How to Solve Common Multi Channel Fulfillment Problems and Keep Customers Happy

multi channel fulfillment

Experiencing growth in your business can be an exciting time. Unfortunately, growth can also come with more complications and less satisfied customers.

When using a multi channel fulfillment system it can be easy to lose track and end up with customers that end up unhappy.

Luckily, most problems can be easily avoided.

Here are some handy tips for keeping the fulfillment chain running smoothly:


Distinguish Between the Marketplaces

One of the first keys to success with multi channel fulfillment is to make sure you have fully researched and understand your marketplaces.

You may be familiar with the Amazon marketplace and have no issues with it, which is great! But, that doesn’t mean that selling through a marketplace like eBay will be equally as smooth of sailing.

As you begin to expand to many marketplaces, make sure that you take into account the cost of selling through the marketplace. Once you’ve done this, adjust your prices as needed to keep the same margin you’re aiming for.

Another tip here is to make sure that your product is compatible with the marketplace that you’re selling through. You don’t want to accidentally violate any rules of the marketplace by selling an unapproved product and ultimately causing problems for your customers.


Understand Your Listings

Once you understand the ins and outs of the marketplace you’re selling through, focus on making your listings the best that they can be.

The process of writing listing descriptions for each item can be tedious and time-consuming but it will be worth it, in the long run, to ensure that there are no misunderstandings in what your product has to offer.

Double-checking your work for grammatical and spelling errors will also make sure that your brand comes across as knowledgeable and reliable.


Avoid Overselling

Obviously, you want to be selling as much product as possible. This is a no-brainer. But, be careful of making sure that you’re not selling beyond your productions abilities.

One of the biggest measures of success for any business is how quickly you’re turning over inventory, but you don’t want to be turning over inventory so quickly that you can’t keep up. In this scenario, you ultimately end up with unhappy customers that either wait unreasonable amounts of time to get their product or worse, they never get it at all.

On the other hand, it doesn’t make any sense to hold on an excess of product either. Purchasing more stock than you need can be expensive and unnecessary.

A good rule of thumb is that if you’re listing the same product on many channels, don’t list more than you have. For instance, if you only have 10 items don’t list 10 on each channel. Instead, list 5 each between 2 marketplaces.

The last thing you want to do is have to reach out to a customer to explain to them that you over-listed and even though it looks as if they’ve purchased an item it is in fact sold out.


Managing Your Incoming Orders

Monitoring your incoming orders and which channels they are coming from is another great way for making sure that your multi channel fulfillment goes well.

For starters, once you figure out where your orders are coming from you can switch your inventory to one place or another as needed.

Another benefit to closely monitoring your incoming orders is to ensure that all of your orders are being fulfilled quickly and efficiently.

If you’re using Amazon as one of your marketplaces they require that you send out any new incoming orders within 48 hours of receiving the said order. With eBay, the rules are less strict and it’s up to you how quickly you get new orders ready and shipped out. However, to avoid negative ratings and unhappy customers you’ll want to send them on their way as quickly as possible regardless.

Make sure that you have a system in place to track and manage your incoming orders and their shipment so that no orders slip through the cracks and end up getting missed. It can be easy to get caught up in the hectic day-to-day of running a business and forget something, so write it down or have a digital system to track the progress of every single order.


Have Appropriate Supply Nearest To the Customer

One of the easiest ways to make sure that your customers get their products in a way that is quick and efficient while using multi channel fulfillment is to have multiple possible shipment locations.

To cut down on costs and create more time efficiency, find warehouse and retail locations that are central to a few different regions. Then, when a new order is placed and being fulfilled make sure that it is coming from the closest possible location to the customer.

If possible, try to be strategic about your fulfillment centers. If you rely on the right centers you’ll be able to cut down on costs which will free up more revenue. You could then turn around and put that revenue back into your business or reward your loyal customers with incentives like free shipping.

International shipping is another issue that can cause extended delivery times. If you’re selling through Amazon, you’re in luck though! The online marketplace giant offers fulfillment centers all throughout the world. These centers help you to cater even better to your clients outside of your home country.

If you can, use an order management system. This will help to cut down on any issues and reduce your delivery times. Using an order management system the process is easy. All you’ll have to do is check the order, choose the fulfillment center closest to the customer, and make sure that the order is sent to that location and ready to be fulfilled.


Use These Tips to Keep Your Multi Channel Fulfillment Going Smoothly

Keep your inventory flying off the shelves and make sure your customers are as happy as possible with these multi channel fulfillment tips!

Do you still need some help with your multi channel fulfillment needs?

Check us out and if you think we’re a good fit, go ahead and drop us a line!


Building Your E-commerce Empire: Why and Where to Expand

e-commerce empire


If you’re not growing, you’re going. 


As in, you’re going away. In today’s global marketplace of e-commerce, it’s essential to continue to find ways to expand. 


Some even say, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.” And the might be right. 

Talking about growth isn’t just a motivational tool. Building your e-commerce empire requires identifying new opportunities and capitalizing on them. 


