fabric’s Product Release Blog highlights some of the recent product releases and enhancements we’ve made so you can stay up to date on what’s new. This August edition is focused on the brand new features of fabric Marketplace.
When it comes to selling new product categories fast, dropshipping is often the first thing that comes to mind for many retailers. In this fall edition of fabric’s Product Release Blog, we are doing a wrap-up of fabric Marketplace, a platform that makes dropshipping easy for retailers and brands.
Why fabric Marketplace? The global dropshipping market is projected to reach $196.78 billion this year. We expect dropshipping to be even more relevant during the holiday season—an opportunity for retailers to stand out with better availability, wider selection, faster shipping, and smooth returns.
Topics covered in this blog include:
fabric Marketplace is an end-to-end, modular dropshipping platform that allows you to quickly and easily connect with vendors and sell new products and categories without taking on any inventory risk.
fabric Marketplace covers everything from onboarding vendors to managing products, prices, and inventory to tracking order fulfillment and getting business insights. Let’s dive deeper into fabric Marketplace’s dropshipping capabilities for retailers!
Onboarding new vendors on fabric Marketplace is simple. Invite vendors to your store, connect the systems, and get ready to build catalogs, all with a convenient dashboard.
fabric Marketplace requires basic information such as the supplier’s name and contact information. You can also configure advanced rules such as fulfillment SLA, payment terms, and more that define your partnership’s success. This sends an email to the vendor inviting them to fabric Marketplace.
Learn more about inviting new vendors to fabric Marketplace.
When the vendor accepts the invitation, they are assigned an onboarding specialist. The vendor can choose to go through an intuitive self-service onboarding process, or they can work with the onboarding specialist. Our onboarding specialists have been in your shoes before and offer guidance and hands-on help along the way.
fabric Marketplace’s onboarding team provides documentation and hands-on training to your vendors and collects, validates, and reviews your vendor’s product data against rigorous product data requirements. It also manages testing and connections for your vendors so you can focus on growing your business.
Learn more about our high-touch onboarding.
Once a vendor is invited to fabric Marketplace, you can track their end-to-end journey on fabric Marketplace including onboarding status, business performance, compliance, and more. Additional examples of vendor management capabilities include:
fabric Marketplace provides you with the tools to make managing products, prices, and inventory a stress-free experience. The platform eliminates redundant work and delivers a curated experience to your customers faster.
Take complete control of your storefront. Quickly onboard new products, maintain data quality, and manage listings delivering a seamless shopping experience on your storefront. With fabric Marketplace, you can:
Learn more about managing vendor proposals on fabric Marketplace.
Get a real-time view of supplier inventory, so you never run out of stock or oversell again. With fabric Marketplace, you can:
Learn how to view incoming inventory using fabric Marketplace.
fabric Marketplace enables you to run smooth dropshipping operations and deliver a seamless customer experience from day one.
Send all required order information to vendors so they can fulfill orders seamlessly.
How it works
When a customer places an order on your storefront, you can send the vendor the customer order or purchase order over EDI, Web Portal, API, or any e-commerce platform. For complex or personalized SKUs, you can send custom packing slips.
Changes in orders are not unusual. When a customer needs a change in their shipping address or a change in item data such as quantity, you can send the order change request to vendors as well over fabric Marketplace.
fabric Marketplace’s intuitive dashboard provides you with a single destination to view and manage the end-to-end order lifecycle. The dashboard capabilities include:
Learn more about managing orders and shipping with fabric Marketplace.
Learn more about managing canceled orders and backorders on fabric Marketplace.
Learn more about managing vendor invoices on fabric Marketplace.
Get more out of your dropshipping business with actionable insights.
Get complete visibility into your business growth. Identify your top products and vendors. With fabric Marketplace, you can:
Regularly monitor the performance of your vendors against your set standards.
Keep close tabs on your payables and receivables to manage your costs efficiently.
Exception handling, aka returns and cancellations, is a tricky subject in the context of dropshipping. The rules of return are often ambiguous and handled outside of the platform, making the returns experience clunky for the customer.
Executing returns in fabric Marketplace is as straightforward as executing a new order.
How it works
Once you receive a return request from the customer, you can initiate the return process on fabric Marketplace by providing a reason for return, the number of items being returned, and an RMA number (optional). Once a return has been created against an order, the vendor associated with that order is notified via email. The vendor can then either approve or decline the return.
You can track and manage returns from the Orders dashboard. When the vendor approves a return, a credit memo is generated. You can review all vendor credit memos using the Orders dashboard.
Learn more about handling returns and credit memos in fabric Marketplace.
fabric Marketplace integrates seamlessly with major e-commerce applications such as Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Shipstation, and more. Our pre-built integrations aim to speed up onboarding so you can start getting the value out of the platform as quickly as possible.
We understand that we are not the only platform in your vast technology ecosystem. Therefore, we take both vendor-side and retailer-side integrations very seriously. The following diagram shows how fabric Marketplace would be positioned in a merchant technology stack.
Being a headless and modular application, fabric Marketplace provides retailers with the flexibility to select their vendor of choice for the related applications. For example, you can connect fabric Marketplace with fabric OMS to manage orders and get inventory, or you can connect with Shopify.
fabric Marketplace has pre-built, out-of-the-box connectors with both systems providing vendors the onboarding speed and retailers the composability they are looking for. For customers using an ERP as their system of record, fabric Marketplace offers comprehensive EDI connections. Other forms of connections include Web Portal.
One of the common use cases of fabric Marketplace is adding variations to your existing product assortment. fabric Marketplace helped a large home and furniture retailer grow its revenue from $0 to $100M in 15 months. The retailer held inventory for the fast-moving colors and variants of products and dropshipped the exquisite, rarely ordered versions through their vendors, allowing them to de-risk their business while growing it rapidly.
Category expansion is another common use case for fabric Marketplace. Brooklinen, a D2C brand, and a fabric customer, added complementary categories such as rugs to their catalog to address a broader range of customer needs.
A fabric customer, Motherhood Maternity, a Marquee brand, says:
“The fabric team has a breadth of experience operating marketplaces and have collaborated with the team on brand and merchandising strategies, which resulted in $200K in incremental revenue in the first six months.”
Other common use cases of fabric Marketplace:
A similar process but a slightly different use case is when you run out of stock on a product the customer searched for. You can suggest substitute products that a dropship vendor offers and maintain customer loyalty. For example, Brooklinen saw a 55% YoY increase in their dropship AOV due to adding a new category, rugs.
Our in-house retail and dropshipping expert, Meg Donovan, shares insights and tips from her 20 years of experience with some of the industry’s top leaders, including Saks 5th Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, Pottery Barn, ZGallerie, and Modsy.
fabric’s COO and Head of Products, Stacy Saal, and our Head of Developer Platform and Experience, Prakash Muppirala, draw from their experience at Amazon, Restoration Hardware, and Williams-Sonoma. They chat about the expected trends this holiday season and what retailers can do today to see a successful season.