retail e-commerce spending growth

Retail E-commerce Spending Growth in 2024

Exploring Retail E-commerce Spending Growth: Trends and Forecasts 2024

Retail e-commerce spending has continued its upward trajectory into the first third of 2024. Additionally, this article delves into the latest trends, insights, and forecasts shaping this growth phenomenon.

Retail E-commerce Spending Growth: An Overview

According to Adobe Analytics, U.S. retail e-commerce spending is poised to exceed $500 billion in the initial half of 2024, marking a substantial year-over-year increase of at least 6.8%. This growth trajectory underscores the resilience of the digital economy amidst economic uncertainties.

Key Categories Driving Growth

Electronics, apparel, and groceries emerge as the primary drivers of retail e-commerce spending, exhibiting notable year-over-year expansions. Consumers directed $61.8 billion towards electronics, $54.5 billion towards apparel, and $38.8 billion towards groceries during the period from January to April 2024.

The cosmetics category also experienced a significant uptick, witnessing an 8% increase year over year, with sales amounting to $13.2 billion. This trend signifies evolving consumer preferences and the expanding digital footprint of traditionally brick-and-mortar sectors.

Consumer Behavior Amidst Inflation

retail e-commerce spending growth

In response to inflationary pressures, consumers display discerning purchasing behaviors, gravitating towards lower-priced goods across various categories. Categories such as personal care, electronics, and apparel witnessed substantial increases in the share of cheapest products, reflecting consumers’ emphasis on value and budget-conscious shopping.

Emerging Trends: BNPL and Mobile Commerce

To navigate economic uncertainties and manage budgets effectively, consumers increasingly embrace Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) options. BNPL usage surged to $25.9 billion through April 2024, indicating a growing preference for flexible payment solutions.

Moreover, mobile commerce continues its ascendancy, with $156.9 billion in online sales recorded in the first four months of 2024. Adobe projects mobile sales to capture a significant share of holiday spending, signaling a continued shift towards mobile-first shopping experiences.

Marketing Channels and Revenue Attribution

retail e-commerce spending growth

Paid search emerges as the dominant marketing channel, driving a substantial portion of retail e-commerce spending. Direct web visits, affiliates/partnerships, and organic search also contribute significantly to online revenue generation. While social media’s direct contribution to sales remains modest, its year-over-year growth underscores its evolving role in shaping consumer purchasing journeys.

Beginner’s Guide to Third-Party Logistics (3PL)

The world of e-commerce is always changing, therefore understanding the roll of Third-Party Logistics is integral to keeping up. In light of this our beginner’s guide to third-party logistics (3PL) will delve into the essential aspects, offering insights into fulfillment services, warehousing, and much more.

Read More…

As retail e-commerce spending surges in the first third of 2024, businesses must adapt to evolving consumer preferences, inflationary pressures, and digital commerce trends. Consequently, by leveraging data-driven insights and embracing innovative strategies, retailers can capitalize on the opportunities presented by the burgeoning digital economy.

For comprehensive solutions in fulfillment services, inventory management, and order fulfillment, consider reaching out to Falcon Fulfillment today. By doing so, you can stay ahead of the curve with our scalable e-commerce solutions tailored specifically to your business needs.

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e-commerce success luck

Is Your E-commerce Success Based on Skill or Luck?

Is Your E-commerce Success Based on Skill or Luck?

The question: do successful e-commerce brands achieve their success through skill or mere chance? Today, let’s explore the key factors influencing e-commerce success. Are you effectively leveraging these factors, or are you relying solely on luck in your own e-commerce endeavors?

Cornell University suggests that luck accounts for up to 30% of business success.

Customer Service

How easy is it for customers to find help when shopping with your store? The availability of support services is a must-have for any successful e-commerce.  Utilizing detailed FAQs, live chat-bots, and a 24/7 support desk helps alleviate stress and frustration from shoppers and provides them with the support they need to resolve issues and continue shopping with your brand.

Competitive Pricing

Finding the sweet spot between maximum profitability and competitive pricing is a difficult task. If you charge too much you could lose customers and if you charge too little you will stagnate business growth.  To become or remain successful, knowing how much to charge to make a profit and meet customer standards is crucial.

Put your e-commerce to the test and check out Shopify’s profit margin calculator to determine if your pricing model is based on skill or luck. ☘️

Easy to Find and Easy to Use Online Presence

In 2022, most successful e-commerce brands have an online presence that is easy to find and simple to navigate. This includes publicly accessible social media channels and a user-friendly website.  Are your online channels on-brand, optimized, and easy to find?  Is your website built in a way that guides shoppers towards a purchase?  Consider these aspects when determining if your e-commerce success is based on skill or luck.

  • On-brand social media channels
  • Fast loading website that is optimized for mobile
  • Easy-to-find FAQ
  • Detailed and easy-to-understand information

Positive Customer Experience

Customers will return if you provide them with a personalized and memorable experience. Furthermore, creating a one-of-a-kind unboxing experience as well as a tailored plan to target and appeal to customers will help your e-commerce form loyal shoppers. Moreover, by utilizing branded packaging, personalized inserts, and a strong team that prioritizes quality, you can build a customer experience that distinguishes your brand from the rest.

Are you delivering on these customer experience expectations?

Streamlined Delivery and Fulfillment

When an order is processed and fulfilled, it enters the most important stage of selling an item: the final delivery experience. Without expert knowledge, quality, and personalization, orders are at risk of damage, error, and a less than perfect unboxing experience for shoppers. Furthermore, the fulfillment procedure creates the groundwork for a successful delivery.  With the correct packaging techniques and efficient inventory management systems, orders can be delivered quickly and damage-free to customers.

