Having the ability to provide your customers with seemingly endless product options once seemed impossible. However, this type of offering has increasingly become mainstream for retailers. Or so I thought.
In many recent shopping endeavors, I’ve found stock is limited to what I can touch and feel. If it isn’t readily available in the store, I’m sent out the door and directed to a website. Not surprisingly, in almost all of these cases, I never went online to find the product I was searching for, but instead tried another business.
For this reason, it’s important to provide some continuity between your online and in-store offerings. This way, you make sure you capitalize on all your customer interactions and truly show you’re there to provide what they need when they need it. While you may have your online experience nailed down, replicating that in-store with a drop ship solution can sometimes be difficult. Having worked with a drop ship product for a few years now, here are some key strategies I feel will go a long way to help you optimize your drop ship experience.
Keep it simple
Now that you have the full breadth of product offering from your vendors, you may feel overwhelmed with how many additional products you can sell. Not to mention the additional training for employees to gain the product knowledge needed to sell these additional products. For these reasons, it’s best to stick to the basics. Utilize your vendor’s vast knowledge of the industry to find the top 5 or 10 products you currently do not stock. From here, you’ve now found your focus and can move forward with a simplified training plan for employees, while optimizing sales by offering top products.
Reinvest in your employees
Your employees are an integral piece of the drop ship implementation puzzle. It’s important to engage them early and often. It’s likely they have a process for selling products, and this process currently doesn’t include a conversation about drop-ship-able items. Take the time to create good habits and show them strategies on where, when, and how to include this new option in their sales process. Further to this, keep drop ship top of mind by running a sales contest between your employees. Incentivizing your employees (as you probably already know) is a great way to promote initiatives within your stores.
Having promotional pieces throughout your store advertising your capability to provide products outside of your in-store collection is paramount to a successful drop ship solution. This will also take pressure off your sales people because your customer’s awareness will prompt questions about how you can provide such a service.
Interested in getting started with a drop ship solution? Explore your options below.