Dropshipping can be complicated, but it is possible. It is impossible to get multiple suppliers together to create a single order. This will make it difficult for customers to be satisfied.
These are just a few of the options available to you. Consolidate Items Yourself
This is not the most efficient solution but it is possible to route orders that involve multiple suppliers through your business or home. You’ll need to arrange for each item to be shipped first when you place this type of order for customers. You can then put all the items together in a neat package and mail them along.
You don’t have to worry about inventory space if you don’t have many customers who place this type of order. Dropshipping could be a problem if your customers place large orders. This solution can also increase shipping times.
It’s helpful to include the initials of your supplier in your SKUs to make this work. If you receive an order that has SKUs from multiple suppliers you will know immediately that it must be routed through you. It is also a good idea to include the initials of each supplier within your SKUs, in order to prevent duplicate orders.Average Post Inventory
Split orders can be reduced if you have multiple suppliers for the same item. You can change how you post your inventory.
You would list the inventory quantity, which is the sum of all the quantities from each supplier. This will ensure that the product is listed as “in stock” if it is available. This increases the chance of split orders.
You can instead enter an inventory number, which is the average of all available inventories from each supplier. This way, you can’t place orders for more than one supplier can supply. This will allow you to see your product for a shorter time, but it can be worth the hassle of splitting orders.Look for suppliers that offer different product types
Split orders can be reduced by using suppliers who have very different product types. Split orders are unlikely if you order the same product types as everyone else.
You could, for example, use one supplier for every main product category. This will work only if your customers are unlikely to combine the categories.Look for larger suppliers
Dropshipping companies that stock more of your products can be found. This way, even though you may use multiple suppliers, it’s more likely that one supplier will be able provide all items in an order. You’ll also get fewer split orders the less suppliers you use.
However, it’s impossible to prevent split orders. No matter what method you choose, it is wise to inform your customers that their order may arrive in different packages at different times. To minimize mistakes and ensure your customers are satisfied, dropshippers should be able to fulfill orders promptly, accurately, and professionally.
Dropshipping is a popular eCommerce fulfillment strategy. Why? It reduces the risk of holding products up until they sell. This allows you to focus on marketing and not logistics. Dropshipping comes with its challenges. Dropshippers often have to manage multiple dropship suppliers. This is the biggest problem. Multiple suppliers can mean coordinating inventory and order logistics so that your online store is always up-to-date with your supplies.
There are many ways to make your dropshipping business successful. Dropshippers can make this easier by using the right tools and practices. These are the three key steps to streamlining and managing multiple dropship supplier businesses.
- Selecting the right supplier
- You should set up systems to prepare for out-of-stock situations
- It is important to have the right tools to manage important matters like SKU differentiation, data management and other critical aspects.
Today’s post will discuss dropship supply management best practices. It will show you how to effectively manage multiple dropship supplier in just two steps. These steps will streamline your dropship business, reduce risk to your profit, and increase your brand recognition when you manage multiple dropship suppliers.
Setting Up Your Multiple Dropship Supplier Business
Preventative measures are the first step. This will ensure that you are prepared for any availability issues and allow you to quickly adjust your business with minimal disruption.
Vet Your Suppliers
You can reduce the possibility of issues with availability by properly screening your suppliers before you decide whether to stock the item. It is best to have one main supplier, and then pre-vet backup suppliers to ensure you always have a plan B.
Do your research before you choose a supplier or product. Talk to potential suppliers’ sales representatives about expected availability and fulfillment times. Make sure you have the same product replacements as your primary supplier so they can be swapped in easily if necessary.
You can find suppliers that offer a variety of products, which will allow you to have fewer suppliers than if you had one supplier for every product. This will simplify your management and reduce instances of product overlap.
Here are some top tips for finding a dropship supplier that is reliable:
- Look for suppliers with positive feedback averages of 95% or more. This will allow you to identify suppliers who could cause problems for your business.
- You want to make sure that your supplier is available and responsive so that you are able to communicate with them if there are any issues.
- You should look for suppliers with similar return policies so that you can offer your customers a uniform return policy. Similar to this successful dropshipper : Soaestheticshop.com
Your store should be prepared for any changes. If you need to substitute a product, make sure that the descriptions are sufficiently generic to allow you to fulfill the order from either your normal supplier or your backup supplier.
Establish customer communication channels
Dropshipping is an open communication business. A reliable customer service system that can provide support in all situations is key to running a successful dropshipping business. A good customer service team can make a customer a lifelong customer by turning a minor inconvenience into a nightmare review or lost customer.
How? Let me show you an example. Recently, I attempted to purchase something from a large brand store. Unfortunately, the purchase did not go through. There was no error page to explain why. I emailed support to inquire about the situation and was informed that they would respond within 24 hours. It took them twenty-four hours to respond. It actually took them three days for me to get back to them, which is in eCommerce terms a lifetime. By then, I had already purchased from their competitors.
As I was familiar with their support system, I did not mind waiting for 24 hours. They lost my sale and possibly many other purchases when the 24 hours turned into 3 days. Dropshipping from multiple suppliers is more risky than selling directly. This makes it even more important to have good support.
Facebook Messenger has been a great tool for customer service and support. Chatbots can help you respond to customer inquiries faster and without losing your personal touch. To get you started, here is the Entrepreneurs How to Use ChatBots without Coding guide.
Managing Your Multiple Dropship Supplier Business
Two main concerns, or managing-headaches, when managing multiple suppliers are SKU differentiation, data synchroization, and supplier change.
Dropshipping SKU Differentiation
SKUs are a way to quickly identify stock items based on their size, color, manufacturer, and other characteristics. No matter if you’re a dropshipper, each product that you sell must have its own SKU. SKU management is one of the most common mistakes when managing dropship suppliers.
Because your supplies hold the inventory, and are therefore responsible for managing the SKU numbers.
You will avoid financial loss and chaos if you get it wrong. This will allow you to identify the supplier of that product easily and ensure that your product order is sent to the correct supplier.
How do you fix it? The solution is simple: use the supplier’s name as a prefix. Example: If wholesalers Ben or Jerry sell the same notebook, both products will have the same SKU. You can make sure that your online store’s SKU is unique by simply adding the initials from the supplier’s names.
Ben’s Notebook: BNSKU356
Jerry’s Notebook: JBSKU356
Why is this important? Unique SKUs are essential for dropshippers with multiple suppliers. This allows you to set up automated routing and ensure that orders get fulfilled by the right suppliers.
Dropshipping Data Synchronization
You don’t just need SKU data to coordinate your online sellers. It also includes inventory levels, availability prices and order status. Your online business will grow, as will your product range, dropship suppliers, and order volume. Without the right tools to organize and sync your data, you won’t be successful in managing this.
This is true for sellers who not only use multiple suppliers, but also sell on multiple platforms. It is impossible to grow your business without software and tools such as our Product Data Management Platform. Automation is the only way forward.
Or you’ll be stuck in an administrative loop and have very little time to market your store.
It can be a nightmare managing multiple dropship suppliers. If a supplier is making your life more difficult than it is worth, it is time for them to go. The ordering process can reflect poorly on the seller and affect sales. Your earning potential will be affected if you have suppliers who are not responsive or offer inconsistent availability.
Online platforms like StoreAutomator allow you to easily adjust price and other details across all sales channels. This will ensure minimal disruption to your online business.