As retailers face up to the supply chain “perma-crisis” of labour shortages, strikes, increased costs and reduced consumer demand, there are some recession-fighting best practices to follow. As outlined below, the adoption of a well-managed dropship sales channel aligns with these objectives.
1. Prioritise Cash Flow
Cash is king – so protect your working capital by minimising inventory risk.
- Stock your warehouses and store network with only your fastest turning SKUs
- Push slow turning SKUs out to your dropship channel
- Identify and reduce dead stock to enhance your balance sheet
Strategically deploying a dropship channel in this way will ensure a lasting cash benefit without sacrificing range, revenue or retention.
2. Focus on Customer Retention
In this climate, do everything you can to provide a better customer experience.
- Offer your customers more choice without diluting your brand – complement your core range with a curated dropship range
- Never lose a sale by offering dropship alternatives when your core range is out of stock
- Use suppliers hand-picked by you and measure your dropship OTIF ratings to ensure they mirror your stocked-in offering
- Give your Call Centre access to real-time order statuses to keep your customers fully informed if they call about an order
- Get ahead of order exceptions with rich status updates from your dropship suppliers, and real-time carrier track & trace
As you scale your dropship channel, ensure the customer experience is never compromised – improve your CSAT, NPS and ultimately your CLTV
3. Invest in the Future
A robust omni-channel is an investment that will quickly deliver a return on investment now, and will position you to scale in the future.
- Implementing a dropship platform is a low-tech implementation with zero capex that only scales as you grow, and delivers a return on your investment almost immediately
- Position yourself to scale rapidly once consumer confidence returns
4. Identify New Markets
Dropship can help you explore new markets and quickly grow them when they gain traction.
- Dropship allows you to quickly test new ranges, new suppliers and new product categories
- Allow your buyers to curate complementary products and/or new category combinations without taking the inventory risk
5. Take Care of Your People
A growing dropship channel keeps your team motivated and happy.
- The Virtualstock platform is easy to use so staff can re-train quickly and effectively
- Buyers can focus on identifying new suppliers and products to range – rather than cancelling forward orders
- Your Customer Service and Operations teams can focus on improving customer satisfaction with a best-in-class platform – rather than simply putting out fires
Virtualstock’s dropship platform is built to enable you to significantly grow your online order volumes, reduce working capital and deliver a better customer experience.
In today’s economic climate the simplest and most cost-effective way to grow revenue as a retailer or merchant is to extend your online range to offer your customers more choice.
There are many ways to do this but there is only one way to do this that results in reduced working capital, with a marginal cost that diminishes as you grow, and allows you to retain almost complete control of your customers’ experience.
"Virtualstock is a key technology partner to Robert Dyas and has enabled us to deliver huge online growth. Over two thirds of our online sales are now driven by dropshipping and Virtualstock has allowed us to scale this business profitably whilst also improving customer experience."
With our consultative approach, Virtualstock will configure the platform around your business processes, and quickly demonstrate value – reassurance many retailers may be looking for right now.