Dropshipping is a viable business model where business owners or manufacturers handle the shipping and logistics for the merchant or wholesale buyers. The latter handle the marketing of products and deal directly with customers.
Dropshipping is defined by N Channel as, “A fulfillment process in which merchants buy goods from a vendor who ships them directly to the consumer who bought them from the merchant.”
For business owners, offering a dropshipping service gives a lot of benefits such as getting more wholesale buyers to work with you. If you’re already dropshipping or thinking of offering this service, you need to know the expectations of wholesale buyers.
What Wholesale Buyers Expect From Your Dropshipping Operations
1. Responsive Online Store
As you might as well know, e-commerce is changing the face of business. Having a responsive, user-friendly online store attracts more wholesale customers and keeps them in the long run. Having the ability to put wholesale orders, fulfill and pay orders, and change orders online spell a lot of difference to wholesale buyers.
2. Trust and Credibility
Good business is anchored in trust. Wholesale customers expect that you will deliver quality and efficient service. Your terms, conditions, and deliverables in dropshipping must be clearly laid out to your wholesale buyers. Deliver on your promises as to the arrival of shipments, tracking information, packaging, partner shipping companies and other details. Remember that you are doing business with both the merchants and their customers.
Since wholesale merchants may not be able to see or touch the product as it is shipped from the warehouse, merchants need to be assured that the products are in good condition and will be shipped to the right customer on time.
Always remember that wholesale customers are always looking for dropship wholesalers that they can do good business with. Thus, they’re looking for businesses who will be able to deliver good service to their customers.
3. Correctness of Shipment
Since wholesale customers will be heavily relying on you to ship the products directly to their customers, they expect that you will send the right product to the right customers. There’s absolutely no room for errors. Imagine sending the wrong item to a clueless customer or to a wrong address. You absolutely don’t want that to happen.
Wholesale customers expect that the exact items ordered by their customers will arrive at their doorsteps exactly where they want them to be. Thus, business owners must double-check the item, recipient, and address before shipping them.
4. Provide Information and Materials
As a dropship supplier or manufacturer, you must provide the marketing materials required by the wholesale merchant such as high-quality images, product description, product gallery, pricing, return policies, product warranty and other details. The merchant expects that you will provide these materials and inform them of any product changes.
5. Customer Service
As a dropship wholesaler, you and your staff must be available almost 24/7 especially if your wholesale customers are scattered around the globe. Wholesale buyers expect you to be contacted thru call, email, live chat or Skype. They need to be able to reach you anytime.
You need to be prepared for cancellations, return or exchange of items, change of information and shipment problems. At the same time, you must maintain constant communication with wholesale buyers when these problems come up.
Offering excellent customer service will pay off in the long run since it builds loyalty and good working relationships.
6. Clear Terms and Conditions
Wholesale merchants expect that you already have clear terms and conditions to which you and the merchant can agree with. These buyers expect that the pricing, dropship fees, shipping fees, wholesale discounts, and other terms and conditions are already laid out in the contract. The contract should include cancellation, return policies, warranty and exchange policies.
You must prepare a contract that is neither vague nor ambiguous; that means it should be easily understood. You must let your attorney and accountant review the contract before presenting it wholesale merchants.
6. Fast Delivery Time
Dropshipping is not an easy task. Since your primary job is to get the items in the hands of the customer, you need to make sure that it gets there on time. Delays in shipment paint a negative image not only for you but also for your wholesale buyer. Nothing puts off more than a delayed shipment for a customer. A delayed shipment almost spells another customer lost.
Make sure that you partner with reliable and excellent shipping companies that have a wide network and offer fast shipping. If you offer worldwide shipping, be aware of the existing customs and tax laws of every country concerning shipments. You definitely don’t want the item to be held at customs. Be honest about the shipping dates and make room for adjustments as to the date of the arrival of the shipment to customers.