Fulfillment Center vs Distribution Center: What’s the Difference?

Order fulfillment is the core part of e-commerce. Before choosing a fulfillment center and a distribution center as part of your e-commerce supply chain, you should be aware of the difference between the two.

As e-commerce becomes more prosperous, more and more consumers choose to purchase large items online, resulting in an increasing demand for warehouse space. According to data from the CBRE Group, the availability of industrial real estate in the United States is only 7%. Warehouse space in high-demand areas close to the city center is particularly narrow.

At the same time, CBRE data also shows that 1.25 million square feet of warehouse space are required for every $1 billion in e-commerce sales.

0807blog插图 3

Explanation of the fulfillment center

The fulfillment center is a warehouse for e-commerce fulfillment services. Your company’s products are shipped to the distribution center in the form of containers or pallets. The warehouse will store your products until they are sold. The fulfillment center is the final destination of your products before they shipped to consumers or wholesale customers.

When your sales platform receives an order, the product is directly transmitted from your sales channel to your fulfillment center. Most order fulfillment service providers will have an online dashboard, which can track the progress of the product in the entire warehouse.

The fulfillment center will remove the order items from the shelves and package them for delivery and transmission. The shipping station will label it and notify the carrier to prepare to pick up the package. Carriers such as FedEx, UPS, and USPS will regularly pick up the goods at the distribution center every day.

Many fulfillment centers also provide other services, including inventory management, multi-channel, and matching and customization.

There are other names for fulfillment centers, such as:

  • Fulfillment warehouse
  • Order fulfillment center
  • 3rd-party logistics warehouse(3PL)

Third-party logistics can refer to fulfillment centers or more complex logistics operations. In addition to 3PL, there are other levels of logistics services, such as 4PL, 5PL, and so on.

Explanation of distribution center

The distribution center is also a kind of warehouse, but its position in the supply chain is different. The distribution center redistributes the products in the warehouse, but the distribution center can also store products.

The direct docking object of the distribution center is not the consumer, but the transfer point that converts the product from one mode of transportation to another. Product advantages will be transmitted from the distribution center to the fulfillment center for order fulfillment. Besides, distribution centers can also serve as commodity centers for large retailers.

Fulfillment Center vs Distribution Center: What Kind of Business Do You Need?

If the center of your business is e-commerce fulfillment, your choice may be a fulfillment center rather than a distribution center. The next step in your decision is to find the most appropriate provider of fulfillment services for your business, which also involves the level of service your business needs, the size of your business, and the type of products you sell. Make sure that the service provided by the fulfillment company is what your company needs.

Messi’s Choice Reminds the E-commerce Sellers of Periodic Dropshipping Goal

Messi told Barcelona on Tuesday that he wanted to leave after nearly two decades at the club, which caused a heated discussion on the Internet.

In fact, Messi arrived at Barcelona as a teenager in 2001, joining the club’s famed La Masia youth academy. He first-team debut happened in 2003 as a 16-year-old, and since then he led Barcelona to 34 titles. He holds most individual records at the club, scoring 634 goals and making 276 assists in 731 appearances with the club.

Messi’s story shows the periodic goal and achievement on his life journey, which can be applied in the field of order fulfillment. If you are an Amazon seller start from scratch, you may set up an available plan of choosing niche, partner, dropshipping agent, etc. But niche and dropshipping agent is vital for your business. You can find your ideal niche through related data and research, however, it is hard to find an ideal dropshipping agent from the begining, especially for the entrepreneur who has never chosen an order fulfillment warehouse. Thus, ChinaDivision suggests that you review our previous article for more details about how to choose your cost-effective order fulfillment center.

0826blog

Three Reasons of Fulfillment Centers Start a Business in Shenzhen

As a cross-border e-commerce entrepreneur, you will be surrounded by many choices when finding the warehouse address. However, you will take many detours on the way to your cheapest fulfillment service. What’s worse, some Amazon sellers have been very confused about global ecommerce fulfillment owing to the Amazon warehouse fire and COVID-19.

To tell you the truth, Shenzhen warehouse plays an inportant role in the international orfer fulfillment. A latest study concerning Chinese warehouse location indicated that 75% warehouses come from Shenzhen. Here we have summarized three reasons as shown below:

As you can check in Google Maps, Shenzhen is near the international parcel processing centre——Hongkong, which provides more convenience for picking, packing and shipping. Take Amazon ePacket tracking as an example, Shenzhen warehouse can sent the items directly if your customer has ordered successfully from your webstore. That is to say, you don’t need to manage your own warehouse or distribution center.

Shenzhen is the birthplace of China’s reform and opening up, where many foreign trade enterprises and drop-shippers had been created. So they have more experience in the field of warehousing and shipping for e-commerce, and it is hard to find disorderly shipping and wrong delivery. In this way, you can reduce business risk and increase customer satisfacton.

During COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of e-commerce sellers want continuous selling on AliExpress, eBay and Amazon. Therefore, it is essential to reduce the chance of infection with COVID-19, whether it is warehouse or transportation staff. The number of people diagnosed in Shenzhen is cleared on May 21. Additionally, the government insists on strict pandemic prevention work, requiring everyone in Shenzhen to measure body temperature every day, especially warehouses and catering staff, mask wearing and hand washing are indispensable work.

All in all, you can get a fully automated with less money and time if you choose the most suitable order fulfillment center, and Shenzhen is a competitive choice.

Customer Retention: Repeat Purchase Campaign

Want to strat a business, and gather those share the same idea with you?

Not all customers are alike. Even if all of them have one thing in common—the fact they bought from you—that doesn’t mean you should treat them the same way. If you treat all your customers the same way, you’re likely to send them irrelevant emails, making them less interested in becoming loyal customers.

Tell your repeat purchasers, which are your caring listener, your stories about the founding of the business, or the coupon for them to continue the buying from you.

How do you extract more out of an existing customer? According to Adobe’s recent study, existing customers are responsible for creating 40% of revenue for an ECommerce store. Acquiring a new customer will be 5 times more expensive than getting a conversion from an existing one. However, increasing customer retention rate in the e-commerce industry by 5% can increase your profitability from 25% to 95%!

Your existing customers are familiar with your brand and your product, which makes them theoretically easier to convert compared to acquiring a new customer. Based on certain triggers derived from user behavior, you can create tailored campaigns with an incentive that will drive up the perceived value of the offer.

Unless the geography or demographics of your customers affect your e-commerce sales, one of the best ways to segment your customer list is by using engagement and transactional attributes based on their past behavior.

Tips to Boost Your Business With Blogging

What is the advantages of blogging?

Word-of-Mouth. Who would refuse such a temptation?

Imagine how much gain your company will have if your products are advertised through blogs. With the Internet, information spreads so quickly, especially if an impressive write-up goes with your product. Soon your blogs will be passed on to hundreds of possible customers.

Awareness and loyalty.  Open communication with your customers creates trust and loyalty among them. Being there to respond to their questions and comments make them all the more willing to try your products and services.

Feedback. Blogs are useful for product research and reviews. It will be easier to improve on your products if you observe your customers’ thinking and behavioral patterns. You can also take immediate action to your customers’ concerns.

  1. Several blogs are dedicated to teaching people the do’s and don’ts of blogging, READ them! Include in your reading materials blogs that are consumer-based too to give you an idea.
  2. Setup Several test Blogs right away. If your initial try out with blogs worked well, you can now start setting up your blogs.
  3. Study blog design: Blog hosting services provide pre-designed templates. But if you opt for paid blog service, you can ask your artist to design and layout your blog site to match the company’s identity and needs.
  4. Choose a topic: It’s good to have a line-up of items you want for your blogs but be sure they align with your business objectives. This would be a test of your flexibility and open-mindedness since results may be going against the set goals.
  5. Remember the following safety measures in blogging:

Legal issues are sometimes involved in blogging; it is safer to include disclaimers and limitations of liabilities. Avoid outright marketing blog, or you will shy away from your readers.

Good Advise for e-Commerce Importers

1: Be organized.
This doesn’t just pertain to paperwork, but all of your importing issues. It is important that you schedule deliveries with enough time to be able to not only receive your inventory, but also get it out of the way for the next delivery. Truckers will typically give you 2 hours or even less to unload, but then you must pay for the additional hours. If you organize deliveries from the port properly, then you won’t have truckers charging you time for them to wait.

2: Dimension and weight accuracy.
Be very accurate on your dimensions and weight when importing products, especially if you ship LCL (Less than Container Load). International Freight Forwarders plan their loading of the containers based on these numbers. If you misquote, or “guesstimate”, you are likely to throw off the numbers for the carrier, causing them undue strain. As most things are floor loaded (meaning no pallets) when shipped overseas, every measurable square inch is used. If your numbers are incorrect by more than a percentage or two, you could find your shipment delayed until the forwarder decides to ship another container that will accommodate your shipment.

3: Incorporate all costs when comparing prices.
If you have three people working to make sure shipments are coming in, and you are comparing the rates of companies who provide shipping against those who provide shipping and logistical services, analyze if outsourcing will alleviate your in-house costs, ultimately increasing productivity. While the provider of both services may have a higher quote than the others, ask yourself if the value added is going to help your business with importing products in the long run.

