When entering a new industry, it easy for you to get swept up in all this new terminology before actually learning what anything means in regards to you and your venture. The world of ecommerce has really grown over the past year, this means most of the jargon relating to the industry is relatively modern and therefore hardly common knowledge. When entering the industry, you will likely find, as with any industry, established veterans who may or may not teach you some of the ropes, if the latter is the case, then you can just have a read through the following guide.
What’s the big idea? Drop Shipping is a handy business model as it means that whatever store you run is not required to keep an inventory of products. Instead, products are bought from third-party suppliers, in correlation with demand, who will then ship the product directly to the final customer.
The Benefits of Drop Shipping:
- Low startup costs – You only pay for products when a customer orders them, therefore you are not required to buy large quantities of stock from the outset (or ever) and the risks from a product not selling are minimal.
- Your product range can be updated quickly – Remember Hoverboards? Fidget Spinners? Well when crazes such as those grip the world in the future, many will be scrambling to get their hands on or develop similar products. However, drop shippers have no need to manufacture the products themselves, they only need find a supplier and once they do, they can cash in on the craze within minutes.
- You don’t have to worry about order fulfilment – Your drop shipper/supplier will take care of this! Also given their positions as drop shippers, they will likely be privy to much lower shipping costs which, by partnering with them, you will now have access to.
- Easier to test and trial products – You can add new products to the store to experiment with new ideas, if it sells that’s great, if it doesn’t then you’ve not lost anything!
- More time for brand building – Since you aren’t sat around organising and fretting over copious amounts of inventory, you have more time to update your website, social channels or change your graphics etc.
Print On Demand
What’s the big idea? As the name suggests, by partnering with a print on demand supplier, your designs will be printed onto products only as orders come in and limited to the quantity required for the order. Mirroring drop shipping in this respect, it means you are not required to buy large quantities of stock.
The Benefits of Print on Demand:
- Bulk printing is not necessary – Emphasising the ‘on demand’ element of POD, designs will only be printed onto products in relation to how many orders you have processed through your store. Again you will not have to keep stock, this means there is no gamble on your part when adding new products and if they don’t sell.
- You are not required to buy the equipment or materials – Your POD supplier will offer all of their resources and equipments, such as printers, inks, materials and most of all: knowledge. This means you will not have to spend time learning about different print methods.
- Low risk – As you buy none of the products up front, this means you can experiment with different products which you may not have originally considered selling and see if they sell, if not then you can just take them off the store or leave them on so as to maintain variety.
- You can experiment with and customise designs – Once you have a semi-substantial product range which is selling, you can begin to push things to the next level and create new designs, designs which are perhaps a little more unusual or designs which you simply enjoy making and looking at. Print on demand offers you the luxury to experiment and test your design capabilities.
So, I hope you all feel that bit more knowledgeable and ready for the world of ecommerce. I should point out that there are perhaps some cons to both of these business models, however, I would consider them minor in the grand scheme of things. One would be that you have no control over the fulfilment process, many would breath a sigh of relief at this fact, but some may like to be a bit more hands-on in that regard. Another would be that you are completely reliant upon your supplier in terms of stock, this is very minor as suppliers will likely buy stock from a number of very reliable places, therefore if any mishaps do happen they will have backup options.
Register with Gift Flow today and begin making your print on demand dreams a reality.