What is Dropshipping Business?
Dropshipping refers to a retail supply chain system where the store does not need to have products in stock, but can sell products using this model; the dropshipping company receives orders on their site, purchases the product from another party, and has it shipped directly to the buyer. So, as the seller, you won’t need to handle the product. The main difference between a standard retail system and a dropshipping model is that a seller has no inventory. It purchases inventory from third parties and fulfills buyers’ orders.
Once you understand what dropshipping is and have successfully started a business for it, you also need to understand the nuances of the marketing model and what you need to do to make sure you can run this business in sweetness.
You might think you know what dropshipping is and can afford to run this business. But you have to make sure others know what you are doing. So you need to start by taking steps to market your store using Shopify. Based on customer reviews, you can get orders; therefore, you must get good reviews.
How do I get good reviews?
• The easiest way is to sell good products from high quality suppliers.
• Provide excellent customer support
• Ensure faster delivery times
• Get feedback from your customers and social networks
Besides, you can also use other tactics like contacting top Amazon reviewers for help or giving away products for free to get unbiased reviews in exchange. Social media marketing is now a big part of everyone’s life, and you can focus on a few sites to get started. For example, Facebook has a large audience that can help all businesses. Another classic marketing medium is Pay-Per-Click or PPC advertising, but you need to test it out before you invest a lot in it. Email marketing can be considered as one of the perfect key marketing strategies for any business.
Management of reimbursements and replacements:
When running an online store, you will need to be well prepared to handle refund and replacement issues. Customers can request refunds or exchanges when the product is not right for them. You can request an RMA or a Return Merchandise Authorization number from your supplier. The buyer then returns the product to the supplier with this RMA and the supplier refunds the money to your account. This is the wholesale price, not what your buyer paid. However, you must reimburse the buyer for the amount he paid.
Things to know when processing refunds or returns:
• Suppliers may charge you a restocking fee, but these should not be passed on to buyers. It may represent your loss, but it helps keep your customers happy; otherwise, they will go to another site where these fees are not charged.
• When an item is defective, you may have to pay the cost of returning that item to the supplier. If you ask your buyer to pay for it, you can be sure that they will never come back to your site.
• If the supplier makes a mistake and sends the wrong product to a customer, you need to contact that supplier and explain to them what is wrong. When the supplier is genuine, he will refund.
Inventory management when you have many suppliers:
In inventory management, you should check the supplier’s website every time you need to place orders. It’s a tedious task, and investing in good inventory management software can be a big help.
• When you see that there is an order for an item that is not in stock, you can place the item on “replenishment”, immediately notifying the buyer. It is better to give them the option of waiting or getting reimbursed.
• When you receive orders, you should see who your suppliers are for that order, their location, availability, and costs. You can choose to personally manage the fulfillment of the order or use automation. Emails should be sent stating order, product title, quantity, SKU number and shipping information. Sending orders to your suppliers based on their locations is difficult to automate but more efficient and will ensure faster deliveries.
• You should be on the lookout for fraudulent dropship orders.
It can actually make or break your dropshipping business. With great customer service, you can be on top of things in no time. For excellent customer service:
• you need emails to communicate with buyers
• telephone supports that are both useful and enlightening because they give you an idea of your customers’ concerns
• live chats for those who don’t have time to call or send emails
• social media to respond to customer service concerns and questions
• support services to respond to customer comments, questions and concerns
• Virtual assistants