How Third Party Fulfillment Helps You Succeed in New Markets
Every technological leap forward has winners and losers — and ecommerce is no exception. Not every business can succeed online, and often success is tied to how effectively a company can take advantage of third-party partners.
Let’s face it: customers expect technological advancements to be universal. Does another company offer fast, international shipping to their doorstep? Is it affordable — or even free? If so, then they don’t just expect that company to provide that service. They expect every company to provide that service.
We’re way past the age when buying something online was novel — now, it isn’t a question of if you can buy something online, it’s a question of how fast. The right third-party fulfillment service can get your products into the hands of your customers faster — and with less investment on your part.
Your Fulfillment Center Location is Crucial to Still Conversions
We tend to think of searching and buying as part of the same single purchasing process, but they’re distinct phases, and both are equally important. Because while modern platforms make it relatively easy to get your products to show up in search, consumers and B2B customers usually have multiple vendor choices and competing products available.
To decide whether to purchase a product, the customer will consider the following criteria:
- Time to fulfillment
The vendor with the best combination of all three will win. That is why platforms like eBay and Amazon are so popular: they allow the customer to compare product descriptions, prices (including shipping) and fulfillment time. And if the price and quality of the product are the same, the vendor offering unfavorable shipping will lose.
For sellers trying to expand into overseas markets, this can be a problem. No matter how quickly you pick, pack and ship, and how varied your shipping services are, if your customer is on the other side of the world, shipping is going to be slower and costlier.
Small businesses located far from the US are particularly affected. The United States is the second largest ecommerce market in the world behind China, with $340 billion in annual sales. That’s more than three times the sales of the UK, the next country down the list.
If your products have to travel across an ocean and through customs to get to the customer, that’s always going to put you at a disadvantage compared to a local retailer.
The only way to overcome this disadvantage, is to bring those goods close to potential customers. When your order fulfillment services are shipped from the customer’s own country, you effectively become a local retailer, and can compete on equal footing.
For International Companies, Third-Party Fulfillment is a Must
The problem is, expanding into the US is easier said than done. If you’re a small business located outside the US, you probably don’t have the resources to open and run a new fulfillment warehouse.
Even if you did it wouldn’t necessarily be a good investment. With fluctuating demands, high costs and the complexity of building an effective international logistics and warehousing system, it’s rarely a practical investment for SMEs. It’s particularly challenging if you’re not familiar with US regulatory requirements and don’t currently have a local office.
So, what do you do if the size of your business does not allow you to expand your trade to foreign markets on your own?
Find an established fulfillment partner who can help! A third-party fulfillment provider allows you to effortlessly plug into a new market, without the expense of opening up a new warehouse overseas. Your partner can handle everything your own warehouse would handle — picking, packing, shipping, receiving, storage, product customization and even customs. And they can do it for a lot less than it would cost in-house.
How Third-Party Fulfillment Works
After some initial setup, your third-party logistics and fulfillment provider can take care of virtually all the work that goes into moving into the US market. You decide what products you want to sell in the US markets, and either setup your platform or platforms, or mirror your online store for American customers.
You’re almost ready to go — just make an arrangement to ship your products to your partner’s warehouse (either from your own warehouse or your suppliers). With the right fulfillment partner, it can be anything from a few items to a whole container, depending on demand. Your partner will store the product in their warehouse as soon as it arrives, and update their platform so you can track inventory.
After that, you just have to tell the fulfillment company how to pack and ship your product online. With modern software integration, this can be handled automatically once it’s configured. Your online order fulfilment provider can automatically ship products as soon as they’re ordered, kit products together for you, and even handle returns and international shipment.
SalesInUSA: The Right Partner at the Right Price
With the right partner, borders are no longer an obstacle. You can run a call center in Pakistan, and have an office in Frankfurt while shipping products from China to a warehouse in the US — and you can still compete on equal footing for local and international customers.
SalesInUSA is that ideal partner, offering flexible pricing, and a complete array of services. Whether you’re looking for a partner who can help you move a few products a month through a single platform, or support massive sales across multiple channels, we can put the whole world within your reach.