3pl costs: Fixed vs Variable pricing for eCommerce fulfilment

Amid the crescendo of the eCommerce boom in 2020 more eCommerce businesses quickly sought out logistics solutions. Third-party logistics suddenly became more prevalent as demand catapulted for storage, pick and pack services, and final mile delivery. Dramatic shifts in buying behaviours brought with it shifts in delivery options too. More companies were desperate to find the best solutions to maintain customer expectations. With no stores open and fewer employees on staff, there needed to be a way to get the work done despite these issues. Cue the 3pl’s.

Thankfully working with a 3pl is a common-sense approach for enterprises that want to grow quickly and outsource operations. It’s the logical step towards alleviating the common stresses and headaches of your internal packing and shipping operations. Contracting those services to another company immediately takes care of your storage and delivery needs, saving your business valuable time, effort, and money. Yes, please!

However, choosing to partner with a 3pl means that you are giving a lot of responsibility away, right? This can bring some hesitancy for companies that are historically content with controlling all aspects of their business. With the right partner however the capability of this new fulfilment frontier will not only grow your operations but improve your quality of service. Hiring experts in any industry, like in fulfilment, ensures the job is getting done right. With these fulfilment benefits, you can focus on other aspects of your business while you remain fully operational without any loss to service or sales. When you do finally decide to take the leap to outsource to an eCommerce warehouse, it’s essential to do your due diligence.

It’s critical to make sure you have a reliable partner with a reputable record of accomplishment and the right pricing options for your business. You must make sure you understand every aspect of your contract for your fiduciary responsibilities so your business can thrive in a new age of digital commerce. Price gouging and 3pl annual subscription models can quickly bloat costs and deflate your bottom line if you don’t fully understand what you’re paying for. 3pl costs differ greatly between providers.

Third-party logistics services have helped to innovate business distribution and fulfilment channels in the late 20th century. With improvements in technology over the last 30 years, we are now able to offer more innovative business pricing options as well. This is where variable pricing vs fixed pricing comes into play, and this is what we’re discussing today.

Today, I will be breaking down fixed pricing vs variable pricing for 3pl costs. Both structures are similar, but only one has the ability to save you money. I’ll be discussing these 3pl pricing methodologies as well and how they compare, so you can decide on the best option for your thriving business.


3pl costs, 3pl pricing, ecommerce warehouse, 3pl logistics


Table of contents

1) 3pl costs: Fixed & variable pricing options

2) Fixed pricing model

3) Variable pricing model

4) What 3pl costs are associated with eCommerce fulfilment?

5) Other non-related order fulfilment costs

6) Understanding bespoke models and flexible pricing

7) 3pl pricing examples

8) Advantage of courier partners for order fulfilment

9) Fixed pricing vs variable pricing: The big difference

3pl costs eCommerce fulfilment

3pl costs: Fixed & Variable pricing models

There are different pricing options when you deal with any 3pl provider. Not one pricing structure fits all companies; sometimes, you need a customised solution. This can vary depending on the size of your company, monthly order volume, or product offerings. It can also depend on the services you specifically require such as custom packaging. Understanding the pros and cons of each pricing structure will educate you to make the best decision. 3pl pricing models include:

Fixed pricing model

Most often you will deal with fixed costs, a pricing structure that is predictable and easier to understand. You maintain the same rate for warehouse storage, pick and pack services, etc., and it doesn’t change (£8, £9, etc.). Delivery costs still change depending on the courier & size and weight of your parcel, but the general 3pl warehouse costs don’t vary. What you’re quoted is what you get.

Variable pricing model

The next is a variable pricing structure, which solidifies caps in your spending limits, but allows you to have lower fulfilment rates based on your consumption. So, what you spend has the ability to be lowered. It’s more closely linked to your performance, directly keeping costs in line with efficiency.

3pl costs include:

  1. Storage and stock management costs
  2. Picking and packing costs
  3. Delivery costs
  4. Returns processing costs

* More detail on the various 3pl costs in a little bit


3PL Fixed pricing model example

A fixed pricing model is also known as a “flat rate” structure, meaning businesses pay a flat rate per order. You’ll pay fixed costs for storage, picking and packing, kitting, customer packaging (should you want it), and delivery. A fixed model is often preferred for companies that like easily predictable costs. This is considered an advantage for sellers as they can easily manage sales projections, but they do run the risk of paying higher margins without the ability to renegotiate their set contractual pricing obligations to the 3pl.

Let’s extrapolate this with a 3pl fixed pricing cost example: (Fictitious scenario)

£1.50 per order (before delivery cost) for your fulfilment needs with 2,000/month orders

= £3,000. Simple math.

The problem falls in this fixed cost – say you negotiate based on 2,000 orders per month but explode in Q4 and end up doing 10,000 orders. In this fixed scenario, your cost is stagnant at £1,500 even though processing volumes at that rate incurs benefits of scale and fractional cost savings across the operation. None of which are passed onto you the seller. It costs less to ship more on a per-unit basis typically.

