Thanksgiving and December Holiday Hours

Close-up of African American man carving roasted Thanksgiving turkey.

Medallion and Sprocket Express’ 2022-2023 Holiday Season Closures

Our holiday season hours are as follows:

Thanksgiving: Closed Thursday and Friday November 24th and 25th

Christmas: Closed Monday December 26th

New Year’s Eve: Monday January 2nd

Thank you again for allowing us to be your warehouse and fulfillment partner.

How Do I Know I Am Ready to Hire a Fulfillment Partner?

Young woman preparing boxes to ship

While you are getting your eCommerce business up and running, you are probably doing the bulk of the work yourself. Many online companies begin as cottage industries, operating out of a home or garage, such as Jeff Bezos famously did with Amazon.

Even if your eCommerce store does not reach Amazon’s sales levels, you are bound to reach a point where it is hard to keep up. How do you know when it is time to hire a fulfillment company? Ask yourself these questions to help guide your decision.

Are You Ready to Partner With a Fulfillment Company?

1. Are you running out of room?

As sales increase, you need more inventory to fill orders, along with more space to store that inventory. Unfortunately, science has yet to create a wall stretcher that will let you expand your current base of operations.

A fulfillment warehouse is designed to hold large quantities of product. As a plus, they have sophisticated inventory management software that provides efficient tracking and robust reporting.

2. Are you spending too much time running to UPS?

Whether you use USPS, UPS, or FedEx, you are bound to their policies and rates. Few things are more frustrating than scrambling to reach the post office just as they are locking the doors.

If you use a fulfillment service, you can say good-bye to that headache. Not only do they have daily pickups scheduled with all major carriers, but they can accommodate LTL (less than a truckload) shipments and you can benefit from their lower contracted rates. A fulfillment warehouse will also free you up from the task of following up on shipping problems.

3. Are you having a hard time finding labor?

We have all heard about the Great Resignation, with a significant number of people leaving the workforce due to a shift in priorities following the COVID shutdown. For this and other reasons, many employers are having difficulties finding and retaining qualified labor.

With a fulfillment company, you have the advantage of a full staff but pay based on your business alone. You no longer have the responsibility of recruiting, hiring, and managing employees, nor do you have to cover insurance and other labor-related expenses.

4. Can your infrastructure scale along with your business?

As your business grows, you will still find ebbs and flows along the way. The classic example is holiday sales, but there are many other situations that can cause fluctuations. For example, perhaps you sell scarves, bathing suits or other seasonal items.

A fulfillment company focuses on inventory management and order fulfillment. They are experts at these services, so they can navigate the process of scaling as needed to suit your business.

5. Are you expanding to other geographic areas?

Expanding your geographic reach is a natural progression. But with customers expecting two-day, next-day or even same-day delivery, it is crucial to have your product physically located nearby. If you are getting nervous at the thought of opening multiple facilities, a fulfillment warehouse can solve that problem.

6. Do you have time to run your business?

Increasing sales should be job #1. If fulfillment and logistics is taking time away from building your brand, coming up with new products and other sales-related projects, it’s time to take on a fulfillment partner.

Your #1 Choice for a Quality Fulfillment Company

At Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics, we truly consider ourselves a partner in your success. With more than 35 years of experience and facilities on both coasts, Medallion offers a full range of fulfillment services that are flexible enough to scale along with your business.

Contact us to learn more about our innovative Amazon replenishment warehousing service and other programs.

Tips to Build Ecommerce Sales in April

Logistics and supply chain management for online shopping concept : Fork-lift moves a box with a red shopping cart logo, 2 cartons on a laptop computer. The image depicting delivering goods or products in a store.

When it comes to ecommerce sales opportunities, April may seem to stretch out like a vast wasteland. The lucrative holiday season is a fading image in the rearview mirror, and people are scrambling to pay their income tax bills.

But this doesn’t mean you should simply coast along and hope for the best. April is the perfect time to try some creative strategies for boosting sales. Use these expert tips to keep your fulfillment warehouse pumping out orders through the month.

  1. Fine-Tune Your Email Marketing Strategy

Does your website make it easy for visitors to join your email list? Pop-ups, floating banners, and opt-in check boxes are all dynamic ways of encouraging customers to provide their email address. Be sure to use vibrant calls to action, such as “Get Started,” rather than the generic “Sign Up.”

