The ability of fulfillment companies to deliver goods on time, which indicates the completion of the order, is critical to their success. Because user satisfaction is the difference between success and failure in the E-Commerce business.
What is order fulfillment?
The ecommerce business has three distinct phases: the first is selling products, the second is delivering products, and the third is customer service. When all phases work successfully in tandem can the desired customer satisfaction be achieved, which is critical for the growth of the ecommerce business.
Ecommerce fulfillment is the business process of physically picking the ordered items from the warehouse, packing them in boxes (along with any special handling, such as gift wrapping) to ensure safe and accurate delivery, and arranging for shipping carriers to deliver them to the customers' doorsteps.
Ecommerce Fulfilment Models
Making the best decision for how you fulfill orders will be determined by a variety of factors, including your order volume, the type of products you sell, and the amount of management you are willing to do yourself.
Here are the three most common order fulfillment methods.
1. In House
This is the DIY option that does not involve a third-party logistics provider. It is also known as self-fulfillment. Individual sellers or small businesses who ship from their own homes or small premises typically use it.
This method provides you with complete control over your inventory, as well as processing and shipping. When starting with this method, it is a low-cost option because you are doing everything yourself and just paying for shipping. When your business has grown, you have to decide whether you want to do it yourself or outsource to the fulfillment solutions provider.
2. Third-Party Fulfillment
In this model, you will outsource your distribution infrastructure to the ecommerce fulfillment services provider which handles the process of fulfillment in their own fulfillment center or centers. You ship the goods to the 3PL/Fulfillment Center, the 3PL receives and stores the goods and starts fulfilling the orders as they are sent. A 3PL will work with you to use their shipping boxes or your custom boxes. In many cases, they are also able to meet your custom needs.
They have expertise in logistics and the ability to negotiate on the shipping rates from carriers. You won’t need to worry about the warehouse and workforce.
Third-party fulfillment helps you to free up your valuable time and focus more on growing your business.
Dropshipping is the process of shipping products directly from the manufacturer to the customer. Businesses do not hold product stock of the items which they sell. This has the advantage of easy setup & low operating costs involved. There are disadvantages too, such as lack of quality control, lack of the option to customize & logistical issues that come with working with several drop-shippers.
If anything happens with the product or delivery, you are left with an unsatisfied customer and having to figure out where the issue lies and address it. This makes it more difficult and complicated to manage.
Benefits of Using Ecommerce Fulfillment Solutions
While some businesses utilize ecommerce to supplement their brick-and-mortar sales, others sell exclusively online. These are two very different business concepts that have one thing in common: they can both benefit from the addition of a fulfillment center.
Here is the list of benefits of having an ecommerce fulfillment solutions for the business.
1. Ecommerce Fulfillment Experience
You're not attempting to be a fulfillment expert; you're trying to manage a business, after all! You benefit from the experience of their staff as well as their software and equipment by outsourcing your storage, packing, and shipping to a reputed fulfillment center. They are in the trenches every day, sometimes around the clock, and know the business like the back of their hand. Your fulfillment process can be made more simple by working with an ecommerce fulfillment solutions provider.
2. Expand Your Business
There are currently 2.14 billions digital buyers globally, which is 25% of the world's population. With the Fulfillment solution provider, you can accept orders from all over the world & take your business to the next level. Fulfillment provider has an international network & hence has the expertise to navigate international boundaries.
3. Reduce workload
This is a simple task! Many new ecommerce businesses are operating out of basements, attics, garages, and other locations where merchandise and supplies can be stored.
These "workspaces" frequently devolve into a jumble of bubble wrap, boxes, and other packaging materials. You may delegate all of these responsibilities to your ecommerce fulfillment solutions provider, allowing you to focus on more vital elements of your business, such as keeping your clients happy.
4. Helps You to Focused on Other Activities
Startups and small business owners wear multiple hats. They're making things, finding suppliers, planning marketing strategies, answering customer calls, and much more.
Fulfillment adds one more responsibility to their day-to-day life, which itself is time-consuming and complex. You can focus on the most essential activity—growing your business—by outsourcing to a fulfillment center.
5. Reduced Shipping Costs
Many fulfillment providers have a network of national and international facilities, allowing them to offer bulk shipping discounts to your company. UPS and FedEx pricing is zone-based. As a result, if you store products in multiple fulfillment centers, there are fewer zones to cross to get your products to your clients, which saves you money and also leads to faster delivery times. This allows you to pass on savings to customers or even offer free shipping, which influences online purchasing decisions.
6. Customized Packaging Options
A smart fulfillment services company goes above and beyond, offering a vast array of packaging solutions. Customized packaging options allow you to design your own shipping boxes, coupons, and inserts, upgrading your packing to keep it fresh and exciting every time someone buys anything; this can be based on demographics, shopping habits, birthdays or anniversaries, and more. This increases client loyalty and converts them into brand supporters.
7. Lowers the Operating Costs
Renting space, maintaining quality control, hiring personnel, purchasing packing supplies, and performing your own shipping—all while keeping the lights on—is not inexpensive. You may eliminate these overhead costs by outsourcing fulfillment and sharing space and resources with hundreds or even thousands of other sellers. You receive the best pricing and terms by taking advantage of economies of scale! Furthermore, with a fulfillment Center, you usually pay one set charge and then only for the services you utilize, such as picking, packing, and shipping an order.
From inventory management to shipment tracking, payment processing to customer data protection, technology offers several advantages to ecommerce companies. Obtaining these systems, of course, necessitates a significant financial investment as well as a steep learning curve! However, many fulfillment facilities already have this cutting-edge software, giving ecommerce retailers access to the most cutting-edge technologies.