Fulfillment methods for eCommerce websites, Part 1

Dropshipping, 3PL, and shipping the products yourself are all fulfillment methods for an eCommerce website. They are ways to get your products into the hands of your customers. A lot of new eCommerce store owners(eCommerce websites) get caught up in whether to do drop shipping, print on demand, or what have you. The truth is the fulfillment model doesn’t make as much of difference as you think it does. A dropshipping store isn’t going to be more successful than a 3PL store, because it’s dropshipping. Some eCommerce websites are successful because they really understand their customers. They sell a great product that’s valuable to those customers, and they have found a way to profitably get those customers through their buying process.

ecommerce website

Fulfillment methods for eCommerce websites: Dropshipping

Dropshipping is where eCommerce websites list the products on your website, but then the supplier is the one that ships them to your customers. So a customer on your eCommerce website places an order, you get their customer details and you just send an email off to your supplier and they ship it directly to the customer. This is a great way to quickly test out your customers and your products without needing to purchase the inventory yourself. You also don’t need to stock the products yourself because your supplier takes care of all of that. The problem here though is that you have less control over the buying experience. The supplier might mess up the order, they might keep their own labels and branding on the packaging, maybe even by accident. The customer might see that it’s not being sent from where your actual company is. It’s also hard to deal with returns as well, so it can be a really bad buying experience, but you can do it.

The dropshipping stores that are successful are the ones that are much more hands-on with their products. They find a way to white label with their supplier and they’re very careful about which suppliers they use. A lot of eCommerce websites just start with dropshipping to start with validating their customers and their product, and then later swap into a 3PL model, or fulfill the products themselves. This gives you much more control over the shipping and unboxing experience, while also increasing profit margins. It’s a bit riskier than just dropshipping because you have to hold inventory. But if your eCommerce website has already validated your audience and your product, then it can work really well.

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