Don’t Burn Up Profits Using Discounts & Specials

Don't Burn Money

Using discounts and specials to drive traffic to your site can be a double-edged sword. Used properly, such sales offers are a powerful tool for boosting conversions. Used haphazardly, however, they can eat-up profits and burn your brand. Effectively utilizing discounts and specials without damaging your brand takes a bit of finesse.

Step-1: Brand Strategy

Brand strategy is essential in choosing the best type of sales offer(s) for your biz. For brands boasting deep discounts and healthy margins, daily or weekly sales may be better for boosting sales. Higher-end brands with slimmer margins, however, do better with customer loyalty-type offers. (This prevents driving in non-loyal/price-driven shoppers.)

Step-2: Selecting a Discount-Type

Popular options include:

  • Percentage off.
    Most common with sub-$100 sales, these range from overall, small 5-20% discounts to larger 50%+ single-item liquidations.
  • Dollar value discounts.
    Most commonly used with sales over $100, pair these with a minimum purchase.
  • Free shipping with minimum purchase.
    Shipping is the #1 reason for cart abandonment!
  • Free gift.
    A great incentive – and a way to rid product that’s not moving.

Step-3: Determining Timing

  • Go weekly or monthly to drive sales and help meet revenue goals.
  • Use pre launch offers to drive traffic and boost interest in new items/businesses.
  • Take advantage of holidays and seasonal milestones to stretch revenue.

Step-4: Converting Missed Opportunities

Sales offers can also help you nab looky loos.

  • Abandoned cart emails bearing free shipping/discount offers are a powerful conversion tool.
  • Social, email, & newsletter subscriptions offers help you broaden your customer base.
  • “Like”, “follow”, “share” & other referral promos are a wonderful way to widen word-of-mouth.
  • First-time shopper offers are a great nudge.
  • Customer loyalty offers keep shoppers coming back for more.

Struggling to keep up with packaging and shipping needs after using discounts and specials? Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics can help. Contact us today.

Brand Building to Boost Business

Branding for Your Company

A brand, such as Starbucks or Apple, is much more than just a name. Branding encompasses all the thoughts, feelings and emotions people experience when they hear the words “Starbucks” or “Apple.”

Your brand represents the commitment you make to your customers through your product or service. Is your business trendy or classic? Who is your target audience? What is your mission?

Building a brand requires careful thought and consideration. Use these guidelines to create a brand that’s unique, memorable and appealing.

Seven Tips for Creating a Vivid and Memorable Brand

• Figure out who your target audience is. Learn more about their wants, needs and shopping habits by talking to them and following relevant social media accounts.

• Develop a positioning statement. You’ll be tempted to include everything but the kitchen sink, but communicating too much ultimately communicates nothing at all. Stay focused and craft one or two lines that sum up why your business matters.

• Choose a business name, which isn’t as easy as it sounds. If the name is too on-the-nose, it could be awkward if you plan to expand your offerings down the road. You also have to consider logos, website domains and trademark registrations.

• Once you have a name, it’s time to work on fonts and colors. Unless you have a specific reason for choosing something a little more complex, stick with clean and simple fonts.

• Choose a palette based on the psychology of colors, but make sure you consider how it looks in black and white and against different backgrounds.

• What would a brand be without a logo? In addition to the design elements, check to make sure it’s scalable across a range of sizes.

• Write a short but punchy slogan that immediately paints a picture. A slogan is a great way to maintain consistency, but you can certainly adapt it over time as you refine your marketing efforts and strategies.

Now that you’ve created a polished and powerful brand, start applying it across all phases and segments of your business. Don’t forget that consistency is key.

California Fulfillment Services: The Solution for All Your Order Processing Needs

Looking for a California fulfillment services company that will help maintain the integrity of your brand? Contact us to find out why Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics will provide the consistent service your customers expect.

Five Types of eCommerce Businesses

Fulfillment Warehouse Owner

Which Type of Fulfillment Service is Right for You?

From a fulfillment warehouse perspective, eCommerce businesses have a unique set of service needs. Third-party logistic companies (3PLs) have made significant technical changes in recent years to adapt to the new market structure and the consumer’s need for speed and transparency.

Within the online marketplace, each category has different support needs. When choosing an order fulfillment service, it’s useful to keep in mind that some providers are better adapted to particular types of clients.

