No matter what stage your CBD e-commerce business is in, you may be considering partnering with a fulfillment company so that you can streamline the shipping process and focus more of your time on other aspects of the business. Some CBD businesses start out small and may only come to this decision after being in business for a long time. Others start out big and know from the get-go that they’ll want to find a reliable fulfillment company to do business with right away. Whatever your situation, working with a fulfillment company can allow you to reach a satisfying balance between the burden of having to do everything yourself and the expense of hiring more staff. In this article, we want to help you with this decision by pointing out some important things to look for in a fulfillment company, especially for CBD business owners.
As CBD business owners know, selling products from a high-risk industry can come with challenges, and you will tend to hear the word “no” a lot more often than traditional businesses. This also applies to finding a fulfillment company, since many do not allow high-risk products like CBD, and among those that do, figuring out which of them would be a good fit for you can be tricky. But CBD-friendly fulfillment companies are out there, and below, we’ll share some considerations for choosing a fulfillment company that is appropriate for your products and your CBD business’s bottom line.
Things to look for in a CBD fulfillment company
Here are some of the most important factors to consider when you are choosing a reliable fulfillment company for your online CBD business.\
Allowing CBD products
This one is a no-brainer, but it’s still the best place to start. Make sure that any fulfillment company you are considering for your CBD business allows CBD products. And don’t settle for a casual, over-the-phone affirmation – before you begin your business relationship, make sure to have a verification from the company, in writing, that they allow the types of CBD products that you carry so you’ll have up-front assurance that your products are accepted.
Whether your CBD business uses WooCommerce, Shopify, or another major shopping cart or other software, you’ll want to make sure that any fulfillment company you are considering uses software that integrates with yours. That way your order processing will be seamless, and you can continue to use the software you are familiar with. It’s also helpful to look at what types of technology the company uses and what they offer business owners in terms of order-management software and analytics.
Fulfillment companies cover a lot of different aspects of order processing, from storing your specific products in a warehouse, to picking, packaging, shipping, reporting, and more. That’s why it’s important that your fulfillment company is up-front with you about exactly how much each of these services will cost and whether each cost is per item, per order, or based on other factors like time or item weight (depending on the service). You don’t want to be surprised by hidden fees or to discover later that a necessary service is not included. When a company’s pricing and services are clearly spelled out, you’ll have the information you need to compare companies accurately and make the best decision for your CBD business.
Returns are, unfortunately, a part of doing business, as much as you work hard to keep your customers satisfied. How will your fulfillment company manage returns? What costs are associated with return shipping and restocking? Look for a company that offers affordable returns and is able to efficiently get your returned products back into your inventory.
If you have questions or if complications come up over the course of business, you’ll want a fulfillment company that has customer support available when you need it. In addition, look for a company that has representatives at each of their warehouse locations so that no matter where your orders or specific inventory items are at a given point, someone will be right there to assist in solving problems that may arise.
Whether your CBD business is small and locally focused or large with a broader reach, a good fulfillment company should enable you to expand easily if necessary. You may start small but reach a point where you’re ready to grow into new locations, and you’ll be in a much better position with a fulfillment company that has the network and capabilities to facilitate your business’s expansion without extra expenses.
Do you prefer to ship orders using boxes or envelopes with specific logos or designs, or do you have other ways to make your packages look special on the inside and outside? This can affect your customers’ experience in a positive way, and when customers have a good experience opening their orders, they’re more likely to give good reviews and referrals. If custom packaging and branding options are important to you, look for a fulfillment company that provides these services at an affordable cost.
Help with choosing the right fulfillment company for CBD
Even after you eliminate from consideration companies that don’t accept CBD, there can be a lot of options to go through when deciding on the right fulfillment company for your business. At Organic Payment Gateways, we’ve had years of experience working with CBD e-commerce businesses, and we’ve learned a lot about which fulfillment companies work best for businesses that sell high-risk products like CBD. If you would like some help or advice in finding a fulfillment company for your online CBD business, please reach out to us at 800-570-1347, or fill out the short contact form below.