If you’re even vaguely familiar with eCommerce, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the term dropshipping. Many of us in our extensive online purchasing history have likely bought dropshipped goods, whether we were aware of it at the time or not.
Some of us may have even considered starting our own dropshipping business after hearing about a friend of a friend that earned a tidy six figures annually by selling dropshipped products from abroad. In fact, most top online retailers increasingly rely on dropshipping, or so called third-party (3p) sales, to do their business.
While the dropshipping model is, without a doubt, one of the most lucrative eCommerce models out there, it has come to be portrayed in a negative light for several reasons.
Whether it be seasonality, cutthroat competition,low-quality products, long shipping times, poor customer service, or the risk of overselling, both customers and dropshippers alike often experience less-than-savory situations when buying or selling dropshipped goods.
But the question is, does it have to be like this? Is the negativity surrounding the term dropshipping inherent in the model itself, or is it a result of customer-inconsiderate business decisions made by up-and-coming entrepreneurs looking to make a quick buck?
The simple answer is no; it doesn’t have to be like this.
It’s up to the business owner or managers to make the right choices when it comes to finding high-quality products from brands that deliver on time and care about the customer experience, and by putting the right people, tools, and procedures in place to guarantee the utmost customer service and satisfaction.
While managing the business side of things is your ongoing responsibility, managing an overly complicated technical solution shouldn’t.
Vendo makes dropshipping work
Vendo dropshipping platform assumes the technical responsibility and frees up your time by automating all the complex eCommerce operations and providing a seamless and intuitive experience for you, your customers, and your brand partners.
Before we get into the fine details of how Vendo strives to redefine dropshipping and how it can support your dropshipping eCommerce business, let’s first take a look at where it all started and how it evolved with the rise of Shopify.
The History of Dropshipping
According to Wikipedia, “dropshipping is a form of retail business wherein the seller accepts customer orders without keeping stock on hand.” Notice how there is no mention of the internet, online stores, Amazon, or anything of that nature.
For the younger generations that know nothing of life without the internet, this may seem a bit puzzling. But the simple fact of the matter is that the concept of dropshipping predates the internet by about 20 years.
Dropshipping began its life as the unassuming mail-order catalog.
For those too young to be familiar with the term, mail-order catalogs were small-to-large booklets or magazines that one would receive in the mail and would contain a range of advertisements for various products. You would then call the number provided in the catalog, place an order, and have a package delivered directly to your door.
Some companies saw colossal success using this method on a large scale. However, as time passed, a particular business constraint made itself apparent - they lacked the resources to keep up with customer demand. Soon, they realized that the only way to keep up with the growing demand was to find a more efficient way to fulfill orders.
The solution was to create fulfillment warehouses specifically designed to streamline the whole order fulfillment process. A very similar concept today is Amazon’s FBA (or Fulfilment by Amazon) warehouses. The primary purpose of these warehouses was to store and sort huge amounts of inventory, making it easier to locate, pack, and ship customer orders.
With these warehouses in place, other companies (that already sold exclusively via mail order) realized there was an enormously profitable opportunity right in front of them. The idea was to list the other vendors' items in the warehouses within their mail-order catalogs at a marked-up price.
When a customer finally placed an order for one of those items, the company would purchase it from the fulfillment center and then have the warehouse deliver it directly to the customer’s address.
Thus, the modern-day dropshipping model was born.
Modern Day Dropshipping
With the creation of the internet, the gradual shift in consumer opinion of shopping online, and the rise of Amazon and eBay, the dropshipping model took off at an incalculable rate.
Nowadays, essentially anyone with access to a semi-decent computer and the internet can set up an online dropshipping business, primarily thanks to Shopify and its vast selection of 3rd party dropshipping apps.
While many dropshippers have achieved success in recent times, the average consumer is becoming savvy. People want to know where their products are coming from, they’re happy to pay more for quality, they expect products to be shipped in a timely manner, and they expect issues to be resolved with care.
Any failure in quality, shipping, or customer service will lead to long list of non-returning customers and probably, at the very least, a handful of negative reviews directed toward your business.
Fortunately, however, a new wave of dropshipping is on the horizon and it will benefit consumers, brands, and dropshippers alike.
Start a dropshipping business with domestic, quality brands
Make your dropshipping business a pleasurable experience for both you and your customers with domestic and high-quality brands, quick delivery, low inventory risk, excellent customer service.
- Make your dropshipping business highly profitable without upfront inventory investment of your own
- Find domestic brands you like on Shopify, invite them to your marketplace, so they may onboard in minutes
- Start curating your product catalog, customize your marketplace to be on-brand, and then start selling
- Keep your sales commission from every order, keep the customer relationship, and your brand identity
Automate your dropshipping business
As a marketplace owner on Vendo, you may effortlessly onboard domestic brands running on Shopify, WooCommerce, or similar.
From then on, everything is automated: product sync, stock level updates, seller payouts. Orders are sent to sellers' existing stores for fulfillment.
Your job is product curation, marketing, storytelling, and customer relationship management. Not moving boxes.
Selling third-party inventory from brands running on Shopify or WooCommerce allows you to focus on your marketplace business - customer acquisition, satisfaction, and retention - instead of managing inventory risks and fulfillment issues.
- Creating new or adjacent categories with Virtual Inventory allows you to start selling fresh, virtually-stocked products
- Vendo allows you to quickly onboard tens of new vendors, map their product categories to yours, curate your product catalog
- Find the brands you like on Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, onboard them, start curating your product catalog
- Keep your sales commission from all marketplace orders, the customer relationship, and your brand identity
The upsides of a dropshipping business done right
- Unlimited supply of new products - With third-party inventory, you can keep onboarding new sellers without worrying about your warehouse limitations or your website performance bottlenecks. Why not promote new arrivals or drops every week?
- No inventory risk - The biggest risk in eCommerce or Retail is around mistaken forecasting of how much inventory to hold and when, regardless of the given product category. Almost always, you never get it right, which, of course, is costly. But not with dropshipping.
- Not selling? No problem! - While you keep experimenting, keep adding new categories and keep marketing new arrivals - some of those products might perform better than others. At any time, if you feel like you need to clear out the underperforming products or product groups - you may do so with a click of a button.