Subscription Box Fulfillment Center
5 Things to Know About Subscription Fulfillment Centers
When choosing a subscription fulfillment center for your product use these 5 tips to help you choose the best subscription fulfillment center for your product.
Have you noticed there’s a subscription box for everything, from dog treats to lipstick?
In 2017, over 37 million people visited subscription company websites. That’s up by more than 800 percent from 2014. There’s no doubt that subscription businesses are popular and growing.
Consumers love the convenience and fun of receiving a box filled with products. Everyone from foodies and techies to athletes likes subscription boxes.
Are you ready to start a subscription box business? If you want to succeed, you need to know about subscription fulfillment centers.
Keep reading to learn what it takes to succeed.
What Are Subscription Box Services?
The first subscription services were newspapers, magazines, records, and books. Today, these include makeup, clothing, and pet products and more.
A subscription box business sends a package once a month (or every other month) of items chosen for you. The company may curate the products based on a survey. Or the consumers may select the products they receive.
Business-to-consumer box businesses in the U.S. had over 11 million subscribers in 2017. Many companies sell traditional products like food, makeup, and clothing. Yet, hundreds more cater to consumers with less conventional interests.
To create a successful subscription business, you must know about fulfillment services. Let’s dig into the essential details.
How Does Subscription Fulfillment Work?
The fulfillment process is an integral part of the subscription box business. At first, it may sound easy to do everything in-house. However, it does take some planning.
As you scale your company, you must manage tasks in a cost-effective way. It’s necessary to partner with a company that specializes in subscription fulfillment.
- Custom Order Fulfillment
The process for order fulfillment is a vital part of the subscription box business.
As your business grows, outsourcing fulfillment operations save time and money. Hire experts to handle the day-to-day tasks so you can focus on other aspects of your business.
Find a subscription fulfillment center that already serves businesses like yours. Fulfillment companies specialize in different industries.
Some fulfillment services aren’t equipped to manage subscription boxes. Choose one that understands your specific business needs. You need accurate, on-time delivery for success.
The ideal subscription box fulfillment service integrates with your eCommerce platform to produce:
- Accurate assembly
- A variety of packing options
- Custom packing slip
- Shipping confirmation
- Superior customer service
- Fast, cost-effective shipping
The right fulfillment company will consider you a partner, not a client. They know about subscription boxes. They’ve invested in the presentation and delivery of your product.
How your box looks upon delivery represents your brand. Choose experts with a strong reputation and enough resources.
- Inventory Management
A subscription business is complicated. There are renewal dates, cut-off dates, and sales windows. There are rotating collections and custom products. Everything must coordinate for the business work.
Even when the timeframe runs smoothly, you need the right inventory in the right place. That’s the only way you can provide fast shipping. Professional inventory management creates a seamless experience from website order to delivery.
Choose subscription fulfillment centers with the capacity to carry any number of SKUs ready to be picked and packed. Products should be stocked and ready to ship at all times.
Outsourcing inventory management lowers your business expenses. You won’t have to interview, hire, and train in-house labor. You don’t have to manage the staff.
You won’t need to find and rent storage facilities. You won’t spend on rent, insurance, utilities, equipment or technology for a warehouse. Instead, you have a single expense for the subscription box fulfillment center.
The subscription fulfillment center handles logistics, storage, picking, packing, staff, and shipping. It also has warehouse management systems in place.
They know about inventory control and order management. Plus, they use transportation management systems to send orders in fast, cost-effective ways.
Inventory management is essential to successfully grow a subscription box business.
- Kitting Services
Kitting services let subscription box companies streamline more of the production process.
Like inventory management, outsourcing kitting services will help reduce expenses and improve quality. Your company won’t have to compile and manage packing materials and boxes.
You want to hire a company that meets your expectations and specifications. The way a subscription box looks is as important as what’s inside it. Subscription fulfillment centers know about creating a positive image inside and outside the box.
Discuss kitting services before you commit to a contract. Done correctly, outsourced kitting services provide the following benefits:
- Reduced purchase orders
- Lower administration costs
- Better use of space
- Faster production cycles
- Quick response to customer orders
- Bulk processing for faster assembly
- Custom packaging
Kitting services are cost-effective and efficient. When items ship in a kit, they have a lower chance of errors during fulfillment.
Additionally, you can use pre-printed shipping labels. These accessories will help you save time because you don’t have to weigh the box.
- Efficient Shipping
Shipping is another area where subscription fulfillment centers make life easier. It cuts expenses related to multiple carriers, staff, supplies, and workspace.
When you hire a fulfillment company, you ship your inventory to them and they handle the rest. Pay all duties and taxes before you ship to them.
If you don’t, your shipment may be rejected by the fulfillment services center. Although you empower the fulfillment center to handle shipping, you pay for all costs related to transportation.
Once a subscription box leaves the warehouse, it should get to your customer fast.
All fulfillment companies partner with the major shipping carriers. That means shipping is cost-effective and quick no matter the destination.
- Software and eCommerce Integration
Choose a fulfillment services center that uses inventory management and eCommerce integration. This is especially important if you buy from foreign companies. You must be able to remotely track the status of orders.
The integrated software alerts you to low inventory, invalid shipping addresses, and out-of-stock products. If there are issues, you want to know immediately. If you’re aware, you can adjust in real-time to prevent delivery delays.
Fulfillment and inventory management software ends errors that occur from manually importing orders. When it integrates with your online shopping cart, you can process orders as fast as possible.
Ask subscription fulfillment centers how often their software is updated and optimized. Spend time learning about the software, and how it can streamline your supply chain.
Ask about resources and training. You want a company that pays attention to details and listens carefully to customers.
Research Subscription Fulfillment Centers Before You Sign a Contract
Don’t choose subscription fulfillment centers based on cost alone. Research the fulfillment company to make sure it’s right for your specific business.
You want a partner like Fulfilltopia, which can store your product and fulfill your orders. This lets you concentrate on growing your business.
Contact us today if you have more questions about subscription fulfillment. We’re happy to give you a free quote on your next project.Get Started