Why DropShipping shouldn’t be a dirty word
As a professional retailer either on or offline, it is pretty safe to assume that (like us) you aren’t a fan of the way DropShipping is marketed on the internet. Those adverts pitching DropShipping as a get rich quick scheme that absolutely any Tom, Dick or Harry can start doing with no prior experience are not only annoying, they undermine the value of what you do as a professional seller. But there are some really good reasons to use the model in your business – as long as you implement it in the best possible way. The answer to doing so effectively, without any of the issues that are a problem when DropShipping (the way that most people online talk about it anyway) is to do so by working with domestic suppliers, and to add automation to make it really work for you. Let’s take a look.
The problem with DropShipping
The issue with DropShipping isn’t just the image that is presented by self-appointed ‘DropShipping experts’ on YouTube and Facebook ads. Although there are some retailers – from purely eCommerce or bricks and mortar, or a blend of both – who do use DropShipping methods in their businesses, we hear from many that don’t think the model will work for them. Some of the most common reasons that we hear from retailers for not using DropShipping methods within their business include:
- There is no way to control the process, meaning the standards set by the company are not met
- Cheap, shoddy goods from the far east take ages to be delivered
- Customer service and supporting returns can be tricky (or indeed, a complete nightmare)
- Communicating with overseas suppliers can be problematic – either because of language barriers or time zones
- It is difficult to prevent overselling, which can be a problem on marketplaces that penalise sellers who cancel orders
- Making sales and maintaining decent profit margins can be a challenge, since the original seller has the cheapest price
- The perception that DropShippers are stealing sales from traditional retailers
- Ensuring updates are sent to sales channels can be time-consuming
We agree that many of these reasons can be a problem, but there are so many advantages to being able to increase your inventory – particularly during peak periods – that businesses shouldn’t be deterred from using DropShipping. In fact, there are some really good reasons to do so.
What DropShipping can do for your business
DropShipping as a concept has been around for decades. Prior to the rise of eCommerce, businesses would use DropShipping exactly as you would today – to increase product offerings to customers without needing to keep the stock. Consider a company that sold parts for cars; they might not have been able to keep parts for rare models in stock, but by having suppliers that they could phone an order through to, they could fulfil the needs of their customer who keeps classic cars almost as well as they support their customers with recent car models. Their customer knows and trusts them (which increases good word of mouth in the local classic car community – which can be highly lucrative), and they get to make a little profit on each order that customer makes through them, and they don’t need to tie up cash, or warehouse space to do so.
Today, the needs of many retail businesses that could use DropShipping are the same – to scale up, to test new products, and to increase offerings for customers without needing to tie up cash, or to store stock.
Helps you to scale your business – even when you don’t have the resources to make that happen. The biggest challenges typically involve time, space and money. Whether it is having the time to carry out research for suppliers and the right products, having space in your warehouse and funds to pay for staff, or having funds available to invest in inventory, DropShipping can help you to scale up, without needing to worry about any of these issues.
Allows you to test products before investing in inventory. When you have your eye on a particular product but you are unsure if it will be a hit with your customers, taking a chance and investing in stock can be risky. It could be a huge success, but if it doesn’t, then you’re left with those products – and stock that doesn’t sell is money that you can’t use. By using DropShipping suppliers, you can sell the product without needing to invest upfront. If you find the product doesn’t sell – no harm, no foul, you can just stop selling it. If you find it does sell, and you can get a better price by buying in bulk, you’ll know that it works for your business and it is worth investing in.
Increases your seasonal offerings without risking dead stock. As you already know, seasonal goods can be great sellers – until they’re not. If you end up misjudging, you end up with two options – either needing to heavily discount with lower margins to make your cash available to you, or you have to store that stock until the next time that season or event comes around. Whether it is summer, Halloween or Christmas goods, listing products from DropShipping suppliers means that you can sell a much wider range of products, without needing to worry whether you’ll be left with dead stock.
How can you DropShip without the problems?
Rather than looking to China and other areas of the far east for suppliers, looking at suppliers who already have the products you want to sell ready in their UK warehouses means that many of the issues that are presented by DropShipping methods including overseas suppliers are avoided. We identified DropShipping from UK suppliers as being a much better way to DropShip a few years ago, when we came up with the first concept of Avasam – and since then, we’ve continued to improve on the original plans, so businesses can really get the most out of DropShipping.
