General Overview

   Service Overview

   Custom Data Feeds

   Marketplaces

   Webstores

   3rd Party Software

   Migrations

   Product Catalog Data


 Catalog Conversion

   Dropship Conversions

   Supplier Integration

   E-Catalog Output 

   Custom Catalogs

   Software Solutions

   EDI for Online Retail

   Catalog Transformer

   Marketplace Enablement

   Professional Services

   Retail Data Consultancy


 


Strategies on leveraging large scale Product Data stored within Wholesale and Dropship Catalogs for online and multi-channel retailing.

A common practice for many retailers is to leverage products and ranges listed in Drop Shipping catalogues (Virtual Stock). In theory it sounds like a fantastic idea, so many products with the opportunity to make sales and no physical storage…but there are considerations.

A well thought out strategy is pivotal in leveraging Drop Shipping and Catalogue Data. Considerations would include but are limited to:-

Data Quality for Product Catalogs 

No Data Source is Created Equally. Some Drop Shipping Catalogues are better than others. If relevant pieces of information are missing like EAN/ UPC codes or Hosted Images, this could cause major headaches when trying to list on Marketplaces as New Product Creation and Product Lookup will be severely hampered.

Product Scarcity

Product Scarcity may play a key role in generating more sales. An ideal scenario is in finding a source of products that have little or no direct competition online for items that buyers want or need. This requires a lot of homework on the part of the Seller but can pay big dividends one found and leveraged.

Margin Maximisation (Inventory Re-Pricing)

Under-priced goods can yield good margins. However if you are listing low margin products in mass than margins must be protected. Margins can be best protected by applying a factored in ‘Margin’ to re-price the drop ship price (the actual price that the Seller pays the Drop Shipper for the item). When listing hundred, thousand or tens of thousands of products, applying automatic re-pricing enables Sellers to save vast amounts of time while not selling goods at rates lower than the price they pay.

Catalog Conversions to Product Listings (Custom Datafeeds)

The goal is to ‘Unlock’ the data source and make it valuable. This is the role of Data Transformation which converts from one data format to another. An example would be the conversion of an XML feed to CSV listing format.

The data conversion task must be done in a timely and accurate manner. A common scenario for companies who off shore work or doing it in-house is the time factor. By the time the data has been converted, many products may have been discontinued or are on a long back-order. Speed is essential as data rapidly changes with Drop Ship/ Virtual Stock Suppliers.

Managing Large Scale Product Listings (SKU's)

Once hundreds or thousands of SKU (Stock Keeping Units) have been converted and bulk listed across various Marketplaces, then the focus moves into ‘how best to manage large volumes of product listings’. This proves a major ‘Visibility’ issue for Drop Shipping and Virtual Stock as a number of factors come into play:

 RAPIDLY CHANGING INVENTORY LEVELS
 PRODUCTS BECOMING DISCONTINUED/ OUT OF STOCK OR ON BACK-ORDER
 PRICE CHANGES
 NEW PRODUCTS ADDED

Great care has to be taken for managing mass volume SKU’s across Multiple Marketplaces for true visibility. True visibility allows the Seller not to oversell by Ending Listings, Zeroing Stock, Revising Prices/Inventory Levels and Listing only new products.

Presentation of Product Listing (HTML Formatting)

Buyers don’t care how much time and hard work went into collecting, extracting and converting data for listing. They are only concerned about factors such as the ‘Presentation of the Product Ad’, Price, Delivery Time and Cost, Returns, Money Back Guarantees and Past Buyers Ratings.In essence this is a Confidence game, the more confident Buyers feel about your product offering (presentation, branding, title, description, image, etc.) the greater they possibility you will make sales.

Marketplace Algorithms

Each marketplace uses their own custom Algorithm to rank and sort product listings depending on a number of internal ‘weighted’ factors such as price, sellers performance, postage costs, days listed (freshness), click through impressions, titles, key words, etc.
Getting a better understanding of the basic metrics that affects each marketplace’s Algorithm will give Sellers a better insight into hopefully not creating ‘Stale Listings’. This is an important factor if the seller is listing a huge volume of SKU’s.

Different Product, Different Marketplace?

Depending on what products you selling, certain marketplaces will yield better results than others as they attract more buyers for that product type. Only you will know when sales data is analysed what proportions of your sales are coming from each Marketplace.

Supplier Reviews

Sales data needs to be collected, KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) set and reviewed. This provides an insight into delivery times, key items out of stock, refunds, margins, profitable products/ranges, poor preforming products, customer reviews, etc.). Based on the KPI’s set for Drop shippers, retailers can decide who to add further investment with and who to stop using.

 

BENEFIT FROM A STRATEGIC APPROACH TO MANAGE DROPSHIP DATA ACROSS CHANNELS