There are five categories of eCommerce businesses with different approaches.

The Outsourcer

This is an established company that sells products through traditional retail or wholesale channels and has decided to outsource their ecommerce business. They sell primarily through an established website and a single channel, and have skilled business and technical staff that work with the fulfillment company to implement an integrated process.

Often, these companies have their own technical platforms and require customization to connect to the warehouse for order capture and post-shipment reporting.

The Offshore Company

This client typically has an existing ecommerce business overseas that has been “discovered” by Americans who are ordering product. Given the high cost and lag time in handling B2C offshore shipments, the company needs a partner in the United States to be their local “arms and legs.”

Having a U.S. base helps reduce their transportation costs and improve response times. Outsourcing fulfillment presents challenges with time zones, language/communication, customs, and the establishment of U.S. business entities to handle import duties and taxes. These clients are similar to the Outsourcer, but have the added layer of dealing with a foreign company.

The Entrepreneur

The rapidly falling costs of running an ecommerce business, coupled with the low-entry costs of participating in major marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, have enabled many more people to be able to afford to run an online store. This has created an industry of one-person small businesses and part-time entrepreneurs that usually have other jobs outside of ecommerce.

While the failure rate for these ventures is high, a small percent become successful, either because they have a unique product or hold a niche in the marketplace.

When filling orders or storing inventory gets to be overwhelming, the Entrepreneur needs a company to support their fulfillment. These businesses – especially the part-timers – may lack the support structure of an established business and look to the fulfillment company to be more than someone who stores product and ships orders.

They may need IT support, business-process design, business consulting, purchasing, assembly, and other back-office services. The Entrepreneur can often benefit from an experienced warehouse’s business and technical coaching.

This segment benefits from a highly sophisticated, self-service business model. (Think ATM machines!) Most fulfillment centers offer automated interactions to profitably support this customer segment.

The Multi-Channel Marketer

This is the eCommerce business that has progressed beyond selling through a single website. Marketplaces may include Amazon, eBay, Buy.com, Fab.com, to name just a few. They may be involved in direct TV, small retail or even large retail (Best Buy, Kohl’s, Walmart).

They may sell through drop shippers or boost volume with flash sales. Order volumes in this category may be high, but a high level of technical support is often required, particularly in the setup phase. Each selling channel has a unique fulfillment flow. Significant IT challenges exist in supporting the special selling, branding, distribution and reporting requirements of each channel.

EDI capabilities will often be required. Undoubtedly, the future of ecommerce selling is through multiple channel marketplaces.

Omni-Channel Selling

When a customer interacts with your company in different channels, but their experience feels seamless, this is called omnichannel selling. It differs from multi-channel selling in that the interactions are all connected in one central data hub.

This is a customer-centric experience with a powerful impact. For example – you sell in stores, social media, by phone, and through mobile shopping, and your customers can move between the channels without obstacles.

They can order online and pick up in the store, or visit your Facebook profile and then order via mobile app. This strategy retains the most customers and offers them the most options. Plus, your analytics are more meaningful because they cover all channels to give you an accurate picture of your entire operation. Platforms such as Shopify and BigCommerce are excellent foundations for omnichannel selling.

What All This Means to You

It’s clear that each business has its own priorities, but understanding the categories will help you select the right fulfillment center for your needs. Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics has coached many clients on supply chain and logistics strategies. Read our fulfillment transition guide to help you plan a successful move that causes little or no disruption to your customers.

Our robust array of services meet the needs of the most discriminating customer. Contact us for more information and a free price quote.

Not All Website Traffic is Equal – How to Get More High Quality Traffic

FedEx Rates for Shipping have Changed Today

Are you confusing high website traffic counts with high-quality website traffic? If you take a look at the numbers from your ecommerce website, you’ll quickly see all traffic is not created equal. You need the right people – the right demographic, the right segment – to do more than take a Sunday drive through your site – you need them to buy-in.

How Can You Attract More High-Quality Website Traffic to your Online Store?

There are a number of ways you can accomplish this, each targeting a specific genre of people. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular and well-known options.

• Blogs

Blogs pull-in traffic via educational material, FAQs, and industry trends. 409-million browsers view more than 22-billion blog pages monthly, generating an average of 76-million posts and 42-million comments on WordPress alone.

