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.

 

The Amazon Effect: Considerations for eCommerce and Brick and Mortar Store Owners

Learn About the Amazon Effect

In the increasingly crowded and competitive world of eCommerce, Amazon remains the gold standard. The impact of the online retailing behemoth has been so primal and far-reaching that marketing experts have coined a term for it: “Amazon Effect.”

As the leader in California and Massachusetts fulfillment services, we work to stay on top of trends and innovations influencing the industry. Here’s what you need to know about the Amazon Effect and how it applies to your business.

Shifting Buyer Expectations

Amazon’s principal effect has come in the area of buyer expectations. Consumers are demanding a buyer’s journey be “frictionless and immediate,” and these expectations cut across the digital arena to goods and services purchased in brick-and-mortar locations.

These three benefits top the list of what retailers are expected to provide today:

• Free shipping, which is most prominently featured in Amazon’s Prime membership program. While shipping costs can be steep, Amazon has found that it’s paid off in powerful customer loyalty and add-on sales.

• Speedy turnaround time, where customers receive orders in days rather than weeks. Amazon Prime’s free shipping takes only two days, and same-day delivery is available in more than 10,000 locations.

• Easy access, with a variety of options for ordering and delivery. For example, Amazon offers delivery or pick-up for grocery orders and certain items are eligible for subscriptions where orders are entered and delivered automatically.

Generational Differences and the Millennial Mindset

Not surprisingly, younger consumers who have spent their entire lives with technology are more demanding when it comes to eCommerce fulfillment and delivery. A 2018 survey of online shoppers in the U.S., Canada and U.K. found that less than 50 percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 were fully satisfied with their orders.

Other studies have uncovered the “Millennial Mindset,” which Amazon has embraced with great success. The Millennial Mindset is a group of six brand values that buyers from 18-34 rate highly in their shopping experience:

• Social Circle: Is a brand popular within a buyer’s circle of family and friends?

• Self: Does a brand generate an emotional connection?

• Innovative: Does a brand lead its field in creative advancements?

• Trusted: Does a brand have consumers’ best interests at heart?

• Purposeful: Does a brand contribute to the greater good?

• Accessible: Is a brand easily assimilated into a buyer’s lifestyle?

While this mindset originated with Millennials, it’s having a ripple effect through other generations. At this point, Generation X has adopted the mindset nearly as completely as Millennials have.

Countering the Amazon Effect in Brick-and-Mortar Stores

• Use locations to complement eCommerce, not duplicate or compete with it.

• Engage high-tech solutions to track in-store behavior

• Leverage mobile apps with mPos, location-aware coupons and personalized service.

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.

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

Learn More by Following Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics

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

Tips for Writing Blog Posts that People Will Actually Read

If a blog post lands online and no one is there to read it, does it really make any noise? There are more than 152 million blogs on the Internet, and with the number growing by one every half-second.

The good news is that the sheer number of blogs shows that people are regularly reading them. Use these tips to create valuable blog posts that keep viewers coming back for more.

1. Start with a Compelling Premise

Just as a beautiful flower grows from a tiny seed, a great blog post begins with a small but powerful idea. People sometimes make the mistake of starting with the points they want to make and then looking for a theme to hang them on. Come up with a timely and relevant idea and your content will flow organically.

2. Know Your Audience

When you try to be all things to all people, your message ends up so vague and watered-down that it doesn’t appeal to anyone. If you don’t already have a buyer persona, create one and use it as the target for your writing.

3. Make It Readable

Readability involves more than just language, words and tone. With only 10 to 20 seconds to grab a viewer’s attention before they leave your site, be sure to make your post as visually appealing as possible.

• Break up large chunks of text into smaller bite-size pieces of no more than five lines. Forget what your English teacher told you: One-sentence paragraphs are no longer frowned upon.

• Include short but punchy subheadings that convey your message at a glance.

• Use bullet points, boldface and other formatting that make the post “skimmable.”

4. Add Graphic Interest

Did you know that 65 percent of the people who visit your website are visual learners? That’s one of the reasons why infographics and videos are such powerful formats. Pictures, GIF’s, videos and other graphic content make your message more powerful and increase the shareability factor for a greater reach.

5. Craft an Attention-Grabbing Headline

First impressions always count. No matter how vibrant, topical and thoughtful your content is, no one will read it without a catchy headline to draw them in.