Take note of e-commerce giant, Amazon. Amazon added over 110,000 new employees in 2016. These numbers represent expanding global distribution centers as well as their business offerings. Amazon attributes the additional headcount to enhancing:

  • Amazon delivery capability

  • Echo

  • Alexa

  • AWS

  • Prime Video

  • Prime benefits

  • Fulfillment 

What’s more, Amazon plans to add another 100,000 jobs in the United States in the next 18 months.


One of many things we can all learn from Amazon is that it’s important to keep growing, wherever you are. But how do those of us who don’t already own over 50% of the e-commerce business continue to expand and adapt? 


The possibilities are everywhere. Marketplace Valet can help support your growing e-commerce empire. But first, we will help you find out if your foundation can support expansion. 


Let’s find out: 

Are You Ready to Expand Your E-Commerce Empire? 

Whether you are considering testing the waters in the UK or expanding your product line of goods and services, it’s important to make sure you are ready.

Nothing can expose the cracks in the foundation of your business like an expansion effort. It’s important to make sure you have a solid base before you begin.

You may find that your investment in expanding would be better spent in solidifying your base. Growing can mean growing internally as well. 

Take it from Amazon. You need the support before you move forward.

Ask yourself, how is your business doing with Amazon and Ebay sales? The marketing and fulfillment efforts required in these markets will provide an indicator of your readiness. If you aren’t already getting a domestic return on your investments it may be too early to expand. In that case, you may need help selling online.


International Expansion

If everything checks out internally, you are ready to start thinking about new markets. Nothing says “e-commerce empire” like international expansion effort.

Did you know that two-thirds of the world’s purchasing power is outside of the United States? 790 million international customers are waiting. And as of 2017, only 50% of US online retailers engage in cross-border e-commerce.

The international market is so important, the World Trade Organization (WTO) is being urged to tackle the e-commerce agenda in 2017.


Building Your Brand

Before investing time and resources into the requirements of a third-party seller, it’s important to ask what your overall goals are in empire building.

While using a global or regional marketplace to boost your sales and introduce your goods and services to new countries, it can hurt your brand.

Unfortunately, when users buy through Ebay, Amazon, or others, they associate the purchase with the marketplace, not your brand.

Master e-commerce empire builders will recognize the importance of brand development. 


Researching Target Audience

You’ll need to do significant research into buying habits, currency rules, and local customs before starting a marketing and fulfillment effort internationally. 

Some buyers make returns as a norm. Factoring this buying trend into your delivery and customer service efforts will help you decide where you want to sell your goods and services. 

Also, translating both languages, as well as coding, may be required. 

Local internet infrastructure may be a deciding factor as well. Although, you shouldn’t be too quick to discard an option as a region is developing.

That might be a great opportunity for your business as well. 


Developing Regions and Internet Access

In international regions where users are still exploring the benefits of online purchasing, there is a major opportunity for growth. In some regions, as internet access continues to improve, users will increase dramatically.

The Middle East has incredible growth potential. Currently, only 1 – 2% of all purchases are completed online in the Middle East, creating an opportunity that major global retailers are targeting. 

Africa, and other regions that are experiencing a surge in internet access, also have incredible potential for growth. Identifying your business as an early player in these regions has significant upside.

In Kenya alone, your company could be staking your claim for a part of their $40 million e-commerce industry.

Targeting developing international markets has issues like currency transfers, and local delivery capabilities, but the upside may be worth it.

And working with an existing marketplace may alleviate those issues. 


Expand Into New Marketplaces 

While considering an international expansion, your business may also want to test the waters in new marketplaces. Beyond Amazon, there are many options of global and international marketplaces that will give your products and services exposure. 

While each of these marketplaces has their own rules for fees, fulfillment, and listings, they can greatly benefit your growth. 

Here are some large marketplaces to consider participating with while growing your e-commerce empire:

  • Amazon

  • Ebay

  • Alibaba

  • Newegg

  • Rakuten 

  • Etsy


  • Mercado Libre

While many of these marketplaces have different internal divisions for specific regions, they all cater to third-party sellers and have great international expansion capabilities.

Depending on the regions you are interested in, and the good and services you provide, one may have more benefits than the others. As with all international expansion, researching the possible customer base, ideal ROI, and growth potential is a great first step.

Remember, both international and marketplace expansion will require you to have multichannel fulfillment capabilities. But get your multichannel fulfillment down and you can exceed your expectations for growth. 


Get the Support You Need for Expansion

With Marketplace Valet, your products will be marketed to a Global customer base. We can help you build the e-commerce empire of your dreams. 

People can’t buy what they don’t see. We can help you expand your international and marketplace strategies to drive additional revenue.

And Marketplace Valet will provide a sturdy support as you grow. With scalable solutions, our customers love our ability to partner with them to achieve their goals. 

We help businesses build e-commerce empires. Don’t wait, Marketplace Valet can help you too. 

Click here to find out how our 4PL approach will propel your business to the next level.