Product Quality Solutions for Online RetailersJuly 2, 2020
Ecommerce and online selling platforms have grown at an unprecedented rate all over the world. Consumers of all ages are embracing the experience and enjoying the convenience of shopping online. The importance of quality control has never been higher. Products must speak for themselves, without the support of a physical store environment or helpful sales person to ensure customer satisfaction and success.
We all know that product quality is key to succeeding in an online retail environment, yet many internet retailers are left scrambling when they fail to provide quality products to their online customers. When quality issues arise, sellers put themselves at risk for future sales success. The result can be poor seller ratings, high product returns and refunds to buyers, warnings from their online selling platform or even account suspension.
How to Ensure Product Quality While the Product is Overseas
Online sellers have multiple channels to sell goods. Amazon, Rakuten, Storenvy, Ebay, Bonanza, and Shopify to name a few. There are many more! Sellers also have several pathways to find and source merchandise which could include wholesalers, sourcing agents, consultants or even working directly with factories overseas.
When seeking overseas sourcing opportunities, many sellers take additional steps to ensure they obtain quality merchandise. They make every effort to source viable product through extensive research. They go the extra mile by identifying specific materials, fabrics, parts and packaging for potential products to maximize the desirability and overall quality. They may demand inspections to ensure product compliance, conduct product testing, review labeling requirements, and arrange 3rd party inspections in the factory and/or at pre-shipment.
Hopefully, through all these proactive measures and more, the result is a high-quality product that is not likely to be sold or perceived as defective.
However, despite these measures defective goods sometimes arrive in the United States. It is important to identify and correct any product quality issues before forwarding them to the online retailer or fulfillment center.
Do any of the following keep you up at night as an online seller?
- Poor reviews and seller ratings
- Known or unknown product quality issues
- Inventory sitting in fulfillment centers in need of inspection, sortation, rework, repackaging or laundering
- Potential listing suspensions
If so, the solutions below may be of help.
What to do if Low Quality Products Reach the U.S.
Despite significant efforts to find the right marketplaces, source quality products, get the goods to fulfillment locations in the condition intended and implementing a great marketing strategy…problems happen, goods arrive in less than perfect condition.
Some examples of what can go wrong include:
- Your product could arrive with signs of mold, mildew or odor.
- The product may have been damaged during transportation due to use of inferior packaging materials or poor handling practices.
- The overseas factory may have made a mistake in production that requires a correction.
- Missing parts, components, proper labeling or something as simple as product use instructions may need to be replaced on thousands of units.
While you may have had a quality assurance strategy to develop and source your products, things still go wrong. Having a plan and a resource to help you mitigate any problems and correct issues quickly when required could be critical for your ongoing sales success in online marketplaces.
When Online Sellers Have Product Quality Problems, QCI Can Fix Them!
If you are a seller on an ecommerce platform and facing product quality issues it is critical to be proactive in addressing the issues to avoid poor reviews, warnings or potential listing suspensions.
Quality Corrections & Inspections (QCI) has over 30 years of experience in working with retailers to meet their needs for post-production inspections, reworks and repairs. The product rework specialists at QCI have the expertise, capacity and technical skills to handle the most challenging of projects and serve as a key partner that online sellers with high volumes of goods in need of attention can turn to when problems may arise.
Rework Services for Consumer Goods, Apparel, Footwear, and Accessories
The team at QCI has specialized in providing a wide variety of product rework services to meet the needs of businesses in consumer goods, apparel, footwear and accessories. With two U.S. facilities, QCI has the capacity and coverage to resolve high-volume rework projects from coast-to-coast.
The company is well equipped to service a wide variety of project types. While there are numerous case studies on the QCI website, a few representative projects are highlighted below that the team has performed in recent years:
- A shipping container of apparel arrived in the U.S. with a bad smelling odor. In this case, the goods were shipped in a container that also carried “garlic” and the aroma was absorbed into the garments and packaging. QCI’s technicians were able to remove the odors by using a specialized cleaning treatment. The product was then repackaged, retagged, inserted into new poly bags and returned to the retailer’s fulfillment center.
- QCI has had several companies engage our team of specialists for their product repackaging needs. Companies occasionally need to have their products repackaged in more durable formats for their customers in order to minimize problems that can arise from the transportation and delivery process.
- Customized rework services are regularly performed for retailers at QCI. Many firms have engaged QCI for hardware or component replacement issues. Problems such as incorrect sourcing of parts by overseas factories is a common occurrence which has required sellers to have their products opened, parts removed and replaced, quality compliance checked and then repackaged and returned to fulfillment centers.
- For one retailer of athletic shoes, they discovered that a recent shipment was found to have insoles that were improperly glued and began lifting from the foot bed. This issue was a result of a less than quality adhesive used by the manufacturing facility. QCI was able to determine the correct adhesive and the proper process to adhere the insoles and return the product as first quality to the seller.
- Mold can be an unfortunate discovery when product arrives from overseas. Heavy monsoon seasons, rushed production, inadequate climate controls in overseas warehouses, and use of poor-quality packaging or shipping materials can have mold formation impacts. Other circumstances beyond your control such as temperature fluctuations in shipment or a leaking shipping container can all trigger mold formation and organic growth on merchandise. There are multiple cases where QCI has worked with companies that have received shipments with visible mold. In every case, QCI remediated the mold and utilized best practices for cleaning, treatment, repackaging, ticketing and tagging as needed.
How to Minimize Poor Reviews and Listings Suspensions Due to Quality Issues
It’s important for sellers to continuously evaluate, examine and manage the process of finding and selecting merchandise to sell on various online platforms. While there are many “top 10 lists” and “how-to’s” covering potential risks, challenges and problems that sellers should consider when sourcing goods from all over the world, it’s also important to have a resource or “Plan B” when product has arrived stateside with quality issues.
Turn to Quality Corrections & Inspections as your resource partner to address your product inspection, rework and repair needs should they arise. When the unexpected happens, contact QCI anytime for a no-cost project analysis. We will quickly reply a free estimate and complete project details.