Don’t treat your email list as a one-size-fits-all program. Ask customers questions, such as what type of promotions they like or how they heard about your shop. Use the information to segment your email list for personalized marketing that will build loyalty and repeat sales.

  1. Leverage the Power of “Scarcity”

There’s even an acronym for it these days: FOMO, or “fear of missing out.” No one likes to feel left out of something that they believe everyone else is enjoying. According to credit reporting company Experian, creating a sense of urgency in promotional emails doubles the transaction rate of regular marketing emails.

Limited time offers, flash sales and countdown timers are all ways to generate excitement. But don’t stop there. Direct the momentum by providing clear, easy-to-follow instructions on what steps customers should take to capitalize on the offers.

  1. Build Brand Awareness

How often do you monitor Facebook, Instagram and your other social media platforms? Do you use Google Alerts and other tools to follow your mentions? Your brand is your identity. Make sure people are receiving the image you want to project. If you find any discrepancies, use the information to tweak your marketing methods.

  1. Review Data Analysis

When your goals are vague and unfocused, it’s difficult to create a plan of action. Goals should always be measurable so you can track your progress and stay motivated. Reviewing data on a regular basis lets you see where you stand and make any necessary course corrections.

  1. Know Your Audience

Who is your target audience? No matter how carefully crafted your marketing program is, it won’t matter if it’s focused in the wrong direction. Google and Facebook have useful tools that reveal information about your website traffic, such as how people are finding your site and where they’re located.

Buyer personas offer a detailed picture of your target customers. Put yourself in their shoes. What are their pain points? What motivates them? Where do they congregate online? The more specific you can make these personas, the better equipped you are to find and reach your audience.

  1. Improve Customer Service

With the sales journey taking place digitally, customer service becomes even more important than ever. Software company Zendesk conducted a survey that revealed 84 percent of respondents use customer service as a deciding factor on whether or not to buy.

Customer service can be the element that sets you apart from your competitors. Give your customers plenty of options to contact you and then provide prompt follow-up.

Is Your Fulfillment Warehouse Helping or Hurting You?

Don’t let supply chain and logistics issues distract you from growing your sales. Contact Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics to learn about our cost-effective, scalable fulfillment warehouse services.

Google Ups Its Game in eCommerce with a New Deep Shopify Connection

As Amazon continues its quest to strong-arm eCommerce retailers into submission, another online giant has decided not to roll over. Google, which holds a commanding 90 percent of the search engine market, has joined forces with top eCommerce platform Shopify to challenge Amazon’s dominance.

Google Takes on Amazon

While Google has so far been only peripherally involved in online retailing, Amazon has been encroaching on Google Ads, which was the recipient of more than 50 percent of digital ad revenues in 2020. However, Amazon grew their own advertising market share from 13.3 percent to 19 percent during the same time.

With more than half of online shopping excursions beginning at Amazon, advertising was a logical extension of their other services. Similarly, Google recognized the opportunity to leverage their own robust ad business into providing an alternative for small and mid-sized eCommerce retailers who feel stifled by the lack of options.

The Changing Focus at Google

The new venture is the brainchild of Bill Ready, who joined Google in January 2020 as the company’s President of Commerce and Payments. Ready had previously served as COO of PayPal and CEO of Venmo and Braintree.

Ready’s arrival at Google coincided with the onset of the unprecedented global pandemic, which in turn triggered a seismic leap in the already robust eCommerce industry. Shortly thereafter, Ready took the first step in shifting Google’s strategy by offering online retailers free listings in Google Shopping.

So, what exactly is the new Google Shopping? What it’s not, according to Ready, is an eCommerce retailer or marketplace. In a blog post sent to Forbes in early May, Ready referred to it as a platform for consumers to discover a wide range of products across a spectrum of sellers, from national big-box stores to small independent retailers.

Days later came Google’s I/O Developer conference, during which Ready officially announced the company’s partnership with Shopify. He expounded on his vision of the venture as part of an overall plan to “democratize” eCommerce with a “free and open” system for consumers and retailers alike.

Why Google Shopping?

Here’s a look at what to expect from Google Shopping now and in the future:

• With just a few clicks, merchants in Shopify’s network of 1.7 million+ retailers can install the platform’s Google channel to auto sync their inventory. They can also link a new or existing Google Ads account, and the free listings policy will continue.