When it’s time to plan, the certainty of a fixed price gives confidence to all members of the board. They look for optimisations and efficiencies in-house in other areas and just accept that 3pl’s cost money. If sales volumes are low – that’s a Sales & Marketing issue. They can renegotiate rates to reflect the latest performance if they’re consistently high. It’s all a bit slow and wasteful but it gives a hard number for the bean-counters to work from.

3PL Variable pricing model example

A 3pl variable pricing model is a “consumption-based pricing model.” This is a hybrid approach to 3pl pricing, allowing more flexibility and scalability for businesses. You only pay for what you use and aren’t charged for services you don’t need.

So, instead of paying a “flat rate” per order which never changes, a “variable rate” per order can change. The costs decreases (based on warehouse efficiencies) and caps are in place to ensure that inefficiencies do not result in erroneous charges. Look at it this way:

If you want certainty, base the cost of cap price and be happy with the savings when your typical 3pl costs are much lower. This might be an expensive option when looking at its face value from a certainty perspective. Keep in mind there is only so much certainty you can have when predicting the future in eCommerce – generally based on earlier performance.

If you dig deeper though you’ll see that the average price is much lower than the cap and the variation from average across the year is closer to 4%. This variation directly reflects the changing seasons and order volumes being processed. At Selazar we currently cap pick and pack to £1.20 for a standard single item order, but the average cost is a staggering 67p. If we add 4% to 67p we get 70p. So, trusting in the past performance of variable pricing structure we can do some simple math:

The perspective of Certainty: (Fixed price perspective)

£1.20 per order (before delivery cost) for your fulfilment needs with 2,000/month orders

= £2,400.

Trusting in variable structure: (My 3pl partner is striving for efficiencies)

£0.70 per order (before delivery cost) for your fulfilment needs with 2,000/month orders

= £1,400.

The big difference is the price you pay when your order volumes inevitably go up Your costs as a proportion of profits won’t change drastically if you’re doing 2,000 or 20,000 orders per month.

With this model, it can be more challenging to first understand your exact costs, or track them, because they vary, but the savings cost is more favourable for you over time. Balancing costs and services that meet your brand standards is a challenge but embracing the future of fulfilment will help you stay ahead of the curve.


*Note – Fixed and variable pricing structures aren’t just single entities that are completely independent. They can be mixed and matched depending on different service charges. A 3pl can adopt the fixed or the variable structure, but they can also use both (fixed variable) like we do. More on that as we progress.


Amazon FBA “fixed-pricing-profit sharing” pricing model

Another 3pl pricing model that should be mentioned is fulfilment by Amazon (FBA). If you’ve used FBA or are considering using their services, there are more costs associated with working with them because of their eCommerce platform. You will be charged for fulfilment with Amazon (Fulfilment + storage + optional services) as well as the “selling on Amazon fee,” which is 15% of your product profit margin.

This pricing model with profit-sharing is not recommended for businesses looking for ease of scalability, as increased costs can hinder your growth. You’ll also lose brand identity when selling via Amazon, but there can be a lot of sales so it’s not to be dismissed offhand.

What 3pl costs are associated with eCommerce fulfilment?

Depending on which 3pl you decide to partner with will depend on what you will pay. Prices will vary from storage to delivery, custom packaging to returns costs. Again, with our structure, you only pay for what you actually use. There are no extra charges such as profit sharing or annual fees.

Here are common 3pl costs associated with order fulfilment.

Warehouse intake cost

This is the cost associated with workers receiving your stock you send in and organising them into the warehouse. This is typically a flat rate charge.

*Selazar currently offers this at 40p per minute.

Warehousing stock storage

After you send your stock to the warehouse, you’re charged a monthly storage fee. This varies depending on which 3pl you use.

*Selazar stock storage cost:

35p per standard sized box per week/fixed

£2.50 per pallet per week/fixed

Picking and Packing

Pick and pack costs are associated with the warehouse workers physically travelling around the warehouse to pick your products from the shelf, and then pack them into boxes for delivery.

This is a key part of the process where the devil is in the details. Common 3pl mispicks can cause headaches and this is where some 3PL’s do better than others. Tech-first approaches are preferable today as they tend to circumnavigate common human error. Special scanners should be used that update in the cloud, so details like the SKU number confirm transactions all day with order numbers. This way the right product goes to the right station, with the right packaging, to the right customer. You need certainty that orders are dispatching with the right items inside.


Selazar smart technology optimizes the routes for pickers to find the most optimal route for cost savings. We time our operations down to the second, so there are no padding or hidden fees. Our average picking time currently is 24p, capped at 40p per minute. Our pick and pack accuracy rate is also 99% thanks to our smart storage technology. It ensures smooth operations and seamless product delivery.


