International Fulfillment – How to Reach More Customers Worldwide

Cross-Border eCommerce

The world of eCommerce knows no boundaries. Consumers in the US want access to foreign products without currency conversions and lengthy shipping times. Outside of the US, consumers want American products without surprises and delays. As a business owner, you want to reach a larger market with ease. Your fulfillment partner plays a big part in making international eCommerce sales flow smoothly.

Cross-border online consumer purchasing is increasing 25-30% a year and is projected to reach $1 trillion this past year, according to market statistics. These sales account for over 17% of all eCommerce sales worldwide.

How Fulfillment Can Help

Navigating the intricacies of cross-border commerce is no easy feat. It takes a lot of time and research to understand how to facilitate a smooth purchase and shipping process. There are different carriers, documents, regulations, and certifications to consider. The most important part is the keep the customer happy and increase your sales. To save time and money, choose a fulfillment partner with experience in these areas.

Services to Look for in Your Provider:

• Customs documentation
• Drop shipping
• Freight consolidation
• Overseas carrier relationships
• Multiple warehouse locations

If you are already selling on Amazon, you can easily expand to their Canadian and Mexican platforms, as well as other countries. You may need to upload documents or approvals, depending on your product category.

If you are using FBA, Amazon will fulfill and ship the orders. But if you are fulfilling orders in house, you will need to tackle the process yourself. If you are new to international shipping, this can be a big project that takes time from your marketing and growth efforts.

Global Seller Benefits

Whether selling in small quantity to consumers outside of the US, distributing overseas, or sending products the US for sale to American consumers, this is a prime opportunity to work with a 3PL. A strong global fulfillment house offers experience in both B2C and B2B international eCommerce situations. These partners truly offer multi channel support. No boundaries.

International Seller Benefits

• Reach US customers quickly
• Avoid customs holdups
• Compete with US sellers
• Freight consolidation

US Seller Benefits

• Reach international customers efficiently
• Offer smooth customs process
• Understand export sales factors
• Expand your market reach

Multiple warehouses are not appropriate for every business. Maintaining more than one inventory location can be too much for many businesses as this tends to increase the cost of the service and divides your inventory. Without a large volume and solid historical stats to decide how to break up the inventory, it can actually hurt a business to spread out inventory at this level.

Companies with large volume, fewer SKUs, or a wide and even geographical reach will benefit from multiple locations. This is a big consideration when choosing a fulfillment partner. Medallion has two warehouse locations one on the West Coast and one on the East Coast. Use our two locations to grow your business.

Businesses that prefer one location can still achieve worldwide distribution. The key is experience. Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics and Sprocket Express can help any business create a seamless process to overseas shipping. By increasing your market reach, you can grow exponentially as you create brand awareness in new locations and in new markets.

Medallion and Sprocket Express Have the Experience You Need

An experienced 3PLs like Medallion and Sprocket Express can help you immensely when shipping overseas. Greg Kent, our President, is well-versed in using fulfillment systems reaching a global market. He can help international sellers with US eCommerce, as well as help US companies sell better abroad.

All of our clients benefit from our custom-built portal that offers real-time inventory and shipping information. Businesses and customers alike receive tracking information directly and immediately. We can provide same day shipping across a variety of carriers. Talk to us about international shipping and see if we can help you expand your geographic reach.

Tips for Building Customer Loyalty and Repeat Customers

Medallion is a California Based Fulfillment Company

As with many companies, your marketing efforts are probably directed primarily at converting prospects. But research shows overwhelmingly that repeat customers provide more value in sales and referrals at a lower cost to you.

Doesn’t it make sense to focus marketing activity on customer retention? Our California fulfillment services experts offer some creative suggestions to drive repeat business.

Create a Loyalty Program

A loyalty program is a simple but effective tool that incentivizes customers to come back to your website. Analyze sales reports to determine which criteria to use, such as rewarding repeat customers by volume or number of purchases.

Establish Trust

Consistency and transparency are two factors in building trust with your customers. In addition to making repeat purchases, consumers respond to trustworthy sellers by sharing their positive experiences with others A Forbes study shows more than 80 percent of respondents make purchases based on recommendations by friends and family.

Maintain a Social Media Presence

E-commerce lacks the personalized touch offered at brick-and-mortar stores. Connect with customers by staying active on social media. Answer questions, respond to comments, participate in discussions and post 10x content, original or shared, with genuine value to your target audience.

Sell a Superior Experience

“Sell the sizzle, not the steak” is a classic advertising motto based on the concept that customers respond to benefits, not features. With the amount of competition in today’s marketplace, it’s more crucial than ever to set your business above others by offering a unique buyer experience.

