When it comes to choosing a fulfillment partner, businesses have a lot of different options. Amazon, Walmart, and other big names in the e-commerce space offer their own fulfillment services, which can be tempting for businesses looking for a fast and easy solution. However, before deciding, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each option. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of Walmart fulfillment services.
One of the originators of online buying and selling, eBay is an e-commerce pioneer that’s still quite popular today. But just because it’s an older e-commerce platform doesn’t mean it’s allergic to innovation and improvement. And one such improvement many businesses are taking advantage of these days is eBay order fulfillment through third-party logistics (3PL) providers.
Outsourcing your fulfillment can solve many of your eBay order fulfillment challenges, as well as provide a number of benefits. Let’s take a look at some of those benefits of working with a third party for eBay order fulfillment.
Customers care about packaging materials. While it may not be immediately obvious just how impactful the right packaging material can be, consider this: Ipsos found that 72% of Americans said that a product’s packaging often influences their purchasing decisions.
That means that if your business isn’t offering the right packaging material types, you may be losing out on a sale. What’s more, 55% of online shoppers said that they would return to a website if their purchase came in custom packaging, highlighting the importance of packaging customization in customer retention.
All that said, let’s take a look at a variety of packaging material types, and what each material is best suited for.
When it comes to e-commerce fulfillment services, the margins can be razor-thin, and the difference between profit and loss on a given delivery can come down to a few simple decisions.
E-commerce fulfillment companies often face many challenges. Understanding those challenges and how best to overcome them is one of the fastest ways to boost profits at your business. As a top e-commerce fulfillment center, we know what it takes to maximize profits and how to avoid common pitfalls.
In order to fully participate in the e-commerce market, businesses need to have access to Amazon and its enormous customer base. But when it comes to Amazon fulfillment, there are a number of choices that you as a business owner needs to make.
The first is whether you’re looking for a vendor central arrangement (Amazon buys directly from you) or seller central one (you list your products on Amazon, but still own your inventory). Next, you need to determine if you want Amazon FBM (fulfillment by merchant) or FBA (fulfillment by Amazon).
As 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).
Brick-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.
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.
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.
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.
The 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.
With 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!