Most magazines have figured out that offering a gift with a new subscription is a great way to drive more sign ups. In recent years, many have also come up with ways to increase revenue by offering related products for sale on their websites, or even selling photos from the magazine itself.
It makes sense, as many more people are accessing magazine content online and are very likely interested in similar types of products targeted to the same audience. The hardest part of online retail is getting people to see what you are selling. Magazines have a built in audience of like-minded people, so offering products you know subscribers are interested in is a great way to generate additional revenue.
So with many of the benefits clear, how can a magazine publisher best take advantage of these types of opportunities? It is, of course, easier said than done.
Most magazines who move in this direction would benefit from outsourcing the packaging and shipping part of their online business to an established order fulfillment company, or 3PL. Here are 5 reasons why.
Order Processing Technology:
An established fulfillment partner will provide the systems and processes for handling payments and taking orders. This eliminates the need on the part of the publisher to invest in expensive technology and a potentially complicated implementation.
Speaking of technology, keeping track of the dozens or even hundreds of products that you are selling online is complicated. Managing inventory levels and working with drop-ship partners can be difficult without the right technology to prevent you from running out of popular items as well as prevent the over-ordering of others.
Packaging and Value-Added Services:
Fulfillment warehouses can help optimize packaging. First, they can help source the proper packaging that can best minimize issues with damage. On top of that, they’ll likely be able to provide extra purchasing power that will lower the costs of buying the right packaging.
Fulfillment is difficult, and as with any manual process is prone to errors. Getting the right products to the right people efficiently takes training and a process to ensure quality control. Any mistakes have to be corrected and are expensive to fix. Quality fulfillment operations have processes and quality control measures to minimize mistakes – and also take responsibility to fix problems when they happen.
Savings on Shipping:
Shipping is always one of the largest costs when it comes to selling products online. Working with a third party warehouse will often give you access to negotiated shipping rates that are less than you could negotiate on your own. In many cases, the savings from shipping will more than offset the costs of fulfillment and packaging from working with a 3PL.
Outsourcing order fulfillment lets magazines and their publishers optimize their online store and focus on what they are good at – making great magazines. Working with an experienced third party warehouse can provide an immediate ROI that helps selling related products to a magazine’s built-in audience an easy way to grow revenue.