As more entrepreneurs and affiliate marketers are realizing the real profits and success in the world of fulfillment and creating their own products, there is still a lack of knowledge on what it takes to make a successful leap. For the most part, this comes down to choosing the best fulfillment company out there and knowing that orders are successfully being paid for, shipped and processed accordingly. Without these key features in place, your profit margins and business can quickly take a turn for the worse.
Whether you are looking to dive into the world of product creation and fulfillment or simply looking to expand upon what you already have in place, implementing these five key services into your business will allow you to track, manage and scale your business effectively
5 Questions to Ask About Your Fulfillment Company
Does your fulfillment company make the grade? To See for Yourself, Assess Whether or Not They Provide These 5 Key Services.
1. Dedicated Account Executive
Do you have a go-to person if you have questions about your business or does your call get routed to the “next available representative,” who may not know anything about your product? If the latter, you may want to re-think your fulfillment company. A dedicated account executive offers consistent customer service, someone familiar with your products, inventory locations, shipping methods, and someone whose sole job purpose is to look out for your best interests. You’ve worked hard to grow your business, why wouldn’t you reward yourself with this level of service?
2. Order Grouping
Does your fulfillment center offer order grouping? If you are selling multiple products, and a consumer selects one item, your CRM can suggest additional product offerings based on their initial selection. Grouping these types of orders together can save you on pick fees, fulfillment charges, packaging, and postage. For companies not offering this option, it’s a sneaky way to add fees to your account. If your current fulfillment company operates like that, it’s time to look into one that offers complimentary order grouping.
3. Detailed, Real-Time Reporting
Can you determine how much you paid per shipment for pick/pack/ship fees? Get a snapshot by day/week/month/year? If your account invoices provide any generalized fees rather than specific break-outs for your accounting needs, your fulfillment provider may again be tacking on additional, unspecified charges to your account. Take a look at your most recent statement and kick your provider to the curb if charges are not all clearly explained.
4. Address Validation
What happens if your customer mis-keys their address information when placing an order on your site? Without address validation, your package will ship to an undeliverable address, you’ll end up paying re-ship fees, and your initial shipment may or may not get returned to you. With address validation, the transaction can’t progress until the error is corrected. Does your current fulfillment house provide address validation? If they don’t, you can bet you are incurring unnecessary fees, chargebacks, and maybe even some negative customer reviews.
5. International Shipping
If you are looking to scale your e-commerce business, the easiest way is to expand into new, international markets. Your fulfillment partner may have rock bottom shipping rates domestically, but if they don’t have economical international rates, as well as strategically-located facilities from which to ship your product, you could be missing out on business or, worse yet, paying too much for newer market entries.
As an affiliate marketer, it’s easy to treat your leads simply as leads. When you are the owner of the product and have real customers, there is nothing more important than keeping them happy and having them come back for more. This all ties back into how you run your product fulfillment and making the ordering and tracking process as seamless as possible.