Like its competitors, Belk Department store has a drop shipping vendor program for its website. Belk’s Drop Ship Program allows them to offer a wide selection of products to their customers without having to purchase inventory in bulk upfront. The program also allows vendors to get their products in front of an already existing customer base while still keeping control of the shipping and fulfillment of orders. Establishing vendor relationships with big department stores like Belk can be challenging. In an effort to make the process easier for brand owners, we have put together a guide with everything you need to know about becoming a dropshipping partner with Belk.
At Right On Tech, we work with many clients that are brand owners or manufacturers in the fashion industry, and we have created solutions to help them succeed with their online sales across multiple platforms. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you in your process of becoming a Belk vendor.
Contact Belk Buyers
The very first thing you will have to do in this journey is to establish a relationship with a Belk buyer and get your brand and products noticed. Here are a few methods for creating initial contact with their buying department.
The easiest method for getting in contact with a buyer is to call their headquarters and ask. You can easily find the Belk headquarters online with a simple Google search. Once you have a phone that number, give them a call and ask to be connected with their buying department. Keep in mind that some companies may not let you just speak to their buyers directly by phone, but they may, at the very least, be able to provide you with an email address or buyer name. You can also try sending Belk a message directly from their Customer Service page on their website, filling out the quick form, and asking for the contact information for the right individual. Belk even has a chat option available during certain hours that you can use to get in contact with a representative more quickly. If you can get an email address for the buying department, then you should send them an email with your product catalog and company information explaining your interest.
Belk Headquarters Phone Number: (704) 357-1000
Customer Service Phone Number: 1-866-235-5443
LinkedIn is always a great way to get in contact with other professionals. Use this platform to search for individuals in the buying department at Belk and send them a professional message about your interest in becoming a vendor. Here you may be able to connect with a buyer that can guide you through the best way of approaching becoming a vendor.
Another way to get your products in front of the buying team is by sending them a catalog and letter in the mail. Send your information to their headquarters; this address can again be found with a simple search on Google. When putting together the letter, you will be mailing, be sure to include all the information they could possibly need. Let them know why they should consider you as a vendor partner, what makes your brand unique, and how you fit their customer base. Include information on your product selection, manufacturing, inventory management, production capabilities, and capability for connection. In addition to a letter introducing your brand, you should send a catalog with images of your product selection. Of course, don’t forget to include the proper contact information for the buyers to reach out to you if they are interested
Supplier Diversity Program
Finally, there is one other option we can suggest that may be an excellent fit for companies with diverse ownership. Like all of the top department stores, Belk has a diversity program in place to find suppliers with minority groups’ backgrounds. Belk defines a diversity supplier as “A minority- or women-owned business is defined as a business that is at least 51 percent owned, operated and controlled by U.S. citizens” belonging to one or more of the qualifying groups. More information on this Belk program can be found here.
Belk Supplier Registration and Diversity Program
Phone Number: 1-973-368-0361
Fax Number: 1-888-773-5281
Email Address: [email protected]
## What to expect from contacting a buyer
Once you have managed to make contact with someone in the Belk buying department and they show interest in your brand, they will likely schedule a call to learn more about your company. Buyers will want to know about the product selection you offer, how it is manufactured, how you manage your inventory and shipping, and whether or not you can make the necessary EDI connection with their system. After an initial call, the buying department will decide whether or not to move forward with your company as a dropship vendor
- Onboarding Management
- Documentation Requirements
- Assortment Selection and Production
- Order Processing Interface Setup
- Shipping/Fulfillment Guidelines
- Launch and Stabilization
- Belk Production Environment Testing
In the initial phase of the process, the vendor has to complete a Vendor Pre Qualification Survey, attend a kickoff webinar, and come up with a mutually agreed implementation timeline. Once this step is completed, the vendor can finally move on to the next step.
This phase is all about ensuring the necessary documentation is completed. The vendor must review, complete, and submit all documents to their Onboarding Coordinator.