Various Omnichannel Selling

Reaching your customers and selling to them on different platforms in a variety of ways is the future of e-commerce.  By connecting with shoppers across multiple social media and marketplace platforms, you offer new forms of shopping convenience while also exposing your brand to new buyers.

Are you currently selling on two or more of these platforms?

Environmental Impact

Eco-awareness is growing in popularity amongst shoppers, particularly younger generations.  Successful e-commerce brands around the world are quickly making the transition to sustainable packaging in order to stay ahead of consumer trends and expectations.  By utilizing eco-materials like compostable mailers, reusable shipping boxes, and recyclable packaging filler, brands are shifting toward e-commerce success with sustainable fulfillment choices. How have you shifted your brand toward sustainability?

Surpassing every other generation, 73% of Gen Z consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products.

Consumer expectation is on the rise and e-commerce success is a slippery slope.  After considering the success factors of e-commerce including customer experience, streamlined fulfillment, delivery speed, and environmental impact, is the success of your business built on skill or luck?

Thomas Jefferson once said, “I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.”

Beginner’s Guide to Third-Party Logistics (3PL)

The world of e-commerce is always changing, therefore understanding the roll of Third-Party Logistics is integral to keeping up. In light of this our beginner’s guide to third-party logistics (3PL) will delve into the essential aspects, offering insights into fulfillment services, warehousing, and much more.

Read More…

If you’ve fallen short on any of the factors listed above, Falcon is here to help. Additionally, we understand that e-commerce success comes from hard work, expertise, and a determined team. With Falcon Fulfillment, we streamline your e-commerce fulfillment processes so you can put more time into perfecting the other important sectors of running a business.

Get Lucky with Falcon! Let Falcon give you the luck you need to reach e-commerce success and talk with one of our agents today.

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beer subscription service

The Top 4 Benefits of a Beer Subscription Service

Currently, the average consumer has 5 subscription services, with 51% saying they intend to add more.  Jump on the opportunity to expand your brewery with these beer subscription benefits.  By utilizing a subscription service for your brewery, you appeal to convenience expectations, overcome geographic limitations, improve inventory management, and stay competitive with other brewers.  Learn how Falcon can benefit your brewery today!

The Top 4 Benefits of a Beer Subscription Service

Appeal to Customers with Convenience

Subscription-based business models have gradually taken over in recent years. Consumers in 2022 value speed, convenience, and sustainability. By introducing a subscription service to your brewery patrons, you make it easier for customers to explore similar products and try new brews!

78% of consumers say they value convenience more today than they did before the pandemic.

The brewers at Beer Drop know how to deliver on the promise of convenience. The simplicity of a subscription model allows shoppers to choose their favorite craft styles (or those they’re interested in trying), click the buy button, and then sit back and wait for their ice-cold suds to arrive.

beer subscription service

Falcon makes convenience possible for consumers and brewers alike. Furthermore, with forward-staging locations inside our temperature-controlled warehouse, brew subscriptions come in from suppliers and go out with delivery carriers in a matter of hours or days. Thanks to our streamlined and systematic approach, customers receive their products quickly, while breweries increase their loyal fan base.

Overcome Geographic Limitations

The customer base of traditional breweries is often limited to towns, state lines, and word of mouth.  With a brewery subscription service or a beer of the month club, you unlock access to thousands of brew fans online that wouldn’t otherwise have discovered your brand.

Brewvana uses widespread appeal to market to consumers by offering a Brew’s Less Traveled membership package. Each month, buyers can sample a state-themed beer collection from a variety of brewers within that particular state. Brewvana can advertise to and reach fans all around the country using this approach (excluded some states).

beer subscription service

With Falcon’s strategically located warehouse, reaching consumers near and far is easier than it ever has been.

Improved Inventory Management

Managing inventory for ongoing subscriptions is predictable. Members typically commit to automated, recurring orders, especially if they enjoy what gets sent to them. Consequently, with subscription services, breweries can better anticipate future profit and customer demand for improved inventory management and sales predictions.

Moreover, Falcon’s transparent cloud-based inventory reporting allows partners to access fulfillment details, stock movement updates, and a real-time inventory snapshot every day. Consequently, this allows you to have complete transparency over your inventory and gives you the details you need to improve and streamline your inventory management.

Stay Competitive

As most companies gradually shift online, so do breweries.  This means establishing an online presence and providing customers with automation and convenience is more important than ever.  By creating a unique subscription-based platform, your brewery has an exceptional chance at dominating the online brew market.

The Rare Beer Club is a great example of offering a unique subscription box to shoppers. Moreover, each month fans can choose from different subscription boxes ranging from beer, wine, cheese, chocolates, flowers, and even cigars. Notably, their most notable aspect is their “design your own club” campaign. Through this option, consumers can curate a personalized subscription box including rare beers, accenting cheese and chocolates, and even a cigar of their choice to top the experience off.

Beginner’s Guide to Third-Party Logistics (3PL)

The world of e-commerce is always changing, therefore understanding the roll of Third-Party Logistics is integral to keeping up. In light of this our beginner’s guide to third-party logistics (3PL) will delve into the essential aspects, offering insights into fulfillment services, warehousing, and much more.

Read More…

By introducing a subscription model to your brewery, you tap into new benefits for your company and your customers.

From appealing to convenience expectations and overcoming geographic limitations, to improving inventory management and competitiveness, Falcon can help your brewery launch a successful subscription service today.

Let’s Talk!

