The Fulfillment Lab: More Than Just a Tampa Fulfillment Center
Many small e-commerce businesses begin at home, with their respective owners handling it all: creating the product, finding suppliers, developing marketing campaigns, taking customer orders, and shipping. Over time, as the company grows, many e-commerce business owners find that outsourcing shipping to a fulfillment center is a great way to free up time in order to focus on other aspects of the business. The next thing, then, is learning how to choose a fulfillment center.
Choosing a Fulfillment Center
Using a fulfillment center, or third-party logistics (3PL) company, offers a wealth of benefits to e-commerce companies (we covered many of them in our blog, 10 Reasons to Use a Fulfillment Center for Your Ecommerce Shipping). To find the right fulfillment center, you should consider these five factors.
Are your customers in select U.S. cities or sprawled out across the country—perhaps even the world? If you’re not sure, it’s important to map this out so that you can select the best fulfillment center (or centers). Choosing one or more fulfillment centers based on customer location can help expedite shipping, which is extremely important in today’s world of instant gratification.
Only e-commerce businesses serving a very niche audience or creating custom products can usually get away with slow delivery times, as their audience has no one else to turn to. For those competing with dozens of other e-commerce businesses, or giants like Amazon or eBay, fast shipping is critical. Studies show that three days or less is the most acceptable timeframe for most consumers.
A survey of U.S. consumers found that more than 50% consider free shipping to be the most important factor for online purchases. Of course, if they’re not paying for shipping, you’ll need to find a way to affordably ship so that you can foot the bill.
Having a multiple 3PL strategy means you can ship from the fulfillment center closest to a particular customer; in doing so, the product will cross fewer postal zones, which means you’ll pay less. Be sure to check out our blog 5 Small Business Shipping Tips to Help Save You Money for more on the topic.
Today’s customer isn’t settling for a battered brown box at their door; they want custom packaging that looks good and protects their valuable purchases. When considering a fulfillment center, it’s important to look into their ability to provide customized packing solutions. This can build brand recognition and create loyal brand advocates who actively recommend your product!
How many SKUs do you have? If you’ve just one product, inventory management is generally easy. Once you’ve got multiple products, things get trickier (especially if some are geared toward specific areas of the country or world). A reputable fulfillment center offers Inventory management software that allows you to document inventory movement so that there’s always enough inventory on hand (but never too much just sitting around).
Why Use Our Tampa, Florida Fulfillment Center?
When choosing your ideal fulfillment center location, The Fulfillment Lab has you covered. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, this Sunshine State hotspot is a perfect location. Tampa Bay is one of the largest markets in the Southeast United States, ideally situated between Miami and Jacksonville, and is fast becoming a distribution center gateway (a fifth Amazon warehouse just opened in the area recently).
You don’t have to take our word for it that Tampa, Florida is a great location for shipping your inventory; check out these statistics from the Port of Tampa Bay where many of our clients’ products first begin their journey from our Florida fulfillment service facility.
- Stable, experienced, and efficient labor
- Excellent intermodal connections
- Safe, secure, and sheltered harbor
Even if you opt to use one of our other fulfillment center locations, a Tampa warehouse and fulfillment center still makes a prime secondary location for storing and shipping your products.
Choose Florida Fulfillment Services with Strong Sunshine State Roots
Many fulfillment centers and warehouses set up camp in Florida because it is a prime location, however, The Fulfillment Lab has strong Florida roots. Our founder and owner Rick Nelson's grandmother came from Key West to work in the cigar industry in Ybor City, making him a third-generation native. Nelson's father worked for the Tampa Police Department for more than 20 years and his mother was a schoolteacher.
Nelson's wife, also a third-generation Tampanian, lived near him his entire life (they shared the same pediatrician), however, they weren't destined to meet until their first year of college at the University of South Florida where he was working on a business degree and she focused on education.
During college and upon graduation, Nelson worked for his wife’s father and uncle at Florida Central Binder where he received hands-on experience on how to run a business. “They really entrusted me to improve the company,” said Nelson. “I worked on marketing initiatives and learned how to run a business.”
This eventually led to the creation of The Fulfillment Lab in Tampa – which has expanded globally to 14 locations with more plans for expansion on the horizon. “We have the number-one fulfillment software for eCommerce in the world," says Nelson. "There are things we are doing at our fulfillment facility that no one else is doing."
Outsource Your Packaging and Shipping with The Fulfillment Lab, Tampa, FL
Ready to outsource your packaging and shipping? As the title of this story says, The Fulfillment Lab is "More Than Just a Tampa, Florida Fulfillment Center." Aside from safe and secure shipping, we deliver an awesome customer experience—and if you think order fulfillment doesn’t impact this process, think again. Without a physical storefront, you don’t have a main touchpoint with your customers until your package arrives at their door. So, the delivery needs to be memorable.
Our fulfillment marketing makes this possible, allowing you to tailor the entire fulfillment experience for your customers. With fulfillment marketing and customized packaging, you’ll be able to:
- Elevate your customer experience
- Differentiate from competitors
- Increase brand awareness
- Build brand recognition
- Better satisfy your current customers
- Attract new customers with less effort
- Drive additional revenue
To do this, you’ll use our very own Global Fulfillment Software (GFS™), which allows you to quickly integrate your e-commerce platform and set up your fulfillment logistics. It only takes a couple of minutes, and then you can begin to manage inventory, track orders, customize packages, and much more.
“Ecommerce clients need to expect more from their fulfillment providers," says Nelson. "If Amazon markets their packaging, why aren’t you?” With The Fulfillment Lab, now you can!
Ready to get started with The Fulfillment Lab in Tampa, Florida, or elsewhere? Contact us today to learn more about leveraging fulfillment marketing as part of your marketing strategy!