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Category Archives: Fulfillment Solution

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) vs. Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM)

Fulfillment by AmazonAs the e-commerce market grows larger and larger with each passing year, the options for fulfillment are increasing in tandem. But which fulfillment option makes the most sense (e.g., saves the most money) for your business?

Perhaps the two most common order fulfillment options right now can be broadly categorized as fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) and fulfillment by merchant (FBM).

Both are order fulfillment methods that, depending on a number of factors like what your business is selling and your comfort with managing fulfillment, can be perfectly suitable options.

Let’s now dive into what FBA and FBM are, and how to decide which is best for your business.

What Is Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)?

Much like how it sounds, FBA involves Amazon handling fulfillment for your business. That means that the e-commerce giant will manage storage, shipping, customer service, and returns. Consumers on Amazon will also be able to see if your business is FBA or FBM, which could impact a consumer’s behavior if they highly value Amazon’s fulfillment services. If you want to have the entire shipping and storage aspect of your product fulfilled by Amazon, then you need FBA.

What Is Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM)?

FBM involves you handling your own fulfillment processes. That means you manage shipping, returns, storage, customer service, and any other aspect of fulfillment. There are some benefits and issues with this method (which we explore below). But, generally speaking, the basic tradeoff is losing access to Amazon’s seemingly endless resources and hassle-free fulfillment handled by a third-party while maintaining more flexibility and autonomy, and also potentially saving on costs.

What Is the Difference between FBA & FBM?

So, what is the difference between FBA vs. FBM?

Well, as explained above, FBA involves Amazon relieving you of the burden of having to manage your fulfillment process.

On the flip side, FBM means that you have more work legwork, but maintain more autonomy and aren’t as tied down to Amazon.

But which one is right for your business?

Benefits of Fulfillment by Amazon

Great Delivery Service

As you’d expect, it’s hard to rival Amazon when it comes to delivery service. The company has made a name for itself by being “obsessive” when it comes to customer service and satisfaction. Part of that obsessing involves rapid delivery times that are famously reliable.

Prime Eligibility

Amazon Prime is among the biggest draws to the e-commerce giant. The two-day shipping guarantee is exceedingly popular, with over 100 million customers in the U.S. alone. Qualifying for this lightning-fast delivery service can be a huge boon to your business—and can even sometimes be the difference between a closed lead or a lost potential sale.

Buy Box

The Buy Box is the much-coveted feature spot on Amazon that, when a shopper is searching for a product, places a particular version of that product’s price, shipping information, seller, and the “Add to Cart” button right up top. Customers are far more likely to make purchases through the Buy Box, making it vital. Order fulfillment and shipping make a big difference in which product is featured in the Buy Box. And that means that, more often than not, FBA-listed products win the Buy Box.

Multi-Channel Fulfillment

This essentially means that, even if you sell your product outside of Amazon, Amazon will still handle fulfillment. This allows you to build your brand outside of Amazon while still benefitting from the Amazon order fulfillment support.

Lower Shipping Rate

While this can vary based on weight and size, you will find that more often than not Amazon has cheaper shipping rates compared to managing fulfillment on your own. As you’d imagine, Amazon’s massive bargaining power means that it can extract far more favorable shipping costs than if you were to try and negotiate rates solo.

Benefits of Fulfillment by Merchant

Less Expensive

Amazon does charge a subscription for its fulfillment services, which can add up over time. Depending on how strong you are at managing your logistics and the resources you have in place, you may find that FBM will save you a lot of money over the long run.

Higher Margin

When you manage fulfillment on your own, you have the opportunity to generate higher margins. That’s because you won’t be hounded by those recurring Amazon fees month after month. You’ll also avoid paying for storage fees, and you may find that holding your own inventory is the most cost-effective choice.

More Control Over Your Inventory & Fulfillment

As mentioned at the top, with FBM, you maintain far more autonomy and independence. You’re not beholden to Amazon and its way of doing things. You’re free, in other words, to iterate your fulfillment process to find the system that is most efficient for your business.

FBA vs. FBM: Which One Is the Most Efficient?

