Emerging technologies and consumer electronics play a key role in our daily lives. From high-tech accessories and wearable devices to hardware and appliances, new innovations are constantly coming to market. Just browse Kickstarter’s electronics category and see for yourself.
As one of the biggest industries in ecommerce, US consumer electronics sales are expected to grow from $351 billion in 2018 to $419 billion by 2022. With more sales comes increasing pressure on the supply chain, including electronics product fulfillment.
Difficulties of fulfilling electronics
If you oversee ecommerce fulfillment for a consumer electronics company, you are very familiar with the challenges below — especially if you manage electronics product fulfillment in-house.
Managing all the different varieties of electronics
Depending on the number of SKUs you sell, storage and organization may be hard to keep track of. Having the right warehousing solution in place helps ensure the proper movement of inventory, including receiving shipments, placing each SKU into a separate dedicated storage location, and ensuring the right product is sent to its next destination.
Managing inventory turnover
Many consumer electronics can become dated as newer products get released. And as you grow, you’ll need more consumer electronics on hand at all times to meet demand. However, ordering too much inventory, and you risk having too many outdated products. Too little, and you’ll run out of stock, fail to meet customer demands, and miss out on potential sales. Working with a third-party logistics (3PL) provider that lets you establish reorder points helps you keep the right quantity on hand.
Keeping the products safe
Electronics can be expensive, and keeping them secure is a top priority. Preventing theft by having an established warehouse staffed with security can help, along with inventory tracking software to view the status of inventory, quantity on hand at your storage facility, total units sold per day, and more.
Defective goods result in returns, which are difficult to handle. Returns will vary across different fulfillment services, and certain consumer electronics may require a more complex return process, from testing to repairing. In this case, the best option may be to have customers send returned items back to you directly, so you can handle them and discover any issues impacting manufacturing.
Outsourcing your electronics fulfillment with ShipBob
It’s no surprise that many consumer electronics companies partner with a (3PL to simplify operations and take the hassle out of electronics fulfillment.
Here’s which fulfillment services to look for in a 3PL like ShipBob to ensure your consumer electronics will be handled and shipped strategically, quickly, and affordably, while allowing you to focus on growth.
Monitor inventory and various SKUs easily
Intelligent inventory management means working with a tech-enabled 3PL that empowers you to run your business with the right tools. ShipBob provides visibility into inventory quantities on hand, down to the SKU level, across all of their fulfillment centers. ShipBob also helps you proactively order more inventory to prevent stockouts, connecting the upstream activities of purchasing and manufacturing to the downstream activities of sales and demand forecasting.
Keep inventory safe in our fulfillment centers
ShipBob has fulfillment centers across the country equipped with security and the necessary protocols in place to keep your items safe around the clock.
Handle returns efficiently
ShipBob offers several options when it comes to returns. We can process them ourselves, or have returns and exchanges sent back to the merchant. The latter works best when product testing or refurbishing is needed.
Manage spikes in order volume with ease
Any company that provides fulfillment services should be able to assist with major increases in order volume — whether you receive major coverage, run a big sale, or do B2B orders and start selling your consumer electronics in stores like Best Buy.
Additionally, Q4 and the holidays are the busiest time of year for consumer electronics sales. You’ll want to work with a 3PL that can get orders out the door fast around the holidays to prevent disappointing any customers.
ShipBob knows that scalability is key to reaching your growth potential and helps support your goals, from expanding into additional fulfillment centers across our network to forecasting demand.
How ShipBob handles electronics fulfillment
As a technology company, you deserve to work with partners that understand and value technology — and 3PLs are no exception. When it comes to electronics product fulfillment, ShipBob combines its top-notch fulfillment services and technology to provide the best experience for both merchants and their customers alike. Here’s how it works.
1. Connect your store
When purchasing consumer electronics online, 34% of shoppers have purchased from a marketplace, 32% from large retailers, 10% from webstores, and 19% from category-specific online stores.
It’s important to have a 3PL with technology that connects to all of your sales channels. ShipBob streamlines shipping and fulfillment with software that integrates seamlessly with all major ecommerce platforms and marketplaces.
2. Send your products to our fulfillment centers in the biggest US cities
The consumer electronics sector move fast, and so should your supply chain. ShipBob has fulfillment centers in major metro areas and regions across the United States to help you offer affordable, fast ground shipping within close proximity of your customers — which is especially helpful for same-day delivery and two-day shipping.
3. ShipBob automatically fulfills orders when customers place them
As soon as a customer places an order online, ShipBob automatically selects the fulfillment center that will send your product to the customer in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.
4. We ship the order fast
As soon as we ship your customer’s order, we automatically send ecommerce order tracking information back to your store. ShipBob helps you meet customer expectations around deliveries by understanding where your consumer electronics are shipped to over time to reduce shipping zones and distribute your inventory to smarter locations, cutting time in transit and fulfillment costs.