The business of selling of goods in large quantities and at low prices, typically to be sold on by retailers at a profit. In general, it is the sale of goods to anyone other than a standard consumer.
We have been fulfilling bulk orders to businesses both large and small for many years, ranging from distribution center deliveries with stringent delivery criteria to smaller outlets with limited storage space.
The B2B sector caters strictly to shipping items to other businesses, and that usually means shipping in bulk supply. That’s because businesses usually buy products in advance so they don’t have to buy items on a daily basis. Rules and regulations for B2B fulfillment can be quite complex and involve a lot of penalties from the receiver if fulfillment rules aren’t followed. Many blue chip retailers require B2B fulfillment centers to stay compliant with EDI plus compliance for bar codes, parcel labels, invoices and booking times. As a result, B2B fulfillment is by far more complex than typical B2C fulfillment process by far.
Traditional wholesalers have long operated offline whilst also selling in pallet quantity minimums. Present day wholesaling activity however has seen a shift from such conventional methods with online sales now representing an increasing share of wholesale trade activity. In addition, minimum quantities have reduced to carton level which in turn has given rise to pick and pack activity and subsequent outsourcing of warehousing and fulfilment related activities more commonly known as B2B.
Transactions are one of the major differences between B2B and B2C fulfillment. When you look at the size of orders, B2B generally has a smaller order volume because of businesses buying in bulk. B2C fulfillment usually means a larger volume of orders at a time, which can make shipping more stressful, especially during the holiday season.
The important thing is to find a fulfillment center that provides the technology you need to make the concepts above work efficiently.
Where possible find a 3PL that can store and handle bulk as well having the ability to handle smaller quantities thus increasing flexibility. An added bonus would be sourcing a 3PL that could also oversee freight imports thus encompassing an industry term more commonly known as S2C (Supplier to consumer).
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