Dropshipping is when retailers or distributors directly utilize vendor or third party inventory to fulfill customer orders. For brands that want to enable endless aisle to improve customer service and capture sales, adding drop ship capabilities is a game-changer.
Vendor drop ship programs are a great way to leverage your suppliers and trading partners to increase item assortment, reduce inventory carrying costs and optimize order routing based on inventory position. However, to realize these benefits, you need an effective approach.
Some of the key considerations when implementing and sustaining a successful drop ship program are:
- Relationship management within the retailer's network: merchandising, purchasing, operations and customer service
- Retailer/vendor relationships - protecting your brand to ensure your vendors are an extension of your company
- Exception management to make sure customer experience goals are met
For a full discussion on launching a strategic vendor drop ship program, watch my presentation from NRF's Big Show 2019 with Chadwick Hamby of GNC: "Vendor Drop Ship: How Omni-Channel Brands Can Enable a Strategic Drop Ship Program."
How Omni-Channel Brands Can Enable a Strategic Drop Ship Program
Dropshipping can be an effective way to improve customer service and capture sales. However, it's critical that you have the right approach and expectations to successfully get your program off the ground.