Like a machine with many moving parts, so is dropshipping and its many operations. Dropshipping is a business model with many sections and parts; from finding the right products to forming supplier relationships to organizing the product data to listing the products to the customer service, all working together to provide the best of services to shoppers.
Now, about the suppliers – We’ve practically been preaching the -Don’t put all your eggs in one basket-when it comes to choosing a supplier for your dropshipping business. Not doing so can be very risky to you as a dropshipper and to your business.
If you only use one supplier, what happens if your single supplier’s product is out of stock and re-stocking will take weeks? Or a natural disaster like flood, fire, affected their warehouse? And hosts of some other reason. Dropshipping from multiple suppliers, on the other hand, lessens the risk of supply disruption. You also get to have the best price and terms from these suppliers.
However, just like many other things, dropshipping from multiple suppliers has its own setbacks and challenges too. Below are a few of these setbacks
- Managing processes will require more effort than the case of a single supplier.
- Negotiating with multiple suppliers can take more time and energy.
- Less bargaining power because of order splitting to several dropshipping suppliers.
- Higher prices for a low number of order
These setbacks, if not careful, can cause the shut down of a business. Luckily, you can actually handle this by establishing a process that will make things easier for you. Now, let’s take a look at how you can handle dropshipping from multiple suppliers.
Vet Your Dropshipping Suppliers
Before you even choose these suppliers, you need to do your homework very well. You need to be mindful of the kind of suppliers you choose for your dropshipping business because the fake ones are many out there, and we’ve emphasized how vital it is to have reliable and credible suppliers.
Vetting your suppliers before you order from them will eliminate any availability or supply issues that may arise. It would be ideal to have a main supplier and at least a couple of back-up suppliers for the products you sell. You just need to vet them and be sure they are up to the game. Also, make sure that the suppliers’ products are identical, for you to be able to switch them or compare prices when the need arises.
Use SKU Differentiation for Products
Another way of handling multiple suppliers is by using SKU differentiation to differentiate one from another. SKU identification can be based on color, size, manufacturer, and so on. With SKU, you can easily know the best selling items, the suppliers you ordered from, and which suppliers sell the most.
How Do You Apply SKU
Once you have all of the product data from the supplier, enter them into your own spreadsheet so that it’s easy to manipulate and list. Then, take the supplier SKU or item number that they provided and turn it into your own unique SKU that you can use to identify it on your orders and then in your spreadsheets.
For example, a supplier BESTSUPPLY provided you with an SKU – BESTSUPPLY-1289. This means the item number is 1289. So, your own company’s unique SKU could be BS-1289. BS is for the supplier BESTSUPPLY. Easy right?
Now, say you have 50 suppliers. Each day, you get orders, and you can easily see who they are coming from. With enough data, you can figure out which suppliers are selling the most and which are your hottest sellers based on the SKUs you created.
Handling Split Orders
Split orders happen to be one of the setbacks and challenges with multiple suppliers. For instance, a customer orders multiple items in one transaction, and these items are ordered from different suppliers on your store. When a situation like this happens, it’ll be difficult to ensure all the items get delivered to the customer at the same time. Needless to say, we all know most customers might like these orders delivered at the same time.
To resolve this problem, you can get a fulfillment company to help consolidate your orders. When items from various suppliers get to the fulfillment company, they repack them in one box and ship them to your customers at once. Although it may cost you more money, you’ll have more control over the packing and shipping of products to customers.
Alternatively, you can inform your customer beforehand that the items will be delivered in separate packages. Then, ensure that you provide the tracking numbers so both you and the customer can track the progress of the delivery of the item.
When it comes to dropshipping with multiple suppliers, it can be a nightmare if you don’t know how to manage it correctly. However, with the above tips on handling dropshipping from multiple suppliers, you should be able to get the best out of your dropshipping business.
Do you need a reliable drop shipping company for your business? Contact us today at Fulfillman. We specialize in providing excellent Drop Shipping services, Warehouse fulfillment, China sourcing, Third Party Logistics, and so forth. Our dedicated experts will be available to speak with you and discuss the options available to you. We guarantee you get quality and excellent services that give 100% client satisfaction.