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

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 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 Fulfillment Services that Exceed Customer Expectations

Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics provides 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 fulfillment services.

Medallion & Sprocket Express Can Help with East and West Coast Warehouse Locations

Coast to Coast Fulfillment Service Coverage

As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to do everything yourself. You soon find yourself spending more time working in your business rather than growing your business!

Growing your business means focusing your efforts on your strategic goals and delegating the rest of the work to the experts.

Doing your own fulfillment is a perfect example:

• It demands your attention every day even if you have more important things to do.

• It can get complex if you’re trying to expand your reach into multiple channels and other countries.

• It gets in the way of scaling your business.

Outsourcing your fulfillment:

• Let’s you pay for only the services you use.

• Saves money on staff, warehousing & order processing & shipping.

• Can speed delivery when shipping from multiple locations.>

• Let’s you focus on growth.

We’d be happy to have  a no cost, no obligation discussion to help you decide if you’re ready. If you already are using a fulfillment center let us see if we can improve your level of service and/or save you money. Give us a call at (818) 998-8366 today!

Emerging Trends Expected to Impact eCommerce Stores

Mobile Matters

Online shopping has gone beyond a trend to become an established and lucrative retail channel. Demand has become so great in fact that new trends are emerging that will feed consumer thirst to shop conveniently online.

The eCommerce industry continues to change and evolve as sellers learn more about consumer habits and preferences. Here’s a sneak peek at the trends expected to shape the direction of eCommerce in 2019.

Personalized Experience

While online shopping might seem impersonal, electronic data gathering methods are sophisticated enough to let sellers tailor the eCommerce experience to meet each consumer’s preferences. Targeted content replicates brick-and-mortar shopping more closely while retaining digital convenience.

Multi-Channel Retailing

The online buyer’s journey can take them through both traditional and non-traditional outlets including brick-and-mortar, social media and eCommerce marketplaces. Multi-channel retailing involves selling your product where, as ShopifyPlus puts it, a customer is “never more than a click or clerk away from buying.”

Integrating multi-channel retailing can be costly. It requires a highly focused strategy and an infrastructure scaled to seamlessly accommodate various outlets. But with studies showing 73 percent of shoppers use multiple channels, the expense is worth it.

Customer Service Automation

Would you be surprised to hear it’s predicted that 85 percent of all customer service interactions will be handled without human agents by 2020? Customer service automation is now a matter of when, not if. A majority of people are likely to abandon a seller after only one bad customer service experience, so streamlined automation can be invaluable for customer retention.

Mobile Platforms

Whether by phone or tablet, most Americans are only a few clicks away from eCommerce outlets at all times. Consumers use mobile devices throughout the sales journey, from research to final transaction.

Mobile commerce is expected to reach 69 percent share of total purchases and 45 percent of total eCommerce revenue by 2020. Even retailing giant Walmart realized a 98 percent increase in mobile sales by optimizing their site’s function and design.

Same-Day Delivery

Savvy consumers, used to the immediate gratification of brick-and-mortar shopping, aren’t willing to sacrifice that feature for the ease of online purchasing. Nearly three-quarters of consumers say they would shop and spend more if same-day delivery was available.

Unsurprisingly, roughly the same percentage of warehouses name same-day delivery as their biggest challenge. Meeting the demand has led to a search for creative solutions, including unconventional delivery methods such as drones.

Fulfillment Warehouse Services that Grow Along with Your Business

Our fulfillment warehouse services based in Los Angeles, California are scalable to accommodate your business through new trends and innovations. Contact us to learn why Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics is the #1 choice for successful eCommerce retailers.

Don’t Let Your Business Suffer Due to Amazon’s Policies, You Have Options!

Grow Your Business by Thinking of More Resources than Amazon

We’re all about solutions here at Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics. The coronavirus pandemic demands that we think outside the box to keep businesses growing and homebound customers satisfied.

Amazon froze shipments from March 17th to April 5th, and stated the following on their website:

“While we will continue prioritizing the products we can receive beyond April 5, we are now able to broaden the list. Given our constrained capacity, we are doing this on an item-by-item basis. We have updated the Restock Inventory page and Restock report in Seller Central so you can check which products are eligible for shipment creation. We consider many factors when determining eligibility, including high-demand products customers need now; current inventory levels and inventory in transit; fulfillment center capacity; and our ability to adhere to the latest health guidelines.” Read the full article at Amazon Seller Central.

What we are continuing to hearing from Amazon sellers even as recently as this week, is that Amazon is still restricting or refusing incoming stock replenishment shipments.

