What is a CBD Fulfillment Service, and Who Is It For?

A CBD Shipping and Fulfillment service involves a third party performing all of your order picking, packing, and shipping on your behalf. This can include receiving any additional packaging and inserts that go along with your products. Fulfillment is done in a branded manner so that all orders appear to have come from your company instead of a third party.

The service is best used by sellers with a branded and established product line – either white label or private label – who are looking to outsource logistics tasks to experienced providers in order to save time and resources. It’s also a fit for those who do not have the space or means to hold their own inventory. Generally, if you have a brand new or low-volume eCommerce business, it’s more cost-effective to manage CBD shipping and fulfillment in-house.

That being said, shipping from your home or office means you must hold enough inventory to fill each order, keep your CBD in a climate-controlled environment, and live near a post office. You’ll need a storage program in place that complies with FDA rules and regulations, too.

You also need to be computer-savvy enough to know how to setup a postage printer, configure shipping and postal service options on your eCommerce website, keep packaging materials on hand and be home often enough to ensure you’re shipping your products out quickly. To stay competitive, same-day shipping is best, next day is imperative.

How Does a CBD Shipping and Fulfillment Service Work?

Beyond Botanicals can help you get set up with reliable product fulfillment. We’ll help connect your WordPress or Shopify website to an integrated shipping app that handles labels, tracking, and customer notifications, like Shipstation. Each time a customer orders from your website, the order details are automatically forwarded to your shipping team, so you don’t have to do a thing.

The fulfillment team then packs your order in unmarked packaging that does not identify your manufacturer as your fulfillment provider. The packing slip will display all of your brand information as well. Once the order ships, you and your customer will each receive a branded tracking email notifying them of the shipment. This email also allows your customer to track the shipment in real time, straight to their door.

Additionally, the fulfillment team will also update the order status on your website backend, and once the order is delivered it will be marked as “Complete” in your eCommerce admin. This automates the entire process so you don’t have to do any of the work. At this point you’re running a completely turn-key, hands-off eCommerce business – which is the dream for many.

For those customers who would prefer to manually submit ordering batches at the end of each day, there are more traditional options in addition to app integrations, but they entail upcharges for manual work.

Is a CBD Shipping and Fulfillment Service Good For My eCommerce Store?

CBD shipping and fulfillment is one of the most common areas of discussion from Private Label CBD business owners, especially as their brand begins to grow. A few orders here and there were easy enough to pack yourself when you first started your business. Now that you have multiple orders per day, you’d rather have someone else doing the packing and the shipping while you continue to do the important work of growing the CBD business.

If this sounds similar to how you feel right now, then a CBD fulfillment program could be a good fit for you. As a general rule, we look to work with existing businesses who have ~100 shipments per month of demonstrable retail volume before helping set up fulfillment. Anything less than that isn’t cost-effective for you. If you’re at this threshold or close to it, contact your account manager for details on how we can help set up your CBD fulfillment program.

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How to Choose CBD Shipping Rates

First, let’s assume you will not be offering free shipping, or only free shipping at a certain cart total. That means you need to choose shipping methods and rates for your customers. There are some important decisions to consider.

From a technical side, setting up tiered shipping rates based on a combination of cart total, region, and weight requires table rate shipping systems which are very complicated to setup and also need frequent tweaking. If there is one tried and true method that is simply the least complicated it is flat-rate shipping. Once you get involved in calculations regarding box dimensions, weight, different carriers and rates based on zip code or region – well, you’re in for a very complex and time-consuming ride.

The best method for shipping CBD oil is simply flat rate. For example, $8.95 using USPS Priority Mail. If you want to make a graduated tier, you can charge more for a cart that reaches a specific item count. For example, $10.95 if there’s 5+ items in the cart. At this point most retailers choose the “free shipping” option when the cart total reaches or exceeds a certain amount.

Should I Offer Free Shipping on my CBD Store?

Today, it’s nearly impossible to find an online shopper who doesn’t want or expect free shipping. For small or low volume eCommerce retailers, however, free shipping can take a big bite out of profit margins. That’s why you need to consider your costs and calculate shipping into your expenses before you set product prices. One thing that is certain: if you affix high postage rates to a low cart total, you will lose that sale. That’s why the best option is to “reward good behavior.”

“Rewarding good behavior” means that you offer free shipping at a certain cart total. This incentivizes the shopper to add more items to their cart so that they can meet the free shipping level. Everyone loves free shipping, even if they are ultimately paying for it in the end.

Other retailers simply choose “Always Free Shipping” which is an excellent way to build customer loyalty, but at the cost of eating the shipping expenses. While this is the most attractive options for customers, you’ll need to do some very careful calculations to ensure that you’re not losing money on each order.