Provide an inventory feed and product data
It is not something that traditional wholesale suppliers have to do, but it is crucial when you become a dropship supplier. After you have established that your company can fulfill dropship orders, and set your shipping policies, you need to decide how to provide inventory feeds and product data to retailers.
Dropship is a common case where inventory counts are important. Unless you manufacture on demand, your dealers will need accurate and current inventory numbers. The retailer cannot see if an item has been purchased from another online store until they notice that the item is out of stock and place an order.
Inventory data feeds are crucial because it bridges the information gap between a supplier’s numerous retailers and their suppliers. This quantity information is vital for retailers to avoid selling out-of stock products to customers. Retailers can lose money if their costs aren’t kept current in their feed. These issues can lead to retailers dropping you as a supplier.
If your product feed is not in an easily accessible format, it does not matter how many you have. Data feeds can be in many formats that you might already know.
A simple CSV file, or an XML text accessible via an HTTP URL are the most popular and easily-accessible formats. You might consider providing feeds via an API or FTP for more technically advanced suppliers. This allows retailers to connect directly and pull data. An EDI is another method that is still very common but old-fashioned.
When selling dropship suppliers, one of the biggest complaints we hear is that there is not enough product content data. Dropshipping is a way to sell online. It is crucial that the product titles, categories, and images be accurate. Without good product data, a retailer selling products online is like a bird trying fly without wings. Content is essential for customers to be able search, compare, and then ultimately buy a product online. Your products will be more successful if they have better content.
You don’t just need to list your products on consumer websites. But you also need to be able pitch your products to retailers. You are not giving them a product, or showing them a catalogue at a tradeshow. Instead, you must provide “web-ready” data and content for retailers to review the products that you offer. Dropship suppliers must provide accurate descriptions of products to allow them to list them on their websites.
CSV file format example.
Images are also recommended in the product data feed. If you were to visit a website and want to buy an item, would you choose a product without an image? Most likely not. If you don’t have an image, either your retailer will need to search for and upload them or they won’t be able to include your product in their stores.
Example of XML feed
A good product data area can make you stand out from other suppliers within the same product category. This can be achieved by providing more detailed data, such as variants, product categories, and other attributes, beyond product descriptions and images. Think about how your dropship products will look on the retailer’s website. Also, think about the order in which the categories will appear in the navigation. There could be five listings for the same product with different sizes. This makes it difficult to navigate and doesn’t look very professional. This can lead to lower conversion rates and lower profits for you. Retailers will also notice a difference if product categories are clear and coherent. This will make it easier for retailers to organize and sort their dropship products online.
Tiered inventory feeds are a key strategy to expand your dropship product sourcing company. They offer different products and prices for your top customers and high-end retailers. Although this may seem difficult when you’re just starting to offer dropship programs, it is something that should be considered. You can encourage large-scale retailers to use your program by making tiered products and prices available. This will result in more sales and profits for your company. This encourages other retailers to try to sell your products, thereby allowing them to get lower prices and exclusive brands.
As you can see, inventory data feeds are a crucial part of becoming a dropship provider and building a reliable dropship program. Good product data is essential for attracting retailers to list your products and driving sales for your company.
Three dropship data feeds to make your life easier
Many retailers have quickly embraced drop shipping as a key asset. Drop shipping partners can help retailers expand their product ranges and make a profit by reducing the wholesale and retail prices of products and shipping. All this without ever touching any product.
Drop shipping isn’t something retailers can simply pick up and go. Drop shippers maintain the actual inventory in the warehouse, ship orders to customers and provide UPS tracking codes to retailers. To minimize fulfillment errors, increase inventory visibility and provide a better customer experience, drop shippers must communicate with the retailer about order, inventory, product, and shipping information. Drop ship integration is essential for retailers who want to make sure their brand is represented well, as drop shippers do all the heavy lifting.
Merchants should integrate the following dropship data feeds to improve product management, order management, and inventory management.
Drop shippers must provide accurate and detailed product information to enable merchants to present these products online and meet customer expectations.
Drop shippers must provide accurate and detailed product information to merchants so they can sell the products online. The first step is to decide which attributes and parameters they wish to include in their products, and what drop shipper will provide. The most common parameters include SKU, UPC and name, category, brand description, images, minimum price, weight, handling costs, and brand. Integrating product files allows you to upload them into an information management system for updating the product fields. Then, publish the products to your online channels. Drop shippers typically provide product feeds less often than order and inventory feeds.
Drop ship integration will allow retailers to pull inventory feeds from drop ship integration. This will ensure that inventory is always available for sale. Drop shippers might provide inventory updates at different times. Some may update inventory in bulk at night, while others will provide an ongoing inventory update that includes price changes and inventory adjustments throughout the day. This type of feed allows retailers to define what should be done when inventory isn’t available at dropshipper stock. This integration helps retailers identify problem orders ahead of time. Drop ship inventory integration retailers will have the best visibility into what stock is available and when it will be made available.
Drop shippers must be integrated directly with retailers to monitor the status of order fulfillment.
This feed is two-way. Order feeds are essential for retailers who want fast order delivery. The drop shipper doesn’t know it has to fulfill an order until the retailer notifies it. Order feeds are essential for retailers who want to quickly respond to customer orders and detect delays in shipments. Poor communication is more likely the more manual steps required to send the order, receive confirmation of receipt and update the shipping information. To keep track of the status of order fulfillment, drop shippers must be integrated directly with retailers.