So, which is the most efficient fulfillment option for you and your business?

Really, it’s impossible to say without knowing your business.

The bottom line is that each option offers a number of benefits, but you’ll have to engage in some thorough research to find out which is best for you. Or you can work with a top e-commerce fulfillment company…

Get Expert Support for Order Fulfillment

Whether you are an Amazon FBA seller or want to go FBM, APS Fulfillment, Inc. has the expertise and knowledge necessary to optimize your fulfillment process and save your business significant amounts of money.

There are endless benefits to working with a third-party logistics company that uses the best-quality software systems to manage your warehouse. Although other product fulfillment companies offer similar services, APS Fulfillment, Inc. goes the extra step. We take great pride that our quality control procedures are state-of-the-art, and we guarantee 24-hour turnaround times for our service orders.

Get in touch with us and one of our consultants will tailor a fulfillment plan designed to grow your business. Book a consultation by calling (954) 582-7450 or email [email protected].

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Direct-to-Consumer Fulfillment Options in Florida

Direct To Customer FulfillmentBrick-and-mortar retail stores were already on the way out before COVID-19 made in-person interactions dangerous—we’ve only just seen the adoption of online shopping and direct-to-consumer fulfillment proliferate. But as your business grows with these new e-commerce opportunities, you’ll need a proven direct-to-consumer shipping company to keep up with demand, allowing you to easily scale to meet your growing customer base.

There are few things the online customer prizes more than shipping speed and reliability. Those two factors alone can make the difference between a brand-loyal lifetime customer or them taking their business elsewhere.

Let’s quickly dive into some of the options we have here in Florida.

In-House D2C Fulfillment

In-house fulfillment, otherwise known as self-fulfillment, is essentially when direct-to-consumer products are shipped by the company that produces them. In other words, the company handles the sales, inventory, receiving, processing, shipping, and returns.

It can be a lot on your plate.

What’s more, it can be difficult to scale effectively to meet a higher demand.

For instance, your business isn’t going to have an additional ten trucks sitting around should demand suddenly explode; a third-party shipping company (see below) will have the ability to easily scale to your needs in the event of sudden growth.

The benefit of in-house fulfillment, however, is that you remain in total control. The shipping succeeds or fails based directly on your actions, not the proficiency of an outside provider.

Third-Party Fulfillment

While in-house involves complete ownership of the shipping stage of a sale, third-party fulfillment involves bringing in outside support to manage inventory, shipping, returns, and otherwise relieving your business of that burden.

Many companies opt to work with a third-party direct-to-consumer fulfillment company as they can quickly scale up or down to meet your business’s needs (should you, say, have predictable fluctuations in sales with seasonal items or see an unexpected surge in business).

What’s more is that these companies are up to date on the developing direct-to-consumer trends, allowing them to incorporate all manner of new technology from innovations to tracking shipments to things like more efficient forklifts, making inventory organization more effortless.

Contact APS Fulfillment Inc. for Direct-to-Consumer Fulfillment Options

You want a fulfillment option you can trust to deliver your goods to consumers on time, and not wreak havoc on your budget or steal your business information. You want APS Fulfillment, Inc.—your number one fulfillment experts.

There are endless benefits to working with a third-party logistics company that uses the best-quality software systems to manage your warehouse. Although other product fulfillment companies offer similar services, APS Fulfillment, Inc. goes the extra step. We take great pride in the fact that our quality control procedures are state-of-the-art, and we guarantee 24-hour turnaround times for our service orders.

We have the tools, knowledge, and resources to relieve you of your shipping burden, so you can get back to growing your business.

Get in touch with us and one of our consultants will tailor a fulfillment plan designed to grow your business. Book a consultation by calling (954) 582-7450 or email [email protected].

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When to Outsource Subscription Box Fulfillment

Subscription box services are extremely popular, especially now during the pandemic. Customers enjoy receiving monthly deliveries of exclusive merchandise ranging from skincare products to tech gear to reading material and clothing. If your business offers subscription box services or other e-commerce deliveries, chances are that you’ve definitely seen some major growth in the last few months.

