Including Supplier Quantity When Updating Listings
Best Practices: Including Supplier Quantity When Updating Listings
As you’re selling online, nothing is worse than running out of inventory and having the listing pull down from your eCommerce sites. When you sell out, you run the risk of losing the buy box, falling down in search results, or worse, missing out on a potential sale. In this installment of our Best Practices series, we will discuss how you can recover lost revenue by including supplier quantity when updating product listings.
Most sellers only include what is in stock. Instead of providing the stock levels of JUST your warehouse, it is highly beneficial to also include your suppliers inventory as well. Not only does this make your business appear larger and more reputable, it also helps you capture all potential sales.
This is critical for retailers who leverage drop shipping. Drop shipping occurs when retailers do not actually have the item they are selling in their possession. They make arrangements with the wholesale supplier or the manufacture to directly ship the item when an order is placed by their end consumer. In this relationship, the retailer is only concentrating on marketing the product and generating sales.
To be a successful drop ship retailer, obtaining accurate inventory stock levels from your supplier is critical. Your supplier’s inventory levels can change by the hour. To prevent overselling, you need to know their current availability on a regular basis.
Including Supplier Quantity
Many web based inventory solutions offer ways to integrate the supplier quantity into your listings. The most basic way to include your supplier quantity in product listings though, is to simply add their quantity into your own when you update stock levels.
Let’s assume that you have 10 of a sweater in stock and have your Amazon listing configured to ship within 2 days. Let’s also assume that your supplier has 50 available for immediate purchase, but it takes you 4 days to receive the shipment once you place an order. To include the supplier quantity, you would need to tell Amazon that you have 60 available for immediate purchase.
For the first 10 you sell, you will source them straight out of your warehouse. For the remaining sales (up to 50), you can either order them into your warehouse to ship them locally, or have them drop ship them straight to your customers. The remaining 50, however, will take longer to reach your customer.
If you’re selling on Amazon, it is extremely important to keep this in mind when setting your advertised lead times. Several inventory management software solutions can automatically update the lead time for you. If you aren’t using one though, be sure to always update your lead time based on your actual shipping times. The worst thing you can do is advertise a fast shipping time and deliver late. Amazon will not hesitate to penalize sellers doing this.
If you aren’t ordering every single day, make sure to include those extra days in your lead time as well. That way when if someone orders on Monday, but you don’t create a purchase order until Wednesday, the shipment wont be late.
Although it isn’t necessary to include your supplier quantity when updating your product listings, it is definitely a good practice. It’s just one of many tools that successful eCommerce retailers use to their advantage to compete.