- Belk Dropship Vendor Kickoff Presentation
- Dropship Vendor Participant Policies
- Belk Dropship Vendor Agreement
- Belk Dropship Vendor Profile
- Belk Dropship Onboarding checklist
- Fine Jewelry Vendors must sign the Fine Jewelry Addendum
- Taxation Setup and Exemptions
Assortment Selection and Production
In this phase, the Belk buyer will take a look at the selection the vendor has to offer and make a decision on what they want to move forward with. Belk may decide to move forward with a vendor’s full selection or just with a few pieces. Vendors have to set up their products on GXS/Open Text and ensure that all products are clearly labeled with the UPC number on the packaging. Then the vendor will be responsible for providing Belk with all necessary information for the products. This information will include the following:
- Product Part Number/ SKU
- Product Name
- Product Title
- Product Images
When the time comes for vendors to supply the product images, they must follow the Belk Image Guidelines in place. These guidelines serve to create a neat and uniform look on the Belk website. Product images must be a specific size, file type, color mode, ratio, and files must be named in a particular way.
This phase of the process will also include product pricing; vendors must set and provide wholesale costs for the products. These wholesale prices should factor in all related costs for handling, picking, packing, and shipping the products to the customers.
When shipping orders to customers, vendors are required to use approved shipping carriers. All shipments must contain the Belk packing slip and shipping label. All orders must be fulfilled in a timely manner; vendors are responsible for shipping orders within two business days to prevent it from becoming delinquent. Vendors must also follow all rules for shipping, updating order status, partial fulfillments, and cancelations provided by Belk.
Order Processing Interface Setup
Having timely and accurate information available for all orders that are processed by its vendors is important to Belk; they have partnered with CommerceHub to maintain this information. CommerceHub is a third-party order processing software that creates a bridge between the two companies for processing orders and invoices. Belk requires that all vendors use CommerceHub to receive and process orders. After the initial Kickoff webinar is done, vendors are required to connect with CommerceHub through one of the following connection options: Integrated (e.g., XML, EDI, and Delimited File) or Web Browser. Vendors then have to sign an agreement, pay a one-time integration fee, and complete the integration process.
How a Belk order is processed with CommerceHub:
Even though drop ship orders are not shipped from the warehouse, Belk wants the customers to experience a consistent Belk experience and branding. For this reason, they require vendors to use packing slips and mailing labels with Belk branding. Belk works with vendors to create a packing slip with standard specifications to create a consistent look. The vendor is responsible for creating the required packing slip and submitting it to Belk for approval.
- A customer places an order on the Belk website.
- Belk obtains credit authorization for the price of the order.
- Belk transmits the order to CommerceHub.
- The vendor receives the order through CommerceHub through the previously established connection.
- The vendor picks and fulfills the order with the Belk Branded packing slip and shipping label
- The vendor ships the order to the customer
- The order is closed in CommerceHub by the vendor who marks it as “Shipped” and provides a tracking number and invoices for the order.
- CommerceHub sends the change in order status and tracking number to Belk
- Belk provides the customer with an order update and the tracking number by email and then obtains payment for the processed order.
All questions regarding CommerceHub should be directed to:
When shipping orders to customers, vendors are required to use approved shipping carriers. All shipments must contain the Belk packing slip and shipping label. All orders must be fulfilled in a timely manner; vendors are responsible for shipping orders within two business days to prevent them from becoming delinquent. Vendors must also follow all rules for shipping, updating order status, partial fulfillments, and cancelations provided by Belk.
Launch and Stabilization
The onboarding process is nearing the end of this phase. Once the vendor has completed all of the previous and other required steps, they will be sent a formal launch notice from the Onboarding Coordinator. This letter will provide vendors with the date by which they need to load their inventory file with CommerceHub. To begin selling vendors have to provide daily inventory for their products through the CommerceHub EDI
Belk Production Environment Testing
In some cases, Belk will require the vendor to undergo production tests. The point of these tests is to ensure that the order process will run smoothly once the vendor goes live on their website. Test orders will be conducted to test various parts of the process; Belk receives the test orders and inspects the product, branding, packaging, and processing. After all, testing is conducted successfully; the vendor should be cleared to have their product go live on the Belk website.
What To Expect After
Belk keeps a close eye on its new vendors during the first 60 days to ensure that they are adhering to all policies and requirements. Failing to follow set rules or missing shipments of orders can result in fees for the vendor. Be sure to take the time to review all of the requirements and fees in the Drop Ship Vendor Manual.
After everything is done, the vendor’s product will be shoppable on the Belk website, and they should begin to receive orders. Vendors then have to process all orders appropriately in a timely manner as mentioned before.
Right On Tech
At Right On Tech, we have been helping brand owners like yourself for many years, and we understand the industry and your needs. Our company provides specialized solutions to help you stay ahead of your competition on Belk and other selling platforms. Contact Us for more information.