Some online merchants who sell supplements and natural remedies start out small and may not look into partnering with a fulfillment company until they reach a certain level of growth. Others start out bigger and want to work with a fulfillment company from day one.
Regardless of where you’re at in your business journey, working with a fulfillment company can give you as a business owner some relief from having to do everything on your own, without having to hire additional staff. Below, we’ll share some considerations for choosing a fulfillment company that is appropriate for your products and your business’s well-being.
Supplements and natural remedy products are often considered a “high-risk” product type, and for this reason supplements are not allowed under some fulfillment companies’ policies. Even though they might be harder to find, reliable supplement-friendly fulfillment companies do exist, which is why we’ve put together some tips for finding the one that works best for your supplement business.
Things to look for in a supplement fulfillment company
Here are some of the most important qualities that we’ve seen in good fulfillment companies, so keep these different aspects of business in mind when you make your choice.
Allowing supplements as a product type
This one is obvious, but it’s still the best place to begin. Any fulfillment company you are considering for your supplement business must allow your specific products. And this is one area where you don’t want to make assumptions or settle for an indirect or unclear statement. The company you’re considering should be able to verify, in writing, that they allow the types of supplements and natural remedies that you carry so you’ll know your products are accepted before you begin working with them.
Pricing for fulfillment companies can get complicated because they cover so many different parts of the order-fulfillment process: storage, picking, packaging, shipping, reporting, and more. When you are considering working with a company, it’s important that you find out exactly how much each of these services costs, and whether those charges are per order, per item, per month, or based on something else.
For example, what is their storage charge per pallet? How much does each pick cost? You’ll also want to know what types of shipping they offer. When a fulfillment company is up-front about its costs and about which services are included in those costs and which aren’t, it makes it easier for you to compare companies and make an accurate decision about which one is best for your supplement business.
For your order processing to be seamless, it’s important for your fulfillment company’s software to integrate with what your business uses, whether that’s a popular shopping cart like Shopify or WooCommerce, or other software. That way you can transition easily to working with the company without having to switch to another platform. Also, think about what other kinds of technology you would like to see from a fulfillment company. Do they offer order-management software and other things that are useful to you, such as analytics?
Returns are an inevitable part of selling products online, even though you work hard to exceed customer expectations. Look for a fulfillment company that manages returns in an effective and affordable way and gets the returned products back to your inventory efficiently. Find out what the costs are for things like return shipping and restocking.
Regardless of your business’s current size and reach, growth often means expanding into new markets and locations. Make sure that you choose a fulfillment company that is able to grow with your supplement business, at whatever speed that ends up being. If your fulfillment company has the scale and resources to easily facilitate your growth, you’ll be in a much better position to expand smoothly when the time comes, and without added costs.
You will want to be able to communicate easily with your fulfillment company. Look for a company that makes it easy and free to get in touch with them and offers helpful support when you need it. Also, if a fulfillment company has customer service representatives at each of its warehouse locations, it will make it easier for any issues that come up to get solved more quickly and effectively.
The experience your customers have when they open an order is important – it can even affect your business’s reviews and referrals. If you have packaging that uses specific designs or branding logos, or other ways to use packaging to make your customer’s orders special, make sure that this is something your fulfillment company can accommodate at a reasonable cost. Custom packaging and branding can help you stand out from other supplement businesses and can even affect return rates in a positive way.
Help with choosing the right fulfillment company for supplements
Weighing all your options for a fulfillment company can feel like a daunting task, even if you’ve already narrowed it down to ones that accept supplement websites as clients.
At Organic Payment Gateways, we’ve had years of experience working with e-commerce supplement businesses, and we’ve learned a lot about which fulfillment companies work best for businesses that sell high-risk products like supplements.
If you would like some friendly advice or help in finding a fulfillment company for your online supplement business, please reach out to us at 800-570-1347, or fill out the short contact form below.