When starting your first e-commerce business, there are many steps to get to the launch day - researching your target audience, setting up a user-friendly storefront, and creating a marketing strategy to make sure your products are seen.
But what about actually developing your product? Finding your perfect manufacturer or supplier can be a huge hurdle when starting off. Choosing the wrong one can lead to having issues in product quality, price gouging, or shipping delays that may affect inventory levels.
Read on for Mayanalytics’ tips to identifying the right product supplier for your business.
One of the first questions you will want to ask yourself when looking for a manufacturer is whether or not you want to source domestically or from overseas. It is often cheaper to source products overseas, but a local manufacturer can have a faster production time to restock your best sellers for your customers. It’s also a good idea to secure two manufacturers: one domestic and one overseas to ensure all bases are covered while running your business.
It’s important to understand all of your options when beginning a partnership with a supplier or manufacturer. You don’t want to rush into a long-term contract before you get to know the team, the product, and the processes. Be comfortable in your decision to “date around” and test drive multiple manufacturers before looking at a long-term solution.
Similarly to playing the field, you will want to identify the most important qualities you’re looking for from a manufacturer. Do you care mostly about pricing? Product quality? Are you flexible when discussing turnaround time? Or customer service? Compare these attributes as you work with multiple manufacturers to see who best fits into your plan.
There are a lot of manufacturers out there. So many, that it will be nearly impossible for you to accurately compare them all. Each will have something unique to offer you and your business, so consider reaching out to small business forums and social media channels to seek advice from others in your field. Learn from others' experiences now, and one day you will be able to return the favor.
If you prefer to have an in-person experience to network with other experts and suppliers, consider attending a conference or two. Mayanalytics just attended the Prosper Show in Las Vegas, an educational and networking conference for Amazon sellers. There are also plenty of other conferences where you can meet suppliers and see the products for yourself.
Finding a manufacturer who can consistently provide you with quality products at a reasonable cost, you will have a lot of success in growing your business. If you eventually want to take things to the next level, you should also look for a partner who can provide added strategic value and invest in your success.
Have you secured your product manufacturer and feel ready to move forward with your Amazon storefront? Contact the Mayanalytics team today and chat with an expert.