Politics and Business
The Digital Entrepreneur’s Guide to Choosing Ecommerce Suppliers
Ecommerce suppliers have an enormous impact on your brand and sales growth. Start off strong with this guide to choosing the right eCommerce suppliers.
The economy is uncertain and it seems to be falling apart at the seams. One certainty is that people are buying things online in droves, increasing by 18% in 2020 alone.
If you want to jump on this trend and make extra cash, it’s possible. You just have to decide what to sell and do it. If you want a thriving business, you need to start with the right ecommerce supplier.
Ecommerce suppliers can’t be underestimated because they impact the customer experience. One late shipment and you lose a customer for good. One broken product will have the same effect.
Keep reading to find out how you can choose the right products for your ecommerce business and pick the best ecommerce supplier to fill your needs.
Choose Your Business Model
Your first step in choosing a supplier is knowing your business model. This will help you narrow down your ecommerce supplier options.
You could have a dropshipping business, which is a very popular choice for ecommerce businesses. In dropshipping, you have a website, or you have a sales account on Amazon.
When someone places an order, the order gets sent to the dropshipper supplier, who then produces the product and ships it to your customer.
The other option is to have an ecommerce supplier provide the products to you, then you store the product and fulfill the order. In this case, you’ll just need to find a place to store and manage inventory.
You’ll also need to have a good relationship with a shipping company.
Know What Products Will Sell
Once you have an idea as to what you want your business to look like, then you need to choose the product. This is another critical step in the process of choosing an ecommerce supplier. You’ll need to find suppliers that can produce products that you know will sell.
You’ll want to do some research to find out what is selling now and what will sell in the future.
Face masks are a great example. No one thought about buying a face mask in January. Now, it’s hard to keep them in stock, especially ones that are used for athletics.
This would make a great product now, but will the demand be there in the long term? It’s too hard to say, and this is a vital question to ask yourself before jumping on the bandwagon.
How can you find out what products are going to sell? Check out Google Trends and find out what people are searching for. You can also do keyword research to find out how many people are searching for a particular product online.
Finding Ecommerce Suppliers
You know what your products need to be fulfilled and you understand the basics you need from your ecommerce supplier. Now it’s time to sort through the ecommerce suppliers to find one for you.
Do you know where your customers are located? If they’re mostly local, then you want to have a supplier that’s relatively close to you, especially if they’re doing order fulfillment. That will reduce the amount of
shipping time to your customers.
If you have customers all over the world, you should look for a supplier that ships internationally. Ideally, they’d have hubs in Europe, the U.S., and in Asia.
This will ensure that you give your customers the ability to receive products in a short period of time. Otherwise, they’d have to clear customs and it could take weeks.
Of course, they have to carry the products that you need to sell.
The Ecommerce System
As an ecommerce business, you have to rely on systems to accept payments, process orders, and ship them out. You also need to have a CRM that lets you communicate regularly with your customers.
The ecommerce supplier that you choose has to have compatible systems. You need to have a seamless way for a customer to place an order on a website, accept payment, and then forward that order to your supplier.
Your customer shouldn’t be able to tell that there’s another company running the show behind the scenes.
Quality Products at the Right Price
Let’s say that you’re looking for a fulfillment center for t-shirts. You’ll need to find an ecommerce supplier that provides a high-quality shirt and is priced at a point where you can make a profit.
If you choose a supplier with a high price, you may have to price your products higher than what people are willing to pay. Price your products with too low of a profit margin, you’ll need to rely on volume to operate successfully.
Research and Contact Companies
Once you narrow down your companies, you’ll want to find out more about them. Contact them directly and see what the response time is. You can read reviews online and reach out to other companies that use those suppliers.
You can look for suppliers in online ecommerce directories or use a search engine to find suppliers, too.
Look Carefully at Contract Terms
Ecommerce suppliers have contract terms that you may have to meet. You may have to meet order minimums each month or you have to pay an order fulfillment fee for every order.
If you have a lot of orders, will the supplier be able to fulfill them promptly?
Take the time to ask these questions and review the terms of the contract. You should be able to negotiate with suppliers for more favorable terms.
Make Sample Orders
Remember that your ecommerce shipper is a part of your company. Their performance will reflect on your company. You want to have the same experience as your customers.
Spend the time and money to make sample orders of the shippers you want to use. Think about how they deliver the products, the speed, and the care of the products. You should also contact customer support after you receive the products to see how they respond to customer inquiries.
The World of Ecommerce Suppliers
The decision to choose an ecommerce supplier is just as important as deciding to have an ecommerce business. It’s so important because ecommerce suppliers are the face of your company. Your responsibility is to acquire customers and there is to fulfill the orders.
Once you have your ecommerce business running smoothly, you can upgrade your lifestyle. Check out the Lifestyle section of this site for tips to do that!