It is a great temptation to display on your website a wide selection of products as it increases your chances to sell more products. But it can result in your customer’s complete dissatisfaction once you fail to fulfill most of approved orders.
As I know from my experience it happens quite regularly – a buyer places an order for 3-5 items, you check that with the merchant and discover that they have just 1-2 available form the entire order. You contact your buyer, apologize and say that you can fulfill just a part of his order offering him to choose replacement products or a partial refund.
THE BUYER WILL CANCEL THE ORDER IN 80% CASES. And will never visit to your website again. And will share his miserable experience with his family, co-workers, neighbors and everyone he knows.
With dropshipping, your relations with merchants are probably the key element to your failure or success. You should at least weekly (preferably daily) get their updated catalogs of the products they have in stock and update accordingly offers displayed at your website. For that you need:
- great relations with the merchant who will accept your request to daily e-mail you the stock list
- properly designed backend of your website that will make changes to the stock in minutes, not hours independently of the number of SKU’s.
Yes, promotion, product selection and prices are of great importance, but if you can’t fulfill the order then those two steps are useless – you do a lot of work, invest your time and money and then you discover that the merchant is out of stock of this product.
How to discover those great dropship merchants that will help you to run your stock properly updated? Firstly you need prescreened merchants (it is no secret that there is so much scam in this industry). This is why I recommend investing some money into dropship directories that do the work for you:
OneSource - dropship directory. FREE preview & video
Doba - 250,000 products to sell. FREE 7-day trial
SaleHoo - over 150 product categories. FREE tour & member forum
Real dropshippers REVEALED
Over 700,000 Products to choose from. FREE trial
See the detailed real dropshippers directories compared here.
Summary: fulfillment in dropshipping is as important as promotion, product selection and prices. In my opinion you should run your dropship business relying on the available product stock as a starting point. Once you are certain you have designed a system and relations to keep all offers on your website current you should move to the promotion and discussing the prices with the merchant.
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