When you offer an omnichannel shopping experience, it's easy for your fulfillment operations to get overwhelmed. For some retail and eCommerce businesses, this occurs annually as online orders flood in and foot traffic increases during the holidays. But other businesses experience this more gradually as popularity for their products steadily grow over the years.
No matter when (and how often) the increased demand impacts your business, you need to have an effective strategy in place to scale your operations successfully. In this post, we’ll discuss the value of dropshipping as a fulfillment strategy and share a few instances when you should consider using it to enhance your omnichannel fulfillment.
What is Dropshipping?
First things first: dropshipping is a form of fulfillment that places the responsibility for order packing and shipping on suppliers. Generally, this is how it works:
- Retail and eCommerce businesses accept customer orders via their various online platforms like their website, landing pages, and social channels
- The orders are passed to their suppliers
- And the suppliers pack and ship orders directly to the customers, using their own fulfillment carriers and systems
This enables retail and eCommerce businesses to cut down on their overhead costs and simplify their own fulfillment operations, while shortening the amount of time it takes for orders to be processed and shipped to customers.
But truthfully, dropshipping isn’t for everyone. Many businesses have the infrastructure to handle rapid growth and peak season demand. Here are some instances where dropshipping does come in handy, though:
Starting an eCommerce Business
If you’re still in the early stages of starting a business, you likely don’t have the capital, space, or the infrastructure to handle large amounts of customer orders. But if you can only take a certain number of orders at a time, you end up missing out on revenue and customers you might’ve had.
Requiring you to hold virtually zero inventory in your own warehouses, dropshipping enables you to quickly scale your supply to meet customer demand. You can process as many orders as you need to, and your suppliers will pack and ship the products directly to your customers using their own fulfillment carriers.
This means you can accept all of your customers’ orders, and you don’t have to burn the candle at both ends to get them shipped out on-time. Even better, you can hire a 3rd party like Radial to help you handle and manage your dropship carriers.
Scaling Your Retail or eCommerce Business
There comes a point when you need to scale your fulfillment operations to handle the increased demand for your products. This might happen overnight when one of your products starts trending on a social media platform or over months as your business builds a loyal customer base.
In either case, dropshipping can minimize the strain on your business, by allowing you to hand off your fulfillment to a 3rd party. All you need to do is make sure you and your suppliers are aligned on your packaging and shipping requirements, so your customers get the same experience every time.
In doing so, you can scale your business as fast as you want, and you won’t put any unnecessary strain on your fulfillment team in the process.
During Peak Season
Meeting customer demand during the busiest time of the year is difficult. But with the drastic uptick in online shopping, retail and eCommerce businesses are looking for better and faster ways to pack, pick, and ship orders to customers.
Here again, dropshipping can be a beneficial solution as it not only cuts out multiple middle steps, which expedite order shipping, but it also spreads orders across various carriers, which minimizes bottlenecks during the busiest time of the year. And by scaling your fulfillment operations in this way, you can keep your customers happy without investing in employees and spaces you only need for a few months of the year.
Built to scale with retail and eCommerce businesses of all sizes, Radial Dropship leverages 26,000 global suppliers to provide the fastest shipping on the market. This makes it possible for businesses to get products out to their customers quickly, accurately, and with minimal overhead -- even during the peak season.
As more customers make the jump to online shopping, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for retail and eCommerce businesses to fulfill orders. Fortunately, dropshipping makes it possible to deliver on your customers' expectations without putting extra strain on your fulfillment team or processes. And that’s the case whether you’re growing a business, scaling your business, or navigating the yearly peak season.