Efficient Fulfillment: Streamlining Your eCommerce Business

Reading Time: 9 minutes

If you’re part of the world of ecommerce, you know that one of the most important aspects of your business is shipping and receiving orders. This process, known as fulfillment, is crucial to your business’s execution and success. After all, recent statistics found an extremely high correlation between fulfillment and customer satisfaction. 61% of shoppers abandon their cart if they feel that fees like taxes and shipping are too high, 53% emphasize speed of delivery when making purchase decisions, 38% will never use a company again if the delivery was poor, and 25% cancel their orders because delivery was too slow.

Results like these reveal how vital fulfillment is for leading ecommerce platforms and businesses. Customers demand high success rates from companies. So how do you rise to meet the challenge of customer expectations? Let’s dive in and learn all about how to make your fulfillment process highly competitive.

 

What is Fulfillment eCommerce and How Does It Boost Online Store Efficiency?

First of all, what is fulfillment ecommerce? This essential part of online business is the process from ordering inventory to dealing with customer returns. There are six steps in the ecommerce fulfillment process

  1. Inventory management. This term describes ordering your inventory and having it delivered to your storage space.
  2. Storage. This is how you store your inventory for easy location during the next step.
  3. Receiving. Customer orders come through and it’s time to prep your products for shipping out.
  4. Pick and pack. Now that you have an order, you’ll need to get it from your inventory storage and pack it for shipping.
  5. Shipping. Your product will make its way from your warehouse to a fulfillment center to your customer’s front door.
  6. Returns. If your customer decides the product isn’t for them, they’ll send it back through the fulfillment center to your warehouse space.

These six steps describe the process behind fulfillment ecommerce. If you’re looking to save time and money on the order fulfillment process, having a good plan for fulfillment is the best way to go. Having effective fulfillment services will let you store inventory easily, speed through packing and labeling orders, and manage customer communication while the package makes its way to them. Effective order fulfillment companies will speed up your delivery process, meeting more customer expectations.

What is the Role of eCommerce Fulfillment Services in an Online Store?

Ecommerce order fulfillment may sound like a pretty routine part of your business, but there’s a lot of detail that goes into properly executing it. Ecommerce businesses can’t thrive without proper fulfillment, which means that the role of ecommerce fulfillment services in online business is incredibly large.

Fulfillment services are what let you get your inventory first to your warehouse space and then finally to your customer and back if necessary. An effective ecommerce company will execute the order fulfillment process with skill and brilliance, perhaps even partnering with a fulfillment company for optimal results.

 

How Do Fulfillment Services Impact the Customer Experience?

Customers can be hard to please. Their high expectations make it difficult to attain optimal results. Ecommerce companies struggle with this issue daily. Customers want fast shipping services, affordable shipping, and customer support at their fingertips. A bad experience could be enough to send them to your competitor. So how do you keep your customers at your online store? How much do fulfillment services impact their perception and experience with your company?

The last thing you want is bad packaging, poor customer support, or high shipping costs to send your customer elsewhere. And according to research, this is a very real possibility for ecommerce business owners. However, with a smooth fulfillment process and the potential partnership with an ecommerce fulfillment company, you can avoid hiccups like these and smooth over the customer experience until the entire fulfillment process is brilliantly executed.

 

How to Choose the Right eCommerce Fulfillment Services for Your Online Store

The largest part of this process is choosing how to select the right fulfillment services for your ecommerce company. Outsourcing fulfillment can be great if you’re a larger business owner with multiple locations looking to consolidate everything together. However, if you’re a small ecommerce store, being your own fulfillment company might be the solution for you. Whatever is right for you, we’re here to help you find the answer. So let’s dive into a few of the possibilities for fulfillment service providers and how to manage your shipping costs with expert understanding.

The Four Types of Fulfillment Services

There are four types of fulfillment companies, one of which you’ll need to use for your online store. The best ecommerce fulfillment always happens when you’re using the best ecommerce fulfillment plan for yourself. By exploring the four plans, we’ll guide you to the ecommerce solution.

 

In-House Fulfillment Services

In-house fulfillment is ecommerce fulfillment happening at your own warehouse. This means that you’re in charge of all fulfillment solutions and that you manage inventory. While doing it on your own can limit how much stock you can have and your variety of products, it is ideal for smaller businesses that sell a lower volume of products. Ecommerce fulfillment companies would likely charge too high of a price for them to be helpful to a smaller company. So, if you’re selling a smaller amount of products, have a successful fulfillment network, or if your products need special packaging, in-house fulfillment is likely the solution for you.

 

Third-Party Logistics Company (3PL)

The third-party logistics, or 3PL, approach involves partnering with an ecommerce fulfillment company to complete and process your orders. Many fulfillment centers and services will offer solutions like warehousing, packaging, shipping, and working with returns. This lowers your company’s stress and overhead cost, especially if you’re a larger online business. The fulfillment process is difficult to do on your own if you’re filling many orders a day and dealing with a large stock of inventory. If this is you, a third-party fulfillment provider could help you lower shipping costs and provide the best ecommerce fulfillment services for your customers.

 

Multi-Channel Fulfillment Services

If you’re a company using multiple sales channels, like Amazon, social media, and your website, to receive orders, you’ll probably want to look into multi-channel fulfillment services. This plan lets you combine your sales channels into one ecommerce fulfillment plan. Whether you simply use fulfillment software or partner with a fulfillment service, a plan to combine your orders into one ecommerce fulfillment services provider is an easy way to meet customer expectations more smoothly.

 

Dropshipping

On the other hand, if you don’t want to deal with order fulfillment at all, dropshipping could be the answer for you. Dropshipping is the process of submitting your order to your supplier, usually also your fulfillment services company, and letting them handle the journey from inventory to returns. You’ll never see the product, so you’ll never have to worry about inventory management or the shipping process.

