Google Ups Its Game in eCommerce with a New Deep Shopify Connection

As Amazon continues its quest to strong-arm eCommerce retailers into submission, another online giant has decided not to roll over. Google, which holds a commanding 90 percent of the search engine market, has joined forces with top eCommerce platform Shopify to challenge Amazon’s dominance.

Google Takes on Amazon

While Google has so far been only peripherally involved in online retailing, Amazon has been encroaching on Google Ads, which was the recipient of more than 50 percent of digital ad revenues in 2020. However, Amazon grew their own advertising market share from 13.3 percent to 19 percent during the same time.

With more than half of online shopping excursions beginning at Amazon, advertising was a logical extension of their other services. Similarly, Google recognized the opportunity to leverage their own robust ad business into providing an alternative for small and mid-sized eCommerce retailers who feel stifled by the lack of options.

The Changing Focus at Google

The new venture is the brainchild of Bill Ready, who joined Google in January 2020 as the company’s President of Commerce and Payments. Ready had previously served as COO of PayPal and CEO of Venmo and Braintree.

Ready’s arrival at Google coincided with the onset of the unprecedented global pandemic, which in turn triggered a seismic leap in the already robust eCommerce industry. Shortly thereafter, Ready took the first step in shifting Google’s strategy by offering online retailers free listings in Google Shopping.

So, what exactly is the new Google Shopping? What it’s not, according to Ready, is an eCommerce retailer or marketplace. In a blog post sent to Forbes in early May, Ready referred to it as a platform for consumers to discover a wide range of products across a spectrum of sellers, from national big-box stores to small independent retailers.

Days later came Google’s I/O Developer conference, during which Ready officially announced the company’s partnership with Shopify. He expounded on his vision of the venture as part of an overall plan to “democratize” eCommerce with a “free and open” system for consumers and retailers alike.

Why Google Shopping?

Here’s a look at what to expect from Google Shopping now and in the future:

• With just a few clicks, merchants in Shopify’s network of 1.7 million+ retailers can install the platform’s Google channel to auto sync their inventory. They can also link a new or existing Google Ads account, and the free listings policy will continue.

• Shopify sellers can feature their products on heavily trafficked Google platforms, including Maps, Images, Search, Lens and YouTube. More than 1 billion “shopping journeys” occur on these platforms daily, making them fertile sites for new customers.

• Google’s powerful access to comprehensive sets of data will power Shopping Graph, an AI-generated model that makes connections between products, sellers and brands. In an example of this synergy, when a shopper views images of products in Photos, it will trigger a suggestion to search for places to buy the items via Lens.

• Amazon isn’t the only online presence in Google’s crosshairs. The company is testing a program that allows YouTube users to shop for products they discover through their favorite content creators. This is in response to the growing presence of TikTok and Facebook in the eCommerce arena.

Coast-to-Coast Fulfillment Services to Fit Your Needs

How do you set yourself apart in the competitive eCommerce field? Sophisticated shoppers insist on exceptional service, rapid delivery, and complete responsiveness. Let Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics handle your storage and shipping needs while you focus on growing your business.

Our scalable, cost-effective solutions include our Amazon replenishment program. Contact us today to learn more.

How Fulfillment Service Impacts Customer Satisfaction

“If people are failing, they look inept. If people are succeeding, they look strong and good and competent. That’s the “halo effect.” Your first impression of a thing sets up your subsequent beliefs. If the company looks inept to you, you may assume everything else they do is inept.” – Daniel Kahneman

When you work with a fulfillment partner, it is easy to oversimplify their involvement. True, a fulfillment house picks and ships orders. How could that hurt customer satisfaction?

Final Hands

Simply put, they are the last hands to touch your products and they are responsible for delivering the final product to your customers. To see where you stand, ask yourself a few questions:

• When your customer receives an order, how does it look?

• What packaging materials are used?

• How quickly does it arrive?

• How is the tracking information transmitted?

• How are returns handled?

If you have not audited the results in a while, it may be time to check your fulfillment results. Check our Guide for Fine Tuning Fulfillment for more tips and remember: A great fulfillment provider increases customer satisfaction, while a poor provider can actually damage satisfaction.

Case Study

One of our clients moved from a different 3PL because of customer dissatisfaction. The business started receiving complaints that orders were arriving in junky old boxes with newspaper used as packaging. Many orders were incorrectly shipped, leading to reshipments and delays.

If customers had not reported these issues, our client would not have known the impression their former 3PL was leaving on the customers. You have spent time and money making a good impression on customers. The last thing you need is a lousy box or a packing error to erode your credibility.

Errors Undermine Credibility

Mistakes not only cost money and time, but they damage customer trust. Medallion and Sprocket Express have a 99.9%+ accuracy rate and exceptional customer service personnel. In the case study above, errors and complaints stopped after the business switched to Sprocket Express for fulfillment for East Coast servicing. Customers almost never received incorrect items again, and the clean uniform packaging made a great impression on the recipients. The client added a packing tape printed with their logo, for a complete branded solution.

Speedy Delivery

When we first opened, our CEO used to joke that someday customers would hit the “buy” button and then check the mailbox. Ironically, we’ve nearly reached that point!

