How to Keep Your Dropshipping Business Growing Amidst COVID-19 - Supplier Management Guide to Thrive
It has been more than 1 year and a half since the Coronavirus hit the world and changed the ways everything operates. Among all the industries that are affected by the global pandemic, logistics is among the hardest hit. Naturally, many disruptions were caused in the dropshipping sector as it heavily relies on logistics and supply chain. This leads to the need for greater collaboration between dropshippers and suppliers. This means in order to keep your business operations running smoothly, you should be proactive in maintaining the relationship with your suppliers. In this blog post, we will discuss some tactics for better collaboration with suppliers, thus keeping your customers happy.
1. Keep checking in with suppliers about the status of your inventory and orders
A good rule of thumb is getting updates from your suppliers at least once a week. However, the more orders they help you with, the more frequent you should check in with them. For instance, if you see that some orders have not been reviewed and fulfilled for a few days that passes the regular lead time, do talk to them and find out what happened.
In the meantime, you should keep looking out for some red flags because desperate times might call for mischievous actions. Those who are struggling with their business may deploy some tricks to retain you, and in the end, your ecommerce store will suffer. If you sense that something is wrong, you should have a serious conversation with them and ask them to clearly explain the situation. Besides, ask them if there is anything that you can do to help and try everything within your ability to rectify the issues.
2. Pay your suppliers on time
Every company needs cash inflow to maintain the business, including your suppliers. If they dutifully stock up your inventory, you should honor the agreement by paying them promptly. If there is any issue that arises unexpectedly that causes payment delay, make sure that you communicate this to them and promise when you can pay them. This would foster a more trusting relationship.
3. Give them more time to fulfill and deliver your orders
While shipping speed plays an important role in keeping your end consumers happy, rushing the suppliers to deliver goods in an unreasonably short amount of time is never a good idea. Therefore, you should give your suppliers ample time to process and ship out your orders. Since the pandemic is still affecting many parts of the world, the industry standards have been slightly lowered. Besides, most customers are aware of the current situations, so they most likely won’t have an issue with a longer delivery time.
Nevertheless, there is something that you can do to make this process faster and easier for your suppliers, which is to do some forecasting in order to stock up enough items in advance. This helps to shorten delivery time and puts less stress on suppliers instead of making last-minute orders with them.
4. Share a system to keep track of records
You should utilise a system to keep track of business operations and encourage your suppliers to help you update the records. Items such as fulfillment status, proof shipments as well as tracking numbers should be included in this system. This would help you trace back things easily if things go south or you receive any complaints from your customers.
5. Let them know your plan ahead of time
Now that many countries have lifted restrictions for logistics and transportation, you should start planning for scaling your store. Before scaling, you should first discuss some possibilities and options with your suppliers and ensure that they have enough resources to support your plan. Moreover, you should also share the status of your business such as overall sales, winning products, products that you would like to try out, as well as your marketing and promotions plans for the upcoming period.
6. Have a discussion about resolutions for ongoing problems of your business
Most firms have a hard time surviving through the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, the demand for many consumer goods witnessed significant drops in late stages of the pandemic because people have less disposable income to spend. As a result, many dropshippers are stuck with inventory who does not sell as fast as they expect, resulting in deadstock. If that is your situation (or if you encounter any other major issues), discuss with your suppliers the alternatives and strategies that you can adopt to solve these problems, such as bundling and customisation.
To better scale your dropshipping empire, you should partner up with a dropshipping agent because they can help you maintain long-term relationships with multiple suppliers as well as implement some good inventory management practices into your collaboration to optimise your business operations. Furthermore, they have valuable industry insights to advise you on the best ways to keep your customers happy with their fulfillment experience such as customisation of products and packaging. All of the above would put less stress on you while running your dropshipping store.
Do you have a business to grow? Let Xianchao Logistics help you with scaling your dropshipping empire. Contact us today to get all the support you need. With 30+ years of experience in logistics industry and 5+ years in dropshipping sector, we strive to solve your pain points, ranging from product & supplier sourcing to ecommerce order fulfillment, or branded packaging & private labelling to quality inspection & product certification. Please feel free to reach out to us if you need to know any details about partnering with us.
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