You have a hot product. Your ads are generating record-breaking clicks. Then you get to the order.
$19.50 shipping, 10 days delivery.
And the cart is abandoned.
Again and again.
What if you could change that turnaround to half or even a quarter of the time? What if you could incorporate an accurate shipping cost into the sales price, or offer flat-rate shipping?
Professional direct order fulfillment by a third party logistics company can speed your orders on the opposite coast or internationally at a fraction of the cost of your own warehouse and shipping staff.
On top of that, order fulfillment from a major parcel shipping hub like Cincinnati or Nashville can speed delivery by several days compared to cross country fulfillment.
Read on to learn more.
What Is a Fulfillment Center?
Nearly 60% of all shopping cart abandonments are due to "surprise" fees and shipping charges. Another 18% of carts are abandoned due to the shipping time. Using specialists to minimize time and surprises makes sense.
Fulfillment centers are your warehouse and shipping specialists. Essentially, the best services seamlessly take orders from your website and deliver them to your customers. They allow you to focus your efforts on making sales, not making deliveries.
In the most common setup, you deliver your product to the logistics company and they handle the delivery of your goods to the end consumer. For small to medium-sized e-commerce sites, this is ideal.
Having experts in charge of inventory and shipping reduces costs.
Your fulfillment center takes delivery of your products and manages inventory to prevent lost sales. No stock-outs is the goal.
Reasons You Might Need a Fulfillment Center
Think of all the business activities you have to put off when you are direct shipping.
Do you have time to make new contacts and explore new clients?
How about getting publicity or getting reviewed?
What about a well-earned break for yourself?
All these activities get tossed to the back burner when your time is spent packing and shipping products in house. It can be backbreaking work.
Add in the art and science of inventory control and you have some of the most hated business tasks for small business owners.
Fulfillment centers are ideal for e-commerce store owners who want to concentrate on building their business instead of building a stronger back. Otherwise, in addition to your skills as a webmaster, you will be a package wrapper, barcode sorter and more.
Focus on Your Core Strengths
Small e-commerce business owners often find that growing their business, making new contacts or even talking with the press is enjoyable.
There is no joy in filling orders and hauling them to the nearest postal facility. One large order that you have to pack and ship yourself can eliminate time for any other business for a week or more.
How often do you find yourself coping with upset or angry East Coast customers because you missed a shipping window and delayed an order or misquoted a shipping time or price? Do you find meeting expectations for speedy delivery tough?
A fulfillment house located in the middle of the country might be your best bet. they can step in and take over your shipping workload. This helps you get back to doing what you do best. Then you do what you enjoy best, and your orders to both coasts get taken care of with ease.
Expand Geographical Markets
Do you want to expand your reach and increase your sales by targeting the other side of the country? How about around the world? Choose a centrally located fulfillment service to negotiate the best shipping and warehousing service for you.
They take care of the logistics and regulations.
Often there are state by state logistics to figure out. For example, CBD cream may or may not be legal to ship to certain states. Your logistics management team can guide you.
You just put the "Now Next Day Delivery to Vermont" onto your banner page. Adding international shipping is a breeze in the same way. Choose a fulfillment service near a transportation hub to speed your goods along.
Shipping to Canada or Mexico comes with its own challenges. The right fulfillment house can advise you on the matter. Most sellers don't want to specialize in overseas logistics.
Grow Your Product Line
Know you have a great product in Oregon but can't figure out how to get it intact to your customers in Connecticut?
Sourced the perfect item in Arizona and need to get it to Florida?
Did you find the perfect extensions to your existing product line?
Growing your product line means additional inventory. To further complicate things, your new products might come from different suppliers. You can acquire your own warehouse, management, and staff or you can look to your fulfillment partner.
Scale up by adding more inventory with your order fulfillment service. They can give you the support you need for additional products. It should be easy on the pocketbook.
After all, you won't need to get more space or hire more people to handle the new items.
Reduce East Coast Overhead
Property and labor costs along the East Coast aren't cheap. West Coast costs aren't inexpensive either. How do you reduce costs and still continue great service for East Coast customers?
Rather than sinking capital into a warehouse in an expensive zip code, think about your fulfillment house as an alternative. Especially if your warehouse will be in use only seasonally. Consider the expense of hiring training and maintaining labor in expensive zip codes too.
A centrally located fulfillment house provides the additional labor to pack, manage inventory and ship for you. No more expensive labor in pricey real estate.
Flexible fulfillment helps you during the busy period. During busy times, you use their services. other times, you might decide to ship yourself.
Sounds Great, Why Not Amazon Services?
Three words, follow the money. Amazon is making money off of providing the warehousing services.
Amazon's main source of revenue is product sales. Third party seller services accounted for nearly a third of Q4 2017 sales.
More than two million third party sellers are registered on Amazon's platform. It's estimated that nearly half of the items shipped by Amazon are sold by third party sellers.
In 2017 third party sellers on Amazon generated $10.35 billion in revenues in the 4th quarter alone- making up the second-largest source of Amazon's revenues. This represents a huge 38% year over year increase.
Most third party sellers on Amazon use its Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service.
Amazon's FBA has some disadvantages, especially if you sell in from other channels other than Amazon. Shipping to other retail stores, distributors or directs sales, for example. Also, the returns policy is very expensive and results in a great deal of waste.
Many third party sellers opt to handle these parts of the sales fulfillment process themselves.
In other words, back to direct fulfillment.
Order Fulfillment Challenges
FBA services are part of distributing with Amazon and having the coveted Prime spots. For many sellers, it is part of the cost of doing business. And there are some other challenges.
Moving products from overseas to the East Coast or simply from coast to coast often requires contact with customs, ocean freight, air freight or ground transport and more.
Beyond that, service to your East Coast clients has to happen seamlessly, so that your shipping system seems invisible and unnoticed.
The holiday season is always one of the most challenging tests of a fulfillment service. There are many orders to pack and ship, stores to stock, and if you use FBA, you need to stock their service too. On top of all that, you need to process returns, which can cost you a huge amount in loss or service.
Penalties and charge backs can be deadly. The right order fulfillment service has the technology to speed product to either coast within two days or less, they can offer returns service and advanced shipping and logistics to service orders from distributors, retailers and consumers.
Service For Your East Coast Customer
You can provide customers on the East Coast the same personal and timely service as clients nearer to your headquarters with inteligent order fulfillment. Warehousing and shipping from a central hub ensures that you have:
- Uniform delivery time
- Reliable delivery price
- Your time spent cultivating customers
- Reduced warehouse costs
- Faster returns and service
Let Verst Logistics impress you with back office integration, inventory management and shipping for small, medium and large orders. Avoid chargebacks and penalties with smart returns service that avoids unsaleable products.
Contact us today to learn more. Our experts can guide you.