Selazar pick and packing cost:


Capped at 40p per item– Current average is 24p (variable pricing)


Capped at 80p per order – Current average is 43p (variable pricing)


Also known as pre-bundling, Kitting is the cost of packaging items that arrive separately that need to be organised into a single group. There is also de-kitting, which is the opposite of kitting – taking bundles and organizing them as single items for re-sale.

In normal warehouses, this can be a double charge on an unsuccessful experiment with bundling items. A great contrast is when using cloud-based technology. Bundles are combined virtually allowing one SKU to fulfil multiple items at once. Sellers can endlessly create new kits without cost until purchase and order processing takes place. Why guess at what works best when you can try it all?

Selazar kitting cost based on hourly timing fixed at 40p per minute. (Same as our picking charge)


Custom Packaging

Custom packaging means using your own custom boxes, inserts, paper, and gifts. If you’re a brand focused seller, then it’s important your parcels arrive the way you want them to. If you have a thank you card, coupon, or a gift inside, this can be added for an extra cost.

This fulfilment option is a service that is offered to clients who want to go the extra step in their marketing efforts and add some “wow factor.” Not every 3pl you work with will offer this. If you don’t want custom packaging as an option, however, then you don’t have to use it or pay for it.

The fee for custom packaging will vary for each 3pl. For example, Selazars custom packaging is based on a flat rate time used to create the custom order, at 40p per minute.

Amazon is an example of a 3pl service that does not offer custom packaging. Everything arrives in Amazon boxes, so the seller doesn’t have an opportunity to be showcased as the main brand ambassador upon delivery.

Parcel Delivery 3pl costs

This is the cost of delivering the actual parcel to the customer. This is completed with a courier network of providers including brands such as Royal Mail, Hermes, DPD, Yodel, and UPS.

3pl costs parcel delivery examples

Some couriers vary in where they deliver, such as locally, nationally, and internationally. This is why most 3PLs work with several couriers. The cost from the courier is passed onto you from the 3PL.

These are fixed costs. Variable factors include the size and weight of your parcel, your destination, and your preferred arrival time.

See some examples of 3pl delivery rates below.

3pl pricing example, 3pl courier rates, shipping rates 3pl, 3pl rates examples

Returns (Reverse Logistics)

Parcel returns or reverse logistics is the opposite of 3PL standard operations. Now, instead of the goods going to the end-user, the end-user needs the package to go back, for whatever reason. This could be a product defect, a wrong size item, colour, etc.

When parcel return management happens there is a cost associated with this process. If the parcel is sent back to the 3PL instead of the manufacturer or provider, someone needs to do a quality check on the item to see if it can be restocked for resale. This can be inspected and processed in under 2 minutes. This action of course will incur a small fee.

Returns can be a leading cause of frustration for any online retailer. Returns are not offered with every 3pl you work with. Make sure you check this detail before committing to any contracts. A good returns process will help you maintain customer loyalty and retention, and you don’t have to deal with the headaches!

92% of consumers will purchase again from a retailer if the returns process was easy.

*Selazar returns cost based on hourly timing cost/variable pricing or 40p per minute.


Selazars’ order fulfilment process broken down

You’ve seen the charges, now here is our order fulfilment process in a nutshell, a simple and straightforward process. When an order is received on your website, our warehouse gets the notification instantly in real-time (left-side below) and begins the entire packaging process and delivery (right side below).


order fulfilment, order to fulfillment process flow, what is the order fulfillment process, what does it mean when your order is in fulfillment, what does order status fulfillment mean

From the moment the customer hits the buy button to the moment they receive their package, the system automates for you, customising your specific needs with intelligent AI. You’re charged for the time that is used to complete this process along with any extra costs of the packaging and delivery (courier charges). For simple understanding, the picture outlines the fulfilment process with the costs outlined above previously.


Other non-related order fulfilment costs

There are various other fees that some 3PL’s choose to add in with their services. Much like a bank or a gym with extra signing charges, they many times are just the cost of doing business with them. Well, how is that calculated? Do you know administrative fees are calculated? These seemingly random charges should be scrutinised by you. At the end of the day a variety of unexpected charges will add up and impact your profit margins.

3pl sign up & subscription fees

When choosing to work with a 3pl it’s important to understand the total cost-benefit ratio. What are you being charged for and why? Selazar as a partner wants to help eCommerce businesses grow faster and cheaper, hence why we don’t bloat our costs. This is just one we reason why we offer no sign-up fees and no annual subscription fees. You should not be charged for this. If you see these with your 3pl, my advice, ask what you gain from this club membership?

Next is hidden fluctuating costs.


Seasonal adjustments

Not all services are the same. Some are designed to benefit the provider more than the seller. Amazon as an example has operational charges that vary for seasonal changes. See here.

This means during busy peak seasons when operations ramp up, you must foot the bill. Obviously, this is to cover their operating costs. But, why should you have to cover those extra costs?