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4 Supply Chain Metrics for E-commerce Fulfillment

The Importance of Supply Chain Metrics

An efficient and streamlined supply chain is a key component of a successful e-commerce company.  You can minimize delays and backorders in your fulfillment process and generate satisfied consumers by evaluating KPIs such as dock-to-stock durations, shipping timeframes, and order accuracy rates. Measuring supply chain key performance indicators gives you the data you need to solve problems and continuously improve supply chain efficiency.

4 Supply Chain Metrics for E-commerce Fulfillment

To compile our list of essential supply chain metrics, we examined WERC’s Report on Industry Metrics and spoke with our fulfillment experts to come up with four essential supply chain metrics that any successful e-commerce will have in its fulfillment process.1

Dock-to-Stock Cycle Time

supply chain metrics

Dock-to-stock cycle time is the amount of time it takes (normally measured in hours) to transfer inventory from docks to warehouse shelves, making it available for picking.  The cycle starts when the items arrive from the manufacturer and ends when they are stored and recorded in the inventory management system (IMS).

At Falcon Fulfillment, we pride ourselves on a swift dock-to-stock cycle time.  We guarantee inventory will be unloaded and available for picking within 48 hours of arrival.

Inventory Accuracy

supply chain metrics

Inventory accuracy is defined as the physical accuracy compared to the information reported into the inventory management system. Additionally, it’s recommended that your 3PL do two to four-cycle counts and one physical inventory per year to monitor this supply chain KPI. A cycle count measures each unit and its SKUs to compare the data entered into your warehouse facility’s IMS upon receiving with what is physically available.

Throughout 2023, we delivered on order accuracy with a peak performance of 99.93%.

Order-picking Accuracy

supply chain metrics

A term used to define the accuracy of product selection during the order fulfillment stage of a sale. This metric consists of a trained picker collecting precise merchandise from warehouse inventory to complete a customer order.  Once all items are gathered, they are packaged and shipped to customers. Picking accuracy greatly influences order accuracy, therefore the industry standard is no less than 99.30%.

The pickers at Falcon avoid errors from the get-go.  With a specialized barcode inventory management system, warehouse staff is able to accurately pick orders with a 99.999% accuracy.

On-time Delivery

supply chain metrics

On-time delivery is a term used to describe the rate at which an order was successfully delivered in accordance with the customer’s preferences at the time of purchase. For instance, if a shopper chose 2-day shipping, did their package arrive within those 2-day specifications? Maintaining customer satisfaction and fulfilling consumer expectations requires a robust on-time delivery rate. Therefore, to sustain customer satisfaction and rising supply chain metrics, it’s suggested that e-commerce achieve an on-time delivery rate of at least 95.20% or higher.

Falcon Improves Supply Chain KPIs

supply chain metrics

Exceptional supply chain KPIs are reliant on strong e-commerce fulfillment performance. Therefore, partnering with a 3PL partner that prioritizes quality and efficiency is crucial for the long-term success of your business.

Moreover, Falcon Fulfillment provides e-commerce companies with the support they need to scale and reach industry performance standards. Furthermore, we strive to provide stress-free logistic services that are backed by fulfillment experts and proactive staff.

Beginner’s Guide to Third-Party Logistics (3PL)

The world of e-commerce is always changing, therefore understanding the roll of Third-Party Logistics is integral to keeping up. In light of this our beginner’s guide to third-party logistics (3PL) will delve into the essential aspects, offering insights into fulfillment services, warehousing, and much more.

Read More…

Meeting supply chain metrics is critical for your e-commerce. Moreover, a streamlined fulfillment process consisting of high inventory and picking accuracy, on-time order delivery, and reasonable dock-to-stock time is essential. Consequently, your business can successfully meet customer expectations and industry standards.

Let Falcon help you exceed your current supply chain metrics. Talk to an agent today.

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  1. 2018 WERC DC Annual Survey and Report on Industry Metrics

working with falcon fulfillment

Working with Falcon Fulfillment

The Goal: A 3PL That Goes Beyond a Partnership

If you’re browsing through third-party logistic companies, chances are, you’re looking for a fulfillment partner. A typical 3PL partnership consists of a third party handling the order fulfillment sector of your business.  With most popular 3PL companies – that’s all you ever get.

While we still deliver quality fulfillment services, the focus of Falcon is a partnership that goes beyond the normal expectations of a fulfillment partner.

We’re interested in the success of your company – even when it’s not with us.

We understand that your business needs experts in multiple fields, not just logistics.  That’s why our partners have exclusive access to our personal network of experts, in various sectors of e-commerce including manufacturing, operations, marketing, IT, and more.

If we don’t specialize in it, we’ll connect you with someone who does.

Alongside customized sustainable packaging, competitive accuracy rates, and dedicated account managers, our array of industry connections is one of the many reasons our clients choose to partner with us.

When working with Falcon, our onboarding process is designed to give you personalized service tailored toward the aspects your e-commerce needs and demands. Once we establish priorities we connect to our API and begin streamlining your orders within a couple of days or weeks – never months. Switching your 3PL fulfillment partner has never been easier.

“By providing our clients more flexibility around onboarding, it allows them to easily facilitate the implementation transition with their vendors & suppliers as well as IT management & customer support teams. Additionally, providing them the ability to better manage any unexpected disruptions or delays along the way.”
Corinne Mathieson, Senior Account Manager

When searching for the right fulfillment partner, it can be confusing, time-consuming, and even daunting. That’s why we’ve outlined precisely what it’s like to partner with us, what you can expect, and what our onboarding process consists of. With this step-by-step onboarding guide, we help eliminate confusion, second thoughts, and blind spots.

working with falcon fulfillment

Phase One: Introduction

The introductory stage with Falcon Fulfillment consists of representatives from both companies collaborating and discussing their goals. This establishes a better understanding of what a future partnership would look like between the two.  There are a few topics that are covered during the introductory stage. The outcomes of those discussions and topics determine whether moving into phase two of the partnership would be ideal.  Falcon’s introductory topics include:

Business Information

One of the first topics of discussion is, of course, your business.  At Falcon, we are interested in your company, its values, current KPIs, and much more.  We aim to gather key information about your business that will help us better understand how we can assist and whether working with Falcon is the right fit for you.

