Why Fulfilment Marketing is Key as an eCommerce Business
When most people think of traditional marketing strategies, fulfilment marketing is not usually a strategy which comes to mind. Usually, an eCommerce marketing team’s last thing to think of if marketing when it comes to fulfilment.
In today’s world of eCommerce, if your fulfilment and packaging is not playing a role in your marketing, your brand is missing out on a huge chance to stand out for the crowd and build better customer experiences and increase your customer’s brand loyalty.
What is Fulfilment?
eCommerce fulfilment is the process of picking, packing and dispatching a businesses or brand’s orders for delivery. An eCommerce business can either do this in-house, or through outsourcing to a fulfilment centre or 3PL, like UK Fulfilment.
- Picking products
- Packaging orders
- Dispatching orders
- Managing returns & any issues the arise during the delivery process
Fulfilment can be a simple or complex as your business wants to make it, and even when outsourcing to some fulfilment partners, like UK Fulfilment, you can customise your fulfilment process specifically top your business. Whilst additional packaging items such as branded packaging or marketing materials, leads to more complex packing process and longer packaging times, it however creates more opportunities by increasing your brand’s customer experience through supplying them with a better more customised experience at the point of delivery as well as improving the unboxing experience.
What is Fulfilment Marketing?
Promotional marketing or marketing fulfilment is basically using the packaging in fulfilment services to enable to help eCommerce businesses and brands through adding more customisation and brand personalisation to the post-purchase experience without losing scalability.
Fulfilment marketing for most eCommerce direct-to-consumer brands who are dispatching a large number of unique orders, may want their orders more personalised to improve their clients experience, either through including additional leaflets or discount codes, or even additional product samples that complement their customer’s purchase.
Similarities of fulfilment and marketing services
Once a customer has received one of your eCommerce business’s orders, the post-purchase experience of your brand’s marketing and fulfilment services are basically the same. This is because at the moment of delivery is the first-time your customer will actually have a chance to interact with your brand’s delivery and products. The customer’s awaited order at their destination is the final point of the purchase process and one of the most important factors in turning your customer into a repeat buyer to your online store.
Having a streamlined and efficient fulfilment process aids in influencing how satisfied your customers are though the post-purchase experience. Having your fulfilment and marketing strategies aligned will only increase the number of opportunities for your brand’s personalisation of its marketing, and only increase the customer's perception of the image of your brand.
Fulfilment Marketing is Essential for any eCommerce Brand
Increases Brand Awareness & Engagement
The eCommerce market has never been more overcrowded, with barriers to entry for anyone being able to set-up their own eCommerce business being very low, and now everyone having the ability to set up and eCommerce brand from their home. Today it has never been more challenging for eCommerce brands and businesses to stand out from the crowd.
This is due to the fast and accurate deliveries being expected by every customer, in today’s ‘wanting online orders now’ market. Consumers and customers now who have a number of orders being delivered every week, are no longer satisfied with another brown cardboard box, and expect an added touch in order to trigger more brand recognition.
From branded mailer bags, tape and boxes to added thank-you notes, all of these additional touches give a large boost in increasing an improved impression of your brand to your valued customers. Overall giving your business and brand these added marketing materials gives an overall increased perception of your brand to your consumers.
Unique Customer Experiences
With so many marketplaces and websites today, almost all products can be purchased from anywhere and it is only unique and extra value-added experiences that help your businesses stand out from the crowd and enable customers to purchase from your brand and not another. In a number of studies customer experiences have now become one of the largest factors in differentiating your brand from another, even above the product and price.
Increasing and investing more in brand personalised experiences at the point of delivery though eCommerce fulfilment is now a more influential factor in increasing a customer’s lifetime value than ever. Creating a memorable personalised experience for your customers is key to ensure your customers continue to purchase from your brand again and again.
Fulfilment Marketing Services
Being an eCommerce business without a Storefront, means that the moment in which your customers order is delivered is the first real contact that your customer has in contact with your brand, and therefore is the best opportunity to shape your customers perceptions of value.
When customers make a purchase, they are usually excited to receive the order, and if the delivery is in branded packaging, it can be a bug statement to the customer that your brand goes above and beyond to create a premium experience for your customer.
When one of your brand’s orders is picked, packed and delivered to your customer, you want to ensure it portrays your brand as soon as the order arrives at their address.
Custom Mailer Bags or Boxes
Having brand specific boxes or mailing bags, with your business’s logo or brand colours makes a big impression on customer on arrival and primes them to feel excited about the unboxing experience, meaning an initial positive customer experience.
Custom Tape & Stickers
If you are working with small margins or only work with small levels stock, customs boxes can be expensive. An alternative to save on costs would be to use smaller customisable packaging elements such as branded tape, or branded stickers which are a great way to personalise cheaper plain boxes, to still give an element of brand personalisation.
