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Navigating Retail Complexities & Avoidable Costs as e-Commerce Companies Go Brick & Mortar

Navigating Retail Complexities & Avoidable Costs as e-Commerce Companies Go Brick & Mortar

While the wild west of retail has long been reformed, the result has been the creation of a laundry list of rules and regulations that manufacturers and distributors must abide by to avoid major fines. Vendor guides govern every little thing, from the format of purchase orders, palletization, labeling, advanced shipping notifications and DC booking processes.

With hundreds of rules to abide by for each retailer, and inevitably each retailer dictating a unique set of rules, managing these requirements can be daunting, to say the least. The creation of vendor guidelines has vastly streamlined operations for the retailer, though it has created a significant logistics headache for brands.

As the e-Commerce era booms, companies that once sold direct to consumers via their websites now struggle when seeking to penetrate untapped markets in the traditional retail, brick and mortar environment. Navigating the myriad challenges and complexities of retail is no easy task.

Selecting a fulfillment partner not only simplifies the distribution process and allows companies to easily scale to multiple retailers, but it greatly reduces risk – and cost. While retailers will never admit it, vendor guidelines have become lucrative profit centers as vendors are charged for order and shipments that fail to comply with retailers’ rules and requirements, as well as dealing with the cost of rejected loads and the subsequent rework. For instance, if a shipment were to arrive containing labels that did not comply with the retailer’s rules surrounding what information the label was to contain, the brand could be fined per box with the incorrect label, bare the cost of the rejected load’s transport back to the distribution site, the receiving, rework and then have to do the whole thing all over again. As you can imagine, these fines can quickly add up and take a significant cut out of profits.

The expense of noncompliance is so steep that it’s not uncommon for brands to budget hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars to cover the inevitable fines. As smaller brands–such as consumer electronics companies, device makers, and luxury goods–look to grow and scale into multiple retailers, avoiding these unnecessary expenses is mission critical.

Navigating the minefield of retail guidelines is near-impossible to sustainably manage in-house. By enlisting a trusted partner like ModusLink, companies can easily scale by taking advantage of over 30 years of experience in delivering to retailers in multiple regions, utilize the power of software solutions that manage retailer requirements across multiple clients, all along with the expertise and precision of an experienced fulfillment provider.

With decades of experience managing retail guide compliance, ModusLink enables brands to seamlessly scale deliveries to multiple retailers while ensuring compliance with the thousands of retailer rules and keeping costs in control.

To learn more about ModusLink’s services and its work as a trusted fulfillment partner, visit

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