To solve problems many sellers are having with Amazon, we have developed a special program called FBM (Fulfillment by Medallion). The FBM program allows you to ship product to both or either of our East Coast or West Coast warehouses, and gets you back shipping goods to customers the day after we receive your products.

This redundancy with FBA lets you be proactive to the current business and virus situation. And, our FBM allows you to leverage sales to homebound workers; who may be shopping to pass the time, or who are buying items for family members to stay entertained with while home from school. With no shipping or stock restrictions, our program can get you back in business fast!

You can easily select to move to Fulfillment by Seller within the Amazon Seller Central and not be held hostage or be affected by Amazon’s changing policies and shipping problems.

With a growing dissatisfied Amazon warehouse staff that has expressed fears of contagion requiring management to provide temperature checks and masks in warehouses, FBA now seems a less stable option for businesses in the coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s how our FBM (Fulfillment by Medallion) program works:

1. Ship your goods, or a selection of goods, to our East Coast or West Coast warehouses or to both.

2. Our special dedicated FBM On-Boarding Team fast tracks processing and works with you to implement your ordering and shipping fast. We can start shipping orders the day after we receive your products in our warehouse.

3. There are no long term contracts and you can even get a formal and affordable price quote today.

4. Get back in business – shipping to homebound and internet-connected potential customers in one day after receipt of your products in our facility. Don’t miss a beat and make your sales projections this quarter, even with communities and workers on lockdown.

If you are shipping from Amazon Fulfillment and having trouble getting your orders fulfilled due to the coronavirus disruption, please consider Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics for your shipping needs.

• We Provide Fulfillment By Merchant for Amazon & Replenishing FBA

• We Support Shopify, WooCommerce, Amazon, Ebay and all other e-commerce platforms

• We Offer Same Day Shipping

• We Have Competitive Pricing

• 37 Years of Family Owned & Operated Services

Fulfillment Centers in Los Angeles and Boston for East/West Coast shipping.

We are here to help. Give us a call today and let us show you how we can get you back in business fast.

Mobile Matters – Important eCommerce Trends to Embrace

Mobile Matters

Ecommerce was a seismic shift in the retailing landscape, allowing consumers to shop from the comfort of their own home. Now mobile commerce (mcommerce) has expanded that freedom even further as smartphones and tablets turn any location into a virtual marketplace

By 2021, mcommerce is projected to make up more than 50 percent of all retail ecommerce sales. Are your ecommerce fulfillment services optimized to meet the demand? Stay ahead of the competition by implementing these mcommerce trends and innovations.

Mobile First

In the earlier days of ecommerce, the norm was to design websites that were responsive to mobile. As mcommerce has risen in importance, online retailers are reversing the practice and designing for mobile first and optimizing for the web.

Speedier Checkouts

Convenience is the biggest advantage of ecommerce. Studies show payment options such as one-click checkout and mobile wallets generate up to 10 percent more mobile conversions.

App or Website?

When Apple and Google launched their app stores, industry experts predicted that mobile apps would be the dominant form in the future. While apps definitely have grown in popularity, mobile browser users still outnumber mobile app users approximately 2 to 1. Give careful consideration to which option will better serve your audience.

Augmented Reality

Brick-and-mortar stores still offer a more tactile experience than ecommerce, but innovations like augmented reality help close the gap. Augmented reality apps use cameras, touch screens and other sensory elements to integrate real images for greater functionality. One of the more successful examples is IKEA Place, which lets users virtually “design” a home, office or other space with 3D true-to-scale objects.

Chatbots and Messenger Apps

When your online customers have a question, do they have to ask it via email? Savvy shoppers don’t want to wait, and they’ll head for another site that’s more responsive. Provide real-time interaction with chatbots and messenger apps for prompt customer service and a more personalized experience.

Omni-Channel Marketing

Ecommerce is the most recent spoke in the multi-channel wheel which offers customers a variety of ways to browse and shop. Mobile commerce helps e-retailers go beyond a multi-channel model to an omni-channel model that breaks down boundaries to present a single, unified user experience. Products are at the core of the multi-channel model, but the omni-channel model is centered on the customer.

Improved Page Speed

It’s no surprise that page speed, which is inextricably linked to ease of use, is a primary driver of customer loyalty. Nearly 50 percent of shoppers won’t wait longer than three seconds for a page to load before leaving.

If you need another reason to ramp up page speed, Google rolled out their mobile-first indexing in 2018, which means rankings now give preference to mobile sites instead of desktop sites.

Ecommerce Fulfillment Services for Today and the Future

Is keeping up with the demands of ecommerce fulfillment taking valuable time away from growing your business? We offer customized ecommerce fulfillment services that scale along with your company. Contact Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics to learn more.