Albums, vinyls, and other media has a prominent stake in the ecommerce market. With so many orders to fill in short time frames, it’s tough for record labels, recording artists, and other media companies to keep customers happy. This is why many ecommerce brands choose to work with a logistics company like ShipBob.
What is album and media fulfillment?
Album and media fulfillment is the process of filling orders for music records and other types of media, such as vinyl, which has made a huge comeback. The entire order fulfillment process starts with receiving and storing inventory to shipping orders safely and efficiently. Many independent music labels and artists partner with a third-party logistics (3PL) company so they can focus their time and energy on marketing music, rather than on time-consuming logistics tasks.
How ShipBob grows album and media ecommerce sales
ShipBob is a logistics service provider that takes fulfillment and shipping orders off your hands. Our team consists of highly skilled fulfillment experts can help optimize your supply chain while saving you time and money as you scale your brand. With ShipBob, music artists and labels can offer faster, more affordable shipping to better improve delivery speeds and increase conversion rates — without having to worry about doing it all themselves.
Challenges of album and media fulfillment
Album and media fulfillment is a vigorous task and requires a lot time and energy. Here are some of the most common challenges music labels and artists face when fulfilling and shipping media.
Fulfilling large demand
If hundreds of orders for an album come in abruptly, then your company may struggle to fulfill them. No matter how many orders come in, ShipBob’s team has the technology and expertise to quickly fulfill and ship orders. ShipBob is also one of the only 3PLs that don’t require monthly order minimum. Which means, you can send inventory to us when the next music release drops and not have to worry about monthly order fluctuation.
Creating a strong brand identity
The album and media ecommerce markets can be competitive. With so many big labels out there, it’s important to stand out as an independent label or music artists. To do so, you will need to create brand awareness and build a strong, positive image of your company. We offer several different packaging options and partners, so you can design a custom box or poly mailer with inserts that will keep enhance the unboxing experience and delight your customers.
Distribution and fast delivery
By partnering with a 3PL like ShipBob that offers a network of international fulfillment centers, you have the option to split inventory across multiple locations and reach customers across the world. By reducing the number of shipping zones a package must travel, you can significantly reduce shipping costs and transit times. ShipBob’s technology automatically routes each order to the fulfillment center that’s closest to the shipping destination for the most efficient delivery.
Challenges of shipping albums, vinyl, and media
How to ship fragile items is important when dealing with albums, vinyl, and other physical forms of media that are prone to damage if not properly packaged. When shipping these items, you need to account for the following.
Records can break during the transportation process if they are subject to pressure or impact unless appropriate measures are taken.
The vinyl needs to be secured carefully inside the boxes so they don’t move around and get damaged. Otherwise, your customers will return them and demand a refund.
Fitting a record inside a large box won’t always end well. You need a system in place to make sure items are secured in packaging that right dimension.
ShipBob’s order fulfillment process
Receiving and warehousing
The term ‘receiving’ refers to the acceptance of incoming inventory to be stored before it’s sold. During this stage, a supplier, manufacturer, or ecommerce brand ships the required items to one or more of our fulfillment center locations, where our team will receive the shipment(s). From there, a ShipBob fulfillment expert will make sure that all the items that were sent have arrived and are in good condition. From there, we store the inventory safely until items are ready to be picked.
Picking and packing
Once an order is placed on your store, the picking process begins. We locate the item(s) so the entire order can be packed in the next step. A picking list is automatically generated, which includes the items ordered, quantity, and where each product is located in the fulfillment center. Each unit that’s picked is scanned from the inventory container so inventory counts are updated in real-time, providing up-to-date stock levels for merchants.
Once items are picked, the next step is to securely pack orders and add the shipping label. We choose the best packing materials for each order to both protect your products and achieve the lowest practical dimensional weight.
Shipping and tracking
By outsourcing fulfillment to ShipBob, you can take advantage of our negotiated shipping rates with major shipping carriers. Our carrier partners pick up packages from our fulfillment centers daily, which are sorted by each shipping service. From there, shipping carriers take care of the shipping, most often by truck or air shipping. You can improve customer satisfaction and increase your sales while also utilizing USPS’s Media Mail ship option for the most affordable rate. Once we ship the order, order tracking is automatically generated.
Why SubSubmarine chose ShipBob over other 3PLs
SubSubmarine is an Australian-based independent music label with an online store that sells cassettes, vinyl, and merchandise. SubSubmarine partnered with ShipBob to simplify cross-border shipping and to offer competitive shipping rates for US-based orders.
After contacting a few 3PLs, they learned that many 3PLs are not conducive to startups, as they have minimums just to have an account, with fee after fee (“$50 for this, $50 for that”). Once it all adds up, it comes out to be $250 a month just for running costs (excluding storage, shipping, and more). However, ShipBob was the only 3PL that had a startup program that allows them to outsource fulfillment without worrying about monthly order minimums.
“I found ShipBob’s self-onboarding Growth Plan program to be straightforward and the user interface is really easy. The instructions on how to get started with ShipBob are step-by-step. Whenever I got stuck, I just emailed ShipBob’s support team, and they came back with screenshots or fixed the issue for me.”
Lee Nania, Founder of SubSubmarine
Getting started with ShipBob is easy
If you’re looking to optimize your fulfillment process and scale your music label or promote your own music, get in touch with ShipBob to learn how we can help.
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