Okay so I know that a little while ago I wrote about how I had set up No4Optics.com with Shopify and the logistics was handled by Shipwire. Well that’s about to change since Shipwire decided to raise their prices 2000% (yes you read that right, 2000%.... I did the math). So since I’m going to be changing my setup I thought I’d write a quick blog about possible logistic solutions that you all might find helpful.
Fulfillment by Amazon
Okay so we all know that Amazon does damn near everything nowadays but this was new to me. Fulfillment by Amazon is a service that allows you to store your products in an Amazon warehouse and they will take care of order fulfillment and shipping. It works best if you’re already selling your product on Amazon but they do accept orders from other sales channels (your website, eBay, etc.) for a small additional fee. Now I know what you’re thinking, “what if I don’t currently sell on Amazon?” Well you have to have a sellers account (professional sellers account for some products, like sunglasses, which is another monthly fee) to be able to use Fulfillment by Amazon. However I’ve been told that you can turn off your Amazon listing so that the only orders coming in will be from other sales channels. A nice idea but to me this defeats the purpose, if you are paying for a sellers account why not use it? After all Amazon’s traffic and sales numbers are insane and if you’re not selling on Amazon now you should probably rethink your strategy. Now the con’s, and there is a big one. Customer Service! As we all know it’s notoriously hard to get anyone from Amazon on the phone, so if your business will require a customer service support line or any other personal touch then Fulfillment by Amazon probably isn’t your best option. There is something to be said for the ability to talk to a human when there’s a problem.
E-Commerce Fulfillment Services
If you Google “fulfillment services” you’ll be provided with an endless list of companies that offer fulfillment and logistic services that can be customized to fit your ideal solution. From a cost standpoint they will be a bit more expensive than Amazon’s service but if you value customization and a certain level of service, than this is definitely the way to go. They offer everything from order fulfillment for any type of sales channel to dedicated customer support phone numbers to return services. With the recent studies indicating that customer service is a high priority for online shoppers, the higher costs associated with these services might just be worth it. I recommend shopping around before making a decision because many of these services can be negotiated down to make the total costs very easy to live with. Also many companies offer warehouses in different locations with the ability to spread your inventory around which reduces shipping costs and time for your customers.
The whole point of this blog is to point out that there are multiple options available to you that can be fully customized. Do your homework upfront so you’re not having to make changes later when it involves moving inventory between warehouse and switching software that links up with your shopping cart (trust me, it’s a pain in the ass). Hopefully you found this helpful, now get outside this weekend and enjoy this awesome weather! (That is if you’re in the south, it’s awesome down here right now! Sorry to everyone up north that’s about to get pounded with snow… womp womp)