Company Pain Points

Next, we will gradually move into the main reasons you’re looking to partner with a 3PL. We will dive into the specific pain points your company is experiencing and how you’re looking to improve.  It’s critical to be fully transparent with the needs of your company and what support you’re looking for in a partner. This insight provides Falcon with the baseline for establishing a successful strategy in your fulfillment partnership.

Future Company Goals

The final subject we cover during the introductory phase is the future goals of your company.  Defining where you’d like to see your e-commerce in the foreseeable future and what tools you need to get there is extremely important when working with any 3PL partner.  Discussing the goals of your company will help us better understand how to be the partner your e-commerce needs to succeed.

“The process of discovery is important to us. The idea is to understand your demands so that we can add value where it’s needed. A rising company’s goal is scalability, and we take it into account. We can focus on your order fulfillment while you focus on sales, marketing, and product development thanks to our extensive network of industry partners!”
Gabino Chacon III, Sales Executive

working with falcon fulfillment

Phase Two: Get to Know Each Other

Following the introductory stage, if the partnership seems beneficial, we move on to phase two where we discuss the operational side of your business. This includes requesting sensitive data, optimizing operational procedures, answering questions, and reviewing.

Request Shipment Data

Transparency and communication are important to us at Falcon Fulfillment. We take pride in providing our customers with insider information, cost-reducing opportunities, and exclusive access to our extensive network of partners.

During phase two, we ask specific questions about your products and operational data to better understand your needs as a company and how working with Falcon can benefit you. This data is needed to create a pricing model suited specifically to your e-commerce. Falcon uses 90 days’ worth of operational data to properly analyze our value adds including but not limited to

working with falcon fulfillment

Optimizing Postage and Operations

By analyzing the weights and dimensions of your current packaging, we can optimize your packaging strategy for right-size packaging. Furthermore, we help advise on the most economical and expedited shipping method to fit your current model and SLAs to your customers.

“Data is critical to understanding business, meeting customer demands, and staying ahead of the market. Understanding that data is even more important.  That’s why our team thoroughly reviews client data to meet the needs of our partners, their e-commerce, and their customers.”
Lori Denning, Director of Ops

Review Information

At the end of phase two, we evaluate the data and begin our review stage.  We consider whether your shipment data meets our partner criteria, whether Falcon can help with your company’s pain points, in what ways we can do so, and lastly, we determine if a partnership is beneficial for both parties.

working with falcon fulfillment

Phase Three: Bringing in the Teams

If phases one and two appear favorable for both parties we commence with the third phase. This is the point in the onboarding process where we involve the teams who are responsible for fulfillment. This is where we look at the specifics of how the partnership will function practically. The partnership has essentially begun whereby teams meet and lay the groundwork for a long-term and fruitful relationship.

Meet with IT and Operations

Your e-commerce teams will meet with Falcon’s IT and Ops teams. We then coordinate how we connect to the e-commerce shopping channel, pull orders, and ensure the end customers get exactly what they ordered in the timeframe promised.

working with falcon fulfillment

Phase Four: Review Proposal 

At this stage, our teams will be familiarized with one another, and the framework of our partnership will begin to take shape. During phase four, company representatives will reconvene and continue finalizing the details. Final plans will include approval of a tailored pricing model, a custom proposal, and a time to begin onboarding.

Tailored Pricing and Proposal 

Fulfillment is not a one-size-fits-all solution. That’s why we provide a comprehensive price and proposal plan tailored to the specific needs of your e-commerce. After reviewing the proposal, answering final questions, and making any necessary modifications, it’s time to set up an official onboarding date and assign your business its own personal account manager to support you every step of the way.

working with falcon fulfillment

Phase Five: Onboarding

Meet with the Senior Account Manager

The day of onboarding will have finally arrived and a meeting will be arranged between you and the Senior Account Manager to cover all the details.  Together, you will be guided through the onboarding process while SKUs are imported, APIs are connected, and your e-commerce is connected to our Shipstream system, among other mission-critical tasks.  Your personal account manager will assign a position for your fulfillment. This is contingent on the performance and needs of your e-commerce.

“Account managers act as a direct support line for our clients.  Being continually in the loop of sales inventory enables us to reach out and rectify issues before they become problems. Our close relationship with warehouse personnel enables us to communicate with our clients in a timely and easy-to-understand manner.  Additionally, we have access to shipping pricing tables and are always looking for new delivery solutions to benefit your e-commerce.”
Falcon Account Manager

Schedule a Start Date

After successfully integrating your selling platforms into our fulfillment software and meeting your new personal account manager, we will be ready to schedule an official start date for your e-commerce.  Once we’ve reached this step, the only thing left to do is sit back and relax while Falcon handles the rest.


Although not explicitly in the Falcon onboarding handbook, the current and future success of our partnership is definitely worth a party.  When working with Falcon, you gain more time for other important aspects of your business, or maybe more precious time at home with your family.  Whatever it is, take the time to celebrate your success.  You deserve it.

Beginner’s Guide to Third-Party Logistics (3PL)

The world of e-commerce is always changing, therefore understanding the roll of Third-Party Logistics is integral to keeping up. In light of this our beginner’s guide to third-party logistics (3PL) will delve into the essential aspects, offering insights into fulfillment services, warehousing, and much more.

