The majority of experienced drop shippers will tell you that managing the inventory status across multiple or several wholesale drop shippers or suppliers is bound to be the biggest and most challenging aspect of running your Australian drop shipping business.
Perform your job badly and you will constantly find yourself informing your Australian and international customers that what they want to acquire is out of stock. This is certainly not among the best of ways to attract and retain loyal clients. You will have jeopardized chances of getting repeat customers.The proper management of inventory across your multiple suppliers – as well as limiting the quantities of out-of-stock items that you sell – is definitely a complex process. However, you can make use of several web-based services such as HubLogix or Ordoro to assist in inventory sync.
Let us now look at several angles that could greatly boost your Australian drop shopping business in terms of inventory management, and in drastically reducing the number of out-of-stock good or items that you deal in or sell:
Make Use of Multiple Suppliers
Having easy access to multiple wholesale drop shippers or suppliers could be very advantageous. Why is this so? Because when you have multiple suppliers with overlapping inventories, it improves your chances of meeting all your client orders. In such a case, if supplier A fails to have a specific item in stock, you got a good chance of getting the same item form supplier B.
In addition, it’s quite risky to depend on just a single supplier as your sole product source. Suppose all of a sudden they decide that they are not going to work with you any more, or they suddenly raise their product prices, or worse, they go out of business? Your entire drop shipping business could be in great jeopardy.
You are not likely to get two Australian drop shippers or suppliers carrying all the same items. However, if they are operating in a specific industry or niche, both of them are likely to be stocking those items that sell best in that same category.
Pick the products you deal with wisely. Why? At all times, always try to primarily sell items or products that you are sure either of your suppliers (or multiple suppliers) always carry. This way, at all times, you’ll have two (or more) options of fulfilling your customer needs.
Verify Availability of Item
Simply because a drop shipper has listed a product on their website doesn’t imply that they consistently carry that very same product or item. It’s an excellent idea to engage your wholesale drop shippers sales representative concerning the availability of those items you’re thinking of selling. This way you’ll avoid stocking commodities that typically run out.
Take Advantage of Generics
Even if your two wholesalers or suppliers are not carrying exactly the same kind of items, they are likely to be having interchangeable or near-identical products. This is normally the case with product add-ons and smaller accessories. After confirming that the two products are nearly identical or generally interchangeable, prepare a product description that is generic which allows you to meet the order from either of your two suppliers.
Handling Out-of-Stock Item Orders
Despite the best of planning, inevitably you’ll find yourself dealing with a client order you simply cannot meet as the item is out of stock. In such a case, instead of attempting to explain that the particular item is not in stock, try offering a complimentary upgrade using a product that is similar or even better.
This way, you will not just please your client but also have retained your customer relationship. In fact, you could end up making more money out of that deal. That is certainly a win-win situation for both of you.
Providing Reliable Customer Care and Phone Support
One of the best ways of ensuring quality and reliable support to your drop shipping clients is running a helpful customer desk. Nothing appeals to your customers like when they get their questions attended to promptly. They will always come back for more as you have proven to be dependable.
Deciding if to provide phone support could be trickier. Though, it’s obviously an excellent way of providing real-time support, it’s also among the most expensive. If due to cost implications you’re unable to offer 24/7 phone support, you could always install a voice-mail system, and then make sure you return all your customer calls some time later.
While this may not be the most ideal of solutions, at least it’s a compromise solution and you will not be leaving your customers hanging in the dark. Regardless of the way you decide on handling sales requests and queries, it’s a good practice to be always ready and willing to call your customers after concluding a sale just in case of a query and for customer retention.
The drop shipping business may not be perfect or stress-free. The approach has some definite benefits although it has several built-in complexities that you must give due attention if you are to succeed. However, the good news is, when you plan carefully with foresight, the majority of these problems are preventable and should not stop you from creating a solid, thriving and profitable drop shipping business.