The dropshipping model presents opportunities for traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers to expand sales quickly and effectively. Tejas Dave explores its potential within pharmacy retail.
Dropshipping is a retail fulfilment method where a retailer or seller, whether online, offline or both, holds no stock. When a customer buys a product, the seller immediately buys the item from a supplier, who dispatches it directly to the customer. This improves working capital management by reducing long-term investment in holding stock.
Sellers and suppliers both benefit from additional sales, and suppliers gain options to clear dead stock and increase the popularity of their products by accessing new groups and markets, without needing to maintain their own eCommerce presence.
Pharmacy retailers can take advantage of these opportunities by supplying in-store customers and patients with items that are infrequently requested or are too large to keep in stock. These businesses can use the social credibility and trust they have built up in their community to diversify, while opening up new income streams with an eCommerce website and on marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon, using stock from trusted suppliers.
Dropshipping is popular with retailers who want to increase their business without upfront investment or warehouse storage and the associated costs. However, traditional setups and processes have historically presented problems for both parties, including finding reliable partners and taking payments. Furthermore, human errors and unacceptable delays frequently led to customer dissatisfaction. These issues generally arose when suppliers used different or proprietary systems, requiring sellers to use multiple systems when working with multiple suppliers.
In 2020, however, businesses can use automated platforms to manage dropshipping, and work with multiple suppliers through one standardised system. Most platforms work with suppliers from China, which has deterred some retailers – particularly in sectors such as pharmacy, where ensuring timely delivery and the quality of the product is essential for the customer’s health. Faster ePacket shipping has reduced delivery times, but there are no guarantees that products from overseas meet
Pharmacies that want to expand their business by dropshipping without concerns over quality and compliant labelling simply need to choose their platform carefully. By opting for a platform that connects with verified UK suppliers, offers multichannel dropshipping and automates all the fulfilment processes, pharmacies can easily increase their income, maintain quality and avoid lengthy delivery times – a clear win-win solution for all parties.