5 Benefits of Outsourcing Fulfillment for Subscription eCommerce
by Jillian Voege
March 28, 2018
Running a business can be a complex operation, and that’s especially true when it comes to ensuring that your eCommerce subscription boxes are sent out on-time. Your customers depend on you to ensure that they receive what they’ve purchased and that their expectations are met. Mastering the art of receiving and fulfilling orders is a vital skill for anyone hoping to succeed in the eCommerce subscription box arena. Because the issue is such an important one, it might seem like a good idea to keep everything in-house. If you physically pack the boxes yourself, after all, then surely quality control is much easier to manage.
It turns out that this might not be the case, for a wide array of reasons. Let’s take a look at five reasons why outsourcing the fulfillment of your subscription boxes can actually help improve the quality of your customer experience while also serving to benefit your business as a whole.
1. Lower Your Overhead
Shipping out subscription boxes can be expensive! Sometimes these expenses are obvious while other times they simply aren’t easy to spot. Fulfilling orders in-house, for example, means that you’ll have to pay employees for the amount of time it takes them to pack and post your boxes. Depending upon the size of your business, this could quickly translate into hours of overtime or even the need to hire additional employees to help out. This is a fairly obvious expense that you might encounter.
One thing that you might not think about, however, especially if you’re currently storing and shipping things from your home or current office is how much money you might end up spending in storage fees as your business grows. What seems manageable today could quickly spiral into you leasing large and expense commercial spaces – and paying utilities on them – just to store your products. That doesn’t even take the cost of packing supplies into consideration, either.
Subscription box logistics can be daunting but outsourcing your fulfillment operations can help keep the expenses low and lower your overall overhead. You’ll be paying a single expense a month rather than the salaries of multiple employees, the cost of packing supplies, and potentially the monthly fees involved in renting and running a commercial space. Paying someone else to house, assemble, and send out your boxes is often quite a bit cheaper than trying to do all of that on your own.
2. Faster Deliveries
Mentioned briefly above, assembling packages is a time-consuming process. Between running quality control to ensure that no broken or defective products are sent out and that your presentation is appealing, you could be looking at an immense time commitment. Fulfillment professionals understand the logistics involved in running a successful subscription box company, and they’re prepared to handle even an influx in orders with ease. This leads to a more efficient and streamlined process, something that ensures boxes get out the door and into the mail more quickly than they would if you were trying to do everything in-house.
3. Grow with Your Business
When you began your business, you might have had aspirations of growing on a massive level. Chances are good, however, that you didn’t consider the kind of space and labor you would need to accommodate that growth. Outgrowing storage space and running out of funds to pay the ever-increasing number of employees necessary to smoothly pack and ship your growing business are very real concerns that can seriously impede the customer experience as well as business growth.
When you outsource your fulfillment process, these concerns aren’t yours to harbor. Opting for an experienced fulfillment agency means that no matter how much your business grows, the professionals you’ve contracted to fulfill your orders will be able to handle the increased subscription box logistics they encounter. You’re free to focus on growing your business without worrying about how long it will take you to pack and post all of the resulting subscription boxes.
4. More Tertiary Benefit Options
Experienced fulfillment services are able to offer certain benefits to their clients. Some of these, like branding tracking and address verification, can really help give your business an upper edge. These tertiary benefits may not seem like a lot at first, but having additional points of branding through tracking pages or an improved customer experience with address verification can go a long way in building your brand. These are significant benefits that can really help put your business over the top.
5. Cheaper Carrier Rates
Anyone with a business based in eCommerce understands how expensive sending out packages can be. It’s important to find the absolute best, most efficient, and cost-effective options for your shipping needs. Because they send out so many packages every day, experienced fulfillment centers will be able to provide cheaper shipping rates that those you might be able to access on your own. They might also have warehouse options that are located strategically near your customers to help cut down on in-transit time and move your packages from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible.
Are you hoping to improve the customer experience of your eCommerce subscription boxes? If so, consider outsourcing your fulfillment process to optimize packing and shipping. Not only will customers appreciate the improved accuracy and speed of their deliveries, but you’ll appreciate the extra time and money you have as a result.