6. Proofread and Proofread Again

Would you have confidence in a person who showed up for a business meeting with soiled clothes, greasy hair and grimy fingernails? Readers will have the same reaction if your blog post is riddled with misspellings, poor grammar and inaccurate facts.

A California Fulfillment Warehouse for All Your Inventory Management Needs

Why invest time, money and labor into building and maintaining your own fulfillment warehouse? Contact Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics to learn more about our fulfillment warehouse services that are scalable to accommodate your specific needs.

How the Changes to the United States Postal Service Affect Businesses

USPS has raised rates.

To decrease its staggering financial losses the U.S. Postal Service is considering closing up to about 250 processing facilities and eliminating about 28,000 jobs. The U.S. Postal Service lost $5.1 billion dollars in 2011. According to a U.S. Postal Service press release, mail volume decreased by 3 billion pieces in 2011, a 1.7 percent decrease from 2010. According to spokesman Dave Williams, the proposed changes will save the U.S. Postal Service $2.1 billion annually.

Ruth Goldway, chairman of the Postal Regulatory Commission, which has oversight but not total authority over the U.S. Postal Service, said “The Internet does have an impact on first-class mail, but that’s not the major cause of the deficit. People are still using mail. Packages are growing and mail can adjust to the niche environment.” Goldway believes the major reason for the losses isn’t the Internet; she stated “The Postal Service is overly burdened to prepay health care benefits and to pay for that at a high rate has really drained the Postal Service” (Source: Wauwatosa Patch).

Closing Processing Centers

Williams mentioned the closing of post offices in small town and eliminating Saturday delivery are being studied. Local businesses throughout the nation are concerned the closing of processing centers will affect their business. However, in Terre Haute, Indiana, one business owner stated he received some assurance from officials that businesses will still have a place to drop off mail for a discount, although the new place is not official. Businesses should check with their local Postal Service officials.

Proposed Service Standard Changes for Package Services

The Postal Service reports it doesn’t have any plans to change service standard business rules for Package Services due to network rationalization. However, changes will be made in the service standards applying to specific three-digit to three-digit ZIP Code origin-destination pairs based on the reconfiguration of the network as well as changes to the labeling lists which implement the current service standard business rules. Relatively minor service standard business rule changes for Package Services unrelated to network rationalization are being proposed for mail addressed to non-contiguous U.S. destinations. No service changes associated with the request will be implemented before May 15, 2012 (Source: United States Postal Service).

Beginning January 22, 2012 the cost of mailing services are expected, on average, to increase by 2.1 percent and shipping services are projected to increase, on average, 4.6 percent. Price changes affect the full range of Postal products:

Mailing products include:

  • First-Class Mail Letters, Flats, Postcards and Parcels
  • First-Class International Mail
  • First-Class Mail Presort Letters
  • Standard Mail
  • Package Services
  • Extra Services

Shipping products include:

  • Priority Mail
  • Priority International
  • Global Express Guaranteed
  • Express Mail
  • Parcel Select
  • Express Mail International

FedEx and UPS will increase prices for expedited and ground shipments on January 2, 2012.

First-Class Mail

The USPS plans to end overnight delivery for first-class mail. The USPS has stated letters and many bills and bill payments will have a two to three day standard service. This could affect businesses requiring prompt billing which rely on the Postal Service instead of the Internet.

Williams mentioned beginning in spring the USPS plans on changing the geographic reach of its two-day standard from a 12-hour drive from a letter’s place of origin to approximately four hours, thus the Postal Service will guarantee delivery in two days or less within a four-hour window. Anything beyond that has a guarantee of three days or less. Only commercial bulk mailers might be able to have first-class mail delivered the next day; if they’re able to get it properly bundled to the Post Office early in the morning.

Beginning January 22, first-class mail will increase by one cent to 45 cents and post cards will cost 32 cents to send instead of the current 29 cents. The good news is mail weighing up to 1.9 ounces (as apposed to only one ounce) can be sent first-class mail, allowing businesses to place additional inserts in their packages at no additional cost.

It’s not certain all the proposed changes will be enacted or enacted without modifications. Due to pressure from Congress the Postal Service has delayed the changes until the middle of May. If the changes are enacted, some businesses using the services of USPS, including fulfillment centers, may have to make adjustments due to longer mail processing times and the possibility of the elimination of Saturday deliveries. Some experts claim the changes made by the Postal Service will likely just make slow delivery a little slower. We shall see.