The new wave digital age has changed the business landscape forever. The death of the high street is happening before our eyes. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, for the most enterprising of us, it is actually a massive boon. With physical shops vanishing we are seeing a rise in Ecommerce.
Ecommerce essentially is any shop that functions within the digital world. Much like Email is electronic mail, Ecommerce is electronic commerce. It isn’t new either. Even when the internet was still new we saw the rise of eBay and other online shops. And they forever changed the way we do business.
Dropshipping and Ecommerce
Modern Ecommerce services are a bit more advanced than they once were. Previously it was little more than a digital marketplace that served to simply allow auction bidding and put people in contact with each other. Now, people run fully-fledged businesses that have no physical storefront. Amazon is a good example of this, despite how you might feel about then.
But then came Dropshipping. You may have heard this word thrown around lately, particularly popular with entrepreneur Instagram pages and hustle blogs. Essentially Dropshipping is a way of operating a business where you never actually keep any physical stock on-site at all. Sounds confusing right?
It’s quite simple actually. Dropshipping companies act as a middleman. For example, if your shop is Dropshipping clothes a customer will place an order for a shirt. Then you place an order for that shirt direct with the manufacturer. The manufacturer ships the product directly to the customer. You simply took payment for being the middleman.
What is a Dropshipping Agent
So what is a Dropshipping agent? And why do you need one when you could easily just do all this yourself, right? Wrong. The reason everyone in the world isn’t starting their own Dropshipping company is that it isn’t that easy to find manufacturers who aren’t already doing business with someone else or are even willing to work with drop shippers.
This is where an agent comes in. Their job is to find you the products you will sell on your Ecommerce site. Just like a talent agent would find you, new actors or singers. These agents will get in touch with manufacturers and secure fantastic deals. They often have a lot of industry connections and know-how that makes them effective at their job.
They also handle all the actual shipping and order fulfillment aspects of the job. Leaving you with plenty of time to focus on marketing, networking, and building your brand up.
What Makes a Good Dropshipping Agent
So what makes a good Dropshipping agent. What things should you look out for when finding a good agent for your company. There are a few things you want to look for in a good agent.
Firstly you want to find an agent that has a varied and complete list of contacts and connections. A good agent will have a portfolio of all their contacts they can show you. Even if you don’t want to utilize those manufacturers, this will prove the agent is adept in their field and can make new and lasting connections with manufacturers. This in turn means new deals and products for you to sell.
Secondly, you want to look at their rate of successful deliveries against failed deliveries and lost deliveries. No company will ever have 100% successful deliveries. Not even Amazon can boast that. But a good agent will have a very high success rate against failed. We would say that 85% successful deliveries means they are top-tier. Anything below 70% is average. And below 60% is worrying and should most likely be avoided.
Third, you want to look at their support and communication systems. These agents will be responsible for the bulk of your business. So you need to be able to get in touch with them if there is a problem. Much like good tech support. So you want to see if they have dedicated helplines. And you want to make sure they respond to your emails in a timely and professional manner. This will ensure your business runs smoothly.
How to Find the Perfect Dropshipping Agent
So where can you actually find these agents? This part is actually fairly easy. When I started my Ecommerce business I read through a few sources such as sourcingbro’s list of the best dropshipping agents or entrpanuerdaily’s top agent list to find an agent that fitted my needs. Websites like this, often run by agents, are the best place to find a good agent as they will know which agent firms are best suited to your companies need.
You could also ask other businesses to point you in the direction of a good agent. This is also a great way to get networking and build your own connections in the business world.