How Do I Choose a Supplier?
One of the keys to success in ecommerce is using great suppliers. Finding the right suppliers can work wonders for the growth of your business, while using low quality suppliers can be extremely harmful your business. It is vital to find the best suppliers to ensure success and growth for your business.
Your first step when looking for a supplier should be to join a trade association. Trade associations match retailers with suppliers, and can be a great resource for finding suppliers. Search the vendors listed in your trade association for ones that could be useful to your business. In addition to joining a trade association, you can also ask other owners for suggestions of suppliers, and search the web for suppliers in your industry. Through these methods you should be able to find a number of options for suppliers in your industry. You should also be able to find reviews on these suppliers that give general information about them. But how do you actually choose a supplier? Here are a number of things to look for that are crucial when choosing a supplier.
- Quality- You want an ecommerce supplier that provides quality products. If you are creating something and you use even just use one low-quality part, the value of your product goes down. Look for suppliers that provide high-quality goods to ensure that you supply the best possible products.
- Prices- Prices are key to choosing a supplier, but don’t necessarily just look for the lowest price. You don’t want to use a poor quality product at the benefit of saving you a few bucks. Look for low prices on high quality goods; it will be worth it through the better quality of your product and increased sales. Compare suppliers’ pricing to your mark up and find out how you can best cover your expenses and pull in a healthy profit.
- Customer Service- Make sure your supplier has good customer service, as you will be working with them closely to provide the goods your business needs. If they don’t communicate well, it could be extremely problematic. Great suppliers often have a customer service staff dedicated to your ecommerce business. A supplier with great customer service can receive and work on your orders, questions, and issues quickly and efficiently.
- Shipping- A supplier who emphasizes prompt shipping is definitely a plus in choosing your suppliers. You want suppliers who ship your products in an efficient and timely fashion, and who are consistent with their shipping.
- Reliability- A supplier with great, inexpensive products could be useless if the supplier is unreliable. Great supplies can’t help you if a supplier can’t get them to you in time, or messes up your order. Make sure your supplier is consistent and reliable.
- Meeting Demand- Make sure your suppliers can meet your needs. If you need 100 of a certain part per month, and a supplier can only supply 50 per month, you can’t rely on just that supplier. You should look for another supplier to replace him, or provide the other 50 parts.
- Ask for Samples- Many suppliers will provide samples of their products. If you can, request samples from a number of suppliers and compare the quality of the samples and the customer service you received with your request. This can be a great indicator of good suppliers, and usually only costs you shipping.
For a great way to manage multiple suppliers and track their profitability, check out the Bizelo eRetail Supply Management App and make supply management easy!