4: Check the availability of your freight service providers.
Are you able to get in touch with your freight forwarder when things go wrong? Will your freight forwarder contact you before you find out from your client? How does your freight forwarder stay in touch with the truckers to find out current situations? These are questions to ask prior to signing on with any freight forwarder. You don’t want to have to hunt them down if a shipment is delayed. The same goes for customs brokers. Most will contact you straight away if the proper documents are not filed, but did they divulge all the necessary documents that you will need?

5: Make sure to be very clear about your product.
Origin, material and destination are important pieces of information when it comes to clearing customs. When deciding on the proper service provider(s), make sure they understand everything about your product, any tests that have been conducted to appease other government entities (FDA, CPSC, EPA, etc) and all documentation that will be required. If you have been vague about importing products that require specific knowledge, you are likely to encounter unexpected fees from your broker/freight forwarder.

6: Obtain a “Customs ruling”
If you have a new product that you sourced in another country, and you are unsure which tariff it falls under, you can typically send it to a customs broker who will get you a ruling number. Then, each time you file, you can use that same ruling number for that specific product.

7: Know the product you are importing.
Know how the country you’re shipping to classifies your product. For example, a bed for dogs can be considered a pet accessory in one country and a bed in another. Different countries have different rules and fees, so find out what they are before you begin importing products.

8: Speak to a customs attorney.
If you are new to importing products, you can avoid a lot of hassles by speaking to a customs attorney prior to starting your importing business. Make sure what you have sourced is from a reputable manufacturer and find out all necessary implications of your product. Also, check to make sure if it is subject to the various consumer entities. Getting everything in order will help the process go that much smoother.

Assemble-to-order with Planned Orders

Assemble-to-order with planned orders is particularly useful:

If production control is managed using production orders (see Special Settings for Projects) but you do not want to create the production order along with the sales order. You can use the planned order to fine-tune planning and then convert it into a production order at a later date.
If production is controlled using Repetitive Manufacturing. The planned order is then the run schedule quantity which you can plan using the planning and control tools provided by Repetitive Manufacturing. In this procedure, the goods receipt for the material can also be posted with reference to the sales order number. Thus, the costs can also be directly assigned to the sales order even in Repetitive Manufacturing.
Assemble-to-order with Repetitive Manufacturing

Use assemble-to-order with Repetitive Manufacturing if several of the following points apply to your situation:

Production of the finished product is carried out in clear and simple steps.
The assembly is produced in a constant flow over the production lines.
Simple routings are used, or assembly can be carried out without routings.
The components can be staged anonymously at the production lines. The components are procured, for example, with KANBAN using consumption-based planning, or with the planning strategy “subassembly planning”.
You want to reduce the effort required for production control and backflushing.
Sample Scenario for Assemble-to-order with Repetitive Manufacturing

The production process is kept as simple as possible. There are only a limited number of production levels involved in producing the product. The number of components is relatively low, however, it is quite possible to produce a large number of finished products due to configuration options.
The components required for final assembly are selected via the configuration in the sales order and are staged at the production line anonymously. You can use the assembly order to carry out an availability check for the selected components. Components that are always readily available are excluded from the availability check by setting the appropriate indicator in the material master record. (order fulfillment center
The finished product is assembled without a routing and the operations are similar. The planning table in Repetitive Manufacturing provides the planner with an overview of the production rates. Here, the planner can also check capacities for the production lines and distribute the ordered quantities to the production lines with available capacity.
When production is complete, the goods receipt for the finished product is posted with reference to the sales order number – a special function exists in Repetitive Manufacturing for this. Once the goods receipt is posted, the goods are withdrawn for the specific sales order and the assembly order is deleted.
For the scenario described above, you can also work without using the planning functions of Repetitive Manufacturing. In this case, capacity planning is not carried out from the planning table in Repetitive Manufacturing, but instead, using the capacity leveling functions in capacity planning. However, you can still use the backflushing functions in Repetitive Manufacturing.

How To Utilize Custom-branded Shipping Boxes Efficiently

All businesses should be focused on growing their brand. Your brand is essentially what your company is — what makes it unique and recognizable. Custom boxes with your logo and brand colors help create that image. Printing your logo on your shipping boxes builds brand recognition which brings your company to mind every time someone sees one of your boxes. Boxes are often reused by customers, which extends your reach even further. People who have never heard of your company might become intrigued and check it out if they receive a box with your information on it. This essentially turns your shipping boxes into a new advertising tool.

your logo

To give your online store a more professional appearance you need to utilize custom-branded logo:

  • Use them as a marketing tool; the design matters, and these are meant to have you stand out from the crowd and show that you’re an upscale company.
  • Use only a few box sizes. Not only is this one of our regular shipping tips since it’s easier to fulfill your orders with fewer box sizes, but you’ll cut down on the cost of branding your boxes.
  • If you already use custom-sized boxes, having custom shipping boxes with a logo is a small jump for a big win with your customers.(order fulfillment center

Shipping with your logo means more than above. A Custom logo make your company appear more legitimate. This makes customers feel more comfortable buying from you again, especially if they were having reservations or might have been on the fence about buying from you for miscellaneous reasons. First impressions matter significantly, so you should put substantial care into ensuring your boxes are packed securely but also in a way they can be conveniently opened. This affects how people respond to your logo on the box because if they are pleased with how the item arrived, they will be reminded that it came from your company. If they are displeased, the fact that it was from your company will be right in their faces. This is why custom boxes and quality packing are critically intertwined when it comes to presenting a professional appearance.