So which solution is right for you? The answer to this question depends on what you sell, what kind of business you have, where you’re located, and how you choose to work with customers. In-house ecommerce fulfillment is typically for those who want to keep their fulfillment service within their own company and handle their inventory storage, any custom packaging, and keep overhead costs lower.

On the other hand, you may want to hire an ecommerce order fulfillment service if you want to increase your business size and reduce the technical complications of international shipping, customer support, and other issues that come with fulfilling your orders.

The multi-channel option is perfect for companies that use multiple sales channels regularly. You can also incorporate reliable fulfillment software to keep track of your orders and each ecommerce platform.

Finally, dropshipping is a great option for anyone looking to simplify the whole fulfillment process and partner with the best ecommerce fulfillment services. By simply outsourcing fulfillment to other companies, you’ll quickly eliminate the headache of dealing with order complications.

 

How to Streamline Your Fulfillment Services

With all the complications that are part of fulfillment ecommerce, from dealing with multiple fulfillment centers to navigating shipping software, it can be hard to know how to make your fulfillment services as smooth as possible. There are a few things you can do to make your ecommerce fulfillment service the best ecommerce fulfillment there is. These all begin with a good plan, but we’ll guide you through the essential parts of the program you can’t leave out!

  • Your location is everything! The more shipping zones you have to go through, the more your shipping costs will rise. The best ecommerce fulfillment will utilize shipping centers that are in areas from which you commonly receive orders. Having multiple fulfillment center locations is a great way to boost the entire process of fulfillment.
  • Make sure you incorporate shipping software. This is a huge leg up in keeping track of orders and helping the fulfillment process flow smoothly. Software helps ecommerce stores manage inventory and oversee quality control. Excellent customer service begins with good shipping software.
  • Offer free 2-day shipping. Of course, how do you keep your costs down with this? The best way is to bake part of the shipping price into the product price. This keeps customers from getting shocked when they see the shipping price. Instead, they pay something they feel is reasonable for shipping.

These three ways are just the beginning of how to make your ecommerce order fulfillment services meet customer expectations. The best ecommerce fulfillment services proudly offer speedy and affordable shipping, as well as good customer support and other features which any customer would happily snatch up. Let these steps guide you to joining the experts in order fulfillment!

How Can Your eCommerce Businesses Improve Their Efficiency?

Just like anything else, order fulfillment can be made more efficient. There are so many ways to move your efficiency forward, so we’ll guide you through a few key ones.

  • Keep your warehouse space well organized. This means having a streamlined product organization pattern and labeling your products well. This will speed up pick and pack as well as restocking inventory.
  • Reduce product touches. The more that your workers touch the order, the more something is likely to go wrong, get confused, or get mislabeled. The best ecommerce fulfillment services minimize touches by using pallets to move items, assigning employees specific jobs, or even using packing robots.
  • Outsource fulfillment to a third-party logistics company. If you’re big enough to do this, outsourcing to an ecommerce fulfillment company is one of the best ways to improve efficiency.

To make your ecommerce business shine, you’ll want to use the best fulfillment services available to you. Whether this means in-house fulfillment or a company with multiple fulfillment centers worldwide, every ecommerce business has an option that’s perfect for them.

 

How Can Your Online Store Adapt to Future Fulfillment Innovations?

Of course, order fulfillment is always changing. The last thing you want as an ecommerce business is to fall behind in the complex race to get to the top. This means keeping up with changes in the times. Whether it’s taking advantage of the newest technology, trying new organization techniques, or offering cheaper international shipping, the best ecommerce fulfillment company will keep up with the times. Making your company flexible and adaptable is the best way to do this. Instead of being locked into a rigid, inflexible plan, keep moving forward with a plan that’s adaptable to the times.

 

Eager to Transform Your Online Store With Optimized Fulfillment Services?

Ecommerce fulfillment is a complicated world. There’s so much to think about! Let us help you navigate your ecommerce fulfillment services with streamlined software and analytics. Our experts can help you identify areas to improve your ecommerce flow, track when it’s time to upgrade to a 3PL service, and help you analyze which products to stock in higher numbers. With powerful data analytics and ecommerce business experts, you can plan on growing your company and its ecommerce fulfillment!

Ecommerce fulfillment is a complicated world. There’s so much to think about! Let us help you navigate your ecommerce fulfillment services with streamlined software and analytics. Our experts can help you identify areas to improve your ecommerce flow, track when it’s time to upgrade to a 3PL service, and help you analyze which products to stock in higher numbers. With powerful data analytics and ecommerce business experts, you can plan on growing your company and its ecommerce fulfillment!

Ecommerce fulfillment is a complicated world. There’s so much to think about! Let us help you navigate your ecommerce fulfillment services with streamlined software and analytics. Our experts can help you identify areas to improve your ecommerce flow, track when it’s time to upgrade to a 3PL service, and help you analyze which products to stock in higher numbers. With powerful data analytics and ecommerce business experts, you can plan on growing your company and its ecommerce fulfillment!

 

References:

  1. Guide to Fulfillment: grow your online sales channels | Amazon — Access date: 25 July 2023.
  2. Ecommerce Fulfillment 101: A Beginner’s Guide to eCommerce Shipping and Fulfillment | Flowspace — Access date: 25 July 2023.
  3. Ecommerce Fulfillment: The Unappreciated Yet Vital Strategy Brands Use to Win Loyal Customers | Bigcommerce — Access date: 25 July 2023.
  4. What is Ecommerce Fulfillment? Guide to Fulfillment Strategies | Shopify — Access date: 25 July 2023.

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