Use Packaging for Promotion

Even if you’ve never ordered from Amazon, chances are you’ve seen their shipping packages numerous times in places ranging from a friend’s home to a post office or UPS store. Take advantage of all that space on your packaging to keep your brand name and logo in front of current and potential customers.

Capture Conversions with Remarketing

All repeat customers begin as first-time customers, but industry statistics show that the average website loses approximately 98 percent of first-time visitors without a conversion. Remarketing with targeted ads to previous website visitors keeps you connected until they’re ready to buy.

Leverage Data

Digital marketing provides sellers with greater quantities of granular data than were ever available previously, but it means nothing unless you act on it. Mine data to learn as much as possible about your customers and use that data for targeted marketing campaigns and offers.

Provide Prompt Fulfillment

No matter how great your product is, nothing dampens a customer’s enthusiasm like long shipping times. If buyers know they can count on your company for prompt and professional order fulfillment, it gives you a distinct advantage over your competitors.

Boost Repeat Business with Our California Fulfillment Services

Are you finding it a challenge to juggle the demands of growing your business with the responsibilities of providing superior customer service? Let our California fulfillment services company handle your order processing needs from receiving and warehousing to shipping and customer support. Contact Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics for more information.

New Important Updates for January

Important News and Reminders for January

Here are a few links to help you understand some of the big changes that have already taken effect and could impact your bottom line. 

NOW through January 24th, USPS Rates have DECREASED to 2020 Rates

  • Temporary Rate Increase has EXPIRED
  • First Class Shipments reduced $0.25
  • Priority Mail Shipments Reduced $0.40
  • NEW 2021 Rates Take effect January 24th and can be downloaded here https://pe.usps.com/PriceChange/Index

UPS 2021 increase started on December 27th

UPS Announces 2021 General Rate Increase – ParcelIndustry.com

FedEx 2021 increase starts January 4th

FedEx 2021 General Rate Increase – ParcelIndustry.com

The cost of shipping is an unforgiving part of the new normal. Managing your shipping costs has never been more crucial to your success.

Value Added Tax (VAT) Must Be Collected Starting January 1st for the UK

Effective Jan 1, 2021, Value Added Tax (VAT) must be collected for all goods
entering the United Kingdom (UK).

There will be a 20% VAT rate on goods valued up to £135 (about $180 USD), which you must collect unless your online marketplace (e.g. eBay, Amazon, Etsy, etc.) is already collecting it. Current procedures for goods valued over £135 remain the same.

To prevent your UK shipments from being delayed, held, or returned by UK Customs in 2021, please consider the following steps:

1. Register for a VAT number with the UK: https://www.gov.uk/vat-registration
2. Collect VAT at the time of purchase.
3. Make quarterly VAT return payments to the UK.

In addition, you should include your VAT number on your customs declarations.
This process will vary depending on your shipping software, so be on the
lookout for instructions early next year.

California and Massachusetts Fulfillment Services that Exceed Customer Expectations

Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics and Sprocket Express provide a comprehensive set of eCommerce services that scale to meet your specific needs. Contact us to learn more about why we should be your first choice in cost-effective and efficient California and Massachusetts fulfillment services.

Our Top Tips for Business Startups – A Focus to Grow Faster

Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics a Fulfillment Warehouse

The first months of a business startup are exciting, but it can also be a time full of impatience. You’ve nurtured your fledgling company from a glimmer of an idea to a fully realized business, and you’re ready to take the world by storm.

That same passion that’s fueled your concept until now can help you grow faster as long as you stay focused. Our fulfillment company has been part of many successful startups, so we’re sharing some tips we’ve learned along the way.

Always Play to Win

Top sports coaches will tell you there’s a difference between playing to win and playing not to lose. Belief in yourself allows you to work from a position of strength rather than a timid, defensive attitude. Always bet on yourself to win.

Stay Flexible

Commitment to your business is vital, but as John Lennon once said, life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. Many elements are out of your control, so you should remain ready to pivot in order to skirt roadblocks or take advantage of new opportunities.

Prioritize Customer Service

No matter what the product or service, the goal of every company is to satisfy customers. That’s particularly important today, when bad word-of-mouth spreads like wildfire via social media. Think of your customers as real flesh-and-blood people rather than faceless orders and put their needs first.

Keep Learning

In the early days, startup entrepreneurs are often forced to wear many hats out of sheer necessity. Fortunately, there are a number of helpful solutions available from inexpensive online courses to high-tech digital tools. Learning pays extra dividends in the future when you can effectively communicate with experts you hire for those roles.