We’re going to sell ourselves a bit now – but for good reason. If you want to improve your business and to benefit from DropShipping but without the issues that you’d encounter with doing so from overseas – well, that is exactly what we designed Avasam to do. Here’s a look at some of the benefits of working with Avasam in your business.
It is easy to get started
All that sellers need to do to start adding products to their inventory is to sign up for a free account. From there, adding products to your inventory that you want to start selling is simple. If you’re already using an inventory and order management system, API information is available, and our team can help you to get set up if you need support.
High standards of products and service
Products are quality checked by UK suppliers before they are dispatched, and shipped in suitable packing materials, meaning that you can be sure that your customers will receive their product in the best possible condition.
Our UK-based suppliers dispatch your orders at the same speed as Amazon requires for Prime orders – which means either the same, or next day dispatch. UK postal and shipping services are improving all the time, and so not only will your customers receive their orders within a day or two, they’ll be able to easily track their shipping.
Managing your DropShipping activity is easy
When you’re DropShipping from suppliers in the far east, or you’re working with multiple suppliers separately, keeping tabs on inventory levels, orders, and dispatch notifications can get tricky. And when you’re having to handle these things manually, there is even more scope for things to go wrong. By automating so much of the process, Avasam frees your time to focus on selling more.
There are thousands of products
We already have thousands of products available for you to start selling on Avasam, but we’re adding new suppliers, and new product lines to the platform weekly. That means there will always be new products on the platform that you can add to your sales channels, to keep things fresh for your customers. We publish category features on the blog weekly too, so if you’re looking for new products for your business, you can find ideas and get a head start on your research.
You won’t need to work with just one supplier either – if you so wish, you could even sell just one product from every supplier! We’re sure that there aren’t many businesses that would deliberately do that (and since our suppliers have products from different categories, your niche would be pretty scattered!) but with Avasam it is a possibility – with absolutely no technical issues to worry about, since that is all taken care of by the platform.
Connections to sales channels
Talking of your sales channels – sending information about inventory levels to marketplaces is essential, so that you don’t risk being penalised for overselling or cancelling orders. Sending shipping information is essential too, so your customers don’t wonder whether they’re going to receive their order any time soon. We’ve created connections with a lot of different sales channels, from marketplaces to website building platforms, so that your updates get sent automatically.
In an ideal world, you wouldn’t have to do any returns at all – but the reality of retail is that returns will always need to be processed. With Avasam – unlike other DropShipping providers – returns are automated, which means that there are no delays while you’re waiting for suppliers to reply to emails. Your returns are dealt with swiftly, and customers can have their refund or their replacement items with them in the space of a day or two.
Affordable and flexible
It is a low cost solution, and our subscriptions are designed to help your business scale at the rate that suits you – because we understand the flexibility that businesses need. If you start out only selling a few products a month, you’ll pay a small amount – and as your business grows and you sell more, you’ll be able to increase your subscription at a rate that makes sense.
There are no contracts or minimum order requirements from Avasam suppliers, and you can stop and start selling products whenever it suits you. If you’re increasing your product range in quarter four, or you’re adding products to enhance your offering for the summer, you can do so without risk, and you can stop selling those items as soon as you notice a drop in sales.
Easy to understand reporting
In our latest update to the platform, we’ve implemented improved reporting – which means that you can really see how well the products you have picked are performing. You’ll be able to remove products that have stopped performing for you, and most importantly – you’ll be able to see your profits from your DropShipped sales a lot more easily.
Here’s the thing about DropShipping. Despite the fact that it has a tarnished reputation from those annoying ‘experts’ advertising on social media, the model in and of itself isn’t actually a bad thing – and the model has helped retailers for years. The key to successful DropShipping is to automate the process, and combine that with working with domestic suppliers who have the standards that you want and need for your business. To do these two things separately, and by yourself can be pretty tricky – but there is an answer that doesn’t involve hours of research or spending hundreds on developers. Avasam can help you to enhance your product catalogue, to increase your profits and achieve business growth, without the time and expense.
To talk to us about what you want to achieve, or if you have concerns about connecting Avasam with your existing systems, book a call. Collectively, our team have decades of experience in the eCommerce industry, and there’s little that we haven’t encountered, or been unable to find a solution for. If you want to take a look at the platform before you even get that far, sign up for your free account – you can start selling immediately.