This is an issue with fixed costs. Companies can bloat your costs as they please with seasonal changes. And those rates are already “fixed” into your contract. Make sure you keep an eye on non-related costs or hidden costs when signing any contract.


3PL Software

Every 3pl will need some sort of a warehouse management system (WMS) for stock storage and organisation. Now, not all 3PL’s will be equal in this area.

For example, we are what’s known as a “software with a service” (SWAS). We’ve already built the platform for you with our in-house tech team. With a single online platform, you control all your storage and shipping operations. This is not offered with every 3pl you use. It’s also offered as a free bonus when signing with Selazar. Now that’s service!

When working with a 3PL, you need to understand what software is being offered to you, and how good it is. This is because antiquated operations cause warehouse inefficiency, potentially deflating your bottom line. A survey of 250 supply chains revealed the average business loses over £280,000 a year due to warehouse inefficiencies like improper picking and packing.

34% of businesses also ship late because products are sold which are not actually in stock. This comes down to software and responsible inventory management. Good technology with two-way stock sync solves this issue.

Our proprietary API integrates with your Shopify or WooCommerce store for simple automation and fulfilment. This allows flexibility in our operations. Make sure your 3pl provider can offer you the proper tech you need for your business to thrive and compete in the digital marketplace.

Understanding bespoke price model

Bespoke pricing is both fixed and variable pricing. We offer both. Selazar’s bespoke pricing is “variable pricing” with fixed caps for certain services and fixed pricing for others. You could technically refer to this as fixed variable pricing. Sounds confusing, but it means designing a pricing structure service that is flexible and can save you a lot of money on processing your warehouse orders. This can all be answered by giving us a free call should you want to learn more about this now.

3PL bespoke pricing examples fixed & variable:

Stock processing & kitting – Fixed

Storage – Fixed

Pick – Variable

Pack – Variable

Packaging & shipping – Fixed*

*Depending on custom packaging use and the destination this price will vary.


Built-in caps and efficiency

So, let’s discuss caps. A cap on your pricing means that the price will never go above this. Well, you may ask then what is the difference between a capped price and a fixed price? Nothing, at first glance. A cap on your pricing is a fixed price. The difference is that a variable pricing structure allows changes to go down and fluctuate below your set capped agreed-upon price (for certain services). The difference is fixed price will ALWAYS stay the same no matter what the service is.

The variable pricing structure can fluctuate and go down, but it won’t ever go up.


Wait, why does the variable price structure vary again?

We have a consumption-based model. You get charged for what you USE. Let’s be more specific:

If a single pick and pack time for an order cost us £2 for the employee to complete this for you, why would we charge you £3? That extra £1 adds up in time. £1 x 50,000 orders in a year = £50,000 in extra costs!

These extra 3pl costs are built into outdated fixed pricing structures. This is where companies capitalise on your invoices. Their cost of labour & some profit may have only been at £2 for a single pick and pack, but you got charged £3. Why? Well, FIXED pricing structure.

With Selazar, when we save, you save. It’s that simple.


3PL pricing examples fixed & variable (bespoke)

So, Selazar bespoke pricing is “variable pricing” with fixed caps and fixed costs. So, if your cap pricing is £5 per delivery, you know you will never go above £5. But would’ve it went below that threshold? Would’ve it varied less? Well, that means more money in your account! Yes, please.

Let’s extrapolate bespoke model pricing by 5,000 units a month with picking and packing costs (variable) and delivery costs (fixed).

FIXED picking & packing and parcel delivery

Assume pick & pack charged at £1.20 (fixed or capped price), packaging materials £0.60

5,000 units at £1.80 for pick, pack & packaging per order = £9,000

Add $3.30 for delivery/5,000 units = £16,500

Total = £25,500


VARIABLE picking & packing and parcel delivery

Assume pick & pack charged at £0.70 (Average cost + variation) , packaging materials £0.60

5,000 units at £1.30 per order for pick, pack & packaging per order = £6,500

Add $3.30 for delivery/5,000 units = £16,500

Total = £23,000


That is $2,500 in savings in a 30-day period for 5,000 units

That is £30,000 savings in a 1-year period for 60,000 units


This is a simplified straightforward example that clearly demonstrates savings with variable pricing. In reality, the average cost of picking and packing will shift more sporadically every day, all day. In a single day, the variable pricing structure can go from £4.23 to £3.68 to £2.50, up to £3.20 again, etc. It may be more challenging to understand, but a cap is set, so you know you won’t be overcharged.

You have options here to save more money.


Advantages of courier partners for order fulfilment

Lastly, it’s important to remember that we are not a single operation. We are two operations, both with separate costs. We have in house services as well as a partnership service with our courier companies. You don’t have to do anything because we’ve already taken care of the supply chain for you.

