Many companies think they need to hit a certain level of eCommerce growth before using a fulfillment partner makes sense. However, our experience has shown that not only can you typically outsource sooner than you think but making that move may be the change that improves your eCommerce growth rate.
The trick is finding the right partnership. You’ll need a third-party logistics company (3PL) that understands eCommerce sales and knows how to prep your goods for delivery. Your ultimate goal is to find someone you trust enough to treat them as part of your business, not just a peripheral service.
A reliable logistics partner helps your business grow in two core ways. First, we help eliminate some of the additional expenses you’ll face as you scale and hit that next milestone. Second, we position your company to take advantage of opportunities as soon as they arise by having the ability to scale eCommerce fulfillment and minimize delays.
Now, let’s consider that first need.
Avoiding eCommerce growth expenses
Many regional and global eCommerce companies face high capital requirements as they move from small businesses to mid-sized operations. Their growth has a ceiling because online sales need to be high enough to generate enough revenue for large-scale investments. From a logistics perspective, the most common market requirement is an expanded distribution network.
You’ve got to have the finances or borrowing power to secure additional warehouse space. That comes with many added, hidden costs that can be hard to predict:
- How many locations do you need?
- What’s the optimal number of warehouses to achieve 95%+ two-day delivery coverage?
- Should you be buying up more racking?
- Do you have enough forklifts and people to operate them?
- How many new managers, pickers, and packers do you need for the growing warehouse team?
- Are you optimally positioned for importing goods from China and distributing them to the West and East Coasts?
These questions guide your operations, and, unfortunately, the pandemic made them even harder to answer. Each comes with an added cost that you’ll then need to pass on to the consumer, either by increasing prices or sales volumes.
Are you ready for eCommerce growth?
How do you plan for that eCommerce growth now and ensure your answers position you where you need to be tomorrow?
Red Stag Fulfillment helps brands like yours answer these concerns by eliminating the need to do it yourself. Our experts specialize in order fulfillment, so we know the best places to put a warehouse to reach core customer markets. We’re growing our list of national and regional carriers to ensure capacity and help you have a steadier Q4 this year. Plus, our aggressive expansion means there’s physical space available to store more of your products as you increase sales.
Right now, we’re positioned to support partners and how they expect to scale in 2021 and beyond. Retail eCommerce sales need that space, and our shelves are waiting.
Scale for savings, too
Carriers will offer better service rates for your business as you grow. When you reach higher volume levels, you can renegotiate. However, many of those are out of the reach of small and mid-sized eCommerce companies because carriers want higher volume estimates.
3PLs like Red Stag can help you start saving, often immediately, by giving you access to reduce carrier rates based on total overall volume. You benefit from the order volume of every customer of that 3PL, typically establishing cheaper baseline rates. As your company expands and marketing leads to more eCommerce sales, you can access even deeper carrier discounts.
In some cases, eCommerce companies may take years to obtain the additional discounts we can secure based on volume. When you’re moving heavy or oversized objects — our specialty — those discounts can make a substantial difference by significantly driving down the percentage of your budget spent on fulfillment.
Guarantees to help eCommerce growth
Red Stag guarantees our service levels and capabilities to help reduce your worry. They lead the industry and mean our services are reliable enough for companies large and small to support their U.S. sales. Look closer, and you’ll see how our guarantees support you and each consumer that buys from you.
You need goods on shelves and ready for sale if you’re going to delight a consumer. So, we prioritize receiving as part of a retail sales strategy. After your goods arrive, we’ll receive them accurately within two business days, getting these products ready for hungry shoppers.
If we don’t make that timeframe, we pay you $50 for the inconvenience.
Inventory accuracy and zero shrinkage
Not only do your products need to be on the shelf, but your growth rate depends on having an accurate count of what’s available. That has two important aspects: 1) we accurately count and enter your inventory data into our system so that you know what’s available, and 2) we don’t allow shrinkage at our facilities.
