dropshipping model concept 1

Why you need a professional dropshipping supplier

Dropshipping suppliers are a critical part of the dropshipping business model, they stand at the center of the dropshipping supply chain to ensure that orders are fulfilled as promised. Order fulfilment is so essential and every eCommerce entrepreneur using the dropshipping business model knows better to get this part of their operation right. The top three reasons for negative reviews on online stores are late or delayed deliveries, damages to order or order packages and wrong product or poor-quality product. These issues can damage the reputation and business of the dropshipper forever if not addressed promptly on first notice, and these are the issues a dropshipping supplier can help you deal with easily.

Today a lot of people get products delivered to them only to notice that the package’s origin is China and not from the area or location where the online store has as an address. This creates displeasure with the customer and often this will result to the customer initiating a return and refund request thereby costing the online store owner even much more than they bargained for.

Another example is with the case of blind dropshipping. A situation where an online store’s dropshipping strategy involves concealing the source of the product as a way to keep its customers coming back and keep the product supplier from poaching its customers. With most product suppliers from China always including promotional items and contact cards in the product package, making it a challenge for the online store to conceal original prices and source of the product since the dropshipper does not have physical access to the package before it ships out. In this blogpost we will explore some of the reasons why it is of utmost important for dropshippers to use a dropshipping supplier as against connecting their stores to generic online market places.

So, what is a Dropshipping Supplier?

To state it in simple terms, a dropshipping supplier is a company that sources for products on behalf of an online store and directly ship these products to customers one at a time as they make their order from the online store.

Dropshipping suppliers take responsibility of all the logistical activities of the supply chain part of an online store’s business such as the manufacturing, sourcing, warehousing, shipping and delivery of customers order for the product but however they never get to interface with the customer, leaving that responsibility solely to the online store owner.

To break this down, let’s look at what a dropshipping supplier will be dealing with Vs what the dropshipper or online store will have to be responsible for:

The dropshipper;

  • Develops a strategy for the store and through market research defines the product he/she wants to sell that will provide the right advantage.
  • Chooses an online store building technology like Shopify or WooCommerce, builds and design the online store. (Tip: store branding is very important at this point).
  • Gets his marketing hat on and puts together all the processes and activities that will.
  • Put together a customer service to interface with your customers and store visitors. (Tip: with the advancements in AI, you can now have intelligent Chat bots integrated to your online store to help handle this aspect of your business to save you time and money)

The dropshipping supplier;

With the services provided by professional dropshipping supplier, online store owners need to worry less about the supply chain activities that supports their online store’s customer order cycle but rather invest their time in engineering a marketing plan that will capture the customer traffic that they desire.

Again, to break this down furthermore let’s see the advantages of using a dropshipping supplier Vs doing it with an alternative such as using the regular 3PL on market places, or any other alternative.

Advantages with Order fulfillment

Professional Dropshipping SupplierStandard 3PLs on Marketplace
 Fast fulfilment and shipping Pro dropshipping suppliers are now able to perform same day to 3 days delivery giving their expansion into other regions and the global warehousing strategy adopted as a result of dropshipping and eCommerce explosive growth. Slower fulfilment and Shipping The model adopted doesn’t permit for quick response and has more processes and steps along the order cycle thereby resulting in as much as 3 weeks delivery on orders. *

This is the underlying reason why a lot of online stores get negative reviews, and a lot of consumers are weary of stores using dropshipping to sell.

Advantages with Blind dropshipping

Professional Dropshipping SupplierStandard 3PLs on Marketplace
 Assured concealment  Pro dropshipping suppliers are better suited to handle blind dropshipping and double blind dropshipping since their procedures involves taking the products into their warehouse having it undergo quality checks before orders for the product begin to ship out. This procedure allow them to repackage all the products according to the stores requirements. Regular mistakes with concealment With standard 3PL linked to a marketplace orders are often fulfilled straight from the manufacturer’s warehouse or a supplier’s warehouse. In some cases where the online store requires the products blind shipped, the delivery takes longer and only for the set number of products at the time and on repeat orders the products are likely to come with manufacturers packaging as against the desired blind dropshipping.

The above drawback with blind dropshipping with standard 3PL logistics linked to marketplaces is the reason a lot of dropshippers deal with return and refund dispute when the customer figures out where and how the product got to them and how they could actually buy themselves from the same supplier for a much more cheaper price. Basically the professional dropshipping procedure helps online store owners add value to the products they offer their customers.

