If your business has its headquarters in Texas or, more specifically, in Austin, Texas, an Austin fulfillment warehouse might seem like the obvious choice for your eCommerce fulfillment. But the best fulfillment warehouse locations for your online store depend more on where your customers live than where your business is based. And it’s crucial to cast a broader net and partner with an ideal 3PL services provider for your products to provide the best service to your customers. Here’s how to determine what’s right for you and your growing business.
Which eCommerce businesses benefit from an Austin fulfillment center?
Your order fulfillment locations will determine how long your orders take to get to your customers. For example, an order shipped from Austin will take four days to reach Portland, ME, or Portland, OR. On the other hand, shipments from an Austin fulfillment center will get to many Texas addresses in one day. Orders to the panhandle and western parts of the state will take two days.
An Austin fulfillment center is a good choice for your business if you have a large customer base in Texas. For example, if you sell Texas Longhorns fan gear, you might ship most of your orders to fans and alumni in and near Austin. For a niche product like this, having localized fulfillment options saves you on freight costs while delivering the quickest service to the majority of your customer base.
But, in the internet age, few products are truly local. You might have a robust market for your gear among alumni that have moved to the far corners of the U.S. In that case, an Austin fulfillment warehouse probably isn’t the best way to reach those customers.
The first step in your search for a 3PL is an analysis of your customers’ locations. If 90% of them are in Texas, then an Austin warehouse could be an excellent choice. However, if only 10% of your orders ship to nearby zip codes, with the rest distributed across the U.S., you should look at national fulfillment solutions to optimize your distribution. An Austin fulfillment warehouse might be convenient for you, but it won’t help you meet consumer demand to deliver orders quickly. And in the end, the success of your business depends on customer satisfaction with their experience from initial purchase to unboxing.
Alternatives to an Austin fulfillment warehouse
If you ship orders throughout the country, simply placing all your products in an Austin order fulfillment warehouse because it’s close is not your best choice. Instead, find a 3PL with warehouses placed to reach the most U.S. households with the fewest average days in transit.
You can place your products in one or multiple fulfillment centers. If your sales volume is relatively low, a single, central warehouse location is ideal. For eCommerce companies that ship a high volume of orders, two or more shipping locales will probably serve the business better.
The goal of order fulfillment centers is to use the fewest locations to reach the most customers quickly. That allows you to maximize your reach without spreading your inventory too thin. You might even include an Austin location in your central fulfillment strategy.
For example, Red Stag Fulfillment ships orders to 69% of U.S. addresses in two days or less from its Knoxville, TN, location. Our Knoxville warehouse delivers to almost every address in Texas in two days. If you ship from Knoxville plus Red Stag’s additional warehouse campus in Salt Lake City, UT, you can reach 96% of households in two days or under.
Benefits of national fulfillment services
Choosing a national fulfillment solution doesn’t just reduce days in transit for your orders, although that is an essential benefit when you move beyond an Austin fulfillment warehouse. Here are some of the ways that the right 3PL contributes to your eCommerce business management.
Save on shipping costs
Shipping zones determine delivery times and affect your shipping costs. The more zones a package crosses to get to the customer, the greater the shipping expense. The cost of trucking your inventory to well-located warehouses will be more than offset by what you and your customers save on shipping.
Reduce delivery times
When you ship orders from an Austin fulfillment warehouse to either coast, it will take about four days. West Coast fulfillment from Salt Lake City takes one to two days. Most East Coast fulfillment from Knoxville takes two days or less. So, you cut your delivery times for many orders in half. And, on orders to the Midwestern states, you can save as much as a day in transit.
Gain more control over your fulfillment process
If it makes sense for you to ship from an Austin warehouse and there’s a 3PL in the area that provides the services you need, that’s fantastic. However, national fulfillment expands your options for pick and pack fulfillment services. That could give a big boost to your business.
For example, not every 3PL provides kitting services, but that’s essential if you run a subscription eCommerce business. Or you might need a warehouse certified to safely handle food products or hazardous materials.
Don’t settle for the order fulfillment solution you can drive to. Look for a 3PL that genuinely fits your needs. Fulfillment can boost your company, increasing customer satisfaction and giving your online shop the support it needs to grow and scale.
Austin, Texas companies: Choose an order fulfillment warehouse that fits your products, not your location
There’s a more critical reason that a national 3PL might be a better choice than an Austin warehouse, and that’s product fit. Suppose you sell high-value products where losing even one unit represents a significant cost. In that case, you shouldn’t place your stock in a warehouse that typically ships small, inexpensive merchandise with a high SKU count and a significant inventory shrinkage rate. And a company that sells bulky or heavy products won’t be well-served by a 3PL specializing in shipments under 10 pounds.
Red Stag Fulfillment provides superior third-party logistics for high-value, oversized, heavy, and fragile items. We provide fulfillment for eCommerce companies based in Austin, Texas, throughout the U.S. and around the globe that fit our customer profile. Doesn’t your enterprise deserve the perfect fulfillment partner?
Red Stag Fulfillment ships orders to Austin and beyond
Fast order delivery depends on more than shipping zones. If your orders sit in a queue waiting to be picked and packed for several days, that diminishes the customer experience. Red Stag Fulfillment offers same-day fulfillment, with cutoffs at 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm ET. Better yet, we back up our services with fulfillment guarantees. If we fail to ship an order by the agreed-upon time, we pay you $50. We also pay $50 if we mis-pick an order, and our shrinkage allowance is zero. We’re transparent about our strengths and weaknesses, and our team is always striving to do better. Read our 2021 fulfillment report card for our accuracy and on-time and in full rates.
More about fulfillment warehouse locations:
- Choosing Your Fulfillment Warehouse Locations
- Cross-Country Warehousing
- Where Should I Keep My eCommerce Inventory?