Take Advantage of Free Advice

There’s an old saying that free advice is worth the price. But there is actually a wide range of groups and forums where you can network with others who have gone before you. Not only will you pick up valuable nuggets of knowledge, you’ll have the opportunity to form professional relationships that prove mutually beneficial.

Avoid Debt

We’ve all heard the dramatic stories of artists and entrepreneurs who maxed out their credit cards (and sometimes those of others as well) to finance their project or company. In most cases, that business model ends up draining your cash flow through costly interest charges. Get in the habit of paying cash whenever possible.

Maintain a Budget

Both personally and professionally, many people make the mistake of increasing spending as income goes up. While you may be tempted to do the same once orders start rolling in, your business will be better served if you continue to operate as though you’re on a shoestring.

Fulfillment Warehouse Services That Grow Along with Your Business

When you start a new business, you should be concentrating on gaining sales, not processing them. Medallion Fulfillment & Warehouse Logistics offers comprehensive fulfillment warehouse services that scale to fit your growing needs. Contact us for more information.

Ten Mistakes That Can Kill Your Startup and Business

Oops What to Know

It’s often said that the devil is in the details. Those are wise words to keep in mind when running your startup or business. Yes, it’s your responsibility to be far-sighted and make decisions based on the big picture. But many companies have stumbled in the long run due to neglect of an issue that looks frustratingly simple in hindsight.

Don’t let your business become one of these needless casualties. Take advantage of the wisdom of those who have gone before you. Use these tips as a checklist to keep you on track with those tasks that can easily be overlooked.

1. When starting your business, give careful thought to the systems and processes you’ll need and implement them right away. This might seem like something that can be done later on. It’s not. Once your company is up and running, you and your employees will have already established certain routines. It’s difficult at best and impossible at worst to try and shoehorn those behaviors into a new framework.

2. All the preparation in the world means nothing without execution and follow-up. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that “research” is actual work. While it’s important to make informed decisions, it’s easy to procrastinate under the guise of gaining education. Make sure you turn that knowledge into action.

3. Be in the business of providing solutions. Your product or service may have all kinds of shiny bling, but for your potential customers it comes down to only one question: what’s in it for me? They don’t want to hear how big or fast or inexpensive it is. What they want to know is what problem it will solve for them.

4. Don’t be so arrogant as to think that paying a bill means you can treat your suppliers like an afterthought. Make every effort to cultivate an honest partnership with suppliers. There will absolutely come a time when one of them can bail you out of a sticky situation.

5. Social media is no longer a fad. It’s here to stay, and it’s just as competitive as every other aspect of the business landscape. Treat your website, Facebook, Twitter and other sites as major parts of your marketing program. Prominent placement of social share buttons makes it easy for customers to pass along your content, especially when you make it worth their effort with engaging material.

6. Entrepreneurs often make the mistake of thinking they can run the whole show themselves. Put your ego aside long enough to recognize your own limitations. The most successful business owners are the ones who hire people with talent and skill to make each area of the company as strong as possible.Our new warehouse location.

7. Take a lesson from the squirrel gathering acorns in preparation for a long, cold winter. Marketing sometimes takes a back seat when business is booming. When sales hit a lull, as they inevitably will, the company hits the wall with no prospects in the pipeline. Your marketing strategy should be aimed at building ongoing relationships to sustain a consistent pool of regular and potential customers. This is another reason to integrate social media into your efforts.

8. Let your company’s size work in its favor. People have grown weary of the impersonal experience provided by large corporations. Instead of trying to make your company seem bigger, emphasize its flexibility, effective customer service and other advantages offered by a small business.

9. While sales and profits are vital, cash flow is the true lifeblood of your business. If you don’t know how to read a cash flow statement, learn now. Lack of available cash is one of the biggest icebergs that sink small companies, so be sure you’re equipped to know where yours is going.

10. Business owners and executives tend to boast about being a workaholic as though it was a positive trait. Stress and burnout will cost your company financially just as surely as they affect you personally. Time for yourself should be planned into your list of priorities. Even a long weekend away can pay significant dividends in renewing your focus and energy.

Running a successful business takes more than a little money and a lot of good intentions. These tips can serve as your map, steering you away from the dead ends and keeping you moving in the right direction.

When you need to kick your business up a notch and you are ready to let go of running a warehouse out of your garage and are tired of taking packages to UPS, Medallion Fulfillment and Logistics is here to help with cost efficient, headache-free pack and ship solutions. Call us at (818) 998-836 to get a free price quote today.