Order Fulfillment for Online Pet Supplies

by Carolina Cano-Espinoza | Customer Satisfaction, eCommerce Fulfillment, eCommerce Strategy

Meeting the needs of specialized industries in order fulfillment requires special attention. For online businesses specializing in beauty, electronics, nutraceuticals and pet supplies, the obstacles in order fulfillment can differ greatly. Online businesses must tackle the unique challenges faced in providing their customers fast, accurate, and low-cost shipping.

Working with online retailers in these industries has given RSL insight to the obstacles faced in order fulfillment for everything from powder eye shadows to liquid protein drinks to 30-pound bags of dog food. The goal for all online businesses in regards to fulfillment services is the same: lower costs while meeting customer expectations. However, getting there is much different depending on the product lines and business model.

Rakuten Super Logistics recently assessed the unique challenges of the online pet supply industry. While most pet owners cannot put a price on the love for their animal companion, the American Pet Products Association (APPA) has. The APPA estimates US spending on pet supplies to come in at a total of $69.36 billion for 2017. With online making up a growing percentage of retail sales year over year, there is a growing need for solutions to overcome the challenges of fulfilling online pet supply orders.

Below are just a few of the fulfillment challenges faced by online pet supply shops. For strategies to overcome these and other unique fulfillment challenges check out the Guide to eCommerce Fulfillment for Pet Product Suppliers.

Challenge #1

More and more pet food is purchased online. Rather than running to the local pet store last-minute and lugging home an over-sized bag of pet food, pet owners can enjoy the convenience of subscription models offered by online pet food retailers. The challenge with selling pet food online is delivering the often heavy and bulky shipment, which can have a hefty cost of shipping. To compete with the leading online pet supply stores, merchants must find a way to offer free ground shipping.

Challenge #2 

Online shoppers expect an option for free and FAST shipping. However, with the average bag of dog food weighing in at 30 pounds, the cost of expedited shipping is anything but free for merchants. For example, shipping a 30 pound bag of dog food from Los Angeles to Phoenix costs around $40 with USPS 2-Day. Shipping across the country? Cost is upwards of $82. To meet customer expectations of 2-day shipping, merchants are faced with the option of eating the cost of expedited shipping or finding a solution to lower costs, while increasing speed.

 Challenge #3

Limited resources can hinder growth, such as limited warehouse space and staffing. Growing eCommerce businesses can find it challenging to scale the business without investing heavily in additional resources. Successful online businesses can be run with a small team when the right fulfillment strategy is in place, like our friends at Sleepypod.

Pet product suppliers must remain competitive by understanding what is most important to their customers without conceding to decreased profits. Rethinking your inventory, packing, freight and shipping strategy can have a direct effect on costs of fulfillment and customer satisfaction. Guide to eCommerce Fulfillment shows you actionable tips to decrease cost of shipping, increase shipping speed and ensure happy customers.

The growth phase of any eCommerce business requires focusing on what matters most. RSL partners with online businesses looking to compete in fast growing industries such as beauty, electronics, nutraceuticals and pet supplies with optimized fulfillment solutions to overcome their unique obstacles.

Contact us at 1-866-983-7447 to learn more.