Read More…

Falcon’s fulfillment process is designed to support you and help you succeed in all aspects of business – especially fulfillment. Working with Falcon, from our streamlined logistics services to our dedicated account managers and an array of networking partners, will provide an advantage to your e-commerce that you will not find anywhere else.

Talk with one of our agents today and get ready to Fly with Falcon.

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improve packing and packaging

Improve Packing and Packaging: Innovations for Parcel Shipping

Improve Packing and Packaging

When dealing with parcel fulfillment, mastering the art of packing and packaging is paramount. With the burgeoning growth of e-commerce, shippers are challenged to not only meet the increasing demand but also to ensure efficiency, sustainability, and customer satisfaction in every shipment. This comprehensive guide unveils six strategic approaches to revolutionize your packing and packaging processes, setting you on the path to excellence in 2024 and beyond.

Audit Existing Processes

improve packing packaging

Auditing existing processes serves as the cornerstone of improving packing and packaging. However, it’s not merely about conducting a superficial review; it’s about delving deep into the intricacies of your operations to identify areas ripe for enhancement. Beyond the surface-level metrics, delve into nuanced aspects like the ergonomics of packing stations, the efficacy of packing materials, and the efficiency of order consolidation. By scrutinizing every facet of your fulfillment chain, you unearth invaluable insights that pave the way for targeted optimization strategies.

Collect Accurate SKU Data

improve packing packaging

In the realm of parcel fulfillment, precision is paramount. Accurate SKU data forms the bedrock of efficient packing practices, dictating everything from box size selection to packing configuration. Invest in cutting-edge technology like dimensioning systems and barcode scanners to ensure meticulous data collection at every stage of the supply chain. Moreover, implement stringent data validation protocols to safeguard against inaccuracies and discrepancies. Remember, in the world of parcel shipping, precision is not a luxury—it’s a necessity.

Identify Your Ideal Carton Mix

improve packing packaging

The dimensions of your shipping cartons wield a profound impact on your bottom line. In an era characterized by dimensional weight pricing and sustainability imperatives, choosing the right carton mix is tantamount to success. Scrutinize historical order data, conduct simulations, and leverage predictive analytics to ascertain the optimal carton mix tailored to your SKU catalog. Moreover, prioritize sustainability by opting for eco-friendly packaging solutions that minimize material waste and environmental impact.

Increase Packing Efficiency

improve packing packaging

Efficiency is the linchpin of successful packing operations. However, achieving optimal efficiency goes beyond merely speeding up the packing process—it entails a holistic approach that encompasses resource utilization, workflow optimization, and technological integration. Leverage cutting-edge solutions like automated packing systems, real-time order tracking, and predictive analytics to streamline your packing operations. By harnessing the power of automation and data-driven insights, you can elevate your packing efficiency to unprecedented levels while minimizing costs and maximizing throughput.

Use Data to Make Existing Technology Smarter

improve packing packaging

Data is the currency of the digital age, and harnessing its power can unlock a plethora of opportunities for optimization. Additionally, leverage advanced analytics, machine learning algorithms, and artificial intelligence to extract actionable insights from your existing technology infrastructure. Whether it’s optimizing route planning algorithms, fine-tuning inventory replenishment strategies, or enhancing order prioritization algorithms, the possibilities are limitless. By infusing intelligence into your existing technology stack, you can stay ahead of the curve and drive continuous improvement across your fulfillment operations.

Audit Regularly for Continuous Improvement of Your Packing and Packaging

improve packing packaging

In the fast-paced world of parcel fulfillment, however, complacency is the enemy of progress. Therefore, regular audits serve as a crucial mechanism for identifying inefficiencies, mitigating risks, and driving continuous improvement. To achieve this, schedule periodic audits encompassing every facet of your fulfillment operations, from packing processes to inventory management systems.

Moreover, foster a culture of accountability and innovation within your organization, empowering employees at all levels to contribute ideas and insights for process improvement. Remember, the journey towards operational excellence is an ongoing endeavor—one that requires vigilance, adaptability, and a relentless commitment to improvement.

Innovation is the lifeblood of parcel fulfillment, and improving packing and packaging lie at its very heart. Additionally, by embracing a culture of innovation, leveraging cutting-edge technology, and prioritizing efficiency and sustainability, shippers can revolutionize their packing and packaging processes.

Consequently, this drives tangible improvements in cost-effectiveness, customer satisfaction, and operational efficiency. In an era defined by unprecedented challenges and opportunities, mastering the art of packing and packaging is not just a strategic imperative. Instead, it’s a competitive advantage that sets the stage for success in the dynamic world of parcel fulfillment.

Beginner’s Guide to Third-Party Logistics (3PL)

The world of e-commerce is always changing, therefore understanding the roll of Third-Party Logistics is integral to keeping up. In light of this our beginner’s guide to third-party logistics (3PL) will delve into the essential aspects, offering insights into fulfillment services, warehousing, and much more.

Read More…

Utilizing fulfillment strategies in times of economic uncertainty becomes a crucial factor for companies aiming to establish stability and drive expansion. By embracing these specialized recommendations and improving your packing and packaging, one can effectively address obstacles and emerge more resilient in challenging circumstances. For personalized advice on enhancing your business’s fulfillment methods, consider reaching out to the professionals at Falcon Fulfillment.

If you’re ready to start the transition or have questions, contact us to learn more about our services.

Let’s Talk!

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Inflation and E-commerce

Inflation and E-commerce

What is E-commerce Inflation?

