How to Choose Remote Suppliers for an eCommerce Business

The field of eCommerce is one of the fastest growing business niches and many entities in this field are remote suppliers.

The number of online shoppers has been growing for the last few years – from 1.32 billion buyers in 2014 to predicted 2.07 in 2019.

As a result, the number of e-sellers has increased, as well.

So, launching an eCommerce business promises a potentially lucrative career in a booming field.

However, it’s crucial to remain cautious and wise in this niche. Working in e-trade means that you’ll have to collaborate with a wide range of local and remote suppliers. Because of that, you need to use some practical strategies that will keep them close to your business.

As a side note, pay close attention when launching your eCommerce website. Make sure to properly represent your online business.

Choosing suppliers by their reputation

Every aspiring business owner has to use their time as efficiently as possible.

In the field of eCommerce, suppliers are one of the key prerequisites for success.

In order to save time while getting the best-supplying services, the smartest tactic is choosing your suppliers by their reputation.

Some of them will be located remotely and you won’t be able to pursue them in any practical way in case they don’t meet your agreement. This is why you need to rely on other people’s feedback on those business ventures.

The procedure is similar to that of recruiting employees for your business.

For instance, you can turn to online freelancing platforms and search for manufacturers and remote suppliers with high ratings. Also, do some research on most popular websites for online trade, such as Alibaba or eBay.

Moreover, you can check the World Wide Brands website and try to find reliable eCommerce associates there.

Apart from that, contacting various digital agencies can make the entire process much shorter.

The only difference is that you’ll have to pay for their services.

On the other hand, looking for trustworthy online suppliers on your own will cost you nothing but your time.

Checking remote suppliers’ finances online

When you’ve found several potential local and remote suppliers of your e-store, you should check their financial record.

You don’t want to order goods from a scam business or from an enterprise with a blocked account.

To get around such rotten schemes, apply the following three strategies:

  • Check the financial state-owned sources – Every government has a special financial body that regulates the business market. Find out what agency does that in your country and check if your potential business partner is a registered business entity. Moreover, contact the association or the bar relevant for that particular niche and see the status of that business.
  • Inquire about any legal disputes– Visit the register of tax evaders on the website of the local court in the county where the supplying business is located and registered. If they have any lawsuits behind them or in progress, they might not be the best choice.
  • Hire a credit agency – Larger eCommerce enterprise should have their potential partners checked by a credit agency. When you’re investing hundreds of thousands of dollars or more, you should leave no rock unturned;

Special conditions for reliable suppliers

Finding honest and punctual remote suppliers is no cakewalk. This is why you should pay some respect to such a business when you find it.

For instance, you’ll leave a good impression on your e-trade partner by offering them special payment conditions.

That way, you can create several categories of suppliers, based on their delivery efficiency.

The ones that constantly provide you with the purchased goods before the deadline should have the advantage when you’re making your payments.

Moreover, you could pay them before the invoice due date and establish that as a routine.

Also, encourage all your suppliers to make online invoices. It will ensure that they get paid in the nick of time and that you cover your expenses without any stalling.

Introducing supportive measures

Apart from the aforementioned early payments, you should treat your suppliers to some more supportive measures. They will show them that you care about their business perspective and about your common goals.

Here’s what you can do to express your trust and respect towards your national and international suppliers:

  • Ordering goods in bulks, especially in high seasons – You don’t have to be Jeff Bezos (the founder of Amazon) to realize that you should order more merchandise for your website for Christmas and summer holidays, as well as for some special festivals (say, Halloween). By ordering in bulks you’ll ensure that you have enough items for higher demand, as well as to increase your suppliers’ revenues.
  • Offering special prices– This is a two-way process. Ordering in large amount will qualify you to ask your suppliers for discounts. If they agree to such a proposal, you thank them by paying them partly in advance and partly before the due date. In return, offer your buyers special prices and bargains, to support them to buy more. This will empty your stock and make room for new orders from your suppliers.
  • Spreading your suppliers’ networks – Organize special business events and connect your suppliers with your other business associates. Moreover, use social media for the same purpose. Also, don’t forget good, old word-of-mouth recommendations. All these steps will help you build a strong networking structure for all the interested parties.
  • Working with their connections– Networking should include both giving and receiving. Therefore, see how your suppliers’ connections can improve your eCommerce experience. It could lead to the further development of the assortment of goods and services your business offers in the future.

Offering favorable payment options

It’s clear that online invoices are the most practical way to prepare your business payment.

However, there’s much more to it than payment forms.

First of all, it’s vital to offer your suppliers a wide range of payment options. In the contemporary business setting, you can count on many tools that your professional predecessors could only dream of.

In line with that, every eCommerce business should have a PayPal account. It’s the most widespread payment solution in the world. If you are based in a country where PayPal is not supported, you may want to check this guide.

Therefore, it’s highly likely that most of your close and remote suppliers will like to receive their money via that solution. Another great thing is that you can easily connect this option with invoicing software.

Apart from PayPal, you can include some additional gateways for smooth payments, such as or Stripe. You can read more about all three of them in the analysis published on

Spreading your business culture

The issue of business culture plays a vital role in every field of business, so eCommerce isn’t an exception. This subject becomes even more important in the present-day business surroundings, where you meet business professionals that come from a wide range of different cultures.

In such conditions, you need to pay respect to every single culture.

Still, you also need to promote the business etiquette of your background, as well as your own business code.

The wisest thing you can do is write a short guide for your new suppliers and business partners.

Here you can define your business goals, your vision and your set of business rules.

Moreover, this document should contain the most practical ways how the other party can contribute to reaching those objectives. Also, ask them to prepare a similar paper and tell you what they expect from you.

By doing so, you’ll boost your mutual trust and reduce the chance of experiencing an online fraud.

Also, show your suppliers that you want to share your success and knowledge with them.

Since eCommerce is a highly competitive field, including all these details in your relationships with your suppliers will boost your business. Also, it will ensure a steady inflow of first-class products, made by sincere manufacturers.


Working in online trade is an exciting but highly stressful experience.

In addition to the “Customer is always right” credo, you also have to face a vast array of suppliers.

Since they come in large quantities, just like their products, choosing the right suppliers for an e-store can be an excruciating process. This is why it’s extremely important to retain trustworthy remote suppliers when you spot them.

All the points presented in this piece will ensure that you better understand how you can successfully collaborate with your remote suppliers.

Mark Thomasson
Mark is a biz-dev hero at Invoicebus - a simple invoicing service that gets your invoices paid faster. He passionately blogs on topics that help small biz owners succeed in their business. He is also a lifelong learner who practices mindfulness and enjoys long walks in nature more than anything else.
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