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The last five years have seen some major changes in the way businesses sell online. Dropshipping has enabled budding entrepreneurs to start a business without worrying about logistics. It’s become easy to sell products from anywhere in the world to customers anywhere in the world. But how sustainable is dropshipping? Is dropshipping worth it? And, if it isn’t, what’s the alternative?

Dropshipping definition

Dropshipping is a method of fulfilling online product orders that doesn’t require any physical involvement from the business owner.

A customer places an order for a specific product, which the business owner then purchases from a fulfilment service. (The business doesn’t buy any products until they’re ordered by a customer.) The product is then shipped straight to the customer, typically without the business owner ever having laid eyes on it.

Is dropshipping worth it?

Most businesses get into dropshipping because of its ease. So in that sense, dropshipping could be worth it.

A dropshipping model enables a business to get started without overhead costs. However, this saving is often negated by a high advertising spend to generate sales.

One of the biggest downsides of running a product-based business is the time and space required to prepare and package orders. This takes valuable hours and energy away from other important areas of the business such as marketing, growth and sales. And dropshipping is one way to get around that.

But, there is a big downside top dropshipping. It’s too hands-off.

Dropshipping makes it too easy for businesses to start selling products that they’ve never laid their hands on.

Customers can end up waiting up to a month for orders to arrive (they’re often shipped from Asia), only to receive a low-quality product. Return and refund rates are high, and with that comes significant costs, to the business’s finances and reputation.

An alternative to dropshipping

Thankfully, there’s a smarter alternative to dropshipping. One that still allows your business to enjoy the benefits of...

  • No time spent packing orders
  • No space needed to store products
  • An easy approach to product fulfilment
  • The time and energy to focus on other areas of business growth

Fulfilment services

A fulfilment service is when a warehouse takes care of storing, packaging and shipping your products, delivering them to your customers on your behalf. So, in many ways, it’s similar to dropshipping.

However, unlike dropshipping, fulfilment services are typically based in the same country as the business itself.

So, you can proudly say that you’re a UK-based business and know that your core business operations happen on UK soil.

Better oversight

Your products are housed, quite literally, down the road. Which means you have easy access to check your stock.

The most sustainable businesses are experts in their products. They know that their products are the best quality possible, fitting the customer’s need in the best way possible and delivering that service in the best manner possible.

They aim for the best. And that’s exactly what fulfilment services enable you to do.

You can visit the warehouse and choose the space where your products are housed. You can provide guidance and stipulations as to how your products are packaged and prepared. And you can control how those products are delivered to your customer’s door.

In short, you can build a reputation for a premium product, without compromising on your time or energy.

Better customer service

So, yes you’re able to deliver a better quality product with fulfilment services. But your delivery service itself is better too.

When your warehouse is housed in the same country as the majority of your customers, you’re going to get your products to their doors that much quicker. No more waiting around for your dropshipping partners to fulfil an order, no more worrying about customs duties or import tariffs.

Just simple easy honest customer service. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

Better business

We’re firm believers that fulfilment services enable you to build a better business than dropshipping ever will. You’ll know what you’re selling, who you’re selling it to and how it’s getting there.

Your business will be easier to market, easier to grow and far more sustainable to run. And that’s the ultimate goal - a business that lasts far longer than any fad.

Curious to find out more about fulfilment services?

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