Dropshipping is a popular and relatively easy way to break into ecommerce. The beauty of dropshipping is that you don’t need to keep any products in stock, lowering your overheads and risk.
You buy the products you’re selling directly from a dropshipping supplier when dropshipping.
But what if you’re planning to run a general store with lots of different products from different suppliers? Is that even possible?
Some think that dropshipping with multiple suppliers can quickly become a logistical nightmare, but is this true?
This article will tell you some more about how you can dropship with multiple suppliers. Enjoy reading!
Dropshipping with multiple suppliers: worth it or not?
Dropshipping with multiple suppliersDropshipping businesses has been getting a lot of buzz for reducing costs and maximizing profit. You can start dropshipping with a single supplier; if you can find trusted suppliers who offer great dropshipping products at competitive prices, then go ahead with multiple suppliers- as long as they are reliable. If you own an online store, it’s essential to do market research and analysis Google Trends data before making any crucial decisions.
Dropshipping with multiple suppliers is one of the significant trends in eCommerce. Numerous suppliers use it not only because some online retailers want to diversify their inventory but also because they can also take advantage of more competitive pricing from different vendors. Multiple suppliers are inevitable for Shopify store owners who want to expand their business in the online marketplace. It’s always good to have backup suppliers for your eCommerce store.
However, it doesn’t mean that you can sign up with as many suppliers as possible. Multiple suppliers create many challenges, and it isn’t easy to manage all orders across different channels and fulfill them on time.
Should you do dropshipping with one or multiple suppliers?
Before we start talking about how you can dropship with multiple suppliers, let’s look at whether or not dropshipping with various suppliers is a good idea in the first place.
Just like many things, dropshipping with one or with multiple suppliers has its pros and cons. But before we get into those, you should know that you can dropship with multiple suppliers on one platform or different platforms. Most beginners start by having all of their suppliers on one platform because it’s less overwhelming.
However, it may be worthwhile to combine multiple supplier platforms on some occasions. While this may be a bit more expensive and time-consuming, you will be able to connect your suppliers’ strengths.
So, let’s now take a quick look at the pros and cons of dropshipping with one or multiple suppliers:
|Dropshipping with one supplier||Dropshipping with multiple suppliers|
|Pros||All products are shipped to your customer in one package.||Multiple options when one supplier isn’t there anymore.|
|It’s easier to build a relationship.||More products are available.|
|Cons||You are putting all your eggs in one basket.||Products will be shipped to your customer in multiple different packages.|
Is it possible to do dropshipping with multiple suppliers?
So, is it possible to do dropshipping with multiple suppliers?
As you know, the dropshipping supplier stocks and ships out the products your customer orders. The process will look roughly the same if you’re working with multiple dropshipping suppliers.
However, instead of sending all of your orders to a single supplier, you will have to send your orders to different suppliers. Also, if your customer ordered multiple products, then it may be possible that two or more suppliers will have to send them the products.
Can Do Dropshipping with multiple suppliers in two ways:
All your suppliers can be present on one platform
Your suppliers scatter across multiple platforms
The choice you will make here will affect your order process. So, let’s look at both situations one by one.
How to do dropshipping with multiple suppliers on one platform
Dropshipping with multiple suppliers on one platform is the easiest way to partner with more than one supplier.
You can process the orders like you usually do, but don’t forget to account for the extra shipping costs that you might have. When dropshipping with multiple suppliers, it’s crucial to let your customer know that they might deliver their products in two or three packages.
You can do this on your FAQ page or shipping policy (or both). Also, if possible, try to use suppliers that offer roughly the exact shipping times. This will increase the chance of your customer getting the whole order within a few days and prevents your customer from getting anxious.
How to do dropshipping with multiple suppliers on various platforms
If you plan to do dropshipping with multiple suppliers on various platforms, it can become more challenging to manage everything properly. This works in the same way, but it might be slightly more complicated and time-consuming to process the order.
You will need a sound inventory management system, especially when your extensive product catalog. Make sure that your product SKUs on your ecommerce platform are unique, and don’t let them overlap when adding products from different suppliers.
As you might imagine, processing your orders manually with multiple suppliers on multiple platforms is quite tedious.
So, are there any ways to make dropshipping with multiple suppliers simpler?
In some cases, you might be able to use automation software. This will help you keep track of which products are supplied by which suppliers and process your orders.
Can you ship products together while using multiple different suppliers?
One question that we often see is if it is possible to do dropshipping with multiple suppliers but still ship all the products together in one package.
Generally, shipping all products in the same package while using multiple suppliers is not possible. Most suppliers don’t work together and don’t ship out their products from the same warehouse. You can compare it with ordering from Nike and Adidas. By doing that, you won’t get all products in the same package either.
However, if you’re interested in shipping all products in the same package, I recommend contacting a dropshipping agent to see if they can help you.
When working with a dropshipping agent, the products from your supplier(s) first go to your agent’s warehouse, from where they will ship to your customers:
In theory, when using multiple suppliers, it would be possible to let your agent order all the needed products and let them deliver to their warehouse. After that, your agent could pack and ship all products to your customer in one package.
However, be aware that by doing this, your shipping times will become longer because the products will have to be processed in a warehouse twice.
You could overcome the longer shipping time by letting your agent store the products you’re selling in their warehouse beforehand, but to do this, you would have to purchase those products early as well. In the end, you will need to decide if this will be worth it or not.
What to do if you target multiple countries with multiple local suppliers?
Let’s end the article with this question; what to do if you target multiple countries with multiple local suppliers?
For example, let’s say you are working with two local dropshipping suppliers. The first one is a dropshipping supplier from the US, and the other is a dropshipping supplier from Australia. Considering the locations of these suppliers, you will be targeting two countries, the US and Australia.
If you don’t take the proper steps in this situation, you will encounter some problems. For example, what happens if someone from the US buys a product from you that only your Australian supplier can offer?
Shipping from Australia to the US will likely be too expensive, so what do you do now? As I mentioned, the key to this is not to solve the problem but to prevent the problem.
For some, this situation might look like a logistical nightmare. Nevertheless, while the problem isn’t ideal, it is possible to do dropshipping in this way.
So, if you are in this situation, here is what you should do:
First of all, publish products from your suppliers on your online store. After all, you will sell all your products in the same online store.
Secondly, if you are using online marketing platforms like Facebook Ads, set up your targeting so that only US customers will see ads for the products from the US supplier and vice versa.
You will already lower the chances of your Australian products getting bought by customers from the US. However, this isn’t everything that you should do. After all, customers from the US will still be able to buy your Australian products.
So thirdly, you should look into an app that can hide specific products on your online store based on your visitor’s location. If you are running a Shopify store, then take a look at apps like Locksmith or EasyLockdown:
These apps allow you to create country-specific collections. In other words, you will be able to hide certain products from visitors coming from specific countries.
For the situation I gave above as an example, an app like this will help you to prevent American visitors from seeing the products coming from your Australian supplier!
Have you already looked into Shopify’s shipping zones as a final safety net?
Here, you will be able to set up which countries can buy which of your products. That way, you will be able to configure the settings so that products from your Australian supplier won’t be able to ship to the US and vice versa.
And that is how you can do dropshipping using multiple local suppliers while targeting multiple countries! By hiding certain products from visitors coming from specific countries and keep your targeting separated!
There you have it!
I hope this article gave you a better insight into the possibilities of dropshipping with more than one supplier.
In theory, it should be doable, mainly if all of your suppliers are located on one platform.
If that’s not the case, your inventory management and order processing will become more complicated, but some automation apps could help you with this problem.
Let me know if you have any further questions in the comments below.
Have a great rest of your day!