The outdoor equipment and gear ecommerce market has become increasingly competitive in recent years. To stay ahead of the curve, your business needs a strong fulfillment logistics strategy in place. It can be a challenge to keep up with a high volume of monthly orders without the proper fulfillment infrastructure and technology. Fortunately, a logistics service provider like ShipBob can help.
What is outdoor equipment fulfillment?
Outdoor equipment fulfillment involves picking, packing, and shipping equipment for hiking, fishing, swimming, water sports, and more. It’s important to optimize this process to save money and exceed customer expectations for fast, affordable shipping.
How ShipBob grows outdoor gear ecommerce
ShipBob is a leading third-party logistics (3PL) provider that helps outdoor gear ecommerce brands optimize their order fulfillment process. With ShipBob, you can split inventory across our growing fulfillment center network, outsource fulfillment to the experts, and automate shipping.
Challenges of outdoor equipment fulfillment
Outdoor equipment fulfillment can be tricky. Here are some of the most common problems that online outdoor gear brands face.
Ecommerce warehousing involves more than just storing inventory. You will need a process to manage inventory, monitor inventory levels, and order more inventory as needed. You’ll also have to think about location. If you store all your inventory in one location but have customers across the country or even internationally, then you’ll want to consider storing inventory across multiple locations to reduce shipping costs and transit times.
Inventory forecasting and management
ShipBob offers built-in inventory management and inventory forecasting tools. An end-to-end fulfillment solution like ShipBob notifies you when it’s time to replenish inventory through automated reorder points to prevent stockouts .
To help your business make better decisions around inventory and fulfillment, ShipBob’s free analytics tool can show you the following at a glance:
- How quickly products are selling and which items are slow-moving
- How many days of inventory you have until you are expected to run out (based on SKU velocity)
- Profitability by order, how much you are spending on shipping, and the average order amount that customers are spending at your store
- How current demand compares to previous time periods and how sales are affected by different seasons and months
- How many orders are held up, where they are located, and which items are driving a backlog (so you can prioritize the replenishment of stock that are affecting sales)
Generating brand awareness
The outdoor market can be competitive. With so many great brands, it’s important to think of ways to stand out. You will need to create brand awareness and build a strong, positive image of your company. We can help improve your brand’s image by offering several different packaging options and solutions from our partners, so you can design a custom box or poly mailer that will enhance the unboxing experience and delight your customers.
ShipBob’s order fulfillment process
ShipBob has an extensive process for managing your order fulfillment. We prioritize efficiency to keep your customers happy and boost your profits.
Step 1: Receiving inventory
A ShipBob fulfillment expert will make sure that all the items that were sent have arrived and are in good condition. ShipBob requires merchants to fill out a Warehouse Receiving Order (WRO) and affix the proper labels to each box, which helps us know what to expect ahead of time and to speed up the receiving process.
Step 2: Items are located and picked
Our proprietary warehouse management system (WMS) automatically assigns similar orders with inventory in the same area of the warehouse to the same picker to reduce the number of steps required to pick orders for a more efficient workflow.
A picking list is generated, which includes the items ordered, quantity, and where each product is located. Each unit that’s picked is scanned from the inventory container so inventory counts are updated in real-time.
Step 3: The items are packed
The next step is to securely pack them and add the shipping label. At ShipBob, we use standard packing materials including brown boxes, plain bubble mailers and poly bags, packing tape, and dunnage at no extra cost. We also allow our merchants to use custom packaging.
Step 4: The order is shipped
With ShipBob, you won’t have to worry about shipping orders yourself as we partner with major shipping carriers to negotiate shipping rates and have them pick up packages daily sorted by each shipping service. To keep customers updated on the last-mile delivery process, you can set up proper order tracking on your store.
How ShipBob has helped outdoor equipment companies
The ShipBob team works with outdoor equipment companies every day. Here are some examples of the companies we’ve helped save time and money by taking retail fulfillment off their plate.
Kula Cloth is a reusable, intentionally designed antimicrobial pee cloth product that eliminates toilet paper waste in the wilderness. It’s a great ‘leave no trace’ alternative that’s has a positive impact on the environment. Kula Cloth’s founder, Anastasia Allison, reached out to ShipBob when she became overwhelmed by the amount of orders she had to fulfill.
“To say that switching to ShipBob has been life-changing is an understatement. Thinking big picture, it was an incremental cost for me to ultimately sell a lot more. My business has tripled and I got my life back.”
Anastasia Allison, founder of Kula Cloth
Ombraz sunglasses are armless, comfortable and unbreakable, so you can use them while participating in any outdoor activity. Ombraz outsourced fulfillment to ShipBob in 2018, and since then, they’ve been able to focus more time on growing their business.
“It’s a pain to pick, pack, and print the labels, and manage the storage. It would be a huge stress for us to do it ourselves, but the fact that ShipBob takes care of it all, both the savings in costs and time, is invaluable to our business.”
Nikolai Paloni, Co-Founder of Ombraz Sunglasses
Whether it’s been a hard day in the mountains or at your desk, EnduroSport is formulated to boost your body’s natural ability to recover and rebuild. EnduroSport wanted to build a customer experience similar to what Amazon had to offer, and ShipBob made this possible.
“Having confidence in scaling fulfillment is hypercritical for us. With ShipBob, we find comfort in knowing we can scale and have orders fulfilled in a quick manner.”
Tim Fink, Co-Founder of EnduroSport
Getting started with ShipBob is easy
If you choose to partner up with ShipBob for your outdoor equipment business, you can trust us to put your business first. Fill out the form below to learn more about how ShipBob works and receive custom pricing.
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