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Michał Kloczkowski

Optimizing processes in dropshipping - how to solve the most common problems in this sales model

The dropshipping model opens up many opportunities for entrepreneurs. However, this type of business model comes with numerous challenges, one of which is how to efficiently manage and fulfill customer orders when products come from different suppliers. Before orders are placed, you also need to decide which part of your suppliers' offerings you want to present in your store.

In this article, we will briefly discuss the problems that arise with dropshipping as sales scale up and how to solve them.

What challenges does dropshipping pose?

1. Multiple suppliers and diverse product sources

The first and most significant problem that entrepreneurs using the dropshipping model face is the diversity of suppliers. Often, one online store may collaborate with dozens, if not hundreds, of different wholesalers. Each has its specifications, delivery conditions, prices, lead times, and processes in dropshipping. This means that each customer order may require an individual approach if it consists of several products from different suppliers.

2. Logistical complexity

Another challenge is logistics. If a customer orders three products from three different suppliers, this means three different packages, three different delivery routes, and potentially three different delivery dates. How can this process be automated and efficient while ensuring customer satisfaction?

3. Managing communication with suppliers and customers

Dividing orders not only involves logistical challenges but also requires effective communication. It is crucial for entrepreneurs to ensure that each supplier fulfills their part of the order correctly and on time. Simultaneously, customers expect clear information about their order status, potential delays, and delivery routes.

Addressing these issues requires finding an appropriate method for managing orders in the dropshipping model that takes into account the specifics of the business and customer expectations.

The order process in the dropshipping model

Dropshipping is a unique business model that eliminates the need for sellers to stock products, while complicating the flow and fulfillment of orders. Dropshipping consists of several key stages that differ from the traditional e-commerce model.

How does dropshipping complicate the standard e-commerce model?

Inbound: Product selection

When we talk about inbound processes in the dropshipping model, we primarily think about product selection. Since the entrepreneur does not physically stock the goods, they must rely on information provided by suppliers. The key question here is: which products are worth offering and which should be rejected? This question concerns both the quality of products and their market appeal. Therefore, it is necessary to carefully analyze available offers, product reviews, and potential issues related to delivery or returns. Choosing the right assortment is crucial for building customer trust and ensuring satisfaction with purchases.

Midway: Customer contact

In addition to challenges related to product selection and order fulfillment, one must not forget the crucial element in the dropshipping model: customer communication. Between the "inbound" and "outbound" processes lies a whole layer of customer relations that must be carefully nurtured.

Customers are often unaware that the products they order may come from different suppliers, which can affect delivery times and shipment division. This model requires entrepreneurs to be exceptionally transparent and communicate clearly regarding order status, potential delays, and delivery divisions.

Clear and regular updates on when and how the order will be delivered can significantly increase customer satisfaction and minimize potential dissatisfaction. Modern CRM tools, customer service systems, and communication automation tools like can help with this, but the key is also an individual approach and a good understanding of customer needs.

Ultimately, communication is the bridge connecting all elements of the dropshipping model, ensuring the smooth operation of the entire process. Proper communication with customers not only builds trust but also fosters loyalty to the brand, translating into repeat purchases and business success in the long term.

Outbound: Order fulfillment

On the outbound side, the main challenge is managing order fulfillment. When a customer places an order consisting of products from different suppliers, the process becomes complicated. Some products may be shipped directly from the supplier, others may require repackaging in the seller's warehouse, or come directly from the seller's inventory. Proper management of this process is key to efficient and profitable operations in the dropshipping model. Suitable tools, automation, and clearly defined procedures can greatly simplify this process, minimizing the risk of errors and delays. How can these challenges be handled? Continue reading to find out!

How to manage the product catalog in the dropshipping model on the Magento 2 platform and beyond?

In the digital age, where product data is key to business success, having the right application or tool for analysis is crucial. In the context of dropshipping, where entrepreneurs work with multiple suppliers, such an application is not only helpful but essential. It enables tracking, comparing, and analyzing data provided by various partners.

By systematically monitoring information about products, their availability, prices, or delivery times, an entrepreneur can make informed decisions regarding assortment, pricing strategy, or supplier selection. The application can also help identify trends, forecast demand, and optimize purchasing processes.

One solution that perfectly fits this need is a Product Information Management (PIM) system. PIM applications focus on collecting, managing, and distributing product information in an organized and centralized manner. In the dropshipping model, where one business can source data from multiple providers, PIM is an invaluable tool. It facilitates information standardization, enabling effective management of various formats and versions of data from different suppliers.

How to divide orders?

Effective management of the product assortment in the dropshipping model is key to the efficient operation of such a business. The simplest way to handle communication challenges with customers and effectively manage the order fulfillment process is to appropriately tag products with specific attributes. This approach not only helps clearly categorize products but also automates processes related to their distribution.

Introducing attributes to each product in the offer allows for precise determination of which supplier is responsible for a given item and from which warehouse it will be shipped. This, in turn, allows for automatic order division based on supplier or warehouse location. When a customer places an order consisting of products from different suppliers, an attribute-based system can immediately divide the order and direct it to the appropriate partners.

Based on attributes, it is easy to create a module that, regardless of technology, will be a sufficient tool, allowing for rapid processing and distribution of orders. This translates not only into higher operational efficiency and customer satisfaction but also reduces errors that could result from manual management of such processes.

Ultimately, the key in the dropshipping model is combining technology with a well-thought-out strategy. Tagging products with appropriate attributes is a step towards automation, which is the foundation of effective and modern dropshipping, and should be implemented at the stage described above in the product cataloging system.


The advantages of dropshipping focus on its economic efficiency and flexibility. It allows entrepreneurs to significantly reduce costs by eliminating the need for their own warehouse. Additionally, dropshipping enables quick response to changing market trends without the risk of overstock. For newcomers to the business world, low initial investment is a huge advantage, allowing entry into e-commerce. Finally, the scalability of this business model facilitates growth and adaptation to increasing customer demand.

Dropshipping, while offering attractive benefits for entrepreneurs, comes with numerous challenges that can be overcome with the right strategy and modern tools. Effective product selection and proper order fulfillment management play a crucial role here. Introducing attributes for each product allows for automatic order division, optimized logistical processes, and improved customer communication. Supported by appropriate software, such as a PIM system, this approach can become the foundation for success in the dropshipping model, ensuring operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.

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