And if you haven’t had the opportunity to expand just yet, there will likely come a time in the near future when meeting customer demand and delivering orders on time becomes a challenge. As your customer base grows and as you attempt to provide more products, things can get overwhelming very quickly. So, how can you keep up with the demand and when should you outsource your subscription box fulfillment service? Here are some issues and challenges that signify now may be the right time to outsource your subscription box service.

Packaging Issues

Subscription box companies must deliver on their promise to provide quality products with every box they send out. Traditional packaging materials and boxes are not the way to do this. Most subscription box services will have customized packaging which add to the experience for customers when they receive them.

If you are having a difficult time customizing your packaging, it may be time to seek help from a third-party logistics provider. They can provide you with custom sticker designs and other external packaging options that reflect your brand and the products you offer. They will also ensure that you have all the internal packaging options that best suit the product you send. If you have fragile items, they can provide you with the right packing materials to secure your shipments.

Growth of Business

One thing that is inevitable with a successful subscription box company is growth. If you notice that customer orders are coming in faster than you can fill them, you put yourself in a dangerous position. During an increase in sales you will not have time to hire and train people while also building systems for your business. If you do not get a handle on the increased sales volume and fulfillment, you will not be able to meet customer demand and could lose business. If you work in the online world, you only have one chance to make a good first impression. If you do not deliver products on time, your customer will likely leave you for a competitor.

When you work with a subscription box fulfillment company, you can manage growth. They will handle the logistics of your subscription box business while you focus on your sales and marketing goals.

Volume Order Fluctuations

Depending on your goals, you may deliver subscription boxes weekly, biweekly, or monthly. In the periods between your delivery cycle, there are slow times where you can focus on other business priorities such as driving more sales.

With a 3PL partner, you will be working with a team that understands your business model. They can accommodate you by holding stock in their warehouse while waiting for your fulfillment date. This serves as an advantage instead of you paying for warehousing space and labour to keep up with high order volumes for only a week out of each month. With a 3PL provider you can have a more scalable model that provides you with the ability to meet peak order requirements without any permanent overhead costs.

Limited Delivery Time

Part of your strategy with subscription box marketing is to create enticement on social media for the delivery of your next box. To manage expectations and meet customer expectations, you must ensure that your boxes arrive in subscribers’ mailboxes around the same date.

Subscription box fulfillment companies can help you process your orders strategically so that you can meet these expectations. They will send out your orders based on customer location to ensure the delivery time is just right. With their established networks they can narrow the delivery window, ensuring that your customers get their boxes around the same time every month.

Service Issues

If you are too busy managing the fulfillment of your orders, you might end up skipping customer returns and customer service inquiries. If you cannot manage fulfillment and customer service, you will sink the reputation of your brand. Customers that are dissatisfied with brands are quick to go online and write scathing reviews about your company. If dozens of customers are complaining about you on social media, you will see a drop in your business.

With the help of a 3PL provider, you can better manage customer returns, customer service, and fulfillment. While you connect on a personal level with your customers, they will provide a high level of service that boosts your reputation.

Logistics Problems & Quality

As your subscription box service grows, you will need to scale your business to manage the effects of growth. The first place you will notice a dramatic change is with inventory. Effective inventory control is necessary to manage your logistics process properly. However, it is expensive and time-consuming to develop a software solution on your own. As a result, most small- to medium-sized businesses resort to licensing expensive software solutions to manage inventory.

A 3PL provider provides you instant access to their robust software systems. These systems can help you manage inventory and you may even access valuable technologies such as automation and robotics. By outsourcing to a 3PL partner, you can get the most out of their existing systems without breaking the bank. Their cloud-based solutions allow you to access vital inventory information from your laptop or mobile device anywhere in the world. You can observe what is happening with your inventory in real-time and check stock levels at multiple warehouses across the country. With their help you can get a bird’s eye view of your entire logistics process.

Contact APS Fulfillment, Inc. for Subscription Service

If you’re looking to scale your subscription box business to keep up with growth, there are many benefits to working with a 3PL provider. As previously explained, they manage everything from inventory management to shipping and can help you scale your business.

