Amongst the many innovations of the current retail revolution is what is called “drop shipping” and it has many attractions.
Drop Shipping is when a retailer (market trader) employs a third party to create and ship the product direct to the customer’s house. The big attraction is that the retailer doesn’t have to purchase and hold the stock. They provide what they have always provided, a customer-centric process that allows the customer to choose, and pay for their purchase in the easiest possible way. The warehousing, packaging and delivering is done by someone set up to perform those processes efficiently. The end result is an efficient process and a happy customer.
Now, I can hear you saying “I currently control all those processes. Can I trust someone else to do them for me, and what if they run out of stock?” Modern technology allows efficient stock control and whole processes are being built around automated data and the flow of goods. Yes, there may be hiccups, and that is where your training in customer service and problem solving come to the fore.
You can probably start experimenting with some of your suppliers right now. Arrange to put some of their key lines on your website and then simply act as the go-between as customers order. Your suppliers will usually be really good at warehousing and delivering goods. They probably already have order pickups every day from their warehouse. You may need to negotiate a handling fee but the convenience and not having to carry stock will almost certainly be worth it.