EDI for Shopify sellers working with drop shippers

  April 16, 2019       By Galia Ben Harouch
EDI for Shopify sellers working with drop shippers

Let's face it - most Shopify sellers are drawn to Shopify, to begin with, because of Dropshipping. Drop shipping has become the "Big Thing" in e-commerce and for a good reason. How easy is it to sell, and not have to keep stock, process orders, wrap, ship, track and so on? 
But DropShipping has its dangers and limitations, and if you want to grow a community of customers by selling quality products and having great service, you have to be able to control and manage your drop shippers. That's where EDI comes if as a custom-made solution for your needs. 

Once upon a time, when drop-shipping just started, if you wanted to sell products by using a drop-shipper, you had to contact that seller, ask him if he would agree to be your drop shipper, make an agreement, and then start selling his products. 
Now things are changed, and it looks like every seller on Ali is a drop shipper by default, and no one askes permission anymore. 

Shopify sellers took the whole process of drop shipping to a new level. 
With systems like Oberlo, all you have to do is pick the product you want to sell, upload them to your store, and the rest is done for you. 

Sounds like a dream, but this method has its weaknesses. If all you aspire to is selling products from China in small margins, then it might be enough. But if you strive a little higher, if you're looking for bigger margins, higher quality and solid business relationships with your suppliers, than ready-made systems just won't do. 

Once you start selling products from suppliers you have an actual contact with, once you start looking for better and unique products for your store, and definitely, once you start manufacturing your own products, you need to look beyond the ready-made solutions and find something that is tailor-made for you.

The first thing you must understand is that the ready-made programs you started with are a type of EDI that was designed to fit the needs of the majority of Shopify sellers. The majority wants fast, easy and nonpersonal. What you're looking for is the kind of EDI that makes everything fast and easy, but also very very personal. 

It's personal because it's designed especially for your system, because it connects specifically with your suppliers, and produces information for your customers. Most of all, it's personal because it's custom made for your needs and your business. 

EDI automates your selling - shipping - tracking process and channels all your Shopify  activity to one place. Processes that used to be done manually, like transferring each order to the right drop-shipper, will be automated with EDI, as well as receiving the tracking number from the drop-shipper and updating it in the buyers' account. 

SKU Mapping can also be done automatically with EDI, by creating integration between your system and your drop-shipper system and keeping both updated about inventory in real time. 

The hardest part about working with multiple drop-shippers is keeping track of your expenses throughout the month. EDI can integrate your accounting program to receive invoices from your suppliers and update them on the spot. This will not only make it easier to keep track of your expenses but will also supply you with information as to the volume of orders you send to each supplier and the popularity of certain products. That kind of information can also be useful in negotiation. 

Since EDI is all about integration between systems, it can also help you share information with your suppliers, and even coordinate a combined action with a third party like a Logistics provider, a shipping provider and so on. 

Finally, EDI can also help you monitor your suppliers' reaction and action taking, and send you alerts when, for example, the supplier has not shipped an order on time. Instead of dealing with an angry customer who hasn't received his order as expected, you can prevent it in advance and make sure the supplier sends it on time. 

Your Shopify store can be so much more than a collection of overseas products, but you need EDI to make it work.