Online marketing and SEO involve networking with other people in the business, connecting with your customers, creating some buzz that earns you some backlinks, and social media. It takes time to build your rank, but it can be done with hard work and patience. Most good SEOs use social media at some level. You can create business pages in Facebook. Twitter and Pinterest are also common ways to draw traffic to your site. If you’re in a highly competitive niche, you will probably need ads such as Adwords.
These five tips will help you get started and create an ecommerce store that survives in the long-run. You might need to spend money to make some money, but ecommerce and drop shipping are rewarding ways to make money online.