The American Dream has shifted throughout time, and nowadays, we reach for the life that means consistent cash flow, flexible hours, and minimal stress. In other words, we want what is nearly impossible to obtain when it comes to success. Nearly impossible, but not impossible.
In the eCommerce world, this dream has become more of a reality thanks to the concept of drop shipping. Having a customer base that continually orders online = a consistent cash flow; utilizing automated software to provide experience and efficiency = flexible hours; and creating partnerships that you can trust to handle deliveries = minimal stress.
Simple, right? At first glance, yes. The methodology behind establishing each of these principles, however, is necessary to truly have a dream come true. Drop shipping is an excellent way to create a cooperative lifestyle when done correctly.
The first part, having a customer base that continually orders online, means that the business in and of itself is offering products that meet a customer’s need, both in value and in availability. Drop shipping saves overhead costs by not stocking products until they are actually ordered, ensuring that there is never extra money spent on obtaining products that don’t actually sell. As soon as a customer determines that an eCommerce business offers products that are actually out of stock or provides inaccurate information regarding the time of delivery, he/she loses interest in purchasing. This makes drop shipping rely heavily on technology that accurately determines the supplier’s inventory as well as shipping information. Customers who order a product to be delivered within 5 days, yet who don’t receive it until 13 days later, are sure to take their business elsewhere next time, despite the one sale that was processed. Technology for supplier inventory and accurate shipping information allows for a continuous customer base when it comes to drop shipping.
The second part, utilizing automated software to provide experience and efficiency, elaborates on the first part of drop shipping. In addition to the inventory and shipping information already mentioned, automated software should provide comparisons. Comparisons for delivery method, location and date, comparisons for product price points and comparisons for other products that might go well with something a customer is ordering. Because other retailers may sell your exact same products from the same drop ship supplier, using automated software to provide creative options and comparisons gives your customer the best experience possible without making them take an extended amount of time to research these things themselves. Best of all, you don’t have to manually put in the time to find these comparisons, thus keeping true to the flexibility of your personal time.
Finally, creating partnerships that you can trust to handle deliveries is the final piece to perfecting the drop shipping dream. Drop shipping requires building relationships with multiple suppliers, and each will have their own unique requirements and best practices. Whereas one supplier bodes best with FedEx, another may be better off with UPS. This means that tracking packages, reaching your customers, and billing buyers can get quite complicated. In order to have working relationships, drop shipping needs to involve a third, logistical piece that takes all of these moving parts and turns them into one, simplified process. You got it—we’re right back to technology. Being able to track all of your shipments in one place as well as outsource to different carriers based on price and shipping comparisons can all be done through your automated technology that helps you with the other parts of drop shipping.
Drop shipping is the American Dream equivalent to having the nearly impossible as long as the right steps are taken along the way. By automating your methods, taking the time to implement technology and continually evolving your eCommerce business can truly give you consistent cash flow, flexible hours, and minimal stress.