Improving e-commerce platform use for business-to-business (B2B) shippers is an integral step to meet growing demand in the world of e-commerce. E-commerce is expanding at an annual growth rate of approximately 19 percent, but actual growth rates could easily exceed this margin. Unfortunately, this will lead to tightening capacity and additional problems for small and midsized businesses (SMBs). Shippers that fall into this category need to understand the available B2B e-commerce platforms and how they can be leveraged for dropshipping to meet the challenges of e-commerce.
The Challenges With Traditional Shipping Practices in E-Commerce
Traditional shipping practices, such as using less than truckload for larger shipments and parcels for individual items, are ineffective for meeting e-commerce demand. E-commerce also has a global component. Online shopping means customers can order products from anywhere around the globe, so shippers need to be able to tap into the logistics costs and resources to move product on a global scale. As a result, shippers struggled to obtain carrier rates for all modes of transportation, but focusing on less than truckload and parcel can have significant advantages. Unfortunately, the number of B2B e-commerce platforms that exist for dropshipping can easily number into the hundreds, making deciding on a platform an additional hurdle for shippers.
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B2B E-Commerce Platforms Enable Dropshipping and Speed Delivery
Dropshipping is an excellent tool for increasing Speed of delivery and reducing logistics costs for SMBs. Shippers effectively outsource the inventory management and logistics scheduling processes to third parties, such as WooCommerce and Shopify. Even well-known platforms, like Amazon’s third-party marketplace, allow companies to take advantage of the benefits of dropshipping. However, leveraging the power of dropshipping means knowing which platforms are best suited for an organization. We collected some of the top platforms that can be used for better dropshipping in the world of e-commerce. As explained by FireBearStudio.com, some of the top platforms to consider include:
- Dropship Design
- Dropship Direct
- Magento 2
Now, direct your attention to the aforementioned platforms in bold text. These platforms are integrated within the Cerasis e-commerce solution set. In other words, these platforms are integrated within the Cerasis TMS, the Cerasis Rater, for easy use in developing a dropshipping solution and getting immediate access to LTL pricing for e-commerce shipments. As a result, the best practices for B2B e-commerce platform selection boiled down to one issue; shippers should select a solution that can integrate with their existing systems and offer immediate visibility into logistics costs.
The Benefits of B2B E-Commerce Platforms for Dropshipping
Dropshipping is well renowned for giving shippers the ability to expand operations and meet the demands of e-commerce. As explained by Nate Gilmore of Multichannel Merchant, the primary benefits of Dropshipping in e-commerce include:
- Better cash flow. Since shippers do not have to worry about logistics costs and carrying costs, they can focus on selling more product. As a result, cash flow improves, which can be used to increase production volume, reach more customers and more.
- Increased lifetime value of customers. Lifetime value of customers also increases when using an e-commerce platform for dropshipping. This is the result of your per-customer charges associated with gaining and retaining a customer. Essentially, per customer charges decrease, increasing the lifetime value of customers.
- Lower investment costs. As with outsourcing services to a 3PL or other third party, selecting an e-commerce platform for dropshipping has lower investment costs than developing an in-house e-commerce logistics program. Creating an in-house program would involve countless software development costs, training costs, and more. Outsourcing the process is essentially a one-stop solution, and training requirements are often minimal.
- Better scalability. Dropship it also allows for immediate scalability of operations. This includes inventory, use of logistics and more. During peak volume seasons, like the holidays, scalability can make or break a business, so e-commerce platforms are a quintessential step in meeting sudden changes in demand.
- Expandability into new markets. As the growth of e-commerce continues, shippers must also expand into new and emerging markets. Dropshipping services allow shippers to reach these markets by leveraging existing modes of transportation and shipping lanes, as well as available ocean lanes, to move product into this market at a lower cost.
- Lower costs associated with supply chain management. Overall, supply chain management costs derived from the use of a dropshipping platform as well. Since shippers can focus on sales and production, fewer resources can be devoted to supply chain management. As a result, efficiency increases, lowering costs across the board.
The Big Picture
The use of the B2B e-commerce dropshipping platform is one of the best ways shippers can tap into the value of online shopping. Shippers that take the time to understand the challenges with traditional shipping practices in e-commerce, how dropshipping enable Speed of delivery and the additional benefits of a dropshipping platform can position their organizations to survive the onslaught of Amazon and the Big Box retailers that have spent millions in the pursuit of e-commerce perfection.