Remote warehousing is the next step in the retail fulfillment method of drop shipping. They are pretty similar, but remote warehousing has a lot of benefits that can help you run your business more efficiently, safely, and reliably.
This article is not about the drop shipping model, but if you already know about it, the text will remind you of it as you read on. We’ll explain what remote warehousing is and show you some of the benefits to think about if you want to set up an online store or improve your business model.
Please keep in mind that we are not lawyers, so we can’t tell you how to legally set up a business in your state. We strongly suggest that you talk to a lawyer or accountant in your area.
- What is “warehousing” at a distance?
- What are the advantages of warehouses that are far away?
- How do you get into remote warehouse work?
- How can you make your Shopify store do better?
What is “warehousing” at a distance?
Remote warehousing is a unique way to get products to stores. Most likely, you won’t find any suppliers who say, “We offer remote warehousing.” But if they stop shipping, they will probably be able to help you set up the remote warehousing model.
If you want your business to be more successful, you need to think outside the box and find out more about new opportunities.
If you run a remote warehousing business, you can start your Shopify store with a small amount of money. You won’t have to store real inventory because you will have a virtual and remote version of it. It makes the business more “owner-friendly” because paying for the products ahead of time would require cash up front. How do you get the products from your suppliers into your store? They just need to give you a file called a “product data feed” that has all the information you need about the items they stock.
With this model, you work with local suppliers instead of ones from other countries. This is highly recommended, but it doesn’t have to be done this way. But shipping is faster when you work with local companies, and the way you work together is usually better. You can’t buy things on sites like eBay, AliExpress, and Amazon. When you work with real local suppliers, you can get high-quality goods for your store. Also, you can try out the items, the warranty service is reliable, and shipping isn’t hard to manage. You can easily meet the supplier and talk to them because you are in the same area. You can avoid talking with someone far away, which could make it hard to understand each other. The local supplier won’t just disappear, and you may be able to work with them for a long time.
Money goes from the customer to the online store to the supplier. As for the orders that people will make on your site, you will make a list of the important information and then give it to the supplier.
One of the most unique things about this method is that the supplier sends the packages to you (the retailer), and you send them to the customers. It has a lot of benefits, which we will talk about in more depth below.
You don’t have to worry, though, about where to put those things. Since you won’t get a lot of orders at first, your garage, kitchen, or living room will have enough space to hold the items your customers have ordered. If your store takes off like a rocket, you can buy a real warehouse to go with your fulfillment center.
If you want to, you can think of remote warehousing as the same thing as drop shipping. The only difference is that the packages will come to you first from the supplier instead of directly to the customers.
What are the advantages of warehouses that are far away?
Now that you know what this retail fulfillment model is, it’s time to talk about the good things about it that will help you make your next choices.
- Small capital investment: If you want to use the remote warehouse model to run your business, you only need a small amount of capital.
- Virtual products: You don’t have to keep any products in stock because they are all virtual.
- Products come at the same time: When a customer orders more products from you and these products come from different suppliers, the customer won’t get the items in different packages on different days. When the packages get to your place, you can put them all together and send one package to the customer.
- Unique products: If you choose to sell products from real suppliers instead of items from marketplaces like AliExpress, you won’t be one in a million. You can sell products that are unique and not the same ones that everyone else is selling, which might be of lower quality. If you work with different suppliers and buy unique products from them, you can play a bigger role in e-commerce.
- Unique packaging: You can wrap the items in a way that is unique to you. You can put your own name on the package.
No problems with dependability: There won’t be any dependability problems. You talk to the supplier, and you and the supplier will work together for a long time. You can talk to them about anything at any time and solve problems before they get out of hand.
- Quality products: You can keep your Shopify store from selling bad products. Say yes to high-quality ones from real suppliers who run their own businesses and have their own websites or systems, for example.
- Gifts and greeting cards: You can put small gifts with the items you order. You can also put brochures or a nice greeting card in the box. These are good tools for marketing or public relations (PR).
- Quick delivery: If you work with local suppliers, your orders will arrive within a couple of business days. You don’t have to be worried about being a third party (supplier-retailer-customer).
- Low delivery cost: There are no long distances in the shipping process, so the delivery cost is low. You can use headlines that say “free delivery.” Your prices can include shipping if you’re a retailer and add the cost of shipping to your price margin. You have to pay it, so it will cut into your income.
- Low prices: In your store, you can have lower prices. When you resell products from retail marketplaces like AliExpress, you set the price margin so that you can make money. So the price will be higher than it is in the market, and no one will want to buy the items because they can get them cheaper elsewhere. The most important thing to know is that the person selling the items on a marketplace probably did not make them in the first place. They are also re-sellers, just like you will be, which means that there will be more profit margins on the products and the price will be higher. But if you buy from real local suppliers, you will be the only one who can decide how much to mark up the prices. You can also get deals on the goods from real local suppliers. Prices depend on the type of product and the supplier.
- Test the products: If you want, you can ask the supplier for sample products to test. It’s likely that you’ll have to pay for it, but it’s worth it. It’s better than selling things whose quality you don’t know and then letting your customers down or not meeting their expectations.
- No packages are lost: Most of the time, the goods that customers order won’t have to travel as far as goods that come from markets or from far away. They won’t just be part of the huge piles of goods on long flights or trips on ships. You can feel safer if you can use a courier service. Even if there is a problem with one of the packages, you can always track it and fix it yourself or with the local supplier you work with.
- No language problems: If you work with a local supplier, there won’t be any problems with the language. You can talk to each other without much trouble. Also, don’t forget that if you work with people from marketplaces, you might have trouble talking to them because their English isn’t very good.
- No problems with customs duties or VAT: If your customers order goods from reliable local suppliers, they don’t have to worry about customs duties or VAT. You can also work with courier services if you work with real wholesalers. Please note that everything depends on the country, and the above statement is only true if you work with suppliers from the same state.
- No issues with the warranty: There are no problems with how warranty issues are dealt with. There’s a place to return the items if you need to, and you can get your money back. The service is quick, and the provider is trustworthy.
- Banks work together: The remote warehouse method is safe for everyone in the supply chain. There’s nothing to worry about, and banks will help because they know the local supplier won’t just vanish. Also, both your service and the supplier’s service must be backed by a real, registered company, or the banks will close your account.
- Quality is known: As soon as the products arrive at your place, you can check their quality, see if they are broken, and see if they are exactly what the customer ordered.
How do you get into remote warehouse work?
You just need to ask your trusted local supplier if they can work with you using this remote warehousing retail fulfillment model. Tell them everything you can about this way to do business online. Ask if it’s okay for them to send each product to your place. Tell them it would be a mix of the standard drop shipping model and the standard commerce model. You also need to call a courier service to help you get the packages to the customers from where you are.
How can you make your Shopify store do better?
In order to run a successful e-commerce business, you need to keep track of your products in the best way possible. You don’t have to worry about wrong product inventory information in your online store because the information can always be up-to-date. One of the most important things is that the management process doesn’t have to be done by hand. Time and money can be saved. You don’t have to work on it all day and night or hire more people to do it for you. All of these things can be done automatically for you by an app like dropship-empire for Shopify.