Upgrading Your Drop-shipping Business: Faster Delivery Times
So you’ve been running your drop-shipping business for a while now and have been getting consistent product orders. Your store is growing, but you’d like to know if there’s a way you could ship products faster, to improve your customer experience, convert more sales and also boost your revenue.
If this is you, you’re in the right place. As you know drop-shipping is a great way to get into e-commerce without having to deal with the various stresses associated with running a regular e-commerce business.
It is easy to start, easy to test, easy to scale, and requires less capital. However, its slow shipping times can sometimes be one disadvantage too many for shoppers.
In this article, you’ll learn how to start adjusting your business model to get faster shipping times for your drop-shipping business. We will look at how a fulfilment provider can help you ship items faster, when to look for one, as well as what to look out for when choosing a drop-shipping partner for your business.
What is a Fulfilment Provider?
A fulfilment provider is a company that picks, packs, and ships orders for e-commerce retailers. Fulfilment providers manage inventory, ship orders to customers, and generally help e-commerce companies to manage the entire fulfilment and logistics operation.
Chances are, you may have picked drop-shipping over traditional e-commerce because it simplifies the logistics side of the business. You just need to forward order requests to your drop-shipping supplier, who handles the packaging and shipping of orders to your customers.
But, as you already may have noticed, drop-shipping gives you little control over how your customer orders are packaged, as well as when they are shipped. Managing other e-commerce business functions like customer service and returns can also be tougher when drop-shipping, as you’ll have to rely completely on your drop-shipping supplier’s terms.
eCommerce fulfilment centres offer a solution that helps you offer low cost, fast delivery times and more control over how your products are packaged. This all improves the customer experience and helps build brand loyalty for established drop-shipping businesses. But how do you know if working with a fulfilment provider is the right step for you now? Read on to find out.
How to Know When You Need a Fulfilment Partner for Your Drop-shipping Business?
If you’ve been drop-shipping for a while and you’re already getting high volume and consistent orders, it might be time to consider switching to a different e-commerce model. You now know what stock you will be able to sell which reduces the risk of buying in bulk from your suppliers.
The ability to offer your customers branded products and competitive delivery times can sometimes be worth the extra effort of storing and shipping customer orders by yourself. But what if there was a better option?
Working with an experienced fulfilment provider takes the stress away. Helping you offer faster shipping times without having to manage the complexities of logistics and inventory management.
How Can a Fulfilment Company Help You Ship Faster?
With a fulfilment provider, you can have products shipped in bulk from your drop-shipping supplier direct to your fulfilment partner. The fulfilment centre will integrate with your ecommerce store and handle the shipping when your customers place an order.
This model allows you to ship products from your suppliers to the fulfilment centre in advance. Products can then be shipped to customers on order, cutting shipping times by more than half and improving the overall customer experience.
Aside from helping you get products to your customers faster, several other benefits come with getting a fulfilment company to assist with your drop-shipping efforts. We’ll look at some below.
More Benefits of Drop-shipping With a Fulfilment Partner
You’ve heard it before; branding is almost impossible for drop-shipping businesses. One of the most obvious downsides of completely relying on your drop-shipping supplier for order fulfilment is that you have no say over the packaging and branding of the items.
Suppliers package customer orders how they see fit, often settling for the cheapest packaging material available. This is another area where working with a fulfilment company can be helpful.
Most fulfilment centres offer repacking services where they help repack items for sellers. You can have your chosen fulfilment centre repack products (with branded packing, if you wish) before shipping to your customers.
It’s not always obvious how a fulfilment centre can help increase your store’s revenue, but it does. Expensive and slow shipping are two of the main reasons for cart abandonment. You can solve both of these by using a fulfilment centre located closer to your customers which will increase your conversion rate.
Also, with a better delivery and unboxing experience, customers are more likely to stay loyal to your brand.
You can expand your customer reach through more sales channels and a growing list of marketplaces.
In a world where customers sometimes get same-day delivery, making customers wait for weeks to get ordered items is not the savviest business decision. While it’s true that drop-shipping has its place in e-commerce, customers will still almost always go with the seller with the fastest shipping time.
Drop-shipping through a fulfilment company speeds up your shipping times, giving you a leg up over your competitors.
Better Returns Management
If you’re in e-commerce, you’re definitely going to have to deal with returns. And sometimes a look at your return policy is enough to convince a customer to order items from your shop or leave to your competitor’s.
When fulfilment and returns are handled completely by your suppliers, they automatically get to dictate the terms. With studies showing that over 60% of shoppers read a store’s return policy before placing an order, there’s never been a better time to be in control of how your business’ returns are managed.
Drop-shipping through a fulfilment centre gives you full control of the return process. You get to decide the procedure as well as what happens after the item is returned. You can choose to send it back to your supplier, keep it in inventory, or dispose of it according to best practices.
Working with a fulfilment centre makes it easier for you to scale your drop-shipping business by diversifying your product offering.
You don’t have to stay stuck to one supplier. You can have your many suppliers ship products to the fulfilment centre. From there, the fulfilment provider will ship the items to your customers, without additional input from you.
These and more are the benefits of getting a fulfilment company to help with your drop-shipping efforts. That being said, how do you find a reliable fulfilment partner for your drop-shipping business?
Finding the Right Fulfilment Provider for Your Drop-shipping Business
Finding a fulfilment company can seem challenging with many options to choose from. The most important thing is to find a company that meets your specific needs and has the flexibility to handle your business as it grows.
Why not start by getting a quote from us. One of our consultants will work to understand your businesses needs and propose an appropriate fulfilment solution.