Tag Archives: Outsourcing

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.

Continue reading

Hiring Remote Workers for your Ecommerce Business: a Crash Course

This post is by Connor Gillivan, the Chief Content & Marketing Officer at FreeeUp.com and the Chief Executive Officer at online retailer Portlight LLC. Connor has been running ecommerce businesses since 2009 and has sold over $20 million worth of products. He writes about his own startup philosophies at ConnorGillivan.com and has been featured on many websites focused on entrepreneurship.

As we find ourselves at the start of another new year, it is more important than ever to make sure that you have the right team assembled. As an ecommerce entrepreneur who has been selling online for the past six years, I have witnessed firsthand what happens throughout all retail seasons, especially in the beginning of the year as customers are returning items and it is time to revamp your operations.

If you’re unprepared going into the first months of the year, you may find yourself in a place where your company is not ready to grow at the pace that you would like it to. The beginning of the year is the perfect time to re-evaluate your operations, create new goals, and communicate with your team to make sure that everyone is on the same page.

In this post, I will discuss the importance of having the right team in place for your ecommerce company. I will introduce the concept of a remote workforce and teach how you, as an ecommerce business owner, can hire remote workers to support the operations and growth of your business.

Whether this is your first time learning about remote hiring or if you have performed remote hiring in the past, this is a superb crash course to the best practices I have been using to run multiple ecommerce companies. If you have any questions about the details inside this guide, feel free to leave them in the comments and I will be glad to respond.

Continue reading

Selling Internationally: A Guide to Tools & Services for Cross-Border Trade

Selling internationally

Cross-border selling through Amazon, eBay and other marketplaces has a lot going for it. Just flip a switch and your inventory becomes available to hundreds of millions of international customers, almost instantly. Well, that’s the theory anyway.

In practice, it doesn’t tend to be that simple. Yes, you are selling the same inventory so there’s no additional effort for sourcing and managing stock (other than needing to do it on a larger scale). But just about everything else has an additional layer of complexity when you are selling internationally.

Fortunately, cross-border trade is booming, and many new international ecommerce services and suppliers have emerged, all geared up to help sellers trade successfully across borders. In this post I’ll explain who those suppliers are, what they do, and how to choose the right one for you.

Continue reading

The Online Sellers’ Definitive Guide to Outsourcing

Definitive Guide to Outsourcing

This post is by James Thomson, Partner of Buybox Experts, a consultancy supporting brands selling on Amazon and other marketplaces. James is also president of PROSPER Show, a continuing education conference focused on developing training and best-practice materials for early-stage online sellers.

First, the good news: Your ecommerce business continues to grow at a rapid pace.

Now, the bad news: Every month, you find yourself busier and busier managing operational issues like office staffing, your warehouse, customer inquiries, and product returns. With each passing month, you have less time to spend on building your catalog of desirable products, and on absorbing and integrating customer feedback into your new product development.

For large sellers that have hit the point in their daily grind that they are so busy working in their business that they don’t have time to work on their business, it’s definitely time to re-evaluate.

There will be a trigger point soon – maybe a new entrant eats away at a profitable segment of your customer base, or your warehouse gets so busy that orders start falling behind, or your family life is starting to suffer so much that you realize you must make a change! Now what?!

Continue reading

Outsourcing Ecommerce Fullfilment: Pros, Cons and What To Ask 3PLs

Outsourcing Ecommerce Fulfillment

This post is contributed by Chad Rubin, CEO of Skubana. Skubana is an all-in-one ERP system that seamlessly integrates with ecommerce businesses no matter how they fulfill, including all 3PLs with a click of a button. This post was first published on Skubana’s blog: The 3PL Automation That Made Millions for this E-Commerce Business.

Whether you’re experiencing it now or later, as an online seller, there will be a tipping point when your ecommerce order transaction volume has increased beyond your team’s current capabilities. As your business grows, so does the cost and complexity of running it.

The champagne problem: While this is a good sign for your online business’s revenue, with increased scale comes stock-outs, exhausted warehouse employees and ultimately missed sales.

This is a pivotal moment for your company and you have two options:

  • You could buy/rent a larger warehouse space, and hire more employees.
  • Or, you could outsource your warehouse pick and pack fulfillment to a 3PL (third party logistics) company.

In this post we will be discussing what a 3PL is, the advantages and disadvantages of utilizing a 3PL, an and in-depth analysis of my home appliance filter and accessory business, Crucial Vacuum and our transition to a 3PL.

Continue reading