All I Want for the Holidays is Drop Ship – Sincerely, Your Customers

Aug 10, 2016 — Beth Wanner
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Your summer tan might not have begun fading… you might even still have your toes in the sand, but if you haven’t started thinking about the holiday retail rush, you’re likely to find yourself up ship creek without a paddle. (No, that’s not a typo.)

The expectations of your customers have changed and the panic of finishing holiday shopping, all within record time, earlier and earlier every year, only heightens these expectations.

What do I mean exactly? Shoppers want the infinite product choice of online shopping combined with the joyful scenes of bustling shopping malls as depicted in whatever seasonal blockbuster movie will be released this year. If they fight the crowds to come down to your store, you only have one option: give them what they came for. Besides hoping for a holiday miracle, what can make that promise possible? Drop ship!

And here’s how:

1. Enhance Your Product Offering

How do you compete with the likes of Amazon when your physical space has very real boundaries and limits? You expand your product SKUs without physically carrying additional stock. Sounds like magic but it’s a very real solution many retailers are quickly adopting. When you implement a drop ship program, you can blend in-store and online fulfillment options to deliver exactly what your customer came in looking for. You can add additional product lines and capture more sales without increasing your store’s footprint or your risk of carrying more stock. The holidays are always a challenging time for predicting the right inventory mix. Drop ship helps eliminate some of the guessing game and the number of times you’ll have a customer leave disappointed.

2. Save the Sale

Whether a product is simply out of stock or even if it’s an item you don’t regularly bring in-store, with drop ship, you never have to let a customer walk away empty handed. If a customer comes in looking for a specific shoe but the purple size 8 is out of stock, no problem – drop ship it. If a customer comes in looking for a high-end pair of headphones that are normally too risky for you to carry regularly, no problem – drop ship it.

3. Deliver the Goods

There’s no one size fits all for your customers when it comes to how they prefer to shop. Drop ship allows you to offer customers the choice of whether they want their items shipped to the store location most convenient to them or opt to have it delivered right to their door step. Santa’s elves ain’t got nothing on drop ship!

Although it’s always tough to say goodbye to another summer, it’s exciting to see how retailers will use drop ship this season to drive incremental sales and delight customers.

To learn more about drop ship and planning your own fulfillment approach, download a free copy of our whitepaper, 4 Components Of An Optimized Fulfillment Strategy.

 

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Topics: Retail Operations, Customer Experience

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