Despite the fact that inflation has not been significant for e-commerce throughout its history, everything changed at the start of the pandemic in 2020.  Since then, inflation, shortages, and supplies have only become worse, impacting most e-commerce businesses around the world.

According to the July 2021 Report by Adobe Digital Economy Index, online prices have increased 3.1% YoY.

“In January and February 2022, these higher costs drove $3.8 billion in online sales growth.  That same rate of inflation could lead consumers to spend nearly $27 billion more in 2022 on the same amount of purchases.”
Retail Dive

To some degree, the rate of e-commerce inflation has matched the general rate of economic inflation, which was recorded at 8.5% in April 2022.

“Consumers and e-commerce alike should anticipate inflation to linger around 4-5% over the next three years.”

How is Inflation Affecting E-commerce?

While e-commerce is experiencing an all-time high in sales growth, inflation is not linear. It ripples through the economy in various ways, affecting nearly every e-commerce differently. Inflation’s impact on small to medium-sized businesses may seem negligible now, but it can quickly add up with ongoing obstacles in the supply chain.

When manufacturers are unable to retrieve the raw materials required to produce products, they suffer. Additionally, inflation increases the price of other commodities such as electricity, internet, online advertising, and computer upkeep. From reduced inventory and missing items to increased costs and longer delays, inflation is affecting businesses around the world.

Raising prices makes sense for most businesses combatting the effects of inflation.  However, charging more could cause additional chain reactions. Because inflation reduces the number of products consumers can afford, we predict a heavy impact on e-commerce, especially those selling non-essential or luxury items. When consumers restrict their spending habits, businesses naturally lose profitability.

Covid and the Supply Chain

The increased demand for products rather than services reflects the significant shift in consumer behavior since the pandemic. This unanticipated demand, combined with the effects of Covid-19, had a significant impact on the already stressed supply chain.

“The shipping delays and port bottlenecks of late 2021 left businesses with insufficient supply. At the same time, Americans unleashed pent-up demand throughout last year and pushed spending above the pre-pandemic trend.”
Business Insider

What Can E-commerce Do?

Although the supply chain is slowly recovering, what can you do to combat growing prices, reduced inventory, and future shortages?

Update Product Offering

Is your product model reflecting the current market inflation? If it doesn’t, try to eliminate underperforming SKUs, introduce private label brands, and combine items to boost the value or lower product amounts. For example, instead of a 10-ounce portion, provide an 8-ounce.

Increase Productivity

Increasing productivity may be an alternative to raising prices.   Some examples of how to increase productivity are; the use of automation, marketing optimization, recruiting personnel, or utilizing a third-party fulfillment service to find you the best avenues to navigate inflation and fulfillment.

Keep a Safety Stock

Extended lead times, increased prices, and the unpredictability of the supply chain, has made maintaining healthy inventory levels more important than ever. If your position allows, we recommend keeping up to six months’ worth of safety stock on hand.  This may help e-commerce capitalize on additional market share during future times of inflation, delays, or shortages.  For businesses that are forced to overlook this strategy, partnering with a 3PL could be the answer to reliable safety stock and affordable warehousing.

Switch Suppliers

Working with a manufacturer that can build and ship your items locally can save on high sea freight shipping costs. Most sellers find the efficiency and cost of manufacturing in China to be appealing; however, spending more on local production may prove to be a justifiable tradeoff when avoiding high and continuously climbing sea freight costs.  Transitioning to a domestic supplier allows you to minimize supply chain complications and provide home-grown products to consumers.

Beginner’s Guide to Third-Party Logistics (3PL)

The world of e-commerce is always changing, therefore understanding the roll of Third-Party Logistics is integral to keeping up. In light of this our beginner’s guide to third-party logistics (3PL) will delve into the essential aspects, offering insights into fulfillment services, warehousing, and much more.

Read More…

Despite best efforts, e-commerce companies may still have to raise prices due to inflation. However, leveraging these tips could help your e-commerce business keep costs lower, which will maximize your competitive advantage.

Follow along for more as we navigate the fulfillment world and bring you insider news on the supply chain, e-commerce inflation, and more.

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e-commerce save money 3PL

Help Your E-commerce Save Money With A 3PL

Help Your E-commerce Save Money with a 3PL

Wanting to own your own time is a common reason why people decide to launch their own businesses. They want to be the master of their own schedule. However, many business owners quickly realize that when you launch an e-commerce it can eventually begin to own you. Two of the largest and most critical elements of any e-commerce are shipping and fulfillment. Doing it yourself in-house can save you some money in the short term but it could hinder your growth in the long run. Let’s walk through a few ways your e-commerce can save money with a 3PL.


e-commerce save money 3PL

Whether you rent or own warehousing facilities, you will need to stage, store, and ship goods. If you own your warehouse, do you have space to expand when necessary or beneficial? If you rent warehouse space, do you have flexible options to meet fluctuating demands? The accuracy of your sales projections will determine if you’re in the sweet spot of warehousing, or whether you need to look for more financially-savvy options.

