Running a dropshipping business can be a lucrative venture. But the model does mean you are largely at the mercy of your suppliers, as they handle all of the product orders directly. Unfortunately, issues do arise with suppliers.
Here are some of the most common problems dropshippers face and how you can avoid them.
Running Out of Stock
One of the best things about dropshipping is you get to leave the deliveries and logistics to your supplier, enabling you to focus all of your time on marketing your brand and products. However, that does mean you often have no idea what is going on in your supplier’s warehouse. Quite simply, suppliers sometimes run out of stock. In fact, that is one of the most common issues that dropshippers face.
There are two main ways you can tackle this potential problem. Firstly, you can make sure you keep track of your supplier’s inventory. You can get your supplier to send you daily inventory reports, as long as they are willing to do so. Alternatively, you may be able to find a supplier that enables you to track inventory in real-time. Secondly, you can have more than one supplier. This option is undoubtedly the best route to take because if one supplier runs out of a product, you can still sell the same product, or a similar product, from another. To be prepared with multiple suppliers for the same product, you can leverage Spark Shipping’s dropship automation software. In addition to connecting one product to multiple sellers and then routing orders to the best supplier, Spark Shipping provides intelligent order routing, full product data integration, inventory synchronization with your suppliers, and much more.
Quality and Safety Issues
Most dropshippers use overseas suppliers for their products, but that brings with it a fresh set of challenges. A common issue is finding other countries have different quality and regulatory standards. Not only may the quality of a product be subpar for meeting the regulations of your country. It could also not meet the US or other countries’ safety requirements. When you have quality issues with your supplier’s products, it increases the likelihood of product recalls. In turn, that can damage your customer retention and your brand’s reputation. To avoid quality and safety issues arising from different foreign regulations, simply ensure your supplier’s products meet the safety and quality standards for your own country before you start selling those products.
Wrong Tracking Codes
Fewer parcels are going missing these days thanks to tracking codes. But when you are selling products through a third party, you need to make sure you receive the right tracking codes, otherwise, it can lead to all sorts of problems including dissatisfied customers. When you receive tracking codes from your supplier, double-check that they are valid and that each one is for the right order. As long as you maintain quality assurance, this issue should not turn into a major problem.
Unfortunately, customers will receive damaged products from time to time. There is little you can do about that. But you can ensure you do not run into issues with your supplier when it happens. Your supplier should send a replacement with no additional cost to you, but you need to make sure that it is down in writing before you begin using a specific supplier. You also need to make sure that your returns policy is the same as your supplier’s so that you do not end up with disgruntled customers. Furthermore, make sure you send regular updates to customers who are awaiting replacement items so that they are happy with your customer service and buy goods from you again.
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