 

 

How To Search For New Keywords With Keyword Planner

Keyword Planner is a free Google Ads tool for new or experienced advertisers that’s like a workshop for building new Search Network campaigns. You can use Keyword Planner to search for keywords and see how a list of keywords might perform. Keyword Planner can also help you choose competitive bids and budgets to use with your campaigns.(order fulfillment center)

You can use Keyword Planner to accomplish the following tasks: Research keywords and Get historical statistics and traffic forecasts.  It’s important to keep in mind that while Keyword Planner can provide some great keyword ideas and traffic forecasts, campaign performance depends on a variety of factors. For example, your bid, budget, product, and customer behavior in your industry can all influence the success of your campaigns.(order fulfillment center)

How to search for new keywords

1, Sign in to your Google Ads account. Note: If you’re logged into a manager account, you’ll need to choose a managed account to use in order to continue.

2, In the upper right corner, click the tool icon , then under “Planning,” click Keyword Planner.

3, Type or paste one or more of the following in the “Find new keywords” search box and, on your keyboard, press “Enter” after each one: Words or phrases that describe what you’re advertising. The URL of a web page or entire website related to your business.(order fulfillment center)

4, Click Get started to get new keyword ideas and historical statistics, like average monthly searches or competition data.

With your results, you can use the Keyword ideas page to:

  • Filter your results by keyword text, average monthly searches, top of page bid (low range), top of page bid (high range), competition, organic impression share, ad impression share, or exclude keywords already in your account.
  • See search volume data for your keyword ideas by date range.
  • See visualizations broken down by search volume trends, platforms, and location.(order fulfillment center)
  • Download keyword ideas.
  • Add keywords to your plan to get forecasts broken down by location, language, or network settings.

Download keyword ideas. Add keywords to your plan to get forecasts broken down by location, language, or network settings.(order fulfillment center)

How to get forecasts and historical metrics for your keywords

1, Sign in to your Google Ads account.

Note: If you’re logged into a manager account, you’ll need to choose a managed account to use in order to continue. Learn more about manager accounts

2, In the upper right corner, click the tool icon , then under “Planning,” click Keyword Planner.

3, In the “Get metrics and forecasts for your keywords” search box, enter or paste a list of keywords, separated by commas or line breaks.

4, Click Get started to see your forecasts.(order fulfillment center)

5, To see your historical statistics, like average monthly searches or competition data, click Historical metrics at the top of the page.

With your results, you can use the Forecasts page to:

  • Get updated keyword forecasts based on potential bids.
  • Sort your results by clicks, cost, match type, impressions, CTR, or average CPC.
  • Customize your forecasts by date range to see how seasonality affects traffic.
  • Visit the Plan overview page to see forecasts for top keywords, locations, and devices.(order fulfillment center)
  • Download plan forecasts in an Google Ads Editor-friendly format.

With your results, you can use the Historical metrics page to:

  • See historical statistics for your keyword ideas by date range.
  • Download historical statistics of the keywords in your plan.

Everything You Need To Know About eCommerce Automation

In a competitive selling environment, you need highly reliable inventory and ordering automation to stay ahead of the competition.

eCommerce automation is relying on automation technology and software to handle complex processes, without having to hire a lot of people. (order fulfillment center)Amazon, for example, uses warehouse automation (robots) in addition to all their front-end AI personalization on their marketplace.

There are at least 3 functions every online seller should automate when it comes to their ecommerce operations:

  • Listing management
  • Inventory management
  • Warehouse management

Since these are all critical to the success of one’s business, there’s a need to automate these complex functions in order to eliminate human error and inefficiencies. (order fulfillment center)A healthy ecommerce business relies on a solid operational infrastructure.

For instant, once an order has been processed in the warehouse it is now ready to be passed to shipping for fulfillment with a courier. Here, your business rules will determine which shipping route the employee chooses. Package data, such as weight, size, destination and costs, needs to be obtained. An employee will also need to manually print the shipping labels and contact the courier for fulfillment.

 

eCommerce Automation is the next revolution in ecommerce. (order fulfillment center)In the past several years, ecommerce has grown exponentially. It’s been democratized by players such as Shopify, Bigcommerce, Magento that have made it easier and cheaperthan ever to start an online store.