Subscriptions are a norm in the average American household today. Most Americans, especially from the Millennial and Gen Z generations, have a subscription to something entertainment-based. The average number of subscriptions each for all generations is 12! Many of these subscriptions include subscription boxes. As an entrepreneur, it is likely you know how popular the subscription box business model is today. It is also likely you are involved in running a subscription box business yourself or have at least thought about it.
The consensus among subscription box business owners is that fulfillment can be very tricky. Many problems can occur, especially when you are relying on yourself or your business to pick, pack, and ship your boxes. If you are just starting out or haven’t begun yet, you might not have yet experienced the growing pains involved with running a subscription box business. As you receive more orders and your business starts to grow, you will find that fulfillment gets more and more difficult to deal with.
In cases like this, it is time to look to a subscription box fulfillment service for help. Third Party Logistics companies (3PLs), such as The Mail Group, are often the best suited for this job because they will not only fulfill your boxes with precision but will also ship your boxes for you at the best rates.
If you are not sure whether or not you should outsource for your subscription box fulfillment service yet, here are a few factors to consider.
A 3PL Will Help You With Packaging
The days of “brown paper packages tied up with string” are no more. People are simply no longer impressed by them (sorry, Julie Andrews). Packaging is all about the experience now. There are even entire YouTube channels devoted entirely to opening packages (don’t be ashamed–we’ve all been down that rabbit hole). So, subscription box companies and other entertainment businesses are looking for new ways to spice up their packaging. Custom packaging is the key.
However, custom packaging takes time. Everything from the box to the filling around the products to the layout of the box needs to be precisely planned. Once it is planned, it needs to be executed to perfection for every box. This can be a time-consuming task if you are fulfilling your boxes in-house. A 3PL can help from design to delivery. We will help you to come up with custom packaging, including the box itself and whatever you want included with your products to make it YouTube-worthy.
3PLs Allow for Business Growth
If your subscription box business proves to be a success, your business will start to grow. Obviously, this is great news, however, if you are handling your fulfillment in-house, this can also prove a great challenge. Because you started small, at your first influx of orders, you will find yourself falling behind. As orders continue to pile up, you will lack the time and resources, not only to manage all of your orders but even to hire and train new employees.
Delays in fulfillment can be detrimental to your business. If fulfillment is delayed, then so will shipping, ever every stage of the process. This is especially detrimental for something time-sensitive like a subscription box. In a world where one-day shipping is not just a luxury but expected (despite it not being realistic for anyone but Amazon), it is important to have your deliveries shipped on time. You have one chance to impress that new e-commerce shopper. Partner with a 3PL, and get your boxes fulfilled on-time.
3PL companies will also house your items. This will also allow your business to grow because you will be able to keep more inventory at one time. A 3PL can even store inventory for future boxes.
3PLs Handle Logistics (it’s quite literally what we do)
There are many logistical components when it comes to subscription box fulfillment. From picking products off the shelf, to labeling, to the actual shipping process, everything must be timed and carried out just right.
The subscription box model, specifically, is on a unique schedule. These boxes must be delivered periodically—usually monthly but sometimes bi-monthly or even weekly. This means that they must be fulfilled and shipped at precisely the right time in order to reach customers on the same day. This sounds straightforward until you consider the fact that customers may be situated across the entire United States or even the world. Obviously, it will take longer for a package to get to Florida than California if it is sent from Arizona. Because of this delay, each package must be on its own specific schedule and journey. 3PLs are especially handy for this because we have the right technology and experts to keep track of every order, where it needs to go, and when it needs to be fulfilled and sent.
Why Should I Use Smart Parcel 24/7?
Smart Parcel 24/7 makes sure your boxes are fulfilled to your exact specifications and then lays out a path for every single one of your boxes to be delivered to your customers’ doorsteps. And we don’t stop there. Getting the perfect delivery time is only part of what we do.
Smart Parcel 24/7 also utilize our vast network of carriers across the US to choose the best shipping solutions for every leg of the journey. We will choose just the right carriers at every point to keep you and your customers happy with reliable and affordable delivery. From design to delivery, Smart Parcel 24/7 has you covered.