There’s a lot of debate whether you should outsource fulfillment or not with each side backing up their reasons with valid points. Fulfillment is a critical aspect of your business that can unmake months of nurturing customer relationship with one wrong or late delivery. So, who should be in charge of it, you or a logistics expert?
A small company can handle orders in-house, but once it grows the lure of outsourcing becomes starker. Processing orders is a time-consuming task, time that is best allotted to profitable activities like sales, marketing and strategic planning.
One of the pain points of outsourcing order fulfillment services is the depth of understanding of the service provider of your retail business. Sure, it may be a logistics expert, but does it know the intricacies of retail, especially customer relationship? Logistics work on a streamlined model for optimum efficiency, while retail accommodates special customer request that may throw a monkey wrench into this streamlined process.
This pain point is somewhat relieved once you come across a logistics provider that is also into retail; in fact, a well-known retail brand. In this article, we take a look at Fulfilled By Sears (FBS), the logistics arm of the American department store chain Sears. It has been selling and shipping its products and its merchant partners’ for decades. Will it translate to the same reliable service for your product? To answer that, we ask the following questions as part of our Fulfilled by Sears reviews:
And back to our question, Is Fulfilled By Sears for you?
Fulfilled By Sears or FBS is an end-to-end outsourced fulfillment service for retailers that includes warehousing, pick and pack and shipping orders to customers. Sears has since diversified into ecommerce (Sears.com) and, along with it, provides a third-party order fulfillment designed for businesses that need help in streamlining their order fulfillment to cut costs and increase margins. It’s suited for small, midsized and enterprise operations, but best for companies with enough order volume to absorb outsourcing fees without compromising retail pricing.
There’s no minimum order or long-term commitment, giving you flexibility to shift fulfillment in-house to outsourced and vice-versa based on month-to-month order trends. Sears’ fulfillment service is open to sellers on both Sears.com or other online marketplaces. Across different Fulfilled by Sears reviews you’ll notice that this is one of the service provider’s strong points: tapping FBS means gaining access to the wide Sears network of fulfillment and distribution centers for your inventory.
Outsourcing fulfillment to FBS is completed in four steps.
FBS is open to small, medium and large companies. Ideally, it suits retailers with enough order volume to accommodate the outsourcing fees without significantly altering their product pricing.
FBS clients can generally expect the following benefits. These are also validated by anecdotal client testimonials when you read other Fulfilled by Sears reviews:
Here is the summary of FBS features:
Integrations and compatibility
Sears works with preferred partners that provide ecommerce solutions, online distribution experts, integration systems and inventory management software. These include:
FBS charges for storage, picking and packing, order handling and weight handling (measured in dimension). Additional fees may apply like program fee and monthly fee for orders of $400 or more per month. However, here’s a good deal: you’re not charged including the program fees if you have no items stored in a Sears fulfillment center.
|Categories||Sod on Sears.com||Multi-Channel|
|Storage fees||$0.45 – $0.60 per cu. ft.||$0.45 – $0.60 per cu. ft.|
|Pick & pack fees||$1 per item||$3 per item|
|Order handling fees||$0.00||Ground: $1.50; 2-day: $7.50; Next day: $14.00|
|Weight handling fee||$0.35 per lb.||$0.45 – $1.90 per lb. (varies by weight and shipping type)|
|Additional fees||Sell on Sears fees apply* ($39.99/mo + commission)||None|
Retailers with stable monthly huge order volume can easily absorb the FBS costs and, instantly, they are free from handling the tedious tasks of order processing. Mid-sized businesses and large enterprises will find FBS an excellent fulfillment alternative. If you’re a small retailer, you have to find the price equilibrium that makes outsourcing and its fees viable to your margins. Once you go beyond the break-even fulcrum, FBS becomes a good option. You immediately have the capability to ship globally. More so, you can quickly scale fulfillment to meet sudden big-volume orders. Growth-aggressive small businesses especially, no matter how small today, will benefit from FBS, or any other outsourced order fulfillment services for that matter, by freeing their time to focus on sales and marketing strategy planning.
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