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The key to a profitable online business: Mastering shipping and fulfillment

This is a guest post from Dani Avitz of Algopix. Algopix provides comprehensive product sourcing insights for the eCommerce community. Using advanced algorithms, Algopix helps online sellers source and sell with confidence by answering some of the biggest questions facing today’s eCommerce sellers like what product to sell, where to sell it and how to price.

When entering the world of eCommerce, the decisions can seem daunting at first. From choosing the right products, to marketing options, to shipping and fulfillment choices, it’s not always easy to know what’s going to work best for your specific business needs. Whether its Amazon, eBay or Walmart, each marketplace is unique and should be considered individually when sellers assemble strategic business plans for their online stores.

The most successful online sellers are those who have mastered the art of shipping and fulfillment and have found what works best for their specific product needs. We’ve put together a few points on how to best identify which products will improve your eCommerce business while taking into account crucial factors such as shipping and fulfillment.

Shipping: 3 things to consider

Evaluate shipping needs

Shipping is a crucial element in the world of eCommerce. Customers have grown accustomed to instant gratification, and want the product as soon as possible and for the lowest price.

This creates a need for sellers to be exact and efficient in their shipping processes. International shipping, shipping insurance, free shipping, and more should be carefully considered to provide the best service possible. After all, a customer unhappy with the shipping process may leaven an unfortunate review.

Total transparency with fees

Shipping costs are a fundamental and crucial element to eCommerce selling. Consider product history, associated fees, taxes, shipment costs and fulfillment fees. All of these extra factors can have a significant impact on your bottom line when it comes to revenue.


Calculate your fulfillment costs with our cost calculator


Successful eCommerce sellers will employ the use of a product research tool to provide relevant and vital insights quickly and accurately. With Algopix’s Product Market Research Tool, you merely need to enter in your product’s identifier (UPC, ASIN, etc.) and you can receive insights on taxes, shipping costs, and fulfillment fees. This significantly cuts your research and groundwork time, allowing you to identify profitable products and reducing your costs and expenses.

Get competitive: Offer free shipping

Free shipping has become the standard today for many online businesses looking to give customers that last push towards an incentive to purchase. Cart abandonment is an obstacle for many eCommerce sellers, but creating a quick and painless shipping process can be that final push a customer needs to place order.

Tip: Your business doesn’t need to suffer from offering free shipping– include the price of shipping into the cost of your product.

It’s all about perception, and free shipping sounds good. So long as your products are high quality and your customer service is at a high level, you should not be too concerned with returns or exchanges.

3 options for easy fulfillment

Fulfillment options are something every eBay seller and Walmart seller must consider carefully. Proper research and access to crucial product insights can help to determine the best option based on fees. There are many different options out there, and it’s imperative to choose the option that will work best for your specific business needs.

1) Third party fulfillment

Third party fulfillment allows sellers to efficiently fulfill shopping cart orders with outsourced order fulfillment, which can save you time to work on your business instead. When discerning the right third party fulfillment option, take into consideration added perks like gaining access to fast shipping programs like Walmart Free 2-Day Shipping and eBay Guaranteed Delivery to help increase incentive and motivation for purchase.

2) Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a lucrative and useful option for many eCommerce sellers, though the pros and cons should be fully considered. Because dropshipping involves selling a product before you buy it from the supplier, a third party must ship the product directly to your customer. If you have successfully sold the product for a higher price than you bought it for, you have just generated income rather seamlessly.

Here are some pros to keep in mind:

  • Pro: No need to store inventory. Perhaps the most apparent advantage to drop shipping, as sellers can move inventory with nearly n0 upfront costs.
  • Con: Relying on an outside supplier for quick turnaround. As a seller, you cannot always be completely confident that the product will arrive in good condition. This can potentially damage reviews and your online reputation.
  • Pro: Simple logistics. As a business owner, you always have distractions and bureaucratic matters to manage. As a drop shipper, you can benefit from no longer needing to oversee the logistical burdens of fulfillment.
  • Pro: Low cost of entry. Even sellers with little to no experience can enter into the world of eCommerce with minimal risk, as drop shipping doesn’t require purchasing inventory upfront or renting warehouse space.
  • Con: The competition. When drop-shipping, sellers may find themselves with heavy competition. One of the most efficient ways to get ahead is through practical and accurate product insights and research tools.

3) Deliverr

Deliverr is a fulfillment solution that keeps things simple. With transparent pricing and only two fees (fulfillment and storage) that are all-inclusive, they make it easy to protect your margins across all your marketplaces. Their rates are competitive with Amazon’s multi-channel FBA, and they provide access to fast shipping tags with a hassle-free experience.

With a focus on fast shipping, Deliverr integrates directly into programs like Walmart Free 2-Day Shipping and eBay Guaranteed Delivery. Just connect your listing tool or shopping cart, let us know what inventory you’d like to send, and they will handle the rest (you don’t even have to worry about tracking codes).

To sum it up…

The key to successful eCommerce businesses is actionable data. Insights regarding fees, product history, taxes, shipping, and fulfillment fees are crucial when structuring and planning your online store. Product market data can unveil opportunities in different marketplaces (local or international) while providing real-time data and valuable insights. Shipping and fulfillment are vital parts of any eBay, Walmart or Amazon business and should be carefully evaluated to find which combination of options will bring your business to new heights.

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