Despite Amazon being the most popular ecommerce site to purchase books, fast-growing ecommerce businesses are able to stay competitive by partnering with a third-party logistics (3PL) company. The right 3PL can offer the fulfillment expertise, technology, support, and infrastructure to grow your online book business.
Ship books safely with ShipBob
ShipBob is a tech-enabled 3PL that works with ecommerce booksellers to fulfill and ship books safely, affordably, and on time. Our goal is to make the fulfillment and shipping process as seamless as possible, so you can focus more of your time and energy on growing your business.
5 common challenges online booksellers face when shipping
Book lovers can’t wait to get a new books delivered to their door, but it can be a real disappointment if books arrive with dents, rips, or another form of damage. It’s enough to ruin the entire unboxing experience.
Here are some common challenges of shipping books.
1. Books delivered damaged
Are your books arriving at a customer’s door damaged? Part of the appeal of reading a new book is to have it in pristine condition. The right 3PL will ensure that the book is packaged correctly with just the right amount of dunnage to make sure it gets delivered safely.
2. Expensive shipping rates
Ecommerce shipping costs keep rising every year. If it’s costing you more to ship an item than its value, you won’t make any profit. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce shipping costs, such as working with a 3PL that offers shipping carrier discounts.
3. Unorganized storage and inventory
Without proper storage and inventory management, it can be hard to keep your ecommerce inventory organized with the right inventory counts at all times. Not to mention, unorganized inventory storage can lead to higher inventory costs.
4. Slow shipping speeds
Amazon originally started as an ecommerce store to buy books. Even though they’re now a marketplace that sells all types of products, books are still some of their best-selling products. Book lovers want their orders delivered quickly, so offering 2-day shipping can help you compete with major brands and marketplaces like Amazon.
How ShipBob combats these challenges
ShipBob is focused on making the book fulfillment process as seamless as possible for you. As one of the leading 3PLs for ecommerce businesses, our focus is on handling fulfillment logistics so you can focus on other areas of your business.
High-quality, customized packaging
ShipBob works with custom packaging partners to create an ‘unboxing’ experience your customers want. Unique, branded packaging makes your shipments more memorable, which can help keep your brand top-of-mind for future purchase decisions. After a positive ‘unboxing’ experience, your customers are more likely to return for a repeat purchase.
When you ship with ShipBob, you’re able to tap into carrier discounts with USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL. This reduces shipping costs and makes your business more profitable.
A growing network of fulfillment centers
ShipBob offers a growing network of fulfillment centers across the United States, as well as Canada and Europe. If you’re only shipping from one location, you’re limiting your business’s reach in key markets where your customers reside — and probably paying too much for shipping.
Working with a 3PL that has multiple fulfillment centers allows you to split your inventory across several locations. In turn, this puts your inventory closer to your shipping destinations, meaning more packages ship to lower shipping zones and therefore cost less for you and your customers.
Stop paying hidden fees
Some 3PLs are notorious for having hidden fees with their pricing. ShipBob isn’t like other 3PLs. With transparent pricing, you can calculate your monthly costs without having to worry about hidden fees.
Here’s how ShipBob’s simple pricing structure works:
Receiving fee: Flat fee
We charge $25 for the first two hours ($35/man hour after the first two hours) for receiving and storing your inventory.
Storage: Monthly fee
ShipBob’s storage fees are monthly:
- $40 per pallet/month
- $10 per shelf/month
- $5 per bin/month
Pick and Pack: Included
For our customers, ShipBob includes the cost of picking and packing for the first five picks. Then you only pay $0.20 per pick for the sixth pick and after.
Standard Packaging: Included
ShipBob supports custom packaging solutions. However, if you don’t have custom packaging, we can use free plain boxes, mailers, tape, and dunnage used to pack orders. None of our packaging has the ShipBob logo on it, so you brand stays front and center.
Shipping: Major carrier discounts
ShipBob has shipping discounts with UPS, USPS, DHL, and FedEx. The pricing for each shipment varies based on destination, weight, dimensions, shipping service, and more.
ShipBob works with book suppliers just like you
Want to see how ShipBob works with ecommerce booksellers? Here’s how we helped Rebel Girls fulfill orders for their record-breaking Kickstarter campaign and why they’ve continued to work with ShipBob.
Rebel Girls celebrates the lives of extraordinary women past and present. To appeal to children, they describe the feats of history’s most impressive women in fairytale style — the only difference being these stories are 100% true.
With a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign, they had to quickly ramp up their order fulfillment and worked with ShipBob to fulfill their initial orders. Since then, they’ve relied on ShipBob to fulfill their orders to customers all around the world.
“Since we raised almost 17x more money than our original goal, instead of shipping a projected 1,000 books, we had to fulfill rewards for nearly 20,000 backers across 75 countries. ShipBob was the perfect solution for the shape we were in.”
Francesca Cavallo, Co-Author of Rebel Girls and Co-Founder of Timbuktu Labs
Common book fulfillment FAQs
Here are some of the most common questions related to book fulfillment and shipping.
Is media mail good for shipping books?
Yes! Media mail is meant for shipping books and other media. Here is a list of USPS requirements for Media Mail eligible products.
What packaging is best for shipping books?
What should I do with returned books?
Even in today’s digital world, customers still have a love for physical books. If your ecommerce business is selling books, you’ll want to ensure they can be delivered in the cost-effective way possible and free of damage. That way, you can improve customer loyalty, increase profits, and continue to grow your business.
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