You are a cosmetics wholesaler dealing in variety of personal care items for women. You do not have a store since you do not sell to retail customers but have an office where retailers can visit to pick up goods or sign contracts. Your advantage lies in the extremely low rates you are able to offer due to your business model of mass sales with low margins. However, your biggest disadvantage is that you are located in a relatively small town where the number of cosmetic retailers is not too many and hence you find it hard to grow your business year on year.
This strategy will help you realize new markets for your product and help you grow your bottom line exponentially.
Who is your customer?
Typically your current customer profile is the small or mid-sized retailer who deals in cosmetic and personal care items either exclusively or as a part of a supplementary convenience store business. Since you are located in a small town, it is unlikely that there will be an organic growth in demand for your line of products. Therefore you must look beyond physical boundaries by finding online retailers of your products.
What is the best thing you can do for that customer?
Running an online business is far more cost effective than setting up a conventional store. However, the online entrepreneur is often inexperienced in matters such as logistics. To make it easier for them, you can offer a drop ship service directly to the end consumer from your wholesale facility, at a slightly extra cost. Also highlight your high margins in all your marketing literature.
How are you going to do it?
Design a seamless backend process on your website which allows smaller online retailers to become "members" of your site. They can then choose from your inventory of products and market them in their own way, through their own websites. Ensure that the backend is robust and well defined with regard to order taking and delivery as well.
Create a database of all your existing customers as well as online retailers dealing in your range of products. Invite them to sign up for your weekly newsletter in order to receive tips and news from the wholesale drop shipping industry. The newsletter should also run regular sections on special discounts on selected products of the week, etc.
Donít forget to say thank you
Every registrant for the newsletter gets a thank you email that also has a few basic survey questions:
What is the average number of sales made per month?
What is the average monthly turnover for the past 12 months?
What categories of products sell the most on their website?
What do they perceive to be the biggest obstacle to the growth of their business?
When to communicate with your members
Periodical newsletters (weekly / monthly / fortnightly) will help retain your spot as top of mind wholesaler within your industry. Ensure that your newsletter content is interesting and informative. If you are offering any special products or prices before festive seasons like Christmas, you must include notices about these at least a month in advance.
How do you measure success?
Conduct quarterly surveys of your existing customer database to judge their level of satisfaction on various B2B and B2C service parameters. Incentivize survey completion with an entry to a lucky draw that can win entrants a lucrative prize.
Build Build Build, Measure new as well as lapsed retail partners on a monthly basis and compare numbers and turnover with like periods across the past few years. The more people that sign up for your drop ship service, the more business youíll be doing!