One of the biggest challenges that businesses face when they dive into the world of e-commerce is how to build a network of reliable, trustworthy suppliers. If you take the time to properly research suppliers, you’ll increase your chances of a successful outcome. Here are our tips to help you:
The relationship between a supplier and a retailer is crucial for the long-term success of your store!
I- Avoid blindly opting for the first supplier that happens along
Above all, it’s very important to properly prepare your supplier meetings. Don’t jump into the first deal that comes along. Take the time to consider all the possibilities.
a. Don’t be shy about negotiating prices
Exercise your negotiating skills in order to lower the prices of your products. This will help sales and show that you have a thorough understanding of your market. Strong negotiating takes practice, so don’t get discouraged – you’ll soon be haggling like a pro!
b. Check out the competition
If you already have suppliers in place, you can also contact their competitors to find out whether your suppliers’ prices are competitive and if not, to try to get them lower. If you discover that their competitors’ prices are better, there’s nothing stopping you from renegotiating or switching to another supplier.
II- Use several suppliers
There are several advantages to using a few different suppliers. Not only will it help you avoid stock shortages, you can also compare the purchase price of your products and generally limit supply risks. If one of your suppliers leaves you high and dry, you’ll always have another solution.
Having said that, increasing the number of suppliers will also mean a concurrent increase in your logistic costs.
III- Increase awareness
You’ll have a better chance of finding good suppliers if people know about you! So work on increasing online awareness of your company and products through social networks, blogs or Internet advertising.
Another idea to help increase awareness is to attend different trade fairs. In this environment you’ll be able to meet suppliers in person, making the initial contact and negotiations easier. Don’t forget to bring lots of business cards!
Stay up-to-date on new suppliers, but once you’ve found your perfect match, don’t let them go! Work hard to maintain a good, trusting relationship with your valued suppliers.