Advantages with product sourcing

Professional Dropshipping SupplierStandard 3PLs on Marketplace
 High flexibility  Apart from the advantage of being able further add value to the product online stores offer their customers, a high level of flexibility also comes along with product sourcing services offered by pro dropshipping suppliers. This flexibility offers advantage in the way of opportunity to compare or try alternatives for quality and better pricing. Product sourcing is an essential part of a store’s pricing strategy and pro dropshipping suppliers offer more in that respect. Perhaps most importantly is the quality control pro dropshipping service offers. Regular mistakes with concealment Little flexibility is possible with the dropshipping from market place fulfilled by 3PL. More often than not storeowners have to search for the product that best represents what they want and then lockup on the particular supplier. This also creates a risk of shipping the wrong product to a customer for a product listed with different variation on the store owner’s site. With this option quality control becomes tricky and as a store owner you might have to buy several samples in order to ascertain the quality of product your customers will be getting

When it comes to offering a good product to customers as an online store, product sourcing is where it all begins. It is one thing the store owner must get right first before engaging customers and potential customers.

Advantage with Quality control

Professional Dropshipping SupplierStandard 3PLs on Marketplace
 A standard part of the process  With professional dropshipping services quality control is a standard part of the process internally. This means that your products undergo a second quality checks as they arrive the holding warehouse and as they are prepared to leave the fulfilment center. It is a general understanding with quality control that the more quality scrutiny a product or process receives the better the chance of meeting the desired outcome. Because Pro dropshipping services insist on carrying out product checks when products arrive their facility, this reduce the chances of shipping faulty of poor product.  Reliance on QC done at factory side Quality control is done at the factory or supplier level only, the result is products ordered by customers on your site are shipped with fewer scrutiny in the way of quality checks. As an online store, your goal is to have a happy customer at the end of a good product as this is a sure way to grow trust and popularity that will guarantee you keep making tons of sales. Nothing can ruin sales and returning customer stats for an online store as poor quality product. A single mistake with a customer receiving defective or poor quality product can have long term effects on any business.

Pro Dropshipping suppliers realized early on that adopting multiple QC points in the eCommerce supply chain saves cost and reduces the number of refunds and returns they have to deal with. This has since been the standard and the only way to redeem the negative review that the dropshipping business model is already receiving from customers.

Advantage with branding and Customization

Professional Dropshipping SupplierStandard 3PLs on Marketplace
 More range and more flexibility with branding optionsMost professional dropshipping suppliers have an entire department setup for the purpose of product branding and customization for the growing number of dropshippers seeking differentiation with branding and customization. With the trend in dropshipping tipping towards branding and differentiation, the services of Pro dropshipping suppliers becomes very important part of the dropshipping business moving forward. Rigid or less flexible with branding optionsWhen it comes to customization and product branding, going with standard 3PL in marketplaces does not give dropshippers much in the way of customization options, at the best it’s minimal and suited for a dropshipping business that puts a lot of demand towards product branding and customization. This option can offer product branding and some customization for starters, but as a dropshipping business gets bigger it becomes difficult to achieve this.

It is projected that with a lot of new entrants to the dropshipping business, product branding will become popular as a lot of dropshipping business will see this as a way of holding onto their customers and differentiating from the pack as well.

Advantage with after sales service

Professional Dropshipping SupplierStandard 3PLs on Marketplace
 Better aftersales service with dedicated personnelIt is common with professional dropshipping suppliers to have dedicated after sales service personnel managing each client’s transactions and often services are offered with multilingual options. A number of professional dropshipping suppliers also have aftersales service personnel local to the country they service to deal with language and time zone barriers. After sales service that leaves much to be desiredRecords have proven that aftersales service with this option has not always met expectations of dropshippers. It is often commonplace that dropshippers are left on their own when they have to deal with returns and refunds thereby leaving unhappy customers behind.

Aftersales service can make or mar an online stores reputation and for this reason most dropshipping businesses seek to make sure this part of their operation is working as it should. As a dropshipping business, if you want to have an aftersales service that work, your best option is to go with a service that can manage your product returns and communicate with you in a timely manner.

Having covered some of the benefits of subscribing to a dropshipping supplier as against other options available, it is important to note that this is largely subject to you as a dropshipper finding the right dropshipping supplier for your dropshipping business. To get more insight on how to choose a best fit dropshipping supplier for your business, you can refer to previous article on 5 best eCommerce fulfilment services and “dropshipping service for faster business growth”. Before deciding, ensure you take your time to scrutinize each dropshipping supplier you reach out to, matching their services, pricing, and infrastructure to your business needs.