• Shopify sellers can feature their products on heavily trafficked Google platforms, including Maps, Images, Search, Lens and YouTube. More than 1 billion “shopping journeys” occur on these platforms daily, making them fertile sites for new customers.

• Google’s powerful access to comprehensive sets of data will power Shopping Graph, an AI-generated model that makes connections between products, sellers and brands. In an example of this synergy, when a shopper views images of products in Photos, it will trigger a suggestion to search for places to buy the items via Lens.

• Amazon isn’t the only online presence in Google’s crosshairs. The company is testing a program that allows YouTube users to shop for products they discover through their favorite content creators. This is in response to the growing presence of TikTok and Facebook in the eCommerce arena.

Coast-to-Coast Fulfillment Services to Fit Your Needs

How do you set yourself apart in the competitive eCommerce field? Sophisticated shoppers insist on exceptional service, rapid delivery, and complete responsiveness. Let Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics handle your storage and shipping needs while you focus on growing your business.

Our scalable, cost-effective solutions include our Amazon replenishment program. Contact us today to learn more.

Beyond Amazon, the Power of E-commerce Marketplace Diversification

Grow Your Business by Thinking of More Resources than Amazon

Plenty of businesses use Amazon as their primary online marketplace. But many observe the old adage and don’t put all of their eggs in one basket. Diversification is a successful e-commerce strategy that allows your business to reach more customers in more places.

Our clients use a variety of marketplaces to expand their businesses. These are some of our favorites. Sprocket Express and Medallion Fulfillment integrate with all of these markets quickly and efficiently so that you can ship all of your orders using one easy fulfillment interface.

eBay

This year marks eBay’s 25th anniversary as an online marketplace. It was one of the first and continues to function as a major selling platform. Although Amazon has risen to number one with roughly three times the annual gross merchandise volume (GMV), eBay is still the second leading marketplace in the U.S.

Similar to Amazon, an e-commerce eBay “shop” allows retailers a single branded storefront for all of their listings. Whether used in conjunction with a brand website or as the primary online presence, the eBay shop is a powerful selling tool.

Sprocket and Medallion Fulfillment are fluent in multiple e-commerce marketplaces and already integrates with eBay for a seamless experience, allowing multi-channel merchants to focus on their products and leave the marketplace protocols to us.

Walmart.com

Walmart is the third largest e-commerce marketplace in the United States and represents serious competition to Amazon. Approximately 95% of Americans have shopped at Walmart or Walmart.com in the past year, so this is a massive audience and it continues to grow.

It is easy to start selling on Walmart with these seven steps. Marketplace items appear in search results on Walmart.com alongside other items.

Shopify

Shopify is an e-commerce platform designed to allow clients to easily build a website with a shopping cart solution. As one of the most popular e-commerce cart packages, this software option is a powerful online selling tool.

For businesses who prefer to sell mainly on their own websites, Shopify is an ideal choice. You can also use the platform to build your own marketplace for your brand. Look for a fulfillment service like Sprocket Express a division of  Medallion Fulfillment, which is already integrated and ready to connect to your site in fifteen minutes.

Rakuten.com Shopping

Buy.com (recently named Rakuten.com Shopping) is one of the largest online retail marketplaces with over 20 million customers in the U.S. On this platform, e-commerce sellers can create their own fully branded “storefront” to maintain cohesive brand identity.

As an added bonus, Rakuten clients have access to an e-commerce consultant to advise sellers on ways to expand exposure and increase sales. Customers of the marketplace also earn cash back, which promotes loyalty to the platform and encourages repeat business.

Retail EDI

Companies that sell to wholesale customers to supply their retail stores often use Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to transmit orders. This is the most efficient way to resupply because the system does all of the work behind the scenes and all the store has to do is enter the quantity of an item to trigger the order.

EDI is a powerful strategy for B2B sellers and can trim time and staff expenses, contributing to a healthier bottom-line and less error in the supply chain. Sprocket Express is equipped with full EDI capabilities to allow our wholesale clients to focus on expanding their businesses without devoting valuable time to processing large orders.

In Conclusion

Sprocket Express a division of Medallion Fulfillment is expressly designed to serve multichannel marketers and omnichannel sellers. With built-in integrations for numerous marketplaces, we are prepared to serve your business wherever and however you choose to sell.

We currently support multi-channel platforms for over 25% of our clients, so we can also coach on carrier selection, shipping method strategies and more, based on your unique business needs.