E-commerce has been a great business to be in the past few years, with online sales contributing to 7.4 percent of the total global retail sales in 2015, jumping up to 10.2 percent in 2017, just two years later, according to statistics giant Statista. Furthermore, that number is expected to climb much higher yet, with 17.5 percent of retail sales in 2021 projected to come from e-commerce sites alone.
And one method that many e-commerce businesses are using to get this higher quantity of goods to their customers is dropshipping. Effectively, by cutting themselves out as the “middle person” and shipping items directly from the wholesaler to the customer, they’re able to eliminate costs associated with product storage, reduce product transit time, and more.
However, whether this is the method you currently use or are considering using, there are a few additional things you can do to make the process even better for both your company and your customer base. Here are five options to consider.
#1: Shop Around
Are you getting the best deal possible on the products that you offer? The only way to know the answer to this question is to take the time to research the companies you do business with, as well as their competitors. While price isn’t the only factor to consider when choosing a product partner, you may be surprised to learn that you can save yourself some cash simply by doing a bit of due diligence every so often to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
#2: Be Transparent
Transparency in business helps create trust. Or, as one lumber company, Baillie, put it: “Sharing more of the ‘what/how/why’ of business operations builds confidence in its leadership.” So, are you being transparent with your dropshipping process, giving your customers more reason to want to do business with you? If not, you may want to be clearer on your website so your customers fully understand that their goods aren’t coming directly from you. This keeps them from being surprised when it’s not your return address on their delivery.
#3: Take a “Hands On” Approach
It’s easy to take a hands-off approach as an e-commerce business that dropships because you’re not involved in the shipping process. However, if your customers have any issues with their delivery, going hands-on can help increase their loyalty to you. Be willing to step in when you don’t necessarily need to and they’ll be more inclined to want to do business with you again. A little customer service goes a long way.
#4: Educate Your Customers
Though you already understand the value of dropshipping, your customers likely don’t. So, why not share the benefits with them? In 50 Ways to Get Sales With Dropshipping, author Nicole Martins Ferreira explains many ways to do this via social media, by email and other advertising-related mediums. For instance, did you know that transactional emails typically increase revenue better than regular emails? Now you do!
#5: Do Follow Up
Have you ever been contacted by a company after you’ve done business with them to ensure that you’re satisfied? Though it’s a relatively minor task, just knowing that a company cares about your happiness makes doing business with them that much sweeter. So, give your customers the ability to appreciate your personal touch by doing follow up after they buy to ensure that they’re content with the product and the process.
E-commerce is definitely on the rise and incorporating these five things into your dropshipping process can help can help you take a bigger piece of the growing revenue pie.