This is a mutually beneficial relationship which is another significant advantage of working with a 3PL. We are interconnected to a large network of national and international couriers. Wherever your target market is, we can fulfil it, and we work with our partners to keep your costs consistent. Any changes and you will be notified. You don’t have to do any work.

Working closely with the courier networks ensures we can offer you the best possible service when it comes to sending, tracking and delivering your customers’ parcels to their front door. We are also in a position to negotiate prices for our clients because of our working relationships and mutual business benefits. We manage the service offerings and negotiate the best costs for your convenience and savings.

3pl cost savings with Selazar

The pay-as-you-go consumption model eliminates the need to tie up capital on warehouses, equipment, staff or software. There are no setup fees or monthly fees combined with an easy-to-use customer portal makes our automated end-to-end fulfilment solution the best choice for anyone looking to keep control of their brand as they grow.

For smaller businesses, this can mean a couple hundred in savings a year. This can mean tens of thousands in savings for other larger companies, potentially even more.

3pl costs eCommerce fulfilment

Fixed vs Variable pricing: The big difference

To sum things up, you want to carefully consider your pricing options when working with a 3pl. Make sure you ask questions and don’t be afraid to embrace new variable options if they are a bit challenging to understand at first. What matters for your business and long-term relationship is that you’re getting the best return on your investment. Some purely fixed pricing options as traditional standards may be easier to understand, but the variable fixed pricing structure will save you more money and help grow your business. Simply chasing a flat price number when deciding on your fulfilment provider just may not be the best solution and may leave your business vulnerable.

As a partner in your business and essentially an extension of your brand it’s critical your 3pl provides you with the ultimate benefits to automate and scale effectively. From them, you should have flexible pricing options, convenient solutions, superior technology to streamline your processes, and a dedicated customer service team.

We can get your order fulfilment automation set up in days. Give us a call so that we can find out more about your business and streamline your operations.

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5 Ecommerce Fulfilment Tips To Drive Sales

Table of contents

The case for eCommerce fulfilment and rapid delivery

1) Next day delivery

2) Return Policy

3) Sold out products

4) Custom Packaging

5) Smart automation

3PL eCommerce fulfilment


Ecommerce fulfilment and rapid delivery

The eCommerce boom over the last two decades has allowed online brands to compete successfully with traditional brick and mortar brands. What has been a steady climb in customers embracing online shopping has become the new normal it seems, especially now in 2021. Ecommerce fulfilment has become more important than ever. In fact, a survey found that 56% of GenXers and 55% of Millennials prefer online formats to physical stores. Customers enjoy the convenience of shopping from home whenever they like. This convenience has created a marketplace in which over 75% of people are shopping at least once a month online. With improvements in technology and cybersecurity, more people have developed trust in an industry that has proven its simplicity. Consumers are also interacting with brands that match their lifestyle in more ways than ever before on social platforms. By following and engaging with brands on social channels customers develop more loyalty and trust, driving sales.

Ecommerce grew by 46% in 2020 – its strongest growth for more than a decade, due largely to the pandemic of course. A 2020 report from the Centre for Retail has shown that the online retail sector is the main driver of growth in the U.K., Europe, and North America. As eCommerce has improved, so has the technology and logistics networks that support it.

Rapid package delivery has become a new focus for online brands. Unlike traditional shopping, online selling doesn’t give customers the same instant gratification because of a lack of access to the products. So, to improve this process, companies are looking for more solutions. Therefore, the rise of 3pl’s have skyrocketed to bridge this service gap. Companies are outsourcing their shipping so that they can focus on making great products. 12% of merchants are unprofitable due to distribution costs in logistics, hence why 39.4% of merchants outsource at least some of their fulfilment.

As the U.K.’s most innovative 3pl’s, Selazars’ improved the process for Next-Day and 48-hour delivery for UK customers. We believe in tech-forward logistical solutions for product fulfilment and speedy home delivery. However, speed is merely one aspect of the customer journey. While a digital journey has many touchpoints, delivery speed and the unboxing experience created are the only physical ones. Paying close attention here will generate better reviews, increase brand loyalty, and repeat sales. So, to help online businesses improve their e-commerce fulfilment journey to drive sales, we offer the following advice.



In the early days of eCommerce, shopping online felt like a novelty. Shipping speed was not as much as a factor for the simple convenience of getting it delivered. Ten years ago, customers were happy with 5 – 7 business days for shipping. However, with the rise of Prime that is no longer an option. At one point, what was unfathomable (Name-Day and 48-Hour delivery) is just the “new normal.” People want their products fast! If you expect to compete, this needs to be your focus. As a 3pl, we have centred on this philosophy to increase dispatch speed for our clients. This is why companies like Debenhams used our services when they transitioned from the high street to online.

