FedEx Now Offers Brand to Consumer Fulfillment: Here’s What You Should Know
Earlier this week, FedEx jumped into the ring with Amazon by launching their new fulfillment program. Amazon has been offering storage and fulfillment shipping for merchants since 2000 but it seems like FedEx is looking to outdo its global competitor by updating and expanding upon the pre-existing platform.
FedEx turns their focus towards craft brands
In 2015, FedEx made a huge step into e-commerce with the purchase of Genco Distribution Services Inc., a third-party logistics provider, for $1.4 billion USD. Genco is a “reverse logistics company”, processing return items from more than 130 warehouse across North America. From these locations, FedEx is offering fulfillment options for companies both large and small. FedEx initially set out to help larger businesses, processing 358 million returns annually and 580,000 direct-to-consumer shipments on a daily basis. Great news major corporations, not so great for the small-to-mid level craft businesses.
Once FedEx realized they were missing out on potential partners, they shifted their outlook. After noticing holes in Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon service model, they began to offer options to small and medium-sized merchants. FedEx now offers completely customizable service packages for each merchant they deal with. Once a merchant has signed onto FedEx Fulfillment, they have their product(s) shipped to a specific FedEx Supply Chain space and FedEx does the rest. The items are then unloaded, stored safely, and inventory is updated in real-time for the company by an account manager.
How FedEx Fulfillment works
The fulfillment program runs through a software which is accessed online. The software is fully integrated with independent web stores or large e-commerce hubs. Once an order is placed, it quickly makes its way through the system and in most cases is shipped within 24-hours. The system runs 24/7, is incredibly flexible, user-friendly, and ensures that the merchant is fully integrated with analytics which work across different levels and types of infrastructures.
One of the most interesting aspects of FedEx Fulfillment is that the products stored and shipped from the FedEx facilities do not arrive to consumers in FedEx boxes. Each merchant that joins the service has the option to provide FedEx with their preferred shipping encasement, whether that be company branded, or a simple brown box. This shipping customization can also include in-box treats like cards, notes, stickers, etc.
On top of fulfillment, FedEx is offering management of returns as well as international e-commerce in 220 countries where FedEx operates its “Cross Borders” division. This impressive branch of the company deals with checkout and delivery in over 80 different currencies, provides 15 payment options, manages several delivery options, and offers credit card fraud protection.
All in all, FedEx has taken an old dog and taught it new tricks. If you’re a craft brand looking to expand your B2C fulfillment horizons, this may just be the avenue
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