Nutraceutical Knowledge

Difference Between Supplement Dropshipping & Fulfillment

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If you are wondering what the Difference between supplement dropshipping and fulfillment are then this is the blog for you. Order fulfillment is the handling of an order from start to finished while drop shipping is handling of part of the order process. Drop shipping can be part of order fulfillment or not. Here's a closer look at how this works. 

What is Order Fulfillment?

Order fulfillment is the entire process that occurs from the time a customer places an order until they receive it. It is the whole process from receiving notification of an e-commerce purchase to printing the mailing label, and pulling and packaging the products and then shipping the parcel.  Drop shipping can enter the picture during the last portion of the order fulfillment process - the pulling, packaging, and shipping of the product to the customer. 

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In short, order fulfillment is the entire order processing process and it may or may not include drop shipping. The reason for the "may or may not" bit is that there are many ways to finish off the pulling, packaging, and mailing portion of fulfillment. Drop shipping is just one of those options. 

What is Drop Shipping?

We mentioned that there are a few options available to supplement brands. If you have inventory in-house, then you do the pulling, packaging, and shipping yourself. Many supplement companies do just that but out source other products through private label manufacturers. Others might use a fulfillment service which can offer many benefits to the supplement seller. One key is that with drop shipping, you are working with the manufacturer of the supplement. 

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One of the drawbacks to handling the entire fulfillment process yourself is that you have to have the inventory on hand. That means you have had to purchase it and store it. With drop shipping, that is not the case. In fact, you don't usually own the inventory that you are selling. That is an important point for many small and medium-sized supplement brands. Here's why.

One of the strengths of supplement brands is the uniqueness and blends of specialized products but many consumers want and need standardized products, such as collagen or turmeric. With drop shipping and the right manufacturer, you are not spending money on the product until it ships. That means you can invest more of your funds into the unique products that help to differentiate your brand while still being able to offer standard products that consumers want and need. 

It sounds like dropshipping is a win-win and it certainly can be profitable in 2018. However, a lot depends on the supplement manufacturer with whom you choose to partner. For supplement brands that means you need to consider:

  • Cost - Cost's vary by service and usually by how much you purchase or the volume that you utilize over a period of time. This is an important consideration and one that should be examined before choosing a drop shipping partner. As a brand owner that adds products through the affordable means of private label, you want to choose a drop shipping partner and plan that allows your company to grow and that does not restrict your business growth by volumes or quotas.  A fulfillment partner works with your company and adjusts as you grow your business. 
  • Minimum volumes - If you are small, you never want to be stuck paying a penalty because you are not selling enough product or utilizing a drop shipment service enough. Pay close attention to minimum volumes and what the consequences are if you do not hit those numbers. 
  • Willingness to work with your label and marketing - the entire marketing strategy of your company hinges on branding and a good drop shipment partner not only understands this but also works with you to ensure that every product they ship for you meets or exceeds your brand's expectation. This can also include marketing and label design, product information, and other marketing material.
  • The professionalism of your drop shipping partner - This is about taking care of your needs as a client. Do they have systems in place that improve your customer's experience, that prevent delays in shipping? Do they have sufficient quantities of product available to drop ship for your brand? The last thing you need is to market products and sell them when they cannot ship them quickly and efficiently. 
  • Efficiency in processing orders - Their processing process must meet your brand's standards. 

So, drop shipping can be a huge boon to supplement brands it can also be cumbersome. Like everything in business strategy rules. 

Difference Between Fulfillment & Dropshipping Supplements - Which is Best for your Brand?

It is difficult to supply a blanket answer to that question. So much about supplement involves their uniqueness. With the right partner, drop shipping is a boon because it allows you to spend only what you need on products that you sell rather than spending on bulk inventory.  However, if the process of shipping does not go well, it can cost you market share. So is drop shipping right for your business?

How StockNutra Fulfills their Orders

StockNutra's fulfillment services run through our newest company Future Pack Fulfillment.  Future Pack is a leader in logistics with a reputation for helping brands both large and small dominate new markets, unstick their supply chains and move items with extraordinary speeds. Above anything else, we first and foremost solve anything and everything when it comes to logistics and packaging!

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Sources:

  1. https://www.ecomdash.com/dropshipping-vs-order-fulfillment-say/
  2. https://www.ecommerce-nation.co/what-are-the-differences-between-e-commerce-fulfillment-and-drop-shipping/
  3. http://blog.idsfulfillment.com/drop-shipping-vs.-order-fulfillment-whats-the-difference