Our fast processes and late dispatch allow for delivery anywhere in the UK the very next day. This is a major customer highlight, and it should be highlighted on your website. See here on the Asos website:

next day delivery, 3pl logistics, next day shipping, 3pl shipping, 24 hour delivery, asos next day delivery, next day delivery clothes, next day delivery dresses, next day parcel delivery, next day courier service, next day delivery courier, next day delivery stores

How do you offer standard Next-day shipping for your UK customers? Well, simply set up a discovery call with us to get started.



With innovations in speedy delivery, there has counterintuitively not been as much innovation in returns. As we discussed in a previous article, UK retail must make parcel return easier and faster, so businesses must offer better return service. This is based on a startling statistic that says “92% of consumers will purchase again from a retailer if the returns process was easy.” While return rates to physical stores are around 8%, this jumps to 25% for items bought online. Fashion returns last year increased to over 50% for online orders, growing over 15% from 2019.

According to a study by Sale Cycle in 2020, over 56% of online returns were clothing and shoes. Why is this? This is because fashion items are the top-selling industry in all of the world online. So, if you sell in the industry, having a good returns policy/process is even more critical. This includes offering “free returns.”

Free returns are good for your customers. They want it – in fact:


56% of customers don’t want to pay to return items


Return Robin is the most innovative solution for eCommerce businesses in the United Kingdom. They offer automated parcel returns online with courier pickup from the customers home, quick return deposits, and even provide the shipping label as well (no need for the customer to print). As eCommerce fulfilment continues to innovate, Return Robin will prove to be a powerhouse in the UK logistics retail market.

So, offer a great return policy with your store, and feature it on your website.



When customers are shopping on your store, they are there because they are obviously interested in what you have to offer. If you have ever heard the expression “you never get a second chance to make a first impression,” then this applies.

If a customer comes to your store and find a product that they want, but cannot buy it, this has a negative impact on their experience. Another scenario is that the product shows as available – but is not in stock technically. Then you must inform the customer that their order will be delayed after they made the sale, an even worse scenario.

You avoid appearing unreliable by always having enough inventory to fulfil orders while using 2-way stock sync for your order fulfilment. Ordering a product from your supplier after the customer has already placed the order is an irresponsible business practice, and will deter your customers. Late delivery is one of the worst experiences for customers. 17% of respondents will stop shopping with a retailer after receiving a late delivery one time. Please see the diagram below.

2 Way Stock Sync

2-way stock sync is when the 3pl warehouse you are using syncs the stock inventory data to your website. So, as products are sold and the warehouse fulfils your orders for customers, you are aware of precisely how much product you have at all times. You can avoid customers buying products that are not actually available.

Stock sync, what is stock sync, two way stock sync, order fulfilment, infographic, stock sync image,

Key takeaway: If you don’t have any more product, you should remove the item(s) from your website temporarily. If you’re just running low, however, you need to send in more inventory from your supplier to the warehouse. 2-way stock sync with Selazar software automatically notifies you when stock is low. It’s that simple. We will be happy to explain this to you through a free call.


Branding says a lot about a company. It’s the first initial impression your customer gets when they receive their first products in the post from you. Your brand is how people think and feel about you. Is it classy and sophisticated? Do you want to be more colourful and fun? Should you appear simple and elegant? Good branding elicits emotional responses from your audience, which is what helps you form connections with them in the first place. In one poll, 64% of women and 68% of men surveyed have felt an emotional connection with a brand. Branding is also in your messaging.

What’s the personality of your brand? Is it sincerity, sophistication, or ruggedness? These are all questions that should be considered when forming your brand packaging.


“40% of online shoppers say they are more likely to recommend a product to a friend if it comes in branded packaging”


So, how can you customise your packaging to match your messaging? You do this by creating an incredible “unboxing experience.”

Let us compare these 2 items below. Which one would you prefer to get?


unboxing experience, what is unboxing experience, what is an unboxing experience, unboxing, unbox therapy, unboxing tips, unboxing advice, customer satisfaction, product packaging, ecommerce marketing

As you can see above, one has candles simply wrapped in bubble wrap in a box. The other one is classy and simple with a feeling of “high end” signature quality to it. It’s obvious which elicits a more positive feeling for the customer. Remember that 34% of consumers say that their perception of a brand or retailer is influenced by the use of gift-like or branded packaging.

There are lots of resources out there for you to create these custom boxes. Brands in the UK such as Pack Help and Tiny Box Company can help you to create beautiful custom box branding. They have boxes available starting as low as 13p.


Gorgeous, yes? It’s really not as expensive as many might think. That is a small cost that can be carried onto the consumer – A cost that is worth it with a “premium” look and feel. When you partner with Selazar, we combine our pick and packing services with your custom boxes. This way you can maintain brand control, serving your customers your way.

Go custom!

“Packaging can be theatre because it can create a story”

-Steve Jobs



Fulfilling your orders is one of the key factors of running your eCommerce store. Orders need to be processed, updated, packaged and sent. Doing this on your own means inputting information repeatedly, stealing valuable time. Many businesses manually input information into their own system and often spend the majority of their time doing the same task. These repetitive duties can take the focus away from customer service support and other critical factors of your business. When you invest in automating your workflow, there is no need for these tasks.

