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Blog

How your dropship platform impacts eCommerce revenue and profitability

Luke Heffernan - 17 janvier 2024
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Dropshipping is an eCommerce fulfillment strategy designed to alleviate supply chain constraints by having brands ship directly to the end customer on behalf of the retailer. Dropship strategies aren’t new in the world of retail: they have long been used to complement first-party inventory, expand assortment and boost sales in a cost-effective manner.

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Retailers love dropship, because it offers the opportunity to drive additional revenue without having to store and manage inventory themselves, while maintaining control over the end-to-end customer experience. The net result is increased agility, plus better profit margins

In particular, retailers use dropship for:

  • Reducing the cost of managing core products that are not easy to store and ship, like bulky furniture or items that require special handling

  • Offering more selection from existing first-party suppliers, with less overhead cost

  • Attracting strategic suppliers, like some manufacturers, that do not support direct-to-consumer transactions

  • Controlling pricing strategy and making pricing decisions that ensure maximum profitability 

A great dropship solution is essential to unlock all of these benefits –  but not all platforms are created equal. Legacy dropship software can make it difficult for eCommerce businesses to make their goals a reality, causing them to miss out on benefits like expanded product assortments and increased scale. In this blog, we’ll look at how retailers are overcoming the stumbling blocks that can prevent them from achieving maximum dropship success. Plus, we’ll examine the critical dropship platform features that contribute to a true best-in-class dropship strategy. 

Checklist: Dropship Platform Features That Every Retailer Should Have

1. Streamlined supplier onboarding through automation

  • Multiple supplier invite methods to support various acquisition strategies

  • High-quality, pre-vetted supplier network to remove the operational burden of recruiting 

  • Customizable form fields for onboarding to eliminate time-consuming back and forths with suppliers

2. Fast integration of product catalogs to boost speed to market

  • Autonomous import of product catalogs and map to your format via manual import, bulk import, EDI, API, or FTP

  • Updates and modifications streamlined in one platform for continuous collaboration with suppliers

  • Automatic control of product data completeness and consistency 

3. Custom SLAs and communications for better, more effective supplier management 

  • Custom SLAs to track supplier performance with real-time data 

  • Automatic suspension of problematic suppliers based on SLA performance

  • Notifications triggered by key events, like aging orders or incidents, to take action

4. Greater inventory visibility, and a better order experience, with real-time data

  • Automated tracking and supplier alerts for low inventory levels 

  • Automatic deactivation of SKUs when suppliers refuse orders to prevent out-of-stocks

5. Enterprise-grade security and scalability

  • Zero latency, interruption or support issues

  • Industry-leading certifications 

Key Dropship Solution Features to Maximize Revenue and Profitability

1. More streamlined supplier onboarding through automation 

Ensuring that suppliers are onboarded quickly and efficiently can make the difference between a small-scale dropship program that adds some incremental revenue, and one that drives meaningful eCommerce growth. 

Onboarding a network of third-party suppliers is a resource-intensive process: retailers must have dedicated resources focused on managing the dropship platform and ensuring that suppliers are properly integrated. They’ll also need new tools to take care of the financial and logistical relationship between the retailer and the supplier. This is where automation becomes essential: without it, your supplier network can only grow with the addition of new team members, causing costs to multiply quickly. 

To make supplier onboarding painless, the Mirakl platform offers multiple supplier invite methods, and is integrated with Mirakl Connect to quickly and easily bring pre-vetted dropship vendors onto your site. Customizable form fields make data collection from suppliers effortless, eliminating costly back-and-forth and ensuring consistent quality. Using the Mirakl platform, top retailers have been able to onboard suppliers up to 21% faster than other solutions – saving teams valuable time and resources to dedicate to other priorities.

Top Mirakl Benefits | Supplier Onboarding: 

  • Multiple supplier invite (email, links) and integration (EDI, APIs, FTP) methods support various acquisition strategies, giving you flexibility to recruit from all angles

  • Mirakl Connect removes the operational burden of recruiting from your internal teams 

  • Mirakl’s onboarding form has customizable form fields which eliminate time-consuming back and forths with suppliers, so that data collection is effortless

“Mirakl was the obvious partner for us to onboard suppliers easily and quickly, and operate at scale.” – Marie Liedholm, Global Head of New Business, H&M Home

2. Faster integration of product catalogs to boost speed to market

Supplier onboarding is just the start. Product data is also key to customer experience: online buyers say that product information is the top feature they want from a website, and 20% of shoppers will fail to complete a purchase if product descriptions are incomplete. At the same time, integrating product catalogs from vendors is one of the biggest challenges for companies operating dropship platforms, with manual processes that can be time consuming and lead to inconsistencies that impact the bottom line. Here, automation isn’t just a nice-to-have – it’s essential. 

