Order Management, Shipping and Fulfillment Tools: the Essential Guide

Software and services for efficient order processing, economical shipping, warehouse management, and third-party logistics

A successful ecommerce business has a lot to do: research the market, source products, list onto marketplaces and so on – all before getting a single customer order.

When the orders do start coming in, you get the satisfying buzz of making a sale and all that effort finally seems worthwhile. You just have to send the orders out the door. Should be simple, right? Print off the details, pick the items, pack the boxes, add packing slips, stick on shipping labels, arrange for a pick-up (or drop them off)… and now it doesn’t seem so simple after all.

Many sellers quickly go from waiting for their next sale with a feeling of excitement, to waiting with a feeling of fear. Will they have enough stock? Will they apply the right labels to the right boxes? Will they even be able to ship on time?

So that’s the bad news: shipping is a messy, complex, demanding process. It can be a huge challenge, and has been the downfall of many sellers. The good news? It’s a challenge that businesses have faced before, and there are plenty of solutions out there for making it easier, faster, cheaper and more accurate.

In this post I’ll walk you through the Shipping & Fulfillment category of the Web Retailer directory. It covers order management, shipping automation, fulfillment outsourcing (third-party logistics), shipping consolidators, dropship automation and warehouse management.

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Quantum Networks Interview: It’s all About the Brands

From a tiny cube office in Manhattan to exclusive deals with huge brands, this company has come a long way

Quantum Networks has achieved a huge amount since they launched their ecommerce business in 2010.

The company, which started out selling niche electronics like cell phone signal boosters, has featured multiple times in the Inc. 500 list of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S., reaching $23 million in sales in 2013. They’ve continued to grow since then, selling on five global marketplaces while maintaining a 99% feedback average and shipping 14,000 orders per month.

Which business model have they followed to grow to that size? Well, most of them! Reselling, drop shipping, exclusive brand relationships, managed services, private labeling – they aren’t wedded to any one way of selling online.

But if there is one key to the way Quantum does ecommerce, it’s their focus on finding great brands to work with. They aren’t flipping quick deals or throwing out me-too private label products, Quantum is building long-term relationships with innovative, high-quality manufacturers. They now work with over 200 brands, and the emphasis on quality shows in an average order value of $157.

I caught up with Quantum Networks’ Co-Founder and COO Eytan Wiener, to find out more about this impressive company. He was very open about the business, and generous with his advice for new sellers.

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So, You Got Funded on Kickstarter – Now What?

How to leverage a Kickstarter campaign using Amazon Marketplace, Amazon Launchpad, email marketing and Facebook

This post is by online entrepreneur Ivelin Demirov. Ivelin has been selling full time on eBay and Amazon since 2008, and has successfully funded and delivered nine Kickstarter projects. He is also the founder of River Cleaner, a Chrome extension that enables sellers to automatically optimize Amazon product listings.

For most people who use Kickstarter, getting their idea funded is like reaching the mountaintop.

They hit their goal. Their idea can now become a reality. Life is good.

But the truth is, this is just the start.

Having had numerous Kickstarter projects, nine to be exact, I learned through trial and error how to grow them well beyond the confines of Kickstarter. I’ll cover exactly how to do that in this post.

Or if you create private label products to sell on Amazon, you’ll learn a different approach to product development that begins with Kickstarter instead, and is potentially much more profitable.

Then, I’ll show you how to bring your product to even more platforms and build an email list out of former customers that will make it easy to go back to them again and again for greater profits.

Let’s begin with one of the most important steps to creating a product: market research.

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How to Use Amazon’s Inventory Reports: Active Listings and Cancelled Listings

Where to find them, what they contain, and how to use them in your business

This post is by Joshua Price, Managing Director at eCommerce Geek, a consultancy and service provider to online sellers.

As we settle into 2017, it certainly looks to be a year of change in every area. I’m personally very excited about the growth and changes we’ll be seeing this year in technology, customer behavior and marketing. As business owners we’re all conscious of our markets, target customers and geographies. Regardless of your size, it’s really important to stay up to date with all the changes happening in this space.

One of the most useful products of the technological revolution of the last 25 years has been the ability to handle, record and report on vast arrays of information. Customer data has been a crucial part of online marketing for a long while now. Cookies, for example, are abundant online, and if I collected real cookies at the speed I consume digital ones, I’d be as wide as I am tall (and I’m really tall).

So today we’re going to discuss data. Specifically, I’m going to draw attention to some of the most important inventory reports that Amazon provides: the Active Listings Report and the Cancelled Listings Report. These reports are core to some of the services my company provides and I cannot stress enough how important it is that you use them.

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How to Fight Amazon Rights Infringement Claims

Best practices for Plans of Action and DMCA counter notices

This post is by Chris McCabe, a former Amazonian and founder of ecommerceChris.com, with Suzi Hixon, an Amazon FBA seller and attorney specializing in intellectual property law at The Private Label Lawyer.

Chris McCabe’s first post on this topic, False Infringement Claims are Rife on Amazon, was published on Web Retailer in January.

The incidence of rights infringement claims at Amazon spiked upward recently, as many parties have realized how easily this can be abused to remove unwanted sellers from a desired listing.

In fact, Amazon’s policy teams have moved much more aggressively to suspend sellers, instead of warning them and removing the ASIN in question from their listings.

The net result of these actions is to drive up the number of suspended account appeals. These appeals require Plans of Action to address not only how you’ll resolve the current dispute with the claimant, but also how you’ll avoid such rights infringement cases in the future.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that the increased friction around notice claims has resulted in new methods to prevent notice abuse. Amazon is now taking this subject very seriously and no abuse of Amazon’s systems or policies will be tolerated going forward.

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