Dropshipping benefits from automation more than almost any other area of ecommerce, since it is a lean and low-friction niche by design.
There are a number of workflows within a typical dropshipping operation which can be automated, as well as integrations with third party platforms that benefit lightweight online retailers significantly.
Let’s discuss the most important workflows and integrations to focus on, in order that automation can be embraced effectively by dropshipping startups.
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This is the lynchpin of effective dropshipping, since your business won’t be responsible for warehousing the products you’re selling. Discrepancies might arise more easily in this scenario, which could cause customer dissatisfaction and hurt your fledgling brand’s chances of survival.
It’s therefore best to choose to work with a supplier that offers real time stock management functions, which are accessible to third party sellers through an API. You’ll be able to give accurate info on product availability to customers on the fly, without needing to manually update your site.
When creating a landing page, you need to provide prospective customers with the right details about a product to sell it to them successfully.
The challenge with running a dropshipping business comes when you’re handling large numbers of products simultaneously, with new arrivals needing to be included and existing items requiring updates when changes occur.
Automating the product data upload workflow is the solution, and you need to take formatting requirements into account in the case that you’re working across several different ecommerce platforms.
This is where a platform like Spark Shipping is incredibly useful. It offers full product data integration, as well as fitment support which is relevant for things like auto component reselling. When looking at rivals like FIxpoint compared to Spark Shipping, it’s these integrations which make a big difference from an automation perspective.
Another hurdle that’s unique to dropshipping businesses is that, unlike traditional retailers, orders need to be passed on to third party suppliers for fulfillment to take place flawlessly. And since customer satisfaction and relationship-building are part of retail marketing, you can’t afford to drop the ball here.
Again, APIs can be useful in this instance, with automation software ensuring that the details of each purchase are sent in a standardized format to the supplier.
There are also other approaches to consider, depending on what each supplier you work with prefers. For example, it could mean sending order info via email. Regardless of the approach, this is another workflow which thrives when no manual intervention is needed.
We’re approaching the point at which the physical act of delivering items ordered online can be handed entirely autonomously. But even while human couriers are essential for last-mile delivery, software automation can step in to enhance the experience for customers.
Tracking numbers are used to let all parties follow the progress made by the goods as they are sent from the supplier to the buyer. Better yet, automatic updates and alerts can be issued so that everyone is on the same page throughout this journey.
It’s all about keeping the customer in the loop and ensuring that they’re happy with the experience, without this also becoming a burden on your own resources.
The bottom line
As mentioned, there are quite a few different ecommerce automation software solutions out there, and not all are created equal.
If you run a dropshipping business, it pays to compare them carefully and to find the one that has the examples of workflow automation and third party integrations that match your ideal criteria. Choosing carefully will give you access to the tools you require to take your entrepreneurial efforts to the next level, with minimal overheads.
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