How to improve ecommerce fulfillment in 2014
The convenience of available shipping options was once one of the major detractors from online shopping. The delivery choices retailers offered consumers were not adequate enough to dissuade them from going to a local store and buying the same item. This has changed dramatically in recent years. Major companies like Amazon and Zappos have redefined ecommerce fulfillment, leaving other retailers scrambling to provide the same caliber of service. You need to consider your wine shipping capabilities or risk getting left behind the pack.
Customers increasingly expect free shipping whenever they shop online. Amazon has stepped up with this offering, granting free shipping on orders for its Prime subscribers. Research has indicated that shoppers will spend slightly more to reach a threshold for free or discounted shipping. Customers end up saving more from lower shipping expenses than pricing promotions, especially when it comes to orders of more than $50. Amazon is using this to its advantage and expanding its Prime offerings, according to GeekWire. This approach seems to be paying off because one-third of subscribers have joined within the past year.
Amazon, Zappos and eBay have changed shoppers' expectations. It's no longer a nice perk to offer discounted shipping rates - it's practically a requirement.
Competitive shipping is becoming more challenging
The rise of Amazon Prime highlights the challenges and opportunities of the growing popularity of online shopping. Subscription-based shipping or special discounts that allow shoppers to qualify for a price threshold can ensure a consistent stream of revenue and entice new customers to buy, but this can approach can add to your operational costs. Even Amazon hasn't been immune to this issue, GeekWire reported.
Because modern fulfillment strategies require constant improvements to keep up with industry competitors, shipping can end up slowing down your entire business, according to a guest post on Monsoon Commerce's blog from Software Advice. If this is the case, it may be a better idea to outsource fulfillment, which can streamline the process and reduce overhead costs.
Why wineries should consider outsourcing fulfillment
It isn't always cost-effective to manage inventory and shipping internally. Rather than hiring additional employees to manage your wine warehouse, it may be a better idea to devote these resources to other areas to fuel business growth. In addition, handling fulfillment in-house can lead to significantly higher fixed costs, Multichannel Merchant stated. In particular, if your business contends with months where online wine sales are slower, these fixed expenses can impact your profits.
Outsourcing shipping operations to WineDirect could be what your winery needs to become more flexible and cost-efficient. It can be difficult to offer a consistent shipping experience to customers in every part of the country. In addition, it's challenging to move wine while maintaining the right temperature. WineDirect's fulfillment services will maintain the integrity of your product, boost accuracy and cut down on the time it takes to reach customers. This can help you save time and money while focusing on internal operations.