All You Need to Know About E-commerce Fulfillment
E-commerce fulfillment is the process to deliver products to shoppers. It is an important part of your business that you just cannot ignore. You can read this article to know more about it.
If there is one thing that all e-commerce businesses have in common, it’s outstanding e-commerce fulfillment services. It is an important component that can make or break your online venture no matter how great your product is or how beautifully your website is designed. According to a study, 83% of online shoppers consider free shipping to be the number one feature that an e-commerce business can offer. Also, you should know that the major reason why people abandon their shopping carts is because of the high shipping costs.
There is no denying that accurate and predictable fulfillment is what makes customers happy. And they might even post reviews about your services. Therefore, you can make efforts to build a robust e-commerce fulfillment process that will help you save both time and money. Also, as many brands are now taking their business online, different agencies like the Staffing Agency Denver are always on the lookout for talented individuals who can help other companies with their e-commerce needs.
E-Commerce Fulfillment: What Is It?
E-commerce fulfillment can be defined as the process to deliver products to buyers. This is the most vital part of your business that you just cannot ignore. When you were just starting, you might have become accustomed to packing boxes in your garage. Hence back then you were your own fulfillment provider. But now if you have grown your businesses, then you can outsource this task to a 3PL.
Speaking of picking and packing orders, e-commerce fulfillment is much more than that. If you are partnered with a decent e-commerce fulfillment provider then you can expect them to help you with running your business smoothly. You can also think of them as an extension to your online retail venture that will allow you to reduce your risk and expense.
Fulfillment refers to preparing and delivering a customer’s order. While catalog companies and larger companies are often equipped to process customer orders on their own, e-commerce companies and smaller businesses usually provide this aspect of a business to companies specializing in compliance.
How Does It Work?
There are different steps involved in the e-commerce fulfillment process. Once you understand them, you will easily be able to manage your outsourced e-commerce fulfillment provider. Let’s take a look at how this process is done.
- Orders are made to the manufacturer.
- Products are shipped to the fulfillment warehouse.
- Once they arrive, the products are checked into stock.
- These products are then placed on shelves.
- Orders start to pour in from your sales channel.
- Money is transferred into your business bank account.
- Order is carefully picked and packed at the warehouse.
- It is now prepared for shipping.
- A delivery company is hired that is responsible to deliver the product safely to the customer.
- The order finally reaches the doorstep of the customer.
How Is Dropshipping Different from 3PL?
People tend to confuse drop shipping with traditional e-commerce fulfillment. You should know that both are very different from each other. As you now know about traditional e-commerce fulfillment, let’s shed some light on dropshipping. So, what is it? Well, dropshipping lets you sell products with little investment. However, the trade-off for this reduced risk is that you will have very little control over the fulfillment process. Also, keep in mind that your profit for every sale that you make will be much less.
Here’s how it works:
- You don’t purchase inventory. Instead, you just place the manufacturer’s items in your online store.
- When an order comes through, you forward it to the manufacturer.
- The manufacturer is then responsible to deliver the product to the customer.
- Once the sale is made, you will be splitting the profits with the manufacturer. Keep in mind that your cat will be less.
How are Fulfillment Houses Paid?
Each fulfillment center has a different fee structure and capabilities. Some can print and assemble folders, books, and packages or burn CDs and DVDs, while others can store finished products and ship them as requested. Much fulfillment houses charge per unit up to a fixed amount, so you can confirm beforehand that any order remains profitable for you even after shipping. The higher the quantity, the lower the cost per piece.
What are some of the Top-Notch Fulfillment Companies?
Is It a Good Idea to Outsource Your E-commerce Fulfillment?
If you have a flawless in-house order fulfillment process then there is no need to outsource this task. But do remember as your business starts to grow, your in-house solution might not be able to meet the demands and may hinder the expansion of your venture. In that case, you can consider outsourcing your e-commerce fulfillment.
There are various advantages that you can expect to receive when you outsource your e-commerce fulfillment. They are as follows:
- You will gain access to flexible shelf space.
- Your orders will be handled by professionals.
- Allows you to choose a centrally-located warehouse that will be able to ship the product to customers more quickly.
- Your resources can focus their time and efforts on business development.
Questions to Ask When Selecting a 3PL Fulfillment Provider
When it comes to choosing a 3PL fulfillment provider, it is okay to ask as many questions as you like. This will help you select the best one from the lot that can easily meet the needs of your business. However, you might not be sure about which questions to ask. Well, there is nothing to worry about. This section is going to list down some important questions that you should never forget to ask
- What types of products do you ship?
- Do you offer any value-added services?
- How do you track the shipment?
- Do you offer shipping discounts?
- How much time will it take for you to deliver the orders?
- Can you define your security procedures?
- Does your warehouse have backup power?
If your e-commerce fulfillment process is not up to the mark then it will become really difficult for you to thrive in a competitive market. Also, shipment errors, poorly packed boxes, and delays will simply dissatisfy your customers to a point where they will not hesitate to post a negative review about your service. And nobody wants that! Therefore, it is better if you search for a fulfillment business that can perform this task for you. However, you will have to make sure that the provider you choose is one of the best in the business. This is because their performance can either make your customers highly satisfied or extremely disappointed. Hence, they must do their job diligently.