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Travis Mariea Customer Spotlight 2017-05-22T21:13:52+00:00

Inventory Source

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‘Dropshipping’ is a term not known by most people. However, it’s rapidly becoming an essential part of selling products online, and companies such as Inventory Source are at the forefront of developing a new way of managing online stock. By being responsible for some elements of the supply chain, they’re enabling store owners to tend to other areas of their business, all of which will benefit the customer in the long run.

Travis Mariea was recently kind enough to take a few minutes to answer our questions, sharing his thoughts on where Inventory Source slots into the supply chain, and giving his opinion on where the future of dropshipping is headed. Let’s begin!

Introducing Travis Mariea

Q: Hello Travis! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your involvement with InventorySource.com?

I am the Director of Sales and Marketing at InventorySource.com (IS). Prior to IS, I owned a WordPress/Woo Agency, and also ran a Google Apps migration team for a cloud solutions provider.

Q: For those who don’t know, can you explain the premise of dropshipping?

Dropshipping is a form of retail (typically online retail) in which you sell physical products that you do not own, ship, or store. Your dropship supplier stores the products you are advertising, and ships them on your behalf once your customer has actually purchased the item from your store.

Q: What does Inventory Source offer the dropshipping process that benefits the customer?

Inventory Source maintains an integration between your dropship supplier’s warehouse, and your online store or marketplace, to ensure you are only advertising items that are in stock and able to be sold. We provide tools to bulk manage and add to your dropship inventory, as well as make it very easy for new dropship retailers to load their supplier’s products on to their website – with automatic uploading of product pricing, details, images, categories, and more.

Q: What makes Inventory Source unique compared to similar companies?

We have focused our model on setting new dropship retailers up for success. This is done by facilitating a direct relationship with their supplier for the lowest product pricing, with access to supplier discounts and specials, rather than a middleman approach. This positions our customers to be successful over the long term in a very competitive industry.

Q: What is it about the Inventory Source approach that your customers enjoy?

We receive a ton of feedback on our excellent and very flexible customer service. When configuring your tools and retail operations to make your business competitive, we have been known to bend over backward to get you setup in the way you are seeking, and often go above and beyond the norm to make sure our product and service works for you.

Q: You seem to cover a lot of bases – from dealing with suppliers, to data collation, to turnkey website design. How do you keep a sense of focus on your business’ core principles?

We help facilitate and improve the connection between dropship retailers and suppliers – if a service or offering enables us to better accomplish that mission, we seek to provide it to our customer. We offer a customer web store (called TurnKey) that is very efficiently delivered, and enables new retailers to start selling their supplier’s products as soon as possible. Outside of TurnKey, we look to partner with design firms to deliver on any kind of custom design or digital marketing services requested.

Q: Where do you see e-commerce heading, and how can you adapt to any advancements?

We see e-commerce heading towards more fragmentation and specialization across the entire supply chain.

The traditional model of retailers purchasing in bulk to manage the storage, shipment, and marketing of their product is moving toward more specialized players in each of those areas. How we adapt is by understanding the core issues that arise in this type of supply chain shift, and aligning our products and services to solve these new and significant issues that will play a key role in our customer’s ability to compete in this evolving market.

Q: What is the future of Inventory Source, and could you see yourselves expanding into other areas of business?

IS will likely stay very focused on our core mission of aligning and improving the operations between suppliers and retailers. However, that scope is currently focused on improving operations where we feel our services can be applied to data management problems – the kinds that traditional retailers are seeing as they are moving a large portion of their sales and marketing online. As traditional retailers focus more on sales channel found online, they uncover the same data management problems from a multiple supplier approach that dropship retailers have faced for years. We are poised to help these traditional retailers solve these data management issues, and better leverage the online sales channel.

Inventory Source and Avada

Q: Avada is currently powering the Inventory Source website. What made you plump for WordPress as a platform, and Avada as a theme solution?

My background as a WordPress agency owner made it a no-brainer. Over the years, I have relied on WordPress as a cost-effective digital marketing tool, and Avada has been key to realizing the full potential of the platform. I have not used another theme in my last five website builds, and don’t plan to in the future if the ThemeFusion team keeps up the pace of innovation that they have so far! I’m not sure if I remember what building a website is like without the Fusion Builder.

Q: InventorySource.com makes extensive use of video tutorials to help guide new users in using the site. How does Avada help showcase your content?

We have embedded many of our YouTube tutorials very quickly into our website using the YouTube builder element. We were also able to easily outline our videos using mobile responsive columns.

Q: Is there a particular Avada feature that made it stand out to you?

It would have to be the Fusion Builder. It stands out over the other builders, because they don’t have the same level of integration. I really enjoy being able to switch from the builder to HTML and have the resulting code align so well. I also enjoy the custom templates that enable us to recreate landing pages in such a fast and easy way.

Q: Are there any particular features you’d like to see within future versions of Avada?

Easier nested column support in the builder – basically, breaking out a 1/2 section into subsections (1/2, 1/4, and so on) to better organize content without affecting page layout. This can be accomplished with column shortcodes, but it’s not possible with the builder. I’d also love to see integration of our Dropship WordPress plugin, too!

And Finally…

Q: If you could give one piece of advice to those selling products online, what would it be?

Build your business around being the best at solving your customers’ needs and nothing else. Whether that is finding the highest quality products, providing the lowest price, or better serving your customer in their purchasing process, build around the value you add to your customer’s life and not the software, training course, or latest trend you feel will build your business for you.

Conclusion

For an online store owner, dropshipping has a number of clear benefits – and they all center around cutting out the middleman, so you can get down to promoting and selling products. Travis Mariea and Inventory Source are providing a complete solution to online stock management, and are looking to adapt to the challenges traditional retailers face as they develop their online stores.

We’d like to extend our thanks to Travis Mariea for taking time out of his busy schedule to talk about dropshipping, Inventory Source, and their use of Avada – and we’d also like to thank him for his continued support of ThemeFusion products!

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