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Selazar’s custom-built portal gives you complete control over your logistics in a single, easy-to-use platform. It gives you access to product management, real-time inventory control, order tracking and courier preferences at no additional cost. Running your store means juggling multiple tasks, focusing on deadlines, dealing with clients, and much much more. Why juggle stocking, packaging, and administration all on your own? Manually managing the end-to-end fulfilment process is time-consuming and laborious. Luckily, Selazar has a single automated platform to free up your time and let you grow fast.

Using our API, you can connect Selazar to your eCommerce store, enabling an end-to-end fulfilment service that can be easily managed. See an overview of stock levels, manage orders, update information on the go, and so much more. Combined with our packaging and warehouse duties as well, you will wonder why you didn’t join with us sooner.



3pl eCommerce fulfilment services to help you grow


We have already set up a warehouse – now you don’t have too, how easy was that? Our fully secured warehouse is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with over 250,000 square feet of space for your e-commerce fulfilment needs.

Stock Management

Manage your products in real-time with e-commerce fulfilment. Use our bulk order wizard to ensure B2B orders are processed in the most efficient way. Bulk picking gives you the ability to mass ship items to your business clients, ensuring accurate, fast, and cost-effective distribution of your products.

Pick and Pack 

Picking and packing is at the heart of Selazar. Our technology allows staff to seamlessly pick and pack your orders with 99.9% accuracy to date. Digitally mapped warehouses allow our intelligent routing system to calculate each run’s most efficient picking order.


Our algorithm selects the best available rates for your fulfilment routes within your preference settings. Our system is dynamic and works hard to ensure you always get the best courier option for you and your customer.


Returns can be a leading cause of frustration for any online retailer. However, using our returns portal makes managing returns easy and provides your customers with an improved returns experience. Your customer can easily generate a label online and find their local drop off points.

This holistic approach allows you to have a hands–free, best in class, transparent fulfilment service. This approach also enables us to handle all B2B and B2C business operations. Our straightforward Shopify and WooCommerce integrations plug directly into your existing store, allowing us to download and fulfil your orders in real-time. They are then processed and ready to be picked, packed, and shipped without you having to lift a finger, typically within 30 minutes of receipt of the order. That is fast! Once complete, we send any tracking information back to your online store along with an updated status.

Companies with high–performing supply chains benefit from higher revenue growth. An analysis done by Deloitte proved that


“79% of companies with high-performing supply chains achieve revenue growth superior to the average within their industries”



Using these tips, you can instantly drive more sales for your eCommerce store. To find out more about e-commerce fulfilment and logistics services please set up a discovery call with us so we can learn more about your business.

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6 eCommerce Marketing Tips To Increase Sales

Table of contents

  1. Free shipping

  2. Make your site “trustworthy”

  3. Free samples

  4. Local press

  5. Social proof

  6. Online communities


Ecommerce marketing is an art form in itself that takes many years to master. Many business owners struggle to convert customers in the capacity that they hope for, losing both time and money.

If this sounds like you, then you have come to the right place!

Today you’re going to learn six marketing tips from the experts from Shopify, Woocommerce, and Oberlo. They are leaders in website design, marketing, and make it easy for you to launch your own eCommerce business. On top of that, they divulge a myriad of insights and valuable tools to help business owners gain more traffic, keep the traffic, and make more conversions for their products and subscribers.

Driving sales online is a combination of the right marketing strategy, excellent products, and an aesthetically pleasing website/brand. When you connect your online shop with quick delivery and fulfilment services like Selazar, your shop can be a major success story.

Here are six tips for driving sales for your eCommerce marketing.


  1. Advertise “Free shipping” to increase your number of orders


If your products are attractive to customers and the price seems right, free shipping is that extra decision point that can push people past the finish line. Offering free shipping on your website can lead to increased orders and a more extensive customer base. In a world of convenience, customers appreciate those extra incentives. In fact, one poll of customers revealed that 73% of people are more likely to decide to buy an item if it includes free shipping.

One strategy used amongst many eCommerce companies is to use pop-up banners on their website that make your message very obvious. Another less pervasive strategy to the online experience, yet still prominent, is placing a smaller banner that sits in the header and footer areas.

Obviously, you don’t want to offer free shipping and eradicate your profit margin. Therefore, work to do some creative pricing that you think is fair and do whatever it takes to offer free shipping. This is one of the best eCommerce marketing tips you will receive. Your customers want it and they will reward you for it.


2. Display Icons and text that show your site is trustworthy


Building trust with your audience takes time and work. Some simple legitimate modifications to your website’s layout help raise the trust meter. For example, the first thing to do is to make sure your site registers securely.

Cybersecurity is a significant concern these days, and many sites are being copied and deceiving customers. According to an eCommerce fraud tracker, fraud costs UK citizens £130 billion yearly.

