It is crucial to be as personal as possible with your customers and suppliers even though you are remote from them. Your website might employ the best features in automation, but no customer wants to buy from a company whose owner refuses to interact with them, and no supplier wants a business relationship with someone uptight who barely keeps in contact. Your business will run much more smoothly if the people on both ends like you (and it helps if you like them, too). Here are a few tips for being the best dropshipping brand owner you can be from your suppliers’ and competitors’ eyes.
Be confident when interacting with suppliers
Approach suppliers for the first time confidently. Learn as much as you can about ecommerce and the individual supplier so that you do not sound timid or ignorant. Avoid asking vague questions that suggest you do not know what you are doing, and don’t shy away from talking about money. Vendors want you to be a consistent source of business, so you need to assure them that they can trust you to be so.
Know what you are talking about
On a related note, conduct your research before speaking with suppliers. Do they have minimum orders you need to be aware of? What is the protocol for when they run out of inventory? If you act like a professional, then they will be more likely to treat you like a professional. Knowing the products you intend to sell inside and out is beneficial for when interacting with customers, too: would you feel comfortable purchasing an item from somebody who knows nothing about it?
Check in with them regularly
Your business has a higher chance of thriving if you and your suppliers foster a healthy relationship with one another. If you were a representative for a manufacturing company, would you feel kindly toward someone who only calls when something goes wrong? No, because you’ll begin to dread those calls and associate that person with bad news. You also will not know each other very well, so handling the issue will take some extra work.
If you check in with your suppliers regularly, though, you establish a rapport. Learn the names of the people you communicate with most often and keep them updated with how your business is going. Let them get to know you in return. This way, you will already have familiarity and a routine that will make solving problems a breeze.
Construct a website you can be proud of
On the other end, customers will notice if your website sports quality UX and UI and everything is in working order. There are numerous fraudulent ecommerce businesses out there, so consumers are understandably wary of any site that is insecure and looks like an amateur developer pieced it together. A beautiful website that operates seamlessly suggest legitimacy and attention to detail.
Your customers will also love you if you minimize the need to ask questions. Provide them with as much information as you can upfront regarding your products: don’t just give them a few details, but help them imagine what it can be used for. Remember to be transparent about contact details and shipping costs as well—no one likes to discover that the price is higher than they imagined.
Produce high-quality content
Content is essential when it comes to marketing. Through outlets like blogging and social media, content is an opportunity to tell your audience about your products and what sets you apart from competitors. It is also your chance to establish yourself as a resource for people: while your products might be high-quality and affordable, people will appreciate educational material (with a dash of entertainment value) that answers industry questions they did not even know they had. Before you begin, review Instagram’s most important statistics for marketers and decide what audience you want to target.
Handle issues swiftly
Customers will also appreciate if you handle issues as quickly as possible (if not prevent them outright—review supplier invoices when you get them to double check for errors before products leave the warehouse). Whether you are dealing with an undelivered order or a product was damaged, be understanding, acknowledge their complaints, and come up with a solution together. Many consumers will take their business elsewhere after a negative experience, but you can win them back depending on how you handle their complaints.
If you want to be successful in dropshipping—and a competent business owner—it helps if your suppliers and customers like you. How do you encourage trust and amiability between you and the people you do business with?