Vitamin companies know that the best product and order fulfillment services are vital to getting products out to customers in a timely manner in order to maximize the time those vitamins are useful.
However, doing your own fulfillment as you grow can actually result in slower distribution speeds and an increase in frustrated customers. So, what’s a growing vitamin shop to do?
Finding the Right Vitamin Fulfillment Services
Instead of hiring a full-time staff that isn’t in the budget yet, your better bet is to partner with a vitamin fulfillment service.
These companies specialize in warehousing and distribution of goods for a variety of clients, so you get the benefits of a full time staff without the expense! But not all vitamin fulfillment services are equal, so you should choose your new distributor carefully.
Here are three important questions to ask before you sign a contract:
- How much distribution transparency will customers have?Package thieves are everywhere and they’re willing to nab almost anything, including vitamins. Instead of worrying if their order arrived and was snatched before they could get home, customers need and deserve transparency.3rd party logistics companies that provide customer web portals that show where your products are from the moment they’ve been ordered to the time they hit the customer’s door step is vital to your reputation. Customers will often choose a supplier priced slightly higher if they know they can track their package easily.
- How do you track my inventory?Unlike with fashion products or electronics, vitamin fulfillment is a difficult dance of expiration dates and lot numbers. Your business requires a 3rd party logistics (3PL) company that has the ability to track both! When rotating stock, it’s vital that your fulfillment partner is using the oldest stock first to minimize waste.The order fulfillment company should also have a plan in place for disposing of products that haven’t sold once they’ve expired. Ask detailed questions about inventory and demand a way to easily see your sales and inventory reports.
- Where will my products be stored?Not all fulfillment services offer cooled or climate-controlled facilities. If your vitamins need to be kept at room temperature or cooler, you have to ask this question or risk a lot of bad product going out into the world. 3rd party logistics companies with climate controlled storage will sometimes only store the delicate things in their more advanced warehouses, so always ask exactly what type of warehousing you’ll be getting for your dollar.
These are just three important questions to ask your vitamin fulfillment partners, but there are plenty more. For example, you might inquire about the strength of their distribution networks or how up to industry standard their software is.