You need to purchase an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certificate to improve transparency, trust, and security. Sometimes this is already offered through your web host; but sometimes, it’s not. You need to check by viewing your site on the internet. As an example, from Foot Locker, their site reads below as such (secure).


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Photo courtesy of Footlocker

The next step is that you should take is to use secure payment icons. Do not simply add images to “appear” trustworthy. Add the legitimate payment systems your website uses that are secure and trustworthy. Ecommerce marketing is only effective if the search engines, bots, and target market can trust you.


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3. Send free samples to Instagram influencers

Instagram has proven to be one of eCommerce merchants’ most effective sales channels. Their buying and selling integration allow Instagram followers to view products and purchase right from the app directly.

People follow “influencers” who they strongly associate with. This could be in various industries, from fashion to fitness. When influencers recommend a product or do reviews, their followers listen.

As of 2020, Instagram surpassed the 1billion global user mark, so the audience is gigantic. Recent polling has concluded that 81% of people use Instagram to research products and services. Fascinating right? That means over ¾ of users use the platform for buying decisions.

To find influencers that fit your target market, you can use a service known as HEEPSY. It’s an intuitive workflow to discover the best influencers for a specific location, category or followers. Use the filter for niche results and contact those influencers for the best results. Not all influencers may be open to sponsored content, so check their profile if they regularly leave reviews or do sponsorships. Best advice is to target wisely.

If you want to go through an agency that directly works with Instagram influencers and manages transactions, check out Pitchboard.


4. Get your business in the press by targeting local news agencies, papers, and smaller publications that are specific to your industry

Getting local or regional hype is a great way to drive traffic to your business, and best of all, it’s most likely free. Leveraging relationships within the media community allow them to develop content that their target audience is interested in while also freely promoting your brand.

You want to target journalists that have written about topics similar to your industry. It can be health & wellness, beauty products, fashion, or any other similar field. If your company has something incredibly unique or niche involved, you could try to promote “inspirational stories” about your brand. Helping local businesses is a common story feature for many media outlets to help their viewers keep a pulse on local news. It is what brings more emotional attachment and fulfilment for people to their communities. Leverage your local region for ecommerce marketing effectiveness.

A great site to find local journalists is by using a service known as Follower Wonk.


5. Use Social Proof such as testimonials and reviews to boost brand trust


The first interaction many customers will have with you is via your website. They want to know what you offer, what the prices are, and if they can trust you. What is the best form of social proof? It’s not business features or excellent design that sells itself (maybe a little..sometimes…). However, what they want to know is that if they buy from you online, you are verifiable. The best form of social proof is testimonials.

According to BigCommerce, 77% of customers read product reviews before making a purchase.



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6. Engage with online communities

Sometimes the best things in life are free! Ecommerce marketing can be leveraged easily through the millions of online forums and communities with people discussing topics they love. With so many options to choose from, it can be challenging to know which ones to focus on. Oberlo recommends that the three best communities for groups are Facebook, Reddit, and Pinterest.



Facebook is one of the best places to engage audiences and drive traffic to your eCommerce store. Facebook groups provide a space to communicate about shared interests with others. You can join a group or make your own group. It could be fashion, books, working out, whatever!

While you can’t directly advertise your products, you can submit quality content that piques users’ interest. You can engage with other members, and you can request feedback about your products or store. You can start gaining organic traffic and build an audience. If your content is good, ask the administrator on the group if you can post a discount code.


Over 430 million people use Reddit. This community has been around since 2005 and has exploded. There are over 200,000 communities on there, making it the perfect place to find your target audience. You can also create your own community if you’d like to. There are a couple of ways to post to Reddit.


Post your products in “subreddits” relevant to your niche.

Now, you’re not allowed to do obvious advertising posts for your products. You can get banned for that. What you are allowed to do, however, is share your love and interest in products. Share the link in the comments in case anyone is interested in checking it out.

Find appropriate subreddits to post your products

Finding subreddits with the name “I need this” or “I want that” would be appropriate. These subreddits see a lot of traffic, and if the people like what you have to offer, they will visit your store. Sharing photos and videos of you using your products is the best way to post, as it’s more genuine.



Pinterest has evolved from a community that loves to share great content to one that loves to shop. 90% of users on Pinterest say that the platform helps them decide what to purchase. To take advantage of this opportunity, create a board and start pinning your products. If you like, you can even “promote posts” so that users can interact easily with your products and be redirected to your store.


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Creating a beautiful website and offering great products is only the beginning of your eCommerce business journey. Make sure to use sound strategies that include social proofing and optimising your site for security and layout.

You want to build trust and engage your audience as much as possible. By following many of these e-commerce marketing steps, you can gain more traction and increase your sales. Selazar is here to help your store grow and flourish. Contact us today if you want to know how we can help your business grow.

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