Alternatively, when you’re partnered with a 3PL, you have the flexibility and freedom to scale when you need to – and when you want to. Furthermore, a 3PL partner offers scalability options without the long-term commitments you would encounter otherwise. This cost savings and flexibility allow e-commerce to maximize sales and scale readily.


e-commerce save money 3PL

Depending on the size and quantity of your products, you will likely need a few extra hands to get them to your buyers. If you are managing in-house fulfillment, you are 100% responsible for hiring, quality control, management, and down-sizing when necessary. If you have an employee walkout mid-shift, guess who is still on the hook to get orders out the door? Yep, it’s you. With a 3PL partner, you are free to run as many product promotions, launches, and sales collaborations as you can, without the risks of personal staff or process delays. A 3PL manages all the personnel required to scale up or down as your e-commerce needs change.


e-commerce save money 3PL

No matter what you are shipping, it must be packaged. As a solopreneur, you will likely run into MOQ (minimum order quantities) on packaging materials. This includes; boxes, filler, bags, and more. Depending on the upfront investment cost, it could limit the number of products you are able to deliver in one shipment. If you sell more than one type of product, it further complicates your packaging spend. With a 3PL partner, you are afforded much higher flexibility in packaging services due to the high volume of products purchased and strategic packaging vendor relationships leveraged by most 3PL’s. In addition, depending on the 3PL partner, they can offer personalized packaging which elevates your brand awareness and visibility.


e-commerce save money 3PL

The least expensive way to ship most products is to do it yourself. You pick it, pack it, wrap it, drive it to the shipping location, and update the customer with the delivery details. Then you monitor tracking to ensure it makes it to the customer. Even though a 3PL partner will not necessarily lower your shipping costs, it will alleviate the cost of time. You no longer will be working IN the business but ON it. A quality 3PL will not only get your product shipped in a timely manner, they will also have an inventory management system that will inform you and the customer of the delivery status.


e-commerce save money 3PL

Every e-commerce will have to manage returns and the average percentage for e-commerce hovers between 20-30%. This isn’t a big deal if you are processing 5 orders or less per day. However, just beyond this threshold is a tsunami of returns that threatens to slow down the processing of future orders. Working with a 3PL gives you the peace of mind that returns will be received, reshelved, and reshipped when an exchange is desired. Furthermore, 3PL’s that have invested in high-tech IMS will be able to keep more accurate quantities so that you don’t miss out on sales of products that simply haven’t been added back as available inventory.

Beginner’s Guide to Third-Party Logistics (3PL)

The world of e-commerce is always changing, therefore understanding the roll of Third-Party Logistics is integral to keeping up. In light of this our beginner’s guide to third-party logistics (3PL) will delve into the essential aspects, offering insights into fulfillment services, warehousing, and much more.

Read More…

Partnering with a 3PL will save you money by giving your company the flexibility in warehousing, staffing, and packaging. It will save you time, hassle, and headaches by alleviating shipping burdens, inventory management, and dealing with returns. While the immediate costs may appear to be higher, a good 3PL partner will help lay the foundation for the next stage of your e-commerce growth and save you money in the long run.

If you want to own your time again, get in touch with one of our agents. See how Falcon Fulfillment can help you regain life’s most precious commodity.

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right-size packaging

4 Ways Right-Size Packaging Can Boost Profitability

Unlock Profit Potential: Leveraging Right-Size Packaging for Enhanced Profitability

Selecting the right-size packaging for your e-commerce product(s) not only showcases your brand but also boosts profitability. There are several costly outcomes of poor package sizing. First, you are likely paying more for shipping. Secondly, is the excess cost of packaging materials. Lastly, you are more likely to experience returns and refunds due to damaged products. Today, let’s examine four ways that right-size packaging can boost profitability.

Reduce Packaging Spend

right-size packaging

If you are using standardized sizes for your products, you will likely be filling the “extra air” with space-filler. Therefore, it is important to select right-size packaging depending on the weight, fragility, and value of the product. Additionally, by choosing packaging that properly fits your product, you can minimize the amount of filler material needed, which in turn reduces waste and can lead to cost savings. For example, swapping out expensive cardboard boxes for poly-mailers will save space and money. It goes without saying, that the smaller the package, the less filler you will need, and the less money you spend overall. Here are a few other ideas from Ribble about utilizing right-size packaging.

Reduced Shipping and Storage Costs

right-size packaging

Utilizing right-size packaging helps to optimize pallet loads, which in turn, helps save $$$ on transportation, handling, and storage costs. The more product you are able to pack into the truck the less per product you pay for the trip. When considering just how much you can save by selecting smaller packaging, you must verify how you are being charged for shipping. Most transportation companies calculate based on dimensional weight as well as physical weight. Calculate how much you could reduce your shipping and storage costs by eliminating a few inches per product.

Reduced Returns and Damaged Product Replacements

right-size packaging

Less space around the product means less movement within the box. If you have shipped or received anything in the past few months, you are aware of how packages are treated. Packages show up with dings, rips, and crushed corners. However, the impact of normal shipping jostling is significantly reduced when the package is right-sized. The more consistently your products arrive in working order, the higher your customer satisfaction will be.

Make a Commitment to Sustainability

right-size packaging

Another profit-boosting benefit of using right-size packaging is the ability to share that you are working toward sustainability. Even if you don’t swap out plastic bubble wrap for green cell foam, you will definitely be using fewer materials and less fuel. According to Deloitte research, ⅓ of consumers value ethical practices in the products and services they buy. Ensure that you are able to attract more buyers with your commitment to sustainability with a simple change to right-size packaging. You can even go a step further by creating a memorable unboxing experience. Falcon Fulfillment can offer expert advice on personalization, sustainability, and maximizing right-size packaging for your brand.

Beginner’s Guide to Third-Party Logistics (3PL)

The world of e-commerce is always changing, therefore understanding the roll of Third-Party Logistics is integral to keeping up. In light of this our beginner’s guide to third-party logistics (3PL) will delve into the essential aspects, offering insights into fulfillment services, warehousing, and much more.

Read More…

Switching from standard-size boxes to right-size packaging will boost your bottom line.

If you are interested in learning more about right-size packaging and how your 3PL can help you scale, get in touch with one of our agents today. Falcon Fulfillment are experts at packaging, sustainability, and scaling your business.

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3PL vs 4PL

3PL vs 4PL, What Are They?

3PL vs 4PL, What Are They?

3PL vs 4PL, what are they? How do they differ? What can e-commerce businesses stand to gain or lose by using one over the other for their fulfillment needs? We hope to shed a little light on which type of fulfillment company you should choose for your business needs.

What is a 3PL

Third-Party Logistics is an industry term most are familiar with. For companies looking to outsource their entire logistics process, 3PLs are the answer. They are able to handle the management of receiving, inventory warehousing, packaging, and shipping services, letting e-commerce businesses focus on other important areas of their company. Some 3PL businesses offer additional logistics services known as value-added services.  These include inventory management, kitting, assembly, and more.

What is a 4PL

Fourth-Party Logistic Providers act as consultants. While their services are similar to a 3PL, they lack the physical means to move inventory through the supply chain themselves. Instead, a 4PL will contact and negotiate services between the necessary companies on your behalf. 4PLs are often used when an e-commerce does not have staff to oversee transportation and logistics operations.

3PL vs 4PL: Main Advantages

The primary distinction between 3PL VS 4PL is that a 4PL manages the whole supply chain and does not provide any physical warehousing or assistance.  A 4PL will instead coordinate multiple services, including 3PLs, to aid your e-commerce. A 3PL, on the other hand, is primarily focused on the logistics management process and personally provides physical warehousing, logistics, and value-added services.

3PL VS 4PL is a heavily debated topic within the e-commerce and logistics industries for which option is ultimately better.  The truth is, each one is meant for different situations and business needs.  Understanding the key differences between 3PL VS 4PL will ultimately affect your company on the bottom line.

The Benefits of a 3PL

There are several benefits to working with a 3PL partner. Firstly, they provide the skills and expertise required for enhanced performance in areas like fulfillment, transportation, and logistics. Through established networking relationships and expert knowledge in the fulfillment sector, 3PLs can upgrade your systems and simplify your overall operation in terms of efficiency and cost. Additionally, 3PLs can provide insight into obstacles that arise during shipping operations, day-to-day fulfillment, or even customer service.

3PL vs 4PL


Partnering with a 3PL provides flexible warehousing that can scale according to the needs of your e-commerce.  Depending on your order volume, a 3PL partner can scale operations and inventory space up or down to provide everything your e-commerce needs, and nothing of what you don’t. This is essential for seasonal e-commerce businesses.

Shipping Solutions

With networking partners and insider shipping solutions, a 3PL can provide the best bang for your buck when considering order shipment for your business. Your 3PL partner can negotiate better pricing based on their high-volume purchasing power. Without a 3PL partner, your e-commerce faces stiff prices named by private shipping companies and little to no cost advantage over competing e-commerce.


A 3PL partner offers a balance between management and personal control over your e-commerce.  Your business can fully automate the fulfillment process without sacrificing customization or control.  Work with your 3PL to personalize your fulfillment process and make it the perfect fit for your e-commerce while maintaining package customization, person-to-person communication, and brand experience.

Although partnering with a 3PL can result in considerable time and cost savings, giving up control of the delivery process can be tough for some e-commerce owners. Similarly, a 3PL partner can save businesses money in the long run, however, they often have larger upfront costs compared to in-house fulfillment and other options.

The Benefits of a 4PL

Many 4PL partners provide comprehensive technology solutions which can be a critical component for e-commerce and their supply chains. When you have a single point of contact handling your entire logistics process, you can sit back and truly observe the backend of your business seemingly running itself.

3PL vs 4PL

Vendor Management

A 4PL partner serves as a single point of contact for your entire supply chain. This means there is no coordinating between multiple suppliers, waiting on hold, resolving issues, or finding new partners when one falls short.  Instead, your 4PL partner will do all the planning and communication on your behalf while you focus on your business.

Supply Chain Visibility 

A 4PL can assist you in developing and implementing cloud-based systems that collect data from a variety of external and internal sources. This sort of system offers valuable insight into all aspects of your supply chain from a single dashboard. End-to-end supply chain visibility allows you to know where your inventory is at all times and provides transparency over each of your supply chain partners.

Data Solutions

4PL partners use data solutions to track fulfillment and monitor conformance to standardized regulations, ensuring efficiency in on-the-road operations through invoice accuracy and payments. Additionally, 4PL partners contribute to the overall quality and accuracy of shipping data via data certification, data integrity checks, and ongoing data maintenance. One of the most significant downsides of utilizing a 4PL partner is how much e-commerce must rely on their 4PL once integrated. Typically, these suppliers provide key services that, over time, may reshape an organization’s entire supply chain and build a reliance on them. Working with a 4PL can also be costly for small and medium-sized e-commerce businesses.

Beginner’s Guide to Third-Party Logistics (3PL)

The world of e-commerce is always changing, therefore understanding the roll of Third-Party Logistics is integral to keeping up. In light of this our beginner’s guide to third-party logistics (3PL) will delve into the essential aspects, offering insights into fulfillment services, warehousing, and much more.

Read More…

At the end of the day, it’s important to look at your business and determine which logistics partner would be the best fit for you.  Although both are great options, one provides advantages the other will not.  A 3PL works well for growing businesses interested in working alongside a single logistics partner while still maintaining adequate control and personalization.  A 4PL is geared toward established e-commerce businesses looking to automate their entire logistics platform through a single point of contact.  What businesses sacrifice in control and personalization, they make up for with efficiency and optimized supply chain performance.

When partnering with Falcon, you receive full transparency, professional fulfillment services, and above all else, you retain control. Talk with one of our agents today.

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