APS Fulfillment, Inc. is ready to help you by providing safe, secure, and clean warehousing, full-service CRM integration, a prime location near the port in Fort Lauderdale, and partnerships with all major delivery companies. We’ll help you reach your customers and grow your business to its fullest potential. Our services include e-commerce fulfillment, product fulfillment, returns processing, and more.

Contact us at 954-582-7450 or email [email protected] today to book a consultation and learn more about our customized 3PL services and how we can help you.

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Why Retailers Need More Fulfillment Space to Fill Orders During and After the Pandemic

ecommerce fulfillment servicesThe United States has been one of the hardest hit countries around the world when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic. Social and physical distancing guidelines encourage more and more people to stay home as much as possible and only go out to do essential errands. That means more and more people are placing online orders. As a result, business owners have been forced to rethink and reformulate their existing product fulfillment and distribution strategies to better meet the growing consumer demands.

To avoid having to deal with various physical distancing and mask-wearing guidelines or store regulations, more people are ordering their products online from the comfort of their own homes.

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Why a Good Fulfillment Center Is Key during COVID-19

Good Fulfillment during COVID-19With the COVID-19 pandemic still making headlines across the country—especially here in the U.S. where we’re seeing a surge of new cases—your business needs to adapt if you haven’t already.

Consumers who were normally happy to walk into a store to shop for virtually any item are increasingly pivoting to e-commerce platforms when making purchasing decisions.

And if you’ve done the smart thing and switched to an e-commerce platform to deal with this pivot, congratulations, you may have saved your business!

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What Are the Traits of a Successful Fulfillment Center?

Fulfilment ServicesIf you’ve realized that you need a third-party logistics (3PL) provider to help you manage and grow your business, you may be wondering how to find an efficient fulfillment center? There are certain characteristics of 3PL providers that you will want to have, whether you are a small or medium-sized business. Here are some traits of a successful fulfillment center that you should look for when searching for the right fulfillment partner.

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5 Reasons Outsourcing Subscription Box Fulfillment Is the Best Option

Outsource Subscription box servicesOne of the biggest challenges for businesses is ensuring your e-commerce subscription boxes are shipped out in time. Your customers depend and expect that they will receive their purchased items on time, in good quality. It takes practice and skill to properly manage subscription e-commerce fulfillment and succeeding in this area is essential to your business’s growth. You may think subscription box fulfillment is a simple enough task and that it’s best to handle everything in-house; however, there are many reasons why this is not a good idea. Here are some key reasons why you should outsource your subscription box services to improve the quality of your customer experience and benefit your business.

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In-House Fulfillment Mistakes: Why You Need a 3PL Partner

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There are many factors to consider if you ship your own products in-house. As your business grows, you may consider hiring a third-party fulfillment company (3PL) to tackle the bigger aspects of your business. The way you manage your in-house fulfillment can have serious ramifications, good or bad. Even one weak area can directly affect your brand and your reputation with your customers. Here are some of the biggest fulfillment mistakes to avoid, and why a 3PL partner will benefit you.

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Tips to Maintain a Successful 3PL Relationship

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Companies that choose to partner with a third-party logistics (3PL) provider need to maintain a positive and healthy relationship with them to ensure the overall success of the venture. Your 3PL relationship can benefit you in many ways, including streamlining your supply chain operations and helping you focus on other aspects of your business. So, to get the most out of your 3PL provider, here are some tips to maintain a successful partnership.

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How Fulfillment Reports from a 3PL Provider Can Help Your Business

Fulfillment Reports

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Today’s business world is fast and furious, and running an e-commerce company requires you to stay on top of everything to continue generating revenue and growth. Even if you run a company that involves shipping and fulfillment for a brick-and-mortar store, you still need data to make the right decisions. If you run low on inventory or make preventable shipping mistakes, it could slow down your operations and lead to wasted time and money. To prevent this, you need accurate and real-time fulfillment reports. This information will help you forecast issues, prevent them from happening, and view where your products come and go to make the right decisions. Here’s how receiving fulfillment reports from a 3PL provider can help your business.

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