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.

Should You Drop the Prices of Items Potential Customers Left Sitting in Your Shopping Cart?

Learn About the Amazon Effect

Online marketing is aimed at leading a customer to complete the sales cycle by making a purchase that goes to your fulfillment warehouse for processing. Fourth quarter 2017 reports show that more than three-quarters of shopping carts are abandoned before check-out,leaving a number of opportunities for conversion.

Many of these shopping carts are abandoned because the user is simply at the browsing stage. What can you do to improve the closing rates of customers who ultimately change their mind about a purchase? One strategy that’s caused some debate in the online marketplace is the idea of dropping the prices of items left sitting in a shopping cart.

Solving the Riddle of Abandoned Shopping Carts

The number one reason given by customers for abandoning shopping carts is that the additional costs, such as shipping and sales tax, were too high. It stands to reason that lowering the actual price of the item would offset the other charges and make the purchase more attractive.

Some larger companies have used a method in which abandoned items are added to a customer’s wish list. On future visits, the consumer is notified if the price of that item has gone down.

eBay: One Company’s Experience

Last month, eBay sent a letter to their sellers encouraging them to reduce the price of items left behind in online carts in an effort to close the sale. Not surprisingly, the missive generated some strong reactions on both sides of the issue.

Interestingly, one eBay seller took the opposite strategy and raised the price on abandoned items on the basis that the shopper evidently had interest. The seller reports that out of four such items, two actually sold at the higher price.

Will Customers Game the System?

The biggest objection to lowering the price on abandoned items is that customers will catch on quickly and start deliberately leaving carts behind to trigger a price reduction. Online forums show that shoppers are discussing the issue and comparing experiences to get a sense of retailer strategies.

Tips for Closing the Sale

Instead of viewing abandoned shopping carts as a problem, consider them valuable feedback to help refine your sales funnel.

• State shipping policies up front. As previously noted, the cost of shipping and additional fees is the primary reason behind shopping cart abandonment. You may want to consider flat-rate or free shipping and absorb the difference into your selling prices.

• Make sure your checkout process is as uncomplicated as possible. Studies show that seven fields is the optimum number.

• If your site isn’t already optimized for mobile, do it now.

• Use a persistent shopping cart for a seamless experience.

• Offer multiple payment options. Financial transactions have moved beyond credit cards. Include PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Wallet and other digital payment forms.

First-Rate Fulfillment Warehouse Service from Shopping Cart to Final Delivery

A great online shopping experience shouldn’t end once the customer hits “Place Order.” Contact us to learn why Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics should be your number one choice for quality e-commerce fulfillment warehouse services in the Los Angeles, California area and in the greater United States.

How Your e-Commerce Store Can Effectively Compete with Amazon

How Your e-Commerce Store Can Effectively Compete with Amazon

When it comes to e-Commerce and fulfillment warehouse operations, does it seem like all digital roads lead to Amazon? On its face, Amazon’s infrastructure can be intimidating, and few companies have the financial resources to afford losing money, as Amazon does with its free delivery.

This doesn’t mean your e-Commerce store has to raise the white flag. You might not be able to beat Amazon at its own game, but there’s still room for you to stake your place in the e-Commerce market.

Here are some expert tips for claiming your own share of the digital marketplace.

1. Find Your Sweet Spot

Amazon may try to be all things to all people, but that doesn’t mean they’re successful at all of them. Find the area where you’re better than they are and concentrate your efforts on dominating that segment.

2. Be Proactive with Shipping

If you offer free shipping or other perks simply as a response to Amazon and other companies, it comes off as an attempt to follow the crowd rather than truly satisfy customers. Find out what your target market expects from shipping and deliver an experience beyond that.

3. Offer a Subscription Service

Making a sale is just part of the job. Repeat customers are your bread and butter. Create a subscription service, whether it’s for recurring product shipments or an annual program like Amazon Prime. Subscription services keep your customers engaged and help to establish ongoing relationships.

4. Make Technology Your Friend

Convenience is the major benefit of online shopping. Consumers don’t have to leave their home (or even their pajamas) to purchase anything – from groceries to furniture. Make sure you’re taking advantage of the full power of technology to offer a level of convenience that keeps customers coming back time and time again.

5. Build Your Brand

Customers love Amazon for many reasons, but a personal connection is not one of them. Amazon’s brand may stand for features such as price, selection and shipping, but those qualities don’t resonate emotionally with consumers. Identify what makes your company unique and use it in all your marketing.

6. It’s All About Customer Service

Studies show that two-thirds of customers who leave a company do so because they don’t believe the company cares about them. Customer service is one area where Amazon’s size puts them at a disadvantage. Put yourself above them and the rest of your competition by proving superior customer service with a personal touch.

