After launching an enterprise drop-ship or marketplace program, many retailers miss out on opportunities to maximise ROI because they don’t continuously add new suppliers (brands) and product assortments. While it’s true it does take an investment of time and effort to successfully launch an enterprise-level, high-quality program and maintain customer experience, the best way to maximise ROI is by streamlining supplier onboarding.

To avoid long onboarding times and quality errors, which inevitably impact customer experience, supply chains, and the bottom line, retailers need to build a proactive, repeatable supplier onboarding process. A process that includes the right activities, milestones, and responsibilities as part of the program’s DNA makes it easy to keep things accountable and to measure performance. Simply put, retailers who can implement a more streamlined and consistent supplier onboarding program see the most success.

Here are six specific techniques we recommend retailers follow to onboard suppliers quickly and efficiently:

  1. Strategise for success. Set realistic drop-ship and marketplace supplier onboarding goals and monitor them closely for variances so you can take corrective action quickly.
  2. Tap into what’s already working. Study and reuse the process steps and documentation that have already been created and implemented for wholesale supplier onboarding. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel for marketplace or drop ship.
  3. Build a winning team. Dedicate a cross-functional team (typically led by program management, not merchants) that owns the steps and is accountable for success.
  4. Plan for the future. Work internally with key stakeholders to keep a “future wish list” of brands that ecommerce merchants would like to see onboarded.
  5. Rely on partners. Communicate with your ecommerce partner, like our team of ecommerce experts at Rithum, so we can better plan resources to help meet your goals and timing.
  6. Create a trusted network. Collaborate with current suppliers to add new assortments. It is much easier to add SKUs from quality, connected suppliers than it is to bring on new partners.

Bottom line: Supplier onboarding needs consistency and cross-functional dedication to achieve optimal results. Much like exercising regularly, if you don’t put in the time and effort, you won’t see results.

At Rithum, we are helping the world’s leading retailers build thriving drop-ship and marketplace programs driven by an optimised supplier onboarding process. We can help you put a proactive supplier onboarding process in place or help you refine your existing processes to maximise your results. Contact us to learn more.