USPS Holiday Shipping Rate Increases

USPS has raised rates.

We have received notification from the United States Postal Service that shipping prices will temporarily increase on October 18, 2020 until December 27, 2020. These increases are being enacted due to the higher shipping traffic from the pandemic and the expected increase in holiday shipping volume. Read more information.

FEDEX and UPS Shipping Rates

UPS has also announced rate updates due to pandemic shipping volume and extra handling.

FedEx has certain surcharges already enacted but has not announced holiday rate increases at this time.

As we know more, we will communicate any updates to you in our newsletter.

Are You Using The Power of Three to Boost Online Sales?

Are you familiar with the “power of three?” Studies show that three is the sweet spot when it comes to the brain’s ability to grasp concepts.

This principle can simplify your plans for boosting your company’s online sales. Focus on optimizing these three opportunities for a well-rounded approach that produces steady growth.

1. Grow Your Customer Base

Not surprisingly, this is often the primary goal of most companies. Gaining new customers expands your reach in the marketplace and offsets attrition from accounts that drop off due to business closings and other factors.

The trick is to set yourself apart from the competition by demonstrating that your product or service can best solve a prospect’s problem. This requires a thorough knowledge of your target audience along with compelling content on your website.

Customer conversion is essential, but it’s the most expensive and time-consuming way to increase online sales, which is why you can’t afford to ignore the other two methods.

2. Grow Your Average Order Size

Once a customer makes the decision to buy from you, the hard part is over. You’ve established a level of trust that makes them willing to spend money on your product or service.

Effective ways to increase order size include:

• Upselling a related product, such as suggesting a belt to go with a pair of pants.

• Offering a discount for multiple quantities.

• Selling an upgrade to a higher level of an item, such as a cell phone with more memory.

• Bundling similar items, much like Amazon does when they suggest an additional book on the same topic.

• Suggesting complementary products, such as batteries to go with the kids’ holiday toys.

• Providing options for longer commitments, perhaps a one-year membership instead of one month.

• Selling extended warranties.

• Including a menu of add-ons.

• Offering expedited delivery.

• Showing products other customers have bought at the same time as the current item.

3. Grow Your Number of Repeat Sales

It’s a well-established truism in sales that it’s less expensive to keep existing customers than to find new ones. Satisfied customers pay benefits in repeat sales, plus they’re more likely to provide referrals.

Promotions can play a major role in bringing past customers back for more. Send follow-up emails with coupons, sales and suggestions for similar or related products.

Selling online doesn’t mean you can ignore customer service. It’s actually even more important, because buyers can find new suppliers from the comfort of their living room. Superior customer service is the best way to make sure your company makes a lasting impression.

The Leader in California Fulfillment Services for Online Retailers is Medallion!

At Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics, your success is our success. Our comprehensive offering of California fulfillment services provides everything you need, from warehousing and order picking to credit card processing and shipping.

Let our California fulfillment services company handle the details so you can concentrate your time and energy on growing your online sales.

Today’s Networking – Our Tips on Moving Beyond the Digital Scene

Successful networking has always been the foundation of creating avenues to fulfill both personal and professional goals. While digital platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter make it easier to connect, forging a genuine relationship is still at the heart of building your network. This means making sure you add face-to-face networking opportunities to your schedule too.

So, do you have to be an extrovert or create a phony persona to make these connections? More importantly, once a relationship has been started, how do you nurture it to the fullest extent? Here are some of our favorite tips for effective networking in a digital world.

Good Networking Is a Win-Win Proposition

Networking is intended to open new doors to you, but look at it from the other person’s perspective. He or she is also pursuing potential opportunities. As legendary motivational speaker Zig Ziglar put it, you’ll get what you want once you help enough other people get what they want.

Psychologist Robert Cialdini wrote about the concept of reciprocity, which means people tend to give back to those who give to them. Even a simple gesture like buying someone a cup of coffee can inspire them to return the favor.

Share Your Network

As with many other concepts, networking is about quality, not quantity. According to evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar, 150 is the approximate ceiling of the number of meaningful relationships we can maintain at any given time.

Forming quality relationships is the key to maximizing your network. For example, you may not have a social media specialist in your network, but your connections have well-rounded networks of their own, so they can make referrals when needed.

Branch Out

Branding is no longer just for corporations. Creating and growing your personal brand makes you stand out by establishing your unique value and skills.

Multifaceted people are more compelling than one-dimensional individuals. The more you become involved in “extracurricular” activities such as blogging or running a side business, the more others will be drawn to you.

Meet Face-to-Face

As deeply entrenched as social media has become, it still can’t take the place of personal interaction. Make it a point to attend offline networking events that are focused on your interests in order to create local connections in addition to your online connections.

• While the events may occur in real time, online sites such as Meetup and Facebook Events are a great way to discover what’s going on in your area.

• Get the most out of your time by attending workshops, seminars and talks where you can learn something in addition to networking with others.

• Business cards may seem old-school, but they’re still a more personal and memorable way to exchange information when you do meet face-to-face.

Save Time and Money with Ecommerce Fulfillment Services

Do you have your hands full trying to network and also coordinate inventory levels, order processing and logistics? Contact Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics to learn how we can give you back more hours in your day so you’ll have time to make networking work for you.