The Mirakl platform dramatically simplifies the processes for onboarding products, collecting product data from different sources (EDI, FTP, API) and integrating them into a single tool. When onboarding new catalogs through Mirakl’s platform, retailers can automatically manage product data completeness and consistency to meet their business specific requirements. Automated, AI-backed tools lead to better data quality control, with generative AI features that help fill in the gaps on missing product information and enrich product descriptions. 

Top Mirakl Benefits | Product Onboarding: 

  • Suppliers can autonomously import their product catalogs and map their format to yours via manual import, bulk import, eCommerce connectors, API, or FTP

  • Continuous collaboration with suppliers, streamlining updates and modification requests in one platform, allowing the retailer to maintain control of their catalog 

  • Detailed, accurate and consistent product information backed by AI creates a better customer experience, leading to a 54% increase in order value 

“Mirakl was the standout for us to get to market faster – they offer all of the dropship features with easy-to-extend APIs so that we avoid writing from scratch. Since it’s easy for suppliers to onboard in Mirakl, we drastically reduced manual effort on our end.” – Paula Mitchell, Digital General Manager, Freedom Furniture Australia

3. Better, more effective supplier management with custom SLAs and communication

The work doesn’t stop once you’ve onboarded your suppliers (and their catalogs). Effective supplier management is imperative for a successful dropship business, ensuring that you’re providing a consistent customer experience and protecting the quality of service associated with your brand.  

Mirakl’s platform makes it easy for retailers to maintain a high level of control around brand compliance, even as you add hundreds of suppliers. Within Mirakl’s dropship software, retailers establish custom SLAs, which are then used to track and manage supplier performance via real-time dashboards. Automation capabilities can suspend or reward suppliers based on their performance against SLAs, and custom thresholds detect & avoid issues before they even happen, helping to safeguard your reputation from problematic vendors. 

Top Mirakl Benefits | Supplier Management 

  • Transparent visibility into supplier performance makes sure retailers are able to effectively manage dropship suppliers 

  • Custom SLAs keep track of supplier performance with real-time data 

  • Key events, like aging orders or incidents, trigger notifications to ensure internal teams can take action when it’s needed 

“The data and statistics we are capturing through Mirakl has provided us the opportunity to innovate and create many automations. This has helped drive down our own SLA benchmarks and also improve our partners’ performance on a daily basis.” – Dvir Cohen, Co-Founder and CTO, Snappy Gifts

4. Greater inventory visibility, and a better order experience, with real-time data

Shoppers have high expectations for visibility into their purchases, from real-time inventory to updates on order delivery and detailed product information – and those expectations don’t change for dropship products. Beyond visibility, configuring order management and automating workflows is essential for retailers to control the order experience and delivery timing for their dropship inventory. 

The Mirakl Dropship Platform makes order management and inventory visibility easy. With automated rules, retailers can track low inventory levels and alert suppliers in real time to prevent out-of-stocks. When suppliers refuse orders, the platform can automatically deactivate SKUs to protect your customer experience and keep the number of incidents to a minimum.

Top Mirakl Benefits | Inventory Visibility & Order Management 

  • Alert suppliers in real time with automated rules and notifications for low inventory levels

  • Automatic SKU deactivation in case of supplier order cancellations ensures the fewest number of incidences possible 

5. Enterprise-grade security and scalability

For retailers investing in dropship strategies, a secure, scalable dropship solution is non-negotiable. Dropship software has to meet stringent requirements for security and uptime, and be prepared to handle peak periods without latency, interruptions or support issues. 

The Mirakl platform features industry-leading security, including SOC 2 Type 2, ISO 27001, and ISO 27018, in addition to maintaining 99.997% uptime. Even during peak periods such as Black Friday/Cyber Monday, the Mirakl platform flawlessly handles more than 2.5 billion API calls and 34 billion product updates.

Mirakl Top Benefits | Security & Scalability

  • Zero latency, interruption or support issues

  • 99.997% uptime

  • Trusted by 400+ leading brands globally, with 8 regions supported by 1,000+ servers

Build an Industry-Leading Dropship Strategy with Mirakl

The better the shopping experience, the more revenue growth you can gain from your dropship business. By committing to Mirakl’s feature-rich, AI-enabled dropship platform, online retailers can significantly increase their odds of success and begin realizing the long-promised benefits of a dropship strategy.

For a deeper dive on the features and functionality of the Mirakl Dropship Platform, reach out to Mirakl's team of dropship experts.

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Luke Heffernan,
Head of Dropship, Mirakl

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