I wrote a coronavirus-themed message for today but then I saw my LinkedIn feed and decided, nope, enough Covid-19, sometimes it’s nice to just geek out on supply chain stuff.
So let’s talk about the cog in every drop ship operation’s wheel: inaccurate inventory data.
Inaccurate Inventory Data
Stale or inaccurate inventory data has a direct correlation with higher cancellation rates. Retailers end up selling products they don’t have, forcing suppliers to cancel orders, and leading to frustrated customers. Even a small uptick in cancellation rates can mean hundreds of thousands of upset drop ship customers, many of whom will simply go elsewhere (read: Amazon) to find what they need.
What You Can Do About It
Here are four tips for improving the quality of your inventory data:
- Auto-decrement your data and maintain inventory buffers
- Use real-time data exchange methods like API
- Use data platforms that don’t tax your suppliers for sharing more inventory data
- Encourage your suppliers to only provide updates when they know their data is accurate (as opposed to following arbitrary update schedules that often encourage dummy data uploads)
How Purer Data Will Help
Higher quality data will have a positive cascade effect on your drop ship program. Purer data will lead to less cancellations, happier customers, fewer customer service calls, and reductions in opportunity costs. Happier customers and lower costs will in turn encourage growth and hopefully more investment from your company in drop shipping.
As you can see, there’s a lot riding on accurate data when it comes to drop shipping!
PS: Just wanted to say thanks to everyone in the supply chain keeping stores and customers supplied with what they need right now. I wish you all as much success (and health!) as possible in the coming weeks.