As a web agency, we have encountered many clients who want to sell merchandise via their website. During our research for fulfillment of orders, we came across the concept of drop shipping. Today, we want to detail the benefits and drawbacks of drop shipping as well as provide some resources.
To start, drop shipping is simply outsourcing the fulfillment of orders to a third party. This means someone else receives your orders, makes the product, and sends the orders directly to your customers without you touching anything. When the orders are sent, the drop shipping company ships the order with your name and logos as if it came directly from you.
You may be wondering your business may want to consider drop shipping. The biggest reason is if selling merchandise is not your main business. Who wants to worry about getting items printed, packing up the orders, and then shipping them if you are busy with other aspects of the business?
The next big reason to consider drop shipping is whether or not you can afford the upfront costs of printing and storing inventory. Most drop shipping opportunities will print items on demand so you do not have to worry about keeping inventory. On demand printing also allows you to offer many more variations of your products without you having to play the guessing game on what colors and sizes your customers will need.
I know drop shipping sounds great so far, but there are some drawbacks. Since, you will most likely be printing orders on demand, you do sacrifice per item profits. Essentially, you lose the cost savings of printing items in bulk; however, that goes back to the question of whether or not you have the upfront resources to print and store inventory.
Secondly, you will lose some control over the overall customer experience when it comes to packaging. In today’s market, customer experience is everything. From package inserts to package customizations, every detail is an opportunity to wow your customer. With drop shipping, your options for those customizations will be limited.
I hope this post has given you the insights you need to determine if you should give drop shipping a try. We have implemented for a few clients. For our client, New Age Threads, the process is 100% automated. Our current choice for printing and drop shipping is Printful. They offer many products, integrate with most shopping carts, and make the entire process simple. If you’re ready to give it a try, consider signing up with our affiliate link and contacting The Urban Geeks to start your e-commerce store!
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