Fulfillment shouldn’t stand in the way of growth. It should be an essential part of it.
If there was ever a doubt about the importance, or the growth potential of ecommerce, the first half of 2020 has definitively put the matter to bed. The explosion of ecommerce activity and rapidly-changing trends developing since the start of the COVID-related shutdowns have accelerated what was already a steadily-growing marketplace. And while things will surely stabilize to some degree with the slow and gradual return of brick and mortar retail, 2020 will still be a watershed moment for both ecommerce as a whole, and for those businesses who have resisted it.
These trying months have all but cemented the fact that solid ecommerce practices are essential to avoid lagging behind. But like anything, embracing ecommerce is all a matter of perspective: rather than seeing ecommerce as a logistical and technological obstacle that must be overcome, it should be seen as an exciting new avenue that can help a business grow, diversify and, perhaps most importantly, satisfy and delight consumers whose purchasing habits have fundamentally changed.
Still, it can be difficult to know where to start. While there are many facets of a successful ecommerce venture, fulfillment is arguably right at the top of the list; the quicker and cheaper you can get your product into your consumers hands, the better. That’s where we come in. Read on to learn about how Second Closet works and the three steps to better ecommerce fulfillment.
1. Integrate our proprietary technology with your online store and send us your inventory
ecommerce is a marketplace that relies on technology to make things more convenient and expedient for the merchant and the consumer. From the moment an order is placed online, the ecommerce fulfillment process must run smoothly on the back end as it does on the front end. Staying competitive in this space requires an ecommerce fulfillment partner with the technological expertise to remain agile and flexible.
In light of this, the first step to better fulfillment is to integrate our proprietary fulfillment software with your online store. This technology allows us to seamlessly receive orders from stores like Shopify. This means as soon as an order is placed on your online store, we’ll receive it, pull it, pack it and ship it out from one of our fulfillment centres. Our technology works within your existing infrastructure to ensure a smooth transition with no downtime or disruptions. Once we’ve walked you through this key integration, it’s time to send us your inventory for secure, intuitively organized storing.
2. We’ll manage inventory in strategically-located fulfillment centers
While it’s incredibly easy to shop online, the real challenges come after the order is complete. From the moment that order goes through, it’s incumbent on the merchant to deliver as quickly and conveniently as possible. This is why it’s essential to work with a strategically-located ecommerce fulfillment partner that can get you closer to your end customers.
Our fully owned-and-operated warehouses are strategically located in four of the largest urban centres in Canada (Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal) to get you closer to your end customers and reduce shipping times. And best of all? Our services are standardized and fully-integrated no matter the location, which means you can expect the same quality of service no matter where we’re fulfilling orders for you. We are so confident in our ability to deliver on time that we guarantee same-day order fulfillment for orders placed before 1:00 PM.
BONUS for American brands: We help you reach Canadian shoppers without the common pain points
Our strategically-located fulfillment centres can also be a tremendous asset for American businesses looking to scale more effectively north of the border.
It’s essential to understand that shipping and fulfilling from the United States presents avoidable inconveniences to Canadian end customers. Stores located in the USA often charge Canadian customers a 25-40% shipping premium when it would otherwise be free for American customers. Plus, for orders of $151 or more, Canadians must pay customs duties on top of the already exorbitant shipping costs. In comparison, the minimum threshold for this import tax for Canadian goods shipped to the United States is USD $800. When you add these fees and discrepancies, Canadian customers are far less likely to convert when it comes to cross-border shopping.
Conversely, our ability to fulfill locally in Canada’s biggest urban centres eliminates import taxes, reduces shipping times and cuts shipping costs. Plus, you can expect lower overhead costs by paying in CAD as opposed to USD.
3. Once an order is placed, we fulfill (and return) orders quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively
It comes down to this: the more steps your dedicated fulfillment partner can handle, the more you can focus on running your business. When you work with Second Closet, you can rest assured knowing that all of the backend logistics — receiving, storing, managing inventory, picking, packing, shipping and returns — are taken care of. We are a fully-integrated team of storage and logistics specialists who deliver end-to-end services to streamline and simplify your ecommerce efforts. Instead of working with multiple third-party logistics providers, you can rely on Second Closet at every stage of the order fulfillment process.
We have also built the partnerships you need to stay competitive, maximize profitability, reduce abandoned carts and satisfy customers. We leverage the significant amount with UPS, FedEx, Canada Post, Canpar and other major postage providers to secure excellent, discounted postage rates of up to 80% for our ecommerce fulfillment clients and their consumers. We never mark these rates up and we pass the savings directly on to the businesses we work with.