Order Fulfillment for Books
IronLinx’s eCommerce order fulfillment operation is well-acquainted with the unique shipping and handling requirements of the book industry. From multi-channel sales to custom pack-outs, routing guide compliance, and returns and exchange management, IronLinx has both the knowledge and the experience necessary to streamline the order fulfillment process for publishers, authors, and other sellers of books.
Order Fulfillment for Books
At more than one hundred billion dollars in annual revenue, the global market for books remains substantial. From a fulfillment perspective, books are generally not all that complex; however, notable issues include the complexity of multi-channel sales and high SKU-counts, custom pack-outs (complete with branded packaging materials and marketing inserts) for literary subscription boxes and high-end books, routing guide compliance, and returns and exchange management.
Multi-Channel Sales and High SKU-Counts
Multi-channel sales are a fact of life for most e-commerce operations and the book industry is no exception. Naturally, most books need to have a presence on Amazon thereby necessitating an understanding of Amazon Advantage and/or Seller Central—neither of which is particularly user-friendly. This coupled with one or more eBay storefronts, proprietary websites, and bulk sales to traditional book retailers collectively creates a rather complex order fulfillment profile. For publishers and/or resellers of books who maintain inventory across titles, the picture is generally made even more complex due to heavy SKU counts. With over a decade and a half of experience, IronLinx is well versed in the unique fulfillment needs inherent to the order fulfillment process for books.
Custom Pack-Outs – Branded Packaging Materials and Marketing Inserts
Many books are well-served in both transit and presentation by either a plain bubble mailer or plain corrugated literature mailer; however, for literary-themed subscription boxes and high-end books (signed; rare; leather-bound; gilt; and/or gold-tooled, embossed, stamped, or blocked), custom pack-outs are a necessary condition for an outstanding unboxing experience. Through a sister company, IronLinx is able to design, source, and procure a wide array of custom packaging and marketing materials including: corrugated cartons, polymailers, bubble mailers, corrugated inserts, and marketing materials.
Wholesale Routing Guide Compliance
One of the more complex aspects of order fulfillment involves routing guide compliance for large retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-a-Million (BAM!). Routing guides serve as the means by which large retailers tame the daunting task of receiving large numbers of products per day from countless retailers. Seemingly minuscule deviations from the dictates of a routing guide – such as the use of prohibited void fill materials (packing peanuts, for instance, are generally unwelcome) or the use of incorrect shipping accounts (prepaid as opposed to third-party or collect) – can and do lead to not only prohibitively expensive chargebacks, but even the outright rejections of entire shipments. IronLinx has substantial experience handling routing guide compliancy across industries and can help to smooth the process for publishers, authors, and other booksellers.
Returns and Exchange Management
Returns and exchange management is a critical component of the order fulfillment process for the book industry. As is generally the case across the e-commerce retail space, inadequate handling of returns and/or exchanges is a frequently-cited driver of customer service problems, poor reviews, and lost opportunities for repeat business and/or referrals. For more than a decade and a half, IronLinx has worked closely with its clients to custom-tailor returns and exchange management processes to precisely meet their unique needs.