How many do you need? Those blogging 16-times+ monthly generate 3.5-times more traffic than those blogging 4-times or less. But you’ll need a strategic plan. Pro-Advice: Don’t waste precious time and energy if this isn’t your wheelhouse; enlist the help of content marketing professionals who understands the ever-changing dynamics of SEO.

• Social Media

Social media channels are endless. The biggest? Facebook, with over 2-billion active monthly users, and Twitter, with 286.3-million. Facebook encompasses a broader segment, where by-and-large, Twitter is more popular with young adults. Like blogging, targeting quality traffic here takes time, research, and effort. Pick 1-2 channels that make the most sense.

The goal? It’s not attracting users waiting around for a “flash-sale” – but providing a virtual hangout for your target demographic. Don’t get it? Checkout this Twitter page to understand more.

• Video

Video is exploding, with YouTube dominating the market (1-billion+ users). All-ages use it – and it reaches 95% of online adults 35+ per month. With such a massive audience, choosing keywords that send you to the top of search results (getting you to your key demographic) is mission-critical – so do your homework!

• Podcasts

Podcasting opens you up to a wide variety of end-users, but is isn’t necessarily optimized to net traffic. There’s no call-to-action – its corresponding show notes, blogging and social posts that drive marketing, with the end goal of building brand awareness and loyalty (regular listeners/customers).

Remarkable Content Generates a Remarkable Link to Consumers

Key to getting items from cyberspace to your fulfillment warehouse is content quality that appeals to relevant consumers. Content that simply fills digital space won’t rise to the top. You must strive to help buyers through their journey, exploring issues they’ll encounter in the research process, promoting the nurturing relationship they crave and winning them over as to why doing business with you is in their best interest.

Spending money and time on ho-hum, keyword-focused content won’t get you there. Work backwards, providing content that confronts issues customers face – or problems your products solve, standing-out by providing insight/solutions others don’t.

Things picking up? From drawing customers in to getting product out the door, Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics has you covered. Discover more about our versatile fulfillment warehouse solutions today.

Tips for Writing Blog Posts that People Will Actually Read

If a blog post lands online and no one is there to read it, does it really make any noise? There are more than 152 million blogs on the Internet, and with the number growing by one every half-second.

The good news is that the sheer number of blogs shows that people are regularly reading them. Use these tips to create valuable blog posts that keep viewers coming back for more.

1. Start with a Compelling Premise

Just as a beautiful flower grows from a tiny seed, a great blog post begins with a small but powerful idea. People sometimes make the mistake of starting with the points they want to make and then looking for a theme to hang them on. Come up with a timely and relevant idea and your content will flow organically.

2. Know Your Audience

When you try to be all things to all people, your message ends up so vague and watered-down that it doesn’t appeal to anyone. If you don’t already have a buyer persona, create one and use it as the target for your writing.

3. Make It Readable

Readability involves more than just language, words and tone. With only 10 to 20 seconds to grab a viewer’s attention before they leave your site, be sure to make your post as visually appealing as possible.

• Break up large chunks of text into smaller bite-size pieces of no more than five lines. Forget what your English teacher told you: One-sentence paragraphs are no longer frowned upon.

• Include short but punchy subheadings that convey your message at a glance.

• Use bullet points, boldface and other formatting that make the post “skimmable.”

4. Add Graphic Interest

Did you know that 65 percent of the people who visit your website are visual learners? That’s one of the reasons why infographics and videos are such powerful formats. Pictures, GIF’s, videos and other graphic content make your message more powerful and increase the shareability factor for a greater reach.

5. Craft an Attention-Grabbing Headline

First impressions always count. No matter how vibrant, topical and thoughtful your content is, no one will read it without a catchy headline to draw them in.

6. Proofread and Proofread Again

Would you have confidence in a person who showed up for a business meeting with soiled clothes, greasy hair and grimy fingernails? Readers will have the same reaction if your blog post is riddled with misspellings, poor grammar and inaccurate facts.

A California Fulfillment Warehouse for All Your Inventory Management Needs

Why invest time, money and labor into building and maintaining your own fulfillment warehouse? Contact Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics to learn more about our fulfillment warehouse services that are scalable to accommodate your specific needs.