There are several steps to finding the best wholesale online stores for ecommerce businesses. Determining the best online wholesale suppliers significantly impacts ecommerce businesses’ abilities to compete on price, deliver products to consumers, and determine margins. In fact, many ecommerce owners consider price, customer service, and product portfolios to determine a supplier’s fit for their businesses. As a business owner, maximize your reach, efficiency, and bottom line by finding the wholesale supplier that best fits your needs. Read on to discover the several steps needed to find the best wholesale online stores for ecommerce businesses.
Determine A Fulfillment Process
Determining how your business will fulfill orders is the first step toward finding the best wholesale online stores. Making this consideration first allows you to evaluate wholesalers based upon their compatibility with your desired fulfillment option. For example, you may want to begin drop shipping to consumers, with suppliers handling everything including storage, packaging, and shipping. Alternatively, you may want to self-fulfill, partially self-fulfill, or partner with fulfillment companies. Your business would store inventory in a warehouse and ship it out to consumers. This way is much more expensive, but you retain more control over your inventory and shipping processes. On the other hand, third-party fulfillment is the most popular fulfillment process that involves sending products to a third party that handles the packing and shipping. Surely, determining your desired fulfillment process allows you to evaluate suppliers based upon their compatibility with the process.
Understand Industry Distribution Channels
Second, understand how your industry’s distribution channels work to help you determine the best fit for your specific business needs. Most industries have four types of distribution channels. For example, some products can be bought directly from their manufacturer. Others may be distributed exclusively by companies with sole importing rights. Additionally, there are many regional distributors that sell truckloads of inventory to local wholesalers. Moreover, individual contractors often make deliveries to grocers as well as brick-and-mortar retail stores. Absolutely, understanding your industry’s distribution channels enables you to make more specific, higher-quality decisions about the best wholesaler for your business.
Third, begin actively searching for wholesalers via various online platforms. Search engines are often a great place to start, since you can directly search for desired products and categories. However, you’ll need to determine the reliability of search engine wholesalers yourself. There are also many online wholesale directories that provide vetted lists to find a reliable wholesale distributor. Typically, these lists can be narrowed down to specific categories and products. Additionally, online forums allow you to find lists of distributors while also fostering conversation, and therefore, business relationships. Furthermore, popular online marketplaces connect wholesale distributors and online retailers from all over the world. Certainly, begin your active searching online to find and evaluate potential wholesalers that meet your desired criteria.
Check Local Trade Shows
Next, check out some local trade shows to find niche, locally sourced products for your online store. Visiting a trade show related to your industry provides many networking and connection opportunities for strengthening business relationships. At the show, you’ll meet and visit several booths where you hand-select items to put on your store. Since trade shows are in-person events, you can evaluate the items’ quality yourself. Even if you leave the trade show empty-handed, you’ll have gained insights on upcoming industry trends and your competitors. Additionally, you’ll have many new ideas and directions to take your business. There are several online platforms where you can find local industry trade shows. Definitely, attend a trade show to hand-select items for your store, foster business relationships, and gain industry insights.
Make A Productive First Contact
Making a productive first contact with your chosen wholesale seller is the final step in finding one. Communicating your requirements in a confident way is imperative for making the contact productive. Don’t lie to your wholesaler, but portraying your business as slightly bigger than it is never hurts. Use the length, tone, and content of your messages to display confidence in your business. Additionally, make your messages concise and exact. Your knowledge of what you want should be abundantly clear. Moreover, there are a few tactics that make your messages more attractive and persuasive to wholesalers. For example, increase your negotiating power by asking for prices for a range of quantities. Identifying yourself as “purchasing agent” instead of “founder/CEO” portrays your business as larger than it is. You can leverage these tactics to negotiate for better terms or lower prices on high volume orders. Of course, use confident communication tactics to maximize the impact of your first contact with a wholesaler.
There is a myriad of ways to find the best wholesale online stores for your ecommerce business. One way involves determining a fulfillment method as the first step. Second, understanding industry supply chains enables you to evaluate a wholesaler’s fit for your desired business. Third, begin actively searching online to find wholesalers that meet your designated criteria. Attending local trade shows allows you to hand-pick items for your store, evaluate their quality in person, and gain various industry insights. Finally, use confident communication tactics to maximize the impact of your initial communications with a chosen wholesaler. When wondering how to find wholesale online stores for your ecommerce business, consider the steps outlined above.