Medallion: Your Amazon Fulfillment Alternative That Gives You Back Control

If you are already selling on Amazon or are considering selling on Amazon, make sure to ask us how Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics can be your own personal “Amazon-Like Warehouse”.

We can ship your products to replenish Amazon stock levels and allow you to continue to sell on your own website. It is important to know that when you use Amazon as your fulfillment resource, Amazon does not share customer email addresses with you. The customers remain customers of Amazon. This action prevents you, and other small niche businesses, from getting repeat sales and from marketing to your own customers; impacting repeat business. This is particularly important for sellers of consumables who would love to establish a long and fruitful relationship with clients.

Having an account with Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics and Amazon can be a win/win proposition. Medallion’s warehouse storage fees are considerably less than those that Amazon will charge and you get access to your own customer information.

Growing your sales requires full concentration. Let our Los Angeles-based California fulfillment warehouse handle your order processing and shipping needs, including cross-docking, credit card processing and telephone customer support.

Contact Medallion to learn more about our fulfillment warehouse services and how they can be customized to fit your needs.

Switch Fulfillment Houses Smoothly

How to Switch to Medallion Fulfillment Warehouse Smoothly

This article focuses on the issues and steps involved in moving your fulfillment operation. You may be starting from the point where you’ve outgrown your in-house capabilities or have chosen to move your operation from one fulfillment provider to another.

In either case, what’s at stake is the ability of your business to meet its delivery commitments to customers, and we don’t have to tell you what an interruption in service can mean to your company.

Unfortunately, transition planning isn’t a cookie cutter process. Each company has some unique requirements and special relationships with fulfillment providers and/or suppliers.

What follows are some points to consider before, during and after the transition.

Understanding the Logistics Profile

Both you and your new fulfillment company should have planning sessions so that your fulfillment company both understands your requirements and understands how to support those requirements through their operations processes.

Expect that your fulfillment company will have some different approaches in handling fulfillment than that which you are used to. Here are some points to discuss to help understand those differences:

  • Service levels required
  • Sources of inventory and replenishment lead times
  • Special product handling requirements
    • Environmental requirements
    • Fragile, liquid, hazmat
    • Weights and dimensions
    • Lot or serial number control
    • Subscription handling
  • Channel support
    • Eg. Selling on multiple channels – Amazon, Ebay etc.
    • Big box selling (EDI and routing guides)
    • Small box retail (invoicing and pre-stickering)
    • Controlling inventory availability across channels
  • The more obvious discussions
    • Order volumes, line item volumes
    • # of SKU’s and SKU churn
    • Who will handle customer service and returns
    • Packaging and assembly requirements
    • International shipping

Make sure that your requirements are understood and that you understand how your new fulfillment company will handle those requirements.

Systems Integration

Before transitioning any product into the new warehouse, you need to be certain that your systems and those of your fulfillment partner can communicate flawlessly. At the very least, you should be able to connect your ERP and/or shopping cart to your fulfillment provider’s system in order to be able to send orders and ASN’s.

You should also test the capability of sending acknowledgement information back into your operations – example; inventory status, tracking information and receipts. You should become familiar with your fulfillment company’s reporting capabilities and be certain that they meet your analytical requirements.

Your product database should be established on your fulfillment provider’s systems, and an audit conducted to make sure that the SKU’s are in sync and key product information has been passed. Having a methodology for adding and deleting SKU’s is also important.

Shipping strategy should also be discussed and incorporated into your fulfillment partner’s systems. The strategy should include what carriers will be used under what circumstances. What are the strategies for ground, 2-3 day, overnight and international shipments?

When you are very certain that your systems are properly integrated and your requirements understood it’s now time to start the transition.

Communication

At the risk of stating the obvious, it’s important to communicate the new warehouse location and cut over dates to your customers, carriers, vendors and suppliers.

Location Mapping

When practical, if the receiving warehouse can map the locations for incoming stock in advance, a good deal of time can be saved in the initial receiving and put-away process.

Moving Day

A helpful technique in moving product is to move half of the product to the new location while continuing to ship from the old location, once that process is complete, cut over to the new location for shipping and subsequently move the remaining stock.

This 2-stage movement of product will give you a level of insurance in case some key aspect of the transition has a glitch. Once shipping is successful in the new location, the remaining stock can be transitioned.

Date sensitive stock may present some complications depending on the speed at which the stock is moving and the lot size. If it can be done, we suggest using the same strategy of splitting stock by expiration date.

A good transition starts with first contact with Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics or with Sprocket Express. We work hard to make transitioning to our warehouses fast and easy. We look forward to help you experience an improvement in logistics and fulfillment warehouse performance.

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

Medallion is a California Based Fulfillment Company

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.