How to Take Product Photos for Your Store Like a Pro But on the Cheap

As online shopping continues to grow market share, the sense of touch has been removed from the buying process, making visual appeal more important than ever. According to ecommerce consultant BigCommerce, two-thirds of consumers rate image quality as “very important” when it comes to online purchases.

Before you rush out and hire a pricey photographer, check out these great tips for cost-effective and professional-looking DIY photos.

1. Technique Is More Important than Equipment

Don’t let anyone talk you into dropping hundreds or thousands of dollars on a state-of-the-art camera. If you can afford it, then by all means, but modestly priced cameras and even smart phones are capable of producing high-quality photos. Decisions such as lighting, staging and processing play a more significant role.

2. Create Your “Studio”

• Set up a table as close to a window as possible without getting into the shadow cast by the windowsill.

• Use poster board or mats to create a generic white background, “sweeping” it from the horizontal tabletop to the vertical wall to provide a seamless look.

• You’ll need at least two lights. Clamp-style is preferable as they stay in place but can be easily moved around. Make sure to use identical light bulbs with a cooler shade.

3. Include Action Shots When Appropriate

In many cases the white background will be sufficient, but some products have more appeal when shown in use. For instance, a picture of a person wearing sunglasses can be more attractive to potential customers.

4. Don’t Stop at One

Take a number of pictures of your product from a variety of sides and angles. Multiple views are the best way to overcome the two-dimensional aspect of online images.

5. Keep It RAW

For best results you should shoot in RAW format, which captures all of the visual data and gives you greater latitude in editing. In addition, changes don’t affect the original file so you won’t have to worry about losing data.

6. Evaluate and Adjust

After every session, review your work with a critical eye to see what worked and what didn’t, and then apply your findings to future photo shoots.

Ecommerce Fulfillment Services for the Busy Entrepreneur

Are inventory, order processing and logistics taking valuable time away from the business of driving sales? Contact Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics to learn more about our comprehensive ecommerce fulfillment services.

A Quick Fulfillment Guide to Happier Customers

Operating as a team to boost your success.

It takes a village to make your customers happy. At every point in the supply chain, there is an effect on customer satisfaction. At Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics and Sprocket Express, we call this the satisfaction chain.

Along the way, there are basic principles that you can use to specifically encourage higher consumer confidence. For happier customers, we recommend these six strategy points.

1. Always Be Accurate

Mistakes stick out and they hurt a brand’s reputation. No matter the size or severity of the error, there is an impact. Adhering to the highest standard of accuracy and insisting upon the same level of accuracy from business partners creates a supply chain with fewer weak links. If each vendor has this priority on accuracy, there will simply be less mistakes.

Fewer errors means fewer returns, less special handling charges, higher customer retention, better overall satisfaction, and less headaches for you.

2. Transparency is Solid

Recently, customers became more interested in seeing real-time inventory levels. To some businesses, this was not only intrusive, but unimportant to the selling process. However, Business Insider recently reported that 66% of customers prefer a business with transparent inventory across digital platforms.

Both the shopping cart software and fulfillment coordination must operate correctly and in tandem to provide this result. We recommend discussing this with a Medallion or Sprocket sales rep more information.

3. Just Ask

Your customers have opinions and they are the best source of constructive feedback, but they won’t always make the first move. Make sure to ask for reviews and feedback with language such as: “We invite you to contribute online feedback about our products/services.” To build a stronger relationship, show appreciation with customized promotions and offers. Customers will be happy both to be asked and to be rewarded.

There are many ways to encourage more reviews for your business, but the most important is to simply ask. Millennial consumers have made it clear that they are more likely to buy products that have been recommended by friends and even social media influencers, though they might not be personally acquainted.

4. Speed is Needed

Fast, faster, fastest are the new categories. Consumers have no time or patience to wait for packages because the normal lead time is now just two days. As automation of last-mile delivery increases in prevalence and capability, we expect to see more same day deliveries.

Keep customers happy with expedited shipping options (most are willing to pay extra for this perk) and quick fulfillment. Logistics providers who are not offering same day shipping are falling behind in the market.

5. Bend and Flex

No one likes a strict rule when it works against them. Although it is clearly necessary to have protocols and schedules, a little flexibility goes a long way towards customer happiness.

Do you offer a generous returns policy? Are customers able to make last minute special orders? Your customer service agents must be empowered to offer compensation and special arrangements as they are in the trenches speaking with the consumers themselves.

Consider compensating negative feedback as heartily as positive feedback. Those that have a really memorable experience with your company can become its biggest champions.

6. Be Partners

Your fulfillment provider can be an integral part of your success if you choose the right one and allow them to be partners. A logistics partner can help your business flourish and you will benefit from their years of experience. Whether it’s shipping options, e-commerce packages, returns, storage, or even custom packaging and labeling, a true partner will have positive input to improve your processes and keep your customers happier.

In Closing

Not every fulfillment house is a match for every brand. We invite you to read our guide to choosing the best fulfillment partner for your business and encourage you to phone us for a free price quote at 800-260-8250.