Having sustainable and eco-friendly packaging for your eCommerce business can be a great marketing tool, along with creating a great brand statement about your environmentally friendly packaging.
Through avoiding un-environmentally friendly and un-recyclable plastics in your packaging and moving towards more sustainable renewable options like cardboard and other compostable designs, you cannot only lower your carbon footprint, but also increase the attractiveness of your brand of your competitors, as today’s customers are making more and eco-conscious decisions.
Custom Inserts and Tissue
Having branded tissue paper of other inserts, can not only help wrap products, but also aid in padding out the inside of boxes as a form of packing filler.
Including additional marketing materials, like discount coupons on future purchases, thank you notes or other catalogues with your online orders, is another great way to fortify your customer experience.
Discount Coupons on Future Purchases
Once your customers initial purchase arrives, it can be a difficult to get them to purchase from you ago. In the eCommerce world there are so many options of alternative eCommerce stores to buy from, and consumers need enticing back to your e-store and this can usually be done through creating an incentive. Including a discount code and vouchers with the customer’s initial order, to discount a future purchase will get the customers attention over a simple email discount, and hopefully incentivise them to make an additional purchase.
Thank you notes
Adding a personalised thank you message with your packages is lovely way to thank and show your customers your appreciation for supporting your brand. Even though it is a small touch, it shows your customers the extra time you are taking to personalise their order and improve the overall customer experience.
Product sampling consists of eCommerce businesses and brands including samples or freebies with their customer’s online orders, which is a great way to improve your customers’ experience and helps to drive repeat purchases and improve their customer loyalty further. This is one of the most effective fulfilment marketing strategies, as the free product or merchandise aids in transforming a regular ecommerce order into a more of a surprise and gift like experience, which is only ever going to improve the customer’s impression of your brand.
Types of Product Samples:
Branded samples or freebies can vary to anything from a simple branded sticker to a tote bag, t-shirt or hat. This is a great addition to your customer’s online orders, as not only does it improve your brand image to them, it also works great as an additional marketing tool as your customers may wear the items, which will only get more eyes on and potential conversations about your brand.
Sample versions of Full-Size products
A soft product launch can be a great way for your brand or business if it launches a new product, as there can be great uncertainty around the launches success and if your customers will jump on board with a purchase. Offering small sample versions of new products that your brand is producing, is a great fulfilment marketing technique in consumable industries such as cosmetics or branded foods. Allowing your customers to test out and try your product removes the barriers and risk for them of having to pay full price for the full-size product, which will hopefully drive them into making a purchase of the new product if they like it and hopefully will drive repeat purchases going forward.
Product sampling can even be used in marketing a brand's ‘new’ products. This can be done through either sending free samples to influencers across your industry, in the hope that they promote your product to their following of similar customers to your own business. The other option is sending out samples influencers and paying for promotion to guarantee that your product is pushed and marketed by them to their followers.
A product kit refers to pre-collated set of your brand or business’s products that are packaged and sold together as a bundle. These can either be sold as a one-off purchase or as a recurring purchase like a subscription service. Alongside your business being able to offer another new offer to your customers, an additional benefit of these collated kits, is that they can be a great way to boost sales with your slow-moving inventory if you combine these with your most popular products, which can help greatly with any excess stock your business may have.
Different types of Kits:
This can be a great way for your eCommerce business to guarantee a repeat ‘purchase’ from your customers, which can aid greatly in predicting your monthly orders and ultimately revenue. Subscription boxes also provide more value proposition to the customer other than just the products they receive, it gives the customer an ‘excitement’ factor, knowing they will receive a surprise every month or quarter. Providing great subscription boxes which are good value for money for the customer, is a perfect way to drive incentive for the customers to stay subscribed. If you are looking for a fulfilment partner to help or assist your ecommerce business with its subscription box service, please get in touch with UK Fulfilment here for a free quote.
Limited Edition / Time-limited Kits.
Today many brands are creating limited edition products and kits in order to create exclusivity and scarcity of their products in order to drive demand from their customers. This can be another marketing technique for your business to push and drive the sales your products.
Need Help with your Marketing Fulfilment?
Find a fulfilment partner or 3Pl with Experience in your industry
Not all eCommerce fulfilment companies allow customisability with their fulfilment marketing services, as it can be more complicated tailoring their services specifically for your brand and removes the economies of scale approach which is used to achieve the fastest order fulfilment. That is why it is important for your eCommerce business to find the best fulfilment partner for your model, in order to meet your brands and customer’s expectations.
Opting for a flexible 3PL and fulfilment partner like UK Fulfilment can give your eCommerce business the flexibility it needs, in order to provide your customers with a tailored experience to your brand. If you would like a free quote or to chat things through with a member of the team, please reach out here.