Anyone selling consumer electronics online knows that fulfilling orders is the most difficult part. Consumer electronics fulfillment is complicated, since the electronics must be secure, properly packaged, and delivered quickly to prevent theft or damage. Additionally, if you don’t keep your store stocked with all the latest releases, you could risk becoming obsolete! Regardless of if you’re a small eCommerce store owner or a large electronics retailer, having someone else manage fulfillment on your behalf can be a huge relief.
Consumer electronics fulfillment is easiest to manage with the services of a 3PL. You would have access to a secure warehouse to protect your high-value goods from theft. You could also manage your stock easier, deliver to customers faster, and reduce damages from improper packing. Additionally, you would have an easy solution to dealing with seasonal overflow.
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As any eCommerce retailer can tell you, managing your own product inventory is tough. This is especially true for electronics since they are typically more expensive and easier to damage than other goods. However, the online electronics market has become quite lucrative, making it an alluring market for retailers to break into despite the difficulty.
The eCommerce revenue from consumer electronics totaled US$72.4 million in 2018, and it continues to experience a dramatic upward trend. As more consumers turn to online stores to make purchases, eCommerce retailers need to be prepared to scale their operations.
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Working with a third-party logistics company (3PL) can open up many different possibilities for you as a consumer electronics eCommerce retailer. Outsourcing fulfillment to a 3PL not only makes the process easier for you, but it can also come with a variety of other benefits, like:
When working with a 3PL, you would have access to a wide variety of services to streamline your order fulfillment process. These services include:
Electronics are an expensive commodity to sell, and storing them can be risky if you don’t take the proper precautions. Because of their high value, they are at a much higher risk of theft than most other products.
By utilizing the secure options of a 3PL warehouse, you could rest easy knowing that your products are kept safe at all times. Security staff and inventory tracking systems add additional layers of security to the facility, while the products themselves are kept under lock and key.
If you’ve ever tried to manage your own inventory, you know it can be confusing, and downright frustrating. Individual items can go unaccounted for or disappear entirely, and the entire stock can often be difficult to store properly. Simply managing your inventory can eat up most of your time, and you could waste hours accounting for everything just for your numbers to be incorrect.
There is a better way. If you work with a 3PL partner, you could hand over the responsibility of managing your inventory to someone else, so you wouldn’t have to worry about it anymore. As an added bonus, 3PL fulfillment centers would come with an advanced Warehouse Management System (WMS) to monitor and keep track of your entire stock with ease. While many providers use warehouse management systems that have similar features, they can have important differences. Ask to take a look at or even experience a demo of a provider's warehouse management system. For more information on warehouse management systems, take a look at out article Types of Warehouse Management Systems.
A good WMS not only helps you keep track of your inventory, but it also lets you know exactly when you would need to restock. This way, you never have to worry about running out of stock or ordering too much. The last thing you want is to have to store obsolete technology simply because you overestimated how many products you would need back when they were the hottest tech.
If you’re a large eCommerce retailer, it would probably be impossible for you to manage your own order processing and product fulfillment. No two customers are going to make the exact same order, so you would need to individually customize packages to each customer, which could get overwhelming fast. Mistakes could be made, and then you would need to deal with returns, refunds, replacements, and a damaged reputation.
If you want to limit the number of mistakes made when processing orders, and give customers a uniquely customized experience at no extra effort on your part, you could benefit from working with a 3PL. With pick and pack fulfillment services, you could consolidate multiple purchases from one customer into a single box, to save on shipping costs and improve the customer’s experience.
Fulfillment centers specialize in managing products with high turnover, so they’re no strangers to getting things done quickly. An order can be received, picked, packed, and sent out for delivery in a matter of minutes. In a world where customers have come to expect overnight or same-day shipping, being able to fulfill orders quickly can help you stay competitive in the consumer electronics eCommerce market.
Consumer electronics often require special attention when packaging them for shipment. Some consumer electronics, like tablets and televisions, are notoriously fragile and must be packed carefully to minimize the risk of damage. Additionally, the boxes should be properly sealed to prevent moisture from getting to the batteries.
Not only would a 3PL fulfillment center be able to handle the specific requirements of packaging electronic products, but they also offer a service known as kitting and assembly. Many electronic products can come with attachments, like extra cables, speakers, and controllers, that consumers may want to purchase together as a kit.
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The fulfillment center can take your separate products and combine them for you to sell as a complete set, without any extra effort on your part.
When the holiday season begins to draw close, sales tend to skyrocket. This is especially true for the consumer electronics market, since everyone wants to get the latest and greatest tech for Christmas. However, many eCommerce retailers find the holidays to be both a blessing and a curse.
If you run an eCommerce store, keeping up with seasonal demand can be a challenge that takes all year to prepare for. Regular demand planning doesn’t always translate to accurate predictions for the holiday seasons. Because of this, many companies end up ordering too little stock and being unable to take full advantage of the sales, or ordering too much and being left with overstock after the holidays.
An integrated forecasting plan with a fulfillment services partner can limit the potential for problems. Utilizing the 3PL warehouse space can also be beneficial for scaling up regular operations to meet the rising seasonal demand.
Dealing with returned merchandise doesn’t have to be difficult. With integrated reverse logistics strategies for accepting, sorting, and turning over returns, 3PL fulfillment centers can make the return process a lot easier to handle.
A good reverse logistics plan is especially important for valuable products, like consumer electronics. A single returned product has the potential to cost hundreds or thousands of dollars in revenue if it isn’t reclaimed properly. By using the fulfillment center’s existing structure for handling products, you could have your returns managed effectively, and at a much lower cost.
If you’re looking for a consumer electronics fulfillment partner, look no further than R+L Global Logistics. With fulfillment centers scattered all across the U.S., we can offer our services no matter where your business and your customers are located. Our fulfillment center locations use the latest warehousing technologies to offer you the highest level of security, and the most transparent view of your products.
R+L Global Logistics can offer you the value-added services to take your business to the next level, like pick and pack, kitting and assembly, and warehouse management services. We can offer you the most efficient and cost-effective services for your consumer electronics fulfillment. Contact us today for a quote!
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