What is Dropshipping?

One of those little questions which comes back to us from time-to-time at Silicon Dales, as a market leading eCommerce agency is this: “what does dropshipping mean?” Below, an answer.

A definition of the term “Dropshipping”

Dropshipping (sometimes called drop-shipping) is a term used primarily in eCommerce when retailers sell goods they do not physically have in stock, and pass the order to another retailer (often a distributor) who fulfills (or ships) the goods to the customer.

AKA “Distributor Shipped”

Sometimes, this is also called “distributor shipped” and it’s a service which is increasingly being offered to retailers, as the market evolves.

Does the Customer Know About This?

Not always. Sometimes it is obvious – as in the case of the Amazon Marketplace – sometimes this happens entirely “behind the scenes” (a lot of major retailers will dropship some or all of the products they sell online).

Customers are often aware of this practice, and providing it is done well (with support from the dropshipper allowing consumer to follow-up their purchase with someone at the right part of the supply-chain) it can be a rewarding and valuable service for all parties, with the retailer handling the sales and marketing; the distributor handling warehousing and shipping; and the happy customer receiving the goods they ordered exactly as expected.

Want help with a drop-shipping solution?

Silicon Dales have experience with a range of issues related specifically to drop-shipping. We’ve integrated product feeds from drop-shipping suppliers and connected selected order data to the correct supplier for fulfilment. There are also options for altering which customer support information your customers get, depending on which drop-shipping supplier provided their products. Whatever your drop-shipping requirements, get in touch to find out if we can help.

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