How Do Ecommerce Order Fulfillment Services Work?
Do you want to learn more about how ecommerce order fulfillment services work? Follow this guide to learn everything you need to know about them.
Are you looking for an e-commerce fulfillment company? Maybe you're wondering what they do and how they can help your online business.
With the growth of online retail revenue surging, many people are starting drop shipping companies, big retailers included. Online retail is predicted to be 17% of all retail sales by 2022.
There's a lot that goes into starting an online business. You have to choose the right niche, products, and partners. That includes order fulfillment.
If you want to know what order fulfillment is all about and how you can choose the right vendor, read this guide that explains everything you'll need to know.
What is E-commerce Order Fulfilment?
In the world of e-commerce, order fulfillment is what happens between when a customer places an order and it gets delivered to their door.
When you're doing order fulfillment yourself, you know that there are a lot of steps between those two points.
Invoices have to be printed, products need to be packaged, and inventory needs to be tracked. Then you have to print shipping labels and organize your shipping services, complete with tracking information.
You also can't leave your customer in the dark. You need to communicate with them to let them know when the order has been processed, the package has been shipped, and the order delivered.
Depending on the volume of orders, you might decide that the right step is to outsource order fulfillment
How Does It Work?
Technology is a wonderful thing. Order fulfillment can integrate directly with your e-commerce shopping cart via a middleware integration application that connects to a warehouse management system.
A customer places an order on your website. That order goes through the integration application to the warehouse management system. The product is picked and packaged, and shipped to the customer.
The warehouse management system will then communicate to you shipping tracking information and inventory information.
These processes may vary a little depending on the vendor you use. The process is generally the same.
Why is Order Fulfillment Important?
Order fulfillment is critical for your e-commerce business. You worked hard to build a company, set up a website, advertise it, and attract paying customers.
One wrong move by your business and you could lose a customer for good. That means everything has to be perfect. The order has to be delivered on time. The package can't look like it's been in a fight. The order has to be accurate.
You may not think a mistake here and there doesn't have an impact on your business. Think of it this way. Have you ever been to a restaurant where you ordered a meal and then didn't get what you asked for?
On top of that, the meal you did get was presented in a way like it was just thrown together with no care.
It's disappointing, isn't it? Would you go back to that restaurant? Probably not.
Customer expectations are higher than ever. If you're able to exceed customer expectations, you'll be able to retain your customers.
That's great for your bottom line. Not only does it cost much more to acquire new customers, but returning customers spend more per order than new customers.
Order Fulfilment is Your Brand
Do you know what your company's brand is? It's not your logo, and it's not your website.
Your company's brand is your promise to customers. What you're essentially promising customers is that you will send them a product, that will be delivered with care.
Order fulfillment is an extension of your brand and is a part of the customer's experience with your business. You want to be sure you fulfill your company's promise with every order.
How to Choose the Right E-commerce Vendor?
Now that you know how order fulfillment works, how do you make sure you pick the right fulfillment vendor for your e-commerce business?
Where are They Located?
There are order fulfillment companies all over the U.S. You don't need to pick a company that's close to your business. You want to be sure you chose a company that's in close proximity to your customers.
That's because your packages will reach your customers faster, and you'll pay less for shipping.
You want to be sure that the vendor your pick can easily integrate with your current systems. Otherwise, you may have added development costs.
Can They Handle the Volume?
How many orders to do process a day? Do you find that your orders suddenly increase during certain months?
The order fulfillment company you decide to work with needs to have the capacity to handle your busiest days.
What are the Terms?
Order fulfillment centers have different costs and contracts. You'll want to verify the terms of the fulfillment center.
Do you pay them per order or per item? Do they have an order minimum? What's the inventory storage fee?
You'll also want to know how the order fulfillment center handles returns.
Place a Few Test Orders
During your process to choose a fulfillment center, place a few test orders. You'll want to get an idea as to what kind of order experience your customers will have. Keep in mind how and when the package is delivered.
Select Your Order Fulfilment Company
When making your selection, it's important to get to know the staff at the warehouse center. Feel free to interview them and ask them questions about how they operate, handle your inventory and your orders.
Finally, get references and case studies from the companies you're considering. You're going to want to work with a company that has a successful track record.
Ready to Take the Next Step?