Did you know? In 2012, 34% of the products sold by Amazon during the previous year were dropshipped? That represents a whopping $14.2 billion dollars in products. In the following years, retailers such as Wayfair.com built very successful businesses entirely around the concept of drop shipping.
As more and more consumers clamor for the ability to buy everything from household goods to luxury products online, the demand for Ecommerce retailers will only increase. In fact, by 2017, the Ecommerce market was estimated to be worth $370 billion dollars and was projected to grow steadily by 17% annually.
The boom in dropshippers can be partially attributed to the ease with which an entrepreneur can establish a drop shipping business. Shopify's thorough guide to dropshipping gives would-be dropshippers the basics of getting their businesses off the ground. For those who're less inclined to spend about an hour reading and digesting the process, Shopify even offers a video on how to get started.
What Is Dropshipping?
When the consumer orders from a dropshipper, they're ordering from a store who does not deal directly with the product. They have no physical inventory on hand, and once the customer places the order, it is up to a third party — the manufacturer or the wholesaler — to package and ship the product to the consumer. Therefore, it is entirely possible that the store selling the product to the customer has never seen or physically interacted with the product they're selling.
However, the customer would never know their store was a dropshipper. The store sends out the tracking information to the customer after they've placed the order through their Ecommerce site. Additionally, the store's logo and contact information will appear on the invoice, even though a third party shipped the product and fulfilled the order.
While this whole process may be much easier for the store, it certainly is not in the customer's best interest. All the store has to do is market their products, provide customer service, and develop and maintain their site. They have no real-world experience with the product they're selling.
Additionally, many stores ship their products from China, forcing the customer to wait around in excess of four weeks for their products to arrive. This horrendous wait time is due to the various hoops the dropshipping merchant must jump through to get their products stateside. As a result, the customer is left waiting indefinitely.
However, if a consumer buys products from a local store like Zero Day Gear, there is no waiting around. If they're in the United States, they can expect their order to arrive within one to four days from the time it leaves the warehouse. In very rare circumstances — or if the customer lives in Alaska — the order can take up to 16 days to arrive. This includes both weekends and holidays, too.
To break it down a bit more, products shipped using standard USPS shipping (3-5 days) usually gets to the customer in a little over four days. Products shipped through expedited shipping (2-4 days) arrives in about four days from the time it leaves the warehouse.
By contrast, products ordered from a dropshipping merchant can take weeks to ship and days to process. On the other hand, Zero Day Gear processes all orders within one business day. Secondly, if an item is out of stock, Zero Day Gear will always clearly indicate that it is unavailable. This way, the customer isn't stuck waiting around for their product to ship.
At some point in the process, customers will either want to return an item or, on occasion, have problems with their purchase. Since Zero Day Gear ships products directly to the consumer, they can quickly intervene to fix the mistake or problem. There is no waiting around for the dropshipper's wholesaler or manufacturer to return phone calls or emails. Zero Day Gear's customer support is prompt.
And, should a customer need to return an item, there is no complicated return process. The store doesn't have to coordinate with their wholesaler or manufacturer to restock the returned item. This makes the process stress-free and straightforward.