Ecommerce fulfillment might not be what gets you very excited about your internet business. But it certainly is an essential component of your overall success at online retailing. A 2021 survey found that free delivery was the most important feature for internet shoppers. It affected 83 percent of all online shoppers to purchase from an online retailer that offers free shipping.
What’s so great about free shipping and easy pick and place? It allows the customer to purchase products without having to wait for a representative from your company to find out if they have them in stock, then calling them to try to arrange a pickup. This is how online businesses make money. And it’s what makes your ecommerce fulfillment center so successful: your customers can quickly order products, and they can have those products in the mail to their homes in as little as two days.
So you’ve outsourced your worldwide shipping and inventory requirements. That’s great! But how do you integrate your ecommerce fulfillment services with your own internal logistics systems? Not every ecommerce fulfillment services provider has the same logistical abilities and data. That means it’s time for you to go shopping for a third party logistics partner that can fulfill all your shipping and inventory needs.
There are a few features to look for when outsourcing your fulfillment service. First, the service should provide affordable shipping rates. If your product is extremely heavy or large, you don’t want to overpay for transportation costs. Also, you want to ensure the fulfillment service you choose provides extremely fast delivery speeds. Shippers often tell you that their fastest shipping speeds are within three business days, but there are some out there that can get products to your customers within five business days. And of course, the faster the delivery, the better.
The second thing you need to look for in an ecommerce fulfillment company is whether they provide on-demand fulfillment. By offering this service, your company doesn’t have to keep up with an existing inventory. Instead, the fulfillment company stocks up on products as they’re ordered and then ships them out. You save a significant amount of money by not having to rent or purchase storage space. This means your overhead is significantly reduced, and profit margins are increased.
Another thing you should consider is whether or not their ecommerce fulfillment centers have the capabilities to warehouse goods for your company’s international distribution. If your company requires thousands of products delivered from locations around the world, the ability to place those products into a reliable and regularly-delivered warehouse in one part of the world is essential. If your fulfillment center can’t fulfill that need, your company could lose thousands of dollars in profit just because it didn’t look into both storage and shipping costs during the order process.
Finally, you want a company that can offer integrated solutions for your ecommerce businesses. By combining your website’s shopping cart with other features, such as the ability to print receipts, the fulfillment centers to help improve customer service and streamline the purchasing process. They also offer the ability to offer customizing online catalogs, which dramatically cuts down on the time spent entering information and the time spent looking over product photos. There are some ecommerce businesses today that still use fax machines and inks and paper to print out product descriptions and inventory lists. While these methods are still very effective, they are certainly antiquated. By integrating your ecommerce businesses’ accounting and inventory functions, you free up valuable staff time to focus on more important aspects of business.
All of these things are important for you to look for when you’re trying to find the best ecommerce fulfillment companies. However, you don’t just want a company that can meet customer expectations. You also want a company that offers great service, reduces shipping costs, provides easy access to inventory, and has an affordable warehouse capacity. If you take these additional factors into consideration, then you’ll find that you’re able to provide better customer service to customers and significantly increase your profitability. After all, you don’t want to be stuck shipping products to your customers from your warehouse.