Why the right Fulfillment Provider Matters

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In today’s expanding realm of omnichannel marketing, entrepreneurs have to be able to not only offer their merchandise across a multitude of different platforms, but they need to also have the ability to deliver the product to the consumer when the purchase was accomplished. Consumers have multiple options available to satisfy their shopping needs. They may be driven by an infomercial to pick up the phone and purchase, they might store in-store at a brick-and-mortar retail location, or they might store via a desktop, laptop, smartphone, or even clever TV. They may buy a product in the marketer’s e-commerce website, merchant’s website, buying network or flash sale site.

Regardless of how and if this sale is consummated, the marketer must be able to deliver the goods purchased in a reasonable period of time, which in the modern standards means now. Consumers are not prepared to accept”please allow 4-6 weeks for shipping of your product.” Ease of purchase and speed of shipping are what drive earnings. Based on the foregoing, there’s no more important choice for entrepreneurs than which fulfillment partner they use in processing their orders and sending product to their clients.

Satisfaction doesn’t just affect online reviews and returns-it affect consumer disputes. According to Paul Krueger, CMO at Paykings , a St. Petersburg, FL payment provider: “Fulfillment and order handling is essential to avoiding chargebacks, which affects your merchant account standing..”  He added ” Always look for a fulfillment provider who is heavily integrated with ERP’s, CRM’s, ecommerce platforms, and has a history of dealing with ecommerce merchants”.

The fulfillment company chosen by marketers have to be able to fulfill their requirements under all circumstances irrespective of the medium where the purchase was made, in addition to ecommerce which is mandatory.

Infomercial Revenue
The fulfillment company servicing the marketer has to be able to accept orders from many different sources generated by an infomercial. Whether these sales are made over the telephone via telemarketer or on the internet at the marketer’s site, the satisfaction company must be able to receive all orders, check the orders against available stock, send all orders requiring credit card processing to the advertiser’s retailer chip for approval, print tags, select, pack and ship orders, and then have the funds deposited into the marketer’s account upon completion of shipping. And don’t forget, if the satisfaction provider is working together with the marketer’s merchant processor to authorize and settle credit cards, then the fulfillment company ought to be licensed as a Level 1 provider below the charge card industry data security standards (PCI DSS).

Shopping Networks
The marketer needs to have the ability to provide its goods on any or all of the shopping networks such as HSN, QVC, ShopNBC, and EVINE Live. The fulfillment provider should be able to offer the marketer with the ability to send in bulk to the purchasing network’s DC or drop ship directly from the satisfaction company’s warehouse. This flexibility not only makes the marketer’s product more appealing to the shopping network buyer, but the ability to drop ship from the satisfaction warehouse can provide significant cargo savings into the marketer.

Flash Sale Websites
The amount of flash sale sites has increased exponentially over the last year, providing entrepreneurs with much more options for selling their merchandise. Websites like Groupon, Living Social, Gilt, HauteLook, etc., have been growing in popularity and customers are raising the amount of purchases that they make on these websites. The marketing firm, through its fulfillment provider, must have the ability to support these clients and deliver product in a timely and accurate fashion, which requires the satisfaction provider be able to accept the order file from these flash sites–whether it is transmitted through flat file or EDI (Electronic Data Interchange).

Brick-and-Mortar Retail Locations
There are hundreds of major retailers out there along with countless”mom and pops” Marketers, and therefore their fulfillment company, must be able to send to every one these retail locations. With each merchant using its own vendor compliance guidelines and chargebacks on the upswing, it’s vital that the marketer’s product can be delivered on time and in compliance with all routing manuals along with other vendor compliance requirements. Unnecessary chargebacks can cut into a marketer’s profit margin and can turn a lucrative retail account into a losing proposition in a blink of the eye. The fulfillment provider must be able to process orders via EDI, which is needed by lots of the larger retailers, or via flat file that is utilized by many of the smaller retailers and separate shops.

Retail Drop Shipping
For many years, retailers have required marketers to encourage their retail company with a DR infomercial effort. If you are not on the air, you are not in the shop. While that’s still frequently the case, the latest trend is for retailers to require marketers to also market their goods on the merchant’s website. While the marketer’s products are being offered and sold on the retailer’s site, it is the marketer who has to find a solution for fulfilling and shipping these orders. This growing sector is referred to as retail .com fall shipping, which signifies another distribution channel which marketers must ensure could be serviced by their own satisfaction supplier.