I’ve spoken before about the benefits that teaming up with a supplier can have for your business, from helping you cover a much wider range of niches in your online store, to attracting your customers to spend more on every purchase.
However, finding a good supplier is easier said than done. It can take a lot of time and patience to find your perfect match, and collaborating with the wrong supplier can do more harm than good.
Thankfully, I’ve compiled all the information you need to track down the right supplier for your business, so keep reading as I explain what you need to know!
Signs of a legitimate supplier
We all know the dangers of online scams when signing up for a service or buying a product on the internet, and agreeing to partner up with a supplier can have all the same risks. If you sign a contract without doing all your background research you could end up on the wrong end of a bad deal, flooded with dodgy products, or worse. You, therefore, need to make sure that your potential supplier partner is legitimate, and there are several ways to go about this.
To guarantee that the business you’re considering working with is legitimate, you should do some background research on them. Tracking down past references, detailed company information, and credit reports are excellent ways to make sure that they are who they say they are. Also, asking for them to send you a small sample of what they produce is the easiest way to make sure you’re happy with the quality they offer.
Qualities of a good supplier
Once you’ve got a list of potential partners that you’ve background checked and are happy with, there are a few other things you should be on the lookout for before you agree to a partnership. Here is a list of qualities that you want in a supplier:
- Efficient and organised. This is arguably the most important quality because if they are organised and trustworthy. You will be able to rely on them to complete orders and deliveries on time and to a high standard. Try placing a small order with them to assess how quickly they dispatch it and how good-quality the packaging is to establish how reliable they are.
- High-quality manufacturing processes. A good supplier is one that invests in their technology and manufacturing processes to guarantee good quality items and efficient inventory management. Ask for specifications about the tools and equipment they use, as well as the way that they inventory and catalogue their products.
- Dedicated and professional staff. It’s no good having a good supplier if you can’t communicate with their staff. You should look for a partner that has expert staff that knows the industry and the product well, and a good support team which is helpful and easy to reach if there are any problems with your orders.
- Easy-to-place orders. This links heavily to the point above. It’s all well and good having a supplier that produces high quality items, but it means nothing if you can’t order them easily. Good suppliers should have a dedicated communications channel for new orders which is quick and easy to use, like through an app or over email.
- Well-established delivery systems. A good supplier should already have delivery plans in place to make sure their products are delivered in a timely manner and arrive undamaged. Test theirs out by placing a small order and seeing if the products arrive quickly and safely.
We recommend reading 👉 How to become a product supplier on Shopify
Strategies to find suppliers
Now that you know what to be on the lookout for in a good supplier partner, how do you actually find them? Here are some ways you can track down a supplier.
- Search online. By far the simplest and most obvious method, a bit of hunting around online is the first port of call for many businesses looking for a partner. However, despite access to an almost unlimited number of partners online, it will take a very long time to weed out the bad from the good. It’s definitely a cheap option for brands looking for a supplier, but it is very time consuming.
- Use a supplier directory. These are online databases of suppliers that you can browse to find your new partner. Some of the biggest, like Worldwide Brands, have thousands of businesses and millions of products listed. While this gives you a lot of choice, unfortunately there is no curation of the brands on there, which makes it hard to find the right one based on their values and your needs. Furthermore, you have to pay to access many directories, an expense which can add up quickly.
- Go to a trade show. Unlike with online research, by attending a trade show you’ll be able to meet with suppliers in person and judge them for yourself. Often they will bring examples of their products along with them so you’ll be able to get hands on with their items and test out their quality without having to pay for samples. Unfortunately, it can be expensive and time consuming to travel to and attend these shows, and they tend to be for very specific markets or industries, meaning you’ll be exposed to a smaller variety of potential partners.
There is, however, a much easier way to track down your new partners. This method will cut out the unnecessary research time, exposing you to a curated list of legitimate suppliers on Shopify, which you can access and partner up within just a couple of clicks. Welcome to the CrossMyStore brands directory.
CrossMystore, the most easy way to find brand partners
By using the CrossMystore platform, you’ll get access to our vetted and verified list of reliable suppliers chosen for their values, presented in an easy-to-use directory that allows you to search by brand name, region, product price range, and core values.
Once you sign up in just a couple of minutes, you’ll be able to browse to your heart’s content, sending a partnership request to any brand you like with just the click of a button. Once the supplier accepts, you can import their products into your store right away and immediately start benefiting from a wider range of items in your store, covering more niches and driving up your average order value.
What’s really special about CrossMystore is that you don’t have to worry about paying for the shipments of your new products. The supplier handles all of the manufacturing and shipment costs so you only have to worry about selling, making the commission from every new item you sell in your store pure profit for you.
Best of all, our software does all the hard work of automation and synchronization: stock levels are synced between brands, and order information is transmitted to the supplier automatically for them to dispatch the products, so you can put your feet up and focus on your business. It couldn’t be simpler to grow your online store and appeal to more customers!
If this sounds like it could benefit your business, sign up to the CrossMystore platform today!