A shopping cart solution built for a dropshipping company has to be able to take into account inventory that is stored in distant warehouses. For inventory management, most shopping carts don’t work well for drop shipping. Many shopping cart platforms assume that you store and own the inventory yourself (whether it’s in your garage or warehouse).
DropShipping Shopping Cart – Necessary Features
A good drop shipping shopping cart has to take into consideration the various vendor SKUs (product identifiers) that probably won’t match up. Therefore you’ll have 1 product with multiple SKUs, and your shopping cart solution needs to be smart enough to deal with that. For example, let’s say you carry a particular product that can be sourced through multiple drop ship suppliers. Each supplier will typically have its own SKU as well as a different quantity. Let’s say you sell a pair of Nike shoes from 3 different dropship suppliers:
- Supplier 1 has 20 pairs in stock and identifies the product with the SKU “z4422”
- Supplier 2 has 5 pairs in stock and identifies the product with the SKU “a8765”
- Supplier C is out of stock and identifies the product with the SKU “Nike75”
You have to always keep your website up-to-date to make sure customers don’t order an item that is out of stock, which would result in a backorders. This is a problem because shopping cart platforms only allow a product to have a single SKU. When an order comes in, you need to determine which supplier has the item in stock (and which has the lowest price, as prices can change daily from your dropshipper). Once you start adding more products and getting orders, this manual juggling of orders can be a real drag on your time.
Volusion Shopping Cart
Volusion shopping cart has features that make it optimal for my inventory and store management. The “pros” of Volusion are numerous, as it’s super easy to use and optimize. It also sends out newsletters and has built-in analytics.. However it gets expensive if you start getting a ton of traffic since they charge for bandwidth. As far as using Volusion for dropshopping, you can connect directly to your suppliers. This takes a little tech-work on their end, so make sure your supplier has Volusion integration setup.
For all its benefits, Volusion is proprietary software that’s built on a dated platform. Some other options include:
- Shopify and Magento. Many feel that Volusion has been eclipsed by either Shopify or Magento, which is open-source (Magento Community). Shopify.com isn’t specifically designed for dropshipping but it has a vibrant marketplace of extensions that can turn it into a great dropshipping cart. Magento Community is open source, has a great public support forum, and many plugins. But it’s not as turnkey as Volusion so you may need to hire a developer.
- Prestashop is another option. It’s the shopping cart on the RipCurl website.
- If you’re truly looking for a robust way to manage inventory through multiple drop ship vendors that automatically manages inventory and processes orders, then check out the drop ship management platform https://hublogix.com.
- Don’t bother with Miva merchant, as it’s terrible old and proprietary, and it shows its age.
Consider Adding a Phone Number for Taking Orders
Most people just place the orders online, but you’ll still get about 1 call for every 20 or so orders that get placed. Many of these are older customers who don’t trust technology. But the fact remains that you will get more orders when you put a 1-800 number on the top of your site, even if it’s only to answer your customers’ questions as it helps to build trust. A phone number really helps if older people are your target demographic.