With Amazon leading the charge, customers continually have a higher expectation of speed (and shipping cost). To answer the call, most 3PLs expect to provide same day delivery within the next 5 years. And 40% say they anticipate 2 hour shipping by 2028. Interestingly, when Amazon offered 1- and 2-hour delivery in select markets, many customers preferred the free 2-day shipping instead. Speed is not everything, but shipping value is essential. The best shipping strategies offer a few options with a range of costs.

Knowledge is Satisfying

Immediately after placing an order, most website systems generate an order confirmation email. The more transparency a business provides during the order process, the more confident a customer can feel when interacting with the company. Therefore, as soon as an order is released to a carrier for shipment the tracking information should be communicated in real-time.

Both Sprocket Express and Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics sends automatic tracking information to your customer. And we can brand the email with your company information for a consistent image. We ship the same day and we also offer rush and special services.

We Are Here When You Need Help

These are just some of the ways that your fulfillment service partner can affect customer satisfaction. We strongly encourage you to call references when choosing a fulfillment provider and ask some of these questions. Your choice will be representing your business in public view, so it’s no easy decision.

Whichever partner you choose, we invite you to connect with us to share challenges and ideas via email or social media. To learn more about our services and our low industry pricing, see “What We Do”, or get a quote today.

Three Reasons to Find a New Fulfillment Partner After the Holidays

How did your business do this holiday season? Hopefully it was prosperous and efficient, but maybe it could have been better. The busiest time of year can be illuminating and leaves some businesses shopping for a new fulfillment partner.

If you were feeling a little overwhelmed through the holidays, take heart – the New Year is here. It’s time to review performance and improve your operations.

Inhouse to Outhouse

You’ve been shipping your own orders and now it’s time for a change. The holiday season was hectic and it would be more efficient to have a fulfillment partner. Just think – next year you could concentrate on your customers and promotions while someone you trust handles your merchandise accurately, quickly, worry-free.

How Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics and Sprocket Express Can Help: When you decide to outsource fulfillment, there are a lot of details to consider. We are great at helping a small business outsource smoothly.

Gotta Get Outta Here

You care about your customers deeply. When they want something, you want to accommodate them so they stay happy. But not every fulfillment business is capable of delivering accurate and trustworthy service in keeping with the image you want to portray. The last hands on your product is the warehouse and you don’t want any complaint about shipping packaging or accuracy. You can avoid bad reviews with a reliable fulfillment partner.

Mistakes not only cost money and time, but they damage customer trust. Medallion and Sprocket Express have a 99.99%+ accuracy rate and exceptional customer service personnel. Plus, our fees are among the lowest in the industry. Learn more about our fulfillment services.

Becoming a Free Agent

Some fulfillment companies require contracts with their clients. When the contract period ends, it’s time to evaluate your options. Not every 3PL is a good fit for every client and it’s ok to shop around. If you are considering switching to a new fulfillment provider, take a look at our tips for a successful transition.

Our award winning service requires no contract and we have excellent references. Our accuracy is documented at over 99.9%. Tell us more about your fulfillment wish list and let’s talk about how we can partner to help you succeed!

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.

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.

Limited Time and Limited Stock Offers – Why Scarcity Gets Shoppers to Commit

Limited Time and Limited Stock Offers – Why Scarcity Gets Shoppers to Commit

Are you creating the sense of urgency necessary to cinch sales? Turns out, losing the lollygagging looky loos and getting shoppers to commit may be simpler than you think.

Urgency & Sales Motivation

To prevent people from “thinking about it”   and possibly forgetting about it   scarcity is key to taking advantage of the buyer psychology not to miss out. Limited time offers and limited stock prevent pesky procrastination.

How Much Does Scarcity Affect Buying Decisions?

In a study by WhichTestWon, a simple countdown timer resulted in nearly 9% better conversions than a product page without a timer. Another retail study conducted by Digital Commons at the University of Nebraska indicated consumer competitiveness, in-store hiding and hoarding, and urgency to purchase in stores using perceived scarcity strategies including limited quantities and limited time sales.

What Types of Perceived Scarcity Tactics Can You Put to Work for Your Business?

• Limited time offers
Time restricted sales, such as holiday and game-day themed offers ramp-up the psychological trigger to avoid loss.

• Limited quantity
Use limited stock to your advantage, showing scarcity to boost perceived value. Advertising real-time stock is a great way to accomplish this.

• Limited quantity/limited price
Airlines use this all the time, boasting “only 3 seats at $50.” The rest may be $51, or $40, but since they don’t show availability – the buying public remains unaware.

• Flash sales
Very limited time offers on hand-selected items.

• Product page countdown timers
Rather than simply posting the date, countdown timers ticking away the sale offer a visual reminder of product scarcity.

• Timed shopping offers
Express and free shipping deals for those that act fast are another super incentive.

• Copywriting tactics
The language you use can also create urgency, such as “Going fast!” or “Supply is limited!”

The Devil in the Details

Remember, the goal here is to motivate purchases – not lie to customers, which creates a bad image for your brand. Base all scarcity tactics on something – a need to make room for the upcoming season’s inventory, overstock. Don’t just toss a timer on a page and expect a sales boost. And don’t overdo it. Encourage procrastinators – but don’t pressure customers and incite buyer’s remorse.

Getting shoppers to commit is easy with rapid response and delivery. Make things happen with the help of Medallion Fulfillment and Logistics for you order processing and fulfillment needs. Learn more today.