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.

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.

Tips for Turning Instagram into a Sales Generating Machine for your Store

Medallion Fulfillment - a Fulfillment Company

So you’ve optimized your website content and you regularly engage with followers on Facebook and Twitter. If that’s the extent of your social media campaign, you’re ignoring a dynamic platform that can be a valuable tool in your online arsenal.

Instagram is more than just a place to post pictures of artfully arranged food. With approximately 800 million active monthly users, Instagram provides a great platform for you to connect with prospective customers.

Among the top 100 brands worldwide, 90 percent have an Instagram account, yet the business world has barely scratched the surface of the platform’s potential. Follow these tips from Instagram marketing experts to get orders flowing through your fulfillment warehouse.

Follow the Leader

Why spend time trying to reinvent the wheel? Large companies such as eBay and Amazon have the time and resources to research the impact of hashtags, relationship between text and image and other elements that make up effective Instagram posts. Study their accounts carefully and apply their methods.

Tell an Intriguing “Story”

Instagram Stories is a feature that lets you post a set of videos and still images in a slideshow format. Each Story stays online for a period of 24 hours, making it a perfect vehicle to tease promotions, new items and any other information you want to highlight.

Team Up with Influencers

Influence is a valuable commodity in marketing, and Instagram Influencers can help you exponentially expand your reach. Influencers are Instagram users who have established a reputation of expertise and trustworthiness in a particular area or niche.

Not sure where to start? Tomoson is a digital marketing platform with a searchable database of more than 50,000 Influencers that can be filtered by demographics, total reach and other criteria.

Walk in Your Customers’ Shoes

As with any social media marketing, an Instagram campaign requires careful planning and curation to achieve the desired results. When posting content to your Instagram feed, take a step back and view it as a customer would. Are the images and text projecting the image you want to cultivate?

Think Quality, not Quantity

Instagram marketing isn’t just a numbers game. You want to develop a base of followers who are truly interested in your brand and what you have to say. Instead of putting your Instagram feed on autopilot; focus on ways to connect with quality followers:

• Look for users via hashtags that correlate with your business and follow them first.

• Downplay blatant self-promotion in favor of engagement-based content, such as asking users to share photos based on a certain theme and marked with a hashtag.

• Create an emotional connection through posts about volunteer work or other personal passions.

Fulfillment Warehouse Services for Your Unique Success “Story”

Follow through on your Instagram campaign with impeccable customer service. Let our scalable fulfillment warehouse services provide a seamless customer experience, from ordering through delivery.

Contact us today and learn how Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics can handle your fulfillment warehouse needs, leaving you free for the important business of growing your sales.

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.

Christmas and New Year’s Holiday Closure

Hello from Medallion!

The holidays are almost upon us. We wanted to take a moment to say thank you for your business and to share with you our holiday hours for Christmas and New Year’s.

Medallion and Sprocket Express’ 2020-2021 Holiday Season Closures

Our holiday season hours are as follows:

Christmas: Closed Friday December 25th

New Year’s Day: Friday January 1st

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