At the early stages of young, ecommerce companies, founders serve in seemingly every role. When this happens, it can feel like bandwidth is at odds with funding, and as a CEO, you must decide whether to cut into your budget or your time.
You also understand that outsourcing the small stuff is a luxury reserved for only the most established companies.
Where you definitely don’t want to skimp, though, is on the shipping and fulfillment logistics that get your product in the hands of new customers.
Some brave entrepreneurs do try to go it alone when it comes to fulfillment, and that desire to maintain control is understandable. Afterall, this company is your baby, born from a singular moment when a good idea became something real and marketable.
But for our brain-children to reach their full potential, sometimes we must let go.
Placing your product in the hands of a well-vetted fulfillment company will not only improve your customer experience it will give you time back to focus on your core business. Most importantly, the change will reveal how a 3PL with the infrastructure to fully optimize your process can significantly widen your margins, opening endless doors to new opportunities.
If you are an ecommerce retailer, the holidays are an exciting time for potential sales and the overall growth of your brand. It is easy to get caught up in orders and sales projections, imagining the notoriety that will come following big numbers in Q4.
What is often not considered, though, is the inevitability of returns during this season. A positive bump in sales may be eminent, but returns must be thought of as prorated.
Few marketing campaigns or conversion funnels can help reduce the bottom line when it comes to returns. But returns do not always have to be viewed as a necessary evil poised to take a bite out of an overall Holiday spike.
In reframing the way we think about returns- as opportunities to improve customer relations and an important battle ground for the protection of the brand’s integrity- we may find we are able to put a few more integers between units sold and rate of return.
With the launch of Flamingo, Harry's has emerged as a powerhouse in the subscription grooming space. We are honored to have played a small part in the brands massive success!
The Surcharge Model
Many small parcel carrier agreements (such as UPS and FedEx) outline Money-back Guarantees/Guaranteed Service Refunds for their ground and air service shipments. These are clauses in contracts that set terms for actualization of delivery dates. For instance, the carrier would agree to refund the cost of shipments that are late by a standard length of time.
While exceptions may apply at any time of year, it is typical for small parcel carriers to write blackout dates into their contractual agreements with marketers for the weeks leading up and following Thanksgiving, Hanukah, and Christmas.
These blackout dates refer to specific times of the year in which they suspend their Money Back Guarantees or Guaranteed Service Refunds.
It is important for marketers to be aware of this when developing seasonal ad campaigns as most ecommerce companies try to push back guaranteed delivery when customers order prior to Thanksgiving/Hanukah/Christmas as close to the holiday as possible. Parcels may not arrive in time if the carriers are overwhelmed by more volume than they can handle. And there is no monetary recourse for the marketer if that should occur.
Wallingford, CT - September 6th, 2018 The role of e-commerce in the grand scheme of retail is perhaps larger than anyone ever expected. Growing fast with no clear end in sight, it is no wonder an online store is as fundamental to start-up retailers as inventory itself.
Last year alone, consumers spent $453.46 billion on the web, accounting for nearly half of total retail sales growth. These numbers are certainly staggering, and only rivaled by annual e-commerce growth rates of the years leading up to 2011 when online sales made average leaps of 19%.
It seems clear that the success of e-commerce, both over this past year and at the end of the last decade, can be attributed to innovations in online shopping.
In 2010, economists pointed to search engine optimization to explain the volume. The internet had been universally accessible for close to ten years, throughout which time big tech was able to hack and leverage user search behavior as market demographic data.
Let’s also not forget that during this time the country was recovering from a major financial crisis, which put thousands of brick-and-mortar stores out of business, including chain retailers like Circuit City and Filene’s Basement.
This year’s increase, on the other hand, can be explained in one word: Amazon. The company, which was responsible for 53% of e-commerce growth, has firmly asserted itself as the cornerstone of online retail. Through features like Spark, Amazon has only further strengthened its product discovery and purchase capabilities.
But the e-commerce machine, no matter how well-oiled, cannot be fully responsible for the 2017 numbers, could they? Well, not directly. The success of Amazon has forced other online retailers, and even small boutique storefronts, to adapt or die. Simply put, in an attempt to compete, more companies are launching online stores, and so over the course of the last year, the market share of e-commerce in the grand scheme of retail has become larger.
Wallingford, CT - August 29th, 2018 - With over 2,000,000 square feet of warehouse space in our multi-state locations Fosdick is gearing up for what looks to be another record breaking fourth quarter. Growth has been the consitent theme as our multi-channel marketing clients have us shipping Direct to Consumer, Retailers, Wholesalers, and Drop Ship.
Wallingford, CT - March 1st, 2017 - Tradeshow season is rapidly approaching and Fosdick has decided to cross the country and attend several events.
International Home and Houseware Show - March 18-21, Chicago, IL - All about items for the home. New innovations, new products, where engineers, buyers and sellers meet. http://www.housewares.org/show
Operations Summit 2017 - June 27-29, David L. Lawrence Convention Center Pittsburgh, PA -About Direct2Consumer and Omnichannel Operations. http://www.operationssummit.com/
Response Expo 2017 - April 25-27, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, San Diego, CA - Event for performance based direct marketers. http://www.responseexpo.com/
Internet Retailer (IRCE 2017) - June 6-9, McCormick Place West, Chicago, IL - Event dedicated to all online sellers of all products. http://www.irce.com/
And..........................more to follow!