Parcel carriers are increasing their rates again. Unfortunately, that’s not surprising to most of us in the e-commerce industry. Over the past few years, retailers have been forced to deal with near-annual rate increases from UPS, FedEx and USPS. However, even small rate increases can translate into thousands of dollars in additional expenses that jeopardize…
With the holiday season fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about your holiday strategy. A successful holiday shopping season doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, planning and a strategy that allows you to deliver the same high-quality customer experiences that shoppers enjoy throughout the year. During November and December, many retailers enjoy a healthy…
Choosing how and when to scale their e-commerce operations is an increasingly important, and difficult, decision for retailers. While more consumers are shopping online, not every retailer should be swept up in the excitement. In a classic Goldilocks scenario, some growth opportunities are too hot while some are too cold. Brands must understand their customer and…
A great fulfillment partner is one that can help business owners accomplish their goals by providing trust, excitement and new opportunities for both the brands themselves and their customers. Here are tips on how providers and retailers can better work together to improve not only fulfillment and logistics, but the brand overall:
As retailers make decisions for 2015, capitalizing on branded and personalized packaging strategies should be a priority. Retailers don't need complicated packaging options, but solutions that are personalized. Maybe your brand is the "flirt" or perhaps the "gentleman." What's important is figuring that out, then strategically incorporating that style to positively influence how consumers engage with and remember your brand. Your brand is obvious to you, but branded packaging can make it equally apparent to your customers.
Last year alone, six-and-a-half years worth of unboxing videos were uploaded to YouTube. These videos show consumers opening packages and removing their contents. The concept sounds simplistic, but consumers find them mesmerizing. Why is that, and what should retailers know about unboxing?
While the quest for faster shipping is an ongoing struggle for retailers and fulfillment companies, it's unlikely that drones or anticipatory shipping alone will be the key to faster deliveries. Instead, these services will be the gateway into a new shipping model — one that's customer centric, highly personalized and characterized by the following:
Most small retailers lack the resources and store footprint to handle same-day shipping on their own. However, it's still possible for small retail brands to offer same-day shipping with the support of a third-party fulfillment and logistics provider. Here are five ways smaller retailers can compete with Amazon's same-day delivery model:
It's never too early to start preparing your warehouse for a surge in orders throughout the holiday season. You'll be ready to tackle any bottlenecks in the months leading up to and during the holiday season by following this easy checklist:
Consumers expect the online shopping experience to be nearly as seamless as the in-store experience. While companies like Amazon.com are working to replicate the in-store experience via mobile, online retailers can provide a high-quality experience by committing to service and open communication. Here are several steps retailers can take to ensure they offer a consistent customer experience from start to finish:
Although growing quickly may seem like the ideal scenario, it can cause operational issues for retailers who are ill equipped to scale effectively. A rapid uptick in demand carries several added expenses that tax resources, cash flow and working capital. It requires financing to pay for more inventory, new staff, shipping and packaging costs, and any additional supplies or capital necessary to fulfill orders.
Changing consumer demands and increased competition are ushering in a new era of retail fulfillment and delivery. The new face of shipping that will take form over the next year will be completely catered to consumers, who now expect fast, free shipping and returns as the industry norm. There are several strategies retailers can adopt to appeal to today's tech-savvy, budget-conscious consumers, and compete with industry giants such as Amazon.com:
It's obvious that photography plays a critical role in e-commerce success. When it's done well, professional e-commerce photography delivers product images that incentivize consumers to explore merchandise and finalize purchases, converting online window shoppers into customers and, hopefully, passionate brand advocates.
When done well, inventory management accurately matches inventory levels and back-end systems to actual demand, enabling retailers to rapidly expand without sacrificing the quality of the customer experience. For those focused on omnichannel, it starts with managing inventory across multiple store locations as well as a centralized distribution center.
Although the retail landscape changed dramatically in 2013, many common themes that were introduced last year will continue to shape the industry and have a greater impact throughout 2014. In particular, three major trends will play a large role in retail e-commerce strategies as we move into 2014: