eCommerce businesses are just like swans. Above the water, they are all about elegant design and slick technology, while under the surface (in the warehouse), things are typically a lot more chaotic.

Picking, packing and shipping is a business-critical process, especially when selling on online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon. Same-day dispatch is often an essential component to guarantee visibility. But it’s also a labour intensive and therefore expensive process with warehouse and staff costs eating into your budget.

The fact is, eCommerce businesses don’t make money by stuffing envelopes. They make money by selling more — so what area of your business would you rather focus on?

Thankfully, eCommerce businesses have the opportunity to outsource the fulfilment side of their business, helping them save time and money and, by ensuring their packages are delivered on time, protecting their seller reputation.

We spoke with Harry Nixon, partner manager at the fulfilment company, Huboo, to learn how they help eCommerce brands fuel growth and fulfil their online selling ambitions.

Meet Huboo

Harry Nixon, Partner Manager, Huboo.

Q: In a nutshell, what do Huboo do?

A: Huboo provides an award-winning, technology lead, full-stack fulfilment service at an incredibly competitive price point. We are market disruptors and growing faster than any other fulfilment company in Europe, using a unique micro hub model that allows us to offer each client a dedicated hub manager that works exclusively with their goods, as an extension of their in-house team to preserve the personalised service.

Q: Why should a retailer use Huboo instead of FBA?

A: Retailers are initially choosing Huboo over FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) because they can store all their goods safely in our warehouse for free, for up to 2 months and fulfil their orders from all channels in one place, but they are also choosing Huboo for our service and protection for their brand. With Amazon, the end customer is their priority, whereas with Huboo, the sellers themselves are our customers and we will never compete with them. We are also able to offer our clients the option of seller fulfilled prime to enhance their offering on the marketplace.

Q: Who are your clients?

A: We have a range of clients onboard selling everything from electronics, alcohol, toys, fashion, and vintage items! Our typical client is an SME with ‘hubbable’ products. This means their products have to be less than 23KG, are smaller than a large parcel, and can fit on a shelf to work with our hub model.

Q: What sort of volumes are they shipping?

A: Volumes per day can vary hugely depending on the client. Some start-ups are shipping around five orders a day, while our larger clients are shipping upwards of 6,000 items a day.

Q: How do you charge for your services?

A: Our cost-effective pricing is completely transparent and available on our website. We offer two months of free storage for all clients, and the first pick of every order is free. This works really well for our clients because they can just replenish every two months to avoid any storage fees. Unlike many other fulfilment providers, integration is also free and we have already integrated with major marketplaces and platforms such as Shopify, eBay, Amazon and many more.

Q: You have fulfilment centres in Europe. Does this help retailers navigate any Brexit-related problems?

A: Yes, outside the UK, we also have fulfilment centres in Madrid, Eindhoven in the Netherlands, and will soon be opening in Germany, with further expansion planned throughout the year. Our EU fulfilment centres have re-enabled frictionless trading, as sellers who have stock in UK and EU warehouses can manage everything from their centralised Huboo dashboard.

We are also launching new software within this dashboard that will accurately predict the landing costs of all cross-border shipments to eliminate the possibility of goods being stopped and delayed.

We even fund our clients’ EU registration costs to enable them to begin trading in the EU and have a tight-knit community of partners with expertise covering everything from VAT and international payments to translating their websites to set them on their way.

Q: How do you manage returns?

A: We offer our customers a white label return service that our clients can adapt to their own branding, as well as an in-house returns team. This software is used by retailers such as Selfridges and ASOS so having access to turns infrastructure like this is a rare thing for smaller businesses.

Q:  Who do you partner with?

A: We partner with a whole host of marketplace, tech and service partners with experience working with businesses of all sizes, to enable us to match our clients to the perfect partner for them. With Linnworks, ChannelAdvisor, BigCommerce and Gorgias to name but a few.

Q: What haven’t I asked you?

We are incredibly proud of our sustainability record. Our warehouses have gone paperless, as we rely on ‘perfect picking devices’ rather than pick sheets, which also guarantees a 99.9% pick accuracy! We also have solar panels installed, recyclable packing solutions and electric vehicle delivery options available, and are working hard to partner with various environmental consultancy services which will offer carbon offsetting by planting native woodlands in the UK.

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