A little while after the internet became a crucial part of our lives, a big bang happened in the way people used to shop. E-commerce companies started sprouting up and omni-channel retailing became an indispensable survival method. We covered that topic in this article we published earlier.
E-commerce fulfilment companies and other companies that help with omni-channel experience are becoming sought after and the e-commerce fulfilment industry is just getting started. With so many e-commerce companies out there, qualifying leads/prospects can be difficult for fulfilment companies. If you are one such company looking for qualified e-commerce leads, we have a few thoughts for you on how you could research and discover the right targets for your business.
1. Where do they deliver?
If the company you’re looking at sells only to a few zip codes, they’d be better off with local courier services. If they supply nationwide, they will need multiple warehouses and fulfilment partners. If they take up international orders as well, then their ideal fulfilment partner should be able to take care of logistics in each location. Each country has their idiosyncrasies in terms of shipment processing. If you offer freight forwarding, customs clearances and have a network of 3PL partners in destination countries you would be a good fit. Understand an e-commerce company’s current scale and their immediate plans for the year.
For a US based fulfilment company valued at over $500 million, PipeCandy analyzed e-commerce companies to segment them based on delivery characteristics. You could opt for analytical solutions that take the grunt work involved in the research and scale it beyond what is humanly possible.
2. Which E-commerce category do they fall under?
If they are in a high competition category like apparel or general merchandise where the customers are used to same day delivery or 24h delivery, you should be able to offer the same. If you have the right infrastructure to make this happen, then e-commerce companies that sell fast moving consumer goods would be a good target to pursue.
That being said, if the e-commerce company is large enough to own warehouses and distribution centers across the country, they may probably not need your service.
3. Which shopping platform are they built on?
Is your warehouse management/order processing software built to easily integrate with platforms like Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce and the rest? Research which e-commerce companies use these platforms and customize your pitch to them. People buy products that make them worry less about one thing. Integrations are often painful. Pitching how seamless order flows can happen through your software and how nicely it works with their e-commerce platform of choice, will win you a meeting if not the deal.
While there are several tools that tell you which e-commerce company uses what technologies, it’s not the technologies themselves that complete the picture. You also need to know when the investments were made and if they have a basket of tools where yours would fit in well.
A platform like PipeCandy, with the underlying data, can deliver these insights at scale. With these insights, you could sniper-target key accounts with very specific messages.
4. What about their site traffic?
Check out the trends about your e-commerce prospects’ website traffic. It reveals a lot about an e-commerce company. For example, if the website traffic has been on an explosive growth, it would signal an investment in tools and processes. If you are a technology or logistics vendor, this often means good news. However, with the growth, if you don’t see any increase in hiring on the logistics side, it could often mean that they are working with a 3rd party logistics service provider. If you are offering logistics services, this could mean that the window of opportunity has closed on you. What do you do then? Investigate who they work with!
5. Do they currently have a shipping/fulfilment partner?
Do they already have a shipping partner? This information is not so easy to find, but scouring through their website could give you some hints. For instance, we have helped logistics companies discover who ships with DHL, UPS, USPS, Fedex etc.. Once you know who they ship with, do a price or feature comparison and juxtapose both your services and the other company’s services and pitch accordingly. While doing the comparison, it is important to not sound salty.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, can I go on the podium and say one more time that you should take PipeCandy’s help to discover the insights that your sales teams are going to love?
I will have the helpful peeps in PipeCandy walk you through how we’ve helped your peers discover retail and e-commerce leads that convert well for them.