If you are selling products online, fulfilment is an essential component. Without fulfilment services, customers may have to wait longer to receive their orders, and these waiting customers will not likely purchase your products again. Because of the importance of e-commerce fulfilment, choosing the proper strategy is important. There are a few fulfilment strategies available, and finding the right one can be confusing.
To choose the right strategy, you need a complete understanding of your enterprise. This would include the financial aspect and other logistics of your e-commerce business. This is where bookkeeping can provide accurate information about the performance of the company, hence helping make general strategic decisions and help with revenue projection. Most business owners opt for ecommerce bookkeeping services to make bookkeeping more hassle-free.
That said, finding a fulfilment company for your e-commerce business can be daunting; hundreds of companies out there promise cheap services. However, not all are created equal. Before you sign up with a fulfilment company, there are a few things to consider:
What is E-commerce Fulfilment?
E-commerce fulfilment is the procedure of taking an order from an online website and fulfilling that order. It is the process by which a retailer or manufacturer ships an order after it is received from a consumer.
E-commerce fulfilment means collecting your customer’s orders and sending them on their way. It’s the final step in receiving and fulfilling an order and involves packing and shipping products to customers. These services are the final step in ensuring that merchandise sold online arrives at its destination and returns are received.
Types of Order Fulfilment Strategies
When a business sells physical products, order fulfilment involves physically delivering those products to the buyer. The organization that delivers the goods is an order fulfilment company or 3PL. There are many different methods through which businesses can fulfil orders, depending on the size and complexity of the company’s supply chain.
In e-commerce, the fulfilment strategy is also known as a drop shipping or fulfilment centre. The fulfilment strategy is needed if the online business needs to ship products to customers. It allows business owners to focus on running their online businesses rather than maintaining inventory. Each fulfilment strategy has its pros and cons, so business owners should make sure they choose a strategy that best suits their business.
The most efficient and economical way to handle order fulfilment for e-commerce businesses is by having an in-house fulfilment strategy. It is preferable because it saves money using internal resources and gives you complete control of the process. However, other types of order fulfilment strategies may work better for your business, depending on your particular needs.
When you dropship, your business doesn’t keep any inventory but sells to third-party customers on your behalf. You take orders, process them, and ship the products to your customers. It’s a simple business model that’s easy to start and, can scale big with the right practices in place. The dropshipping model relies on a third-party supplier to complete a sale, and this third party may be an online vendor, like Amazon, or a third-party seller on sites like eBay or Etsy.
Third-Party Logistics (3PL)
Third-party logistics companies (3PLs) specialize in three areas: order fulfillment, warehousing, and transportation. They generally have some full-fledged warehouses, while others are specifically built for seasonal or occasional use as per the demand. They also tend to make use of certain software such as bookkeeping for trucking companies, in order to streamline the operations, if they are handling the transportation in-house.
3PL is a powerful warehousing and delivery option, but it’s complex and not for everyone. Otherwise, it would likely be called “Amazon Logistics,” “Walmart Logistics,” or “Best Buy Logistics.” These mega-corporations handle millions of products daily and are highly leveraged, meaning that every dollar invested in 3PL operations is leveraged many times over.
Fulfilment Strategies: What to Consider When Choosing One
A fulfilment strategy is used to fulfil a request and publish the result. For example, when you ask someone, they can answer a question, create an information resource, make a recommendation, solve a problem, or perform some other action. Traditionally, these strategies are used when requesting information from a database. However, they can be used for any kind of request.
When developing your fulfilment strategy, you’ll need to consider several factors. The most important is your company’s size. A very small company will have different needs than a much larger one. A small company might not need a full warehouse or be able to store bulk inventory.
Type of Product You Sell
Your business success highly depends on the services and products you offer your clients. If you are selling a product with high demand in the market, probably your business will skyrocket quickly and acquire a large amount of loyal client base. However, to run an e-commerce business, you also need good online infrastructure and website architecture so that your company site can handle the influx of new visitors online. So, you can ensure your business doesn’t fail due to poor network and internet by opting for an internet provider that can cater to commercial clients with high internet speed demands. For more information about internet speed and its necessities, you can explore download vs upload speed articles so that you know what to demand from an internet company.
When partnering with a fulfilment partner, it’s important to consider the logistics details. You want to make sure that they are reliable since your fulfilment strategy relies heavily on the quality of their service. You also need to consider their shipping and order fulfilment process and whether they can accommodate the methods you need for your product. Make sure the partner you choose follows the proper packaging and safety for your products. They could be using cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, pallet wrap, airbags, or something else. Depending on the product, you need to choose the right packaging.
The cost of fulfilling orders
Fulfilment strategies should be thought of as tools to help you increase sales. The cost is not as important as you might think. There are a variety of options for such strategies, and the right one depends on your business.