Throw Out Your Marketing Plan and Try These Tips

Warehouse Fulfillment Company Workers Planning for the Day.

Is your marketing plan not producing the results you’re looking for? Instead of doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different outcome, why not try something new? Our Plainfield RI fulfillment experts share these surprisingly easy yet effective tips for jump-starting your marketing plan.

1. Be transparent.

If you promise nothing but blue sky yet rain falls on your customers, they’re going to head for dry land. A serious disconnect between what’s on your website and the actual buying experience will turn customers into one-and-done. Carefully review the content on your website to make sure it’s consistent with your brand and you’re not overreaching with your commitments.

2. Promote a sense of trust.

Inc. Magazine says that a staggering 84 percent of consumers place equal trust in online reviews and personal recommendations.

*Post genuine testimonials in appropriate spots on your website. Creating false reviews is an absolute no-no and will quickly backfire.

*Post logos of membership in professional associations and other “trust signals” indicating your reliability.

3. Create urgency.

No one likes to feel like they missed out. Leverage free shipping, bonus gifts, and other perks by running them for a limited time. You can also offer opt-in enticements, such as a 10 percent discount for joining your email list.

4. Keep it simple.

There’s such a thing as having too many choices. If your shoppers have to wade through too many options, it can result in paralysis by analysis that ends without a sale. Know your target market and provide a carefully curated selection of products organized in well-defined categories.

Your #1 Choice for Plainfield RI (Boston Region) Fulfillment Services

We offer a full assortment of Plainfield RI fulfillment services, ranging from assembly and packaging to website design and hosting. Contact Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics to learn more.

 

How to Choose the Right Fulfillment Company for Your Ecommerce Startup in 2024

Fulfillment Company Team

With all the competing services available in the marketplace, how can you be sure you’re choosing the right fulfillment company to support your eCommerce startup? Use the features listed here to carefully evaluate the possible choices and determine how well they fit your particular needs.

1. Cost

Don’t just look at the number. Several factors go into the price tag for a fulfillment company’s services, so make sure you understand how they all fit.

  • Are storage fees calculated by pallet, bin, or shelf space?
  • Do you require customized packaging that will affect picking and packing fees?
  • Are their shipping rates competitive?

2. Scalability

A company may be sufficiently equipped to handle the needs of an eCommerce startup, but your goal is to grow and expand. Find out if the company in question has the resources to scale along with you.

3. Customer Service

Any company you choose will be acting as an extension of your business. If they’re unresponsive to the needs of your customers, that will strike a serious blow to your reputation right off the bat.

  • Take a good look at the company’s support channels and their procedures for responding to customers’ problems and questions.
  • Return and exchange policies should be straightforward and readily available. A top-notch fulfillment service will also provide return management solutions.
  • Does the company take a proactive approach to identifying and addressing recurring issues?

4. Track Record

As a startup, you’ll benefit from the knowledge and guidance of a company that has experience in the eCommerce field. Check out testimonials, reviews, and any other feedback from actual clients.

A Fulfillment Company That Checks All the Boxes

Decades of success place Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics head and shoulders above the competition. Contact us to learn more about what we have to offer your eCommerce startup.

The Technology Behind Successful Ecommerce Fulfillment

Distribution center concept and international communication network. globalized business, transportation and professional connections.

Online sales in the United States have more than surpassed expectations. In 2012, online sales hit a record $226 billion, and accounted for 7% of all total retail sales. Experts projected $327 billion by 2016, but they were wrong… Total online sales in 2016 were $394 billion! If your fulfillment company isn’t participating in the ecommerce segment, no doubt you know that you’re missing out on an exceptional opportunity!

In this article, I’ll focus on the technological capabilities a warehouse needs in order to implement an ecommerce fulfillment service. The article isn’t going to be about listing the pros and cons of the Top 10 software programs on the market, because I don’t know your current capabilities or strategic goals. Instead, I believe that the most productive approach is to breakdown the process to help you identify where you can improve your systems.

Let’s talk about process integration. Ecommerce clients will typically approach a fulfillment company with an established business infrastructure. Integration means adapting your systems to plug into those of your customer. The processes that are frequently affected are:

• Order Capture & Management

• Picking/Packing & Shipping

• Synchronizing Order and Inventory Status

• Visibility

• Client & Customer Service

Order Capture & Management

There are more than 300 ecommerce shopping cart companies on the market. Your company needs to be technically capable of adapting to the wide variety of methodologies for communicating with those carts. Orders from carts need to be harvested on a regular basis, controlled to insure none are dropped or duplicated, and converted into a form that is compatible with your system.

I believe this area represents the greatest technical challenge for fulfillment companies in the ecommerce space. Your tool bag for interfacing with a client’s systems must include a wide array of technologies, including the ability to interact with flat files, Application Program Interfaces, Web Services, File Transfer Protocol, call center systems, and the occasional manual-order entry. IT resources to plan the implementation and support this process need to be broadly skilled and creative. Administrative resources that perform the daily-order harvesting routines need to be highly attentive to detail.

Picking/Packing & Shipping

This process is probably the most straightforward. Picking slips are generated, product is picked and boxed, and shipping labels are applied using traditional fulfillment methods. Although there may be special requirements for packing slip and box branding, those requirements don’t vary much from conventional fulfillment. It is essential to operate at a very fast past as ecommerce performance is measured in hours and the volume of orders is measured in thousands per day.

Synchronizing Order and Inventory Status

Ecommerce fulfillment requires that the client’s shopping cart has the most recent inventory and order status information. Your systems need to regularly communicate inventory availability to the cart to ensure that a client’s customer is made aware of out-of-stock situations before placing an order. Customers also need to be able to reference the shopping cart to find the status of their order. Process synchronization between your operation and that of your client is an absolute necessity.

Visibility

Ecommerce fulfillment is very fast moving! We used to joke that customers would press the “buy” button and run to the front door looking for the UPS truck! With Amazon’s latest experiments in same-day delivery, this joke is almost a reality. Given the speed of ecommerce, it’s important for your clients to be able to have a real-time window into your process and inventory. At a minimum, clients should be able to see orders and inventory in near real time. The leading-edge, ecommerce fulfillment companies have taken a more pro-active stance by publishing “alerts” when important events are happening in the fulfillment process. Alert examples might include: Product X is running low on inventory; a new shipment of stock has arrived; or a customer has returned an order.

Client & Customer Service

The fulfillment process is heavily impacted by fast-paced marketing and promotional decisions. Ecommerce client support typically requires a designated coordinator to represent the client’s requirements to the fulfillment organization and to coordinate program changes. The volume and minutiae of detail often warrant the implementation of “issue logging” and “project workflow” processes within the organization. Given the pace of the business, these processes are best automated.

Some clients, particularly the Entrepreneur and Offshore segments, may ask the fulfillment organization to manage customer support. This might involve call-center work, authorizing returns, handling the occasional complaint, and so on. These client groups often have too small a volume to outsource their work to large call center. Having an arsenal of exceptional customer-support tools, therefore, positions you to capitalize on a good revenue opportunity.

In summary, successful ecommerce fulfillment relies on solid technical foundations. Warehouses and 3PLs must understand that ecommerce clients have very different needs (and expectations) for the technical aptitude, agility and pace of their fulfillment partners. To fully capitalize on the ecommerce segment, your fulfillment service must meet–and exceed–these requirements.

How Ecommerce Startups Can Benefit from Working with a Fulfillment Company

Small Business Owner Looking for a Fulfillment Warehouse

Starting an eCommerce business? The growth in online shopping in recent years can make this a lucrative move. But keep in mind that running this type of business involves several tasks. You’ll need to ensure that orders are processed, packed, and shipped as quickly and accurately as possible.

A fulfillment partner can help with this, so your new company can thrive. Learn more about the benefits of working with a fulfillment warehouse.

Fulfill Orders Promptly

This type of partnership can save you significant amounts of time. Fulfillment companies can take care of order processing, picking, packing, shipping, and returns. This helps the entire process run smoothly, so customers can receive their orders in a shorter timeframe.

With a fulfillment partner handling these tasks, this also frees up your time to focus on growing your business. You can work on marketing campaigns and other aspects of managing a startup to help it succeed.

Save on Operating Costs

Having to find enough space to store merchandise can be challenging for new eCommerce businesses. As your company grows, this can become even more difficult and expensive. Instead of renting a warehouse, partner with a fulfillment company.

These companies can provide the room needed to store products. That means you don’t have to pay for a separate warehouse of your own and the staff needed for it. You can save on these operating costs and use that money for marketing or other purposes.

Grow with Ease

If your eCommerce business experiences rapid growth, having a fulfillment partner allows you to easily handle it. Your warehouse partner can ensure that new orders are fulfilled as quickly as possible.

Looking for a fulfillment warehouse for your eCommerce startup? Contact Medallion Fulfillment and Logistics to find out more about how our experts can help your business succeed.

What You Need to Know About E-Commerce Taxes and Regulations

ecommerce taxes and regulations

Running an eCommerce business comes with many responsibilities. Some of the most important include staying on top of taxes and regulations. This helps prevent penalties or other issues that affect your business. The following tips can help you understand these better.

Destination-Based vs. Origin-Based Sales Taxes

Many states use a destination-based approach to sales tax. This means online businesses charge sales tax based on a customer’s location. Other states use an origin-based approach, which means state taxes are based on the business location.

For example, if orders are shipped from a business or fulfillment warehouse in one state, the sales tax for those might be based on the customer’s state under destination-based sales tax sourcing. With origin-based sourcing, the sales tax would be based on the company’s location.

State Tax Rules

It’s important to become familiar with state tax rules, which differ from state to state. Some states don’t tax apps or other digital goods, while others do. Some states have tax exemptions when you sell overseas. Other tax-related issues to be aware of include sales tax holidays and exemptions.

Examples of exemptions include survival items, such as prescriptions or groceries, wholesale exemptions, and non-profit exemptions. Study the specific tax exemptions for different states to see which apply to your eCommerce business.

Sales Tax Permits and Reporting

Some states require business owners to have a permit in order to collect sales taxes in certain jurisdictions. Apply for one if needed before you begin collecting this money. For sales tax reporting, keep deadlines in mind to avoid being hit with penalties.

Partnering with the right fulfillment warehouse allows you to focus on taxes and regulations instead of picking, packing, and shipping orders. Contact Medallion Fulfillment and Logistics today to find out how we can help your eCommerce business.