Red Stag Fulfillment stands alone in the industry when we say: If any of your inventory is damaged or missing after receiving it into our facility, we will pay you the wholesale cost of that item.
Many other providers will make you pay for a certain percentage of shrinkage, even though it’s not your fault. We hope that our take on eliminating those losses is one of the logistics trends that take hold.
Supporting eCommerce sales includes reducing the likelihood that someone will cancel an order due to delays. Brick and mortar stores may not face this challenge as much, so we look at order processing specifically from an online shopping perspective.
Red Stag Fulfillment promises that 100% of your orders will be shipped according to your chosen service level as part of our order processing guarantee. Standard service levels are Next Business Day or a 3:00 p.m. or 5:00 p.m. cutoff.
When we make a mistake, you don’t pay for that eCommerce shipment. Plus, we’ll pay you $50 for the inconvenience. That’s because any error we cause shouldn’t impact your revenue or growth.
Consumers expect every order they place to arrive on time and accurately. We can understand that feeling because we expect the same thing when buying online from our favorite stores. However, given that more than a trillion orders could happen this year, estimates show that some orders will go out the door incorrectly.
In our world, the goal is to minimize that as much as possible. The average fulfillment company now has an order mis-pick rate of around 2%, meaning one out of every 50 orders is wrong. That kind of error rate can easily keep you out of a consumer’s list of the top 10 best stores.
To combat this, Red Stag uses multiple scans and checks for every order. That led us to have an error rate of less than 0.02%, or 1 out of more than 5,000 orders.
We want to be even better than that percentage. So, if we ship an order incorrectly, we’ll not only fix the mistake, but you don’t pay for that shipment, and we pay you $50 for the inconvenience.
Addressing challenges at scale
Logistics and fulfillment companies can also drive your eCommerce growth by helping you address problems and product issues when they arrive. When a client notifies us of returns due to product concerns, we’re able to quarantine those products immediately, among other steps.
If we can complete the fix within our warehouse, the account representative works with that client to establish the process and start repairs, replacements, or other work. It allows us to get your goods ready for sale while minimizing the potential freight costs of shipping something back to your manufacturer.
That’s just one of the problems a fulfillment company should help you address. Rely on them to be a partner for your eCommerce sales growth and your business and inventory management.
One less thing on your plate
One way your 3PL can help you achieve eCommerce growth is simply by letting you focus on other business needs. We take care of your fulfillment and ensure everything is sent out on-time and accurately so that your teams can prioritize marketing and sales.
Logistics has many moving parts that your team might not have considered, especially with global eCommerce and imports. The goal should be to find a partner who lets you send products from the manufacturer, from down the street or out in China, for processing at their distribution locations. That lets your professionals focus on serving the customer and improve shopping without worry.
That can feel like a significant promise, but it’s what Red Stag clients tell us regularly. Our mission is to take fulfillment and related worries off your hands. We’ll automate and manage the process, becoming part of your successful customer service offering.
And that occurs no matter your situation.
Have a great Q2 and need to expand? We’ll help you find the extra shelf space. Are sales shifting and SKUs need to respond? Our team can help you forecast what’ll happen next and make suggestions to inform your restocking orders. Customers moving to a new region, or are you targeting new businesses and retailers? We’ll talk about which Red Stag locations to use to keep products closest to hungry customers.
Fulfillment should be such a reliable portion of your operations that it supports you instead of taking up precious time and research.
Ready to boost your eCommerce growth?
Some of the best praise we get from our clients is when they ask us not to mention them. That means they view the fulfillment services from Red Stag as a competitive advantage, boosting their eCommerce sales growth rate and improving their consumer relationships. We’re happy to be that silent partner that the consumer doesn’t think about, and you don’t worry about because of how smoothly fulfillment goes.
When you’re ready to see what new heights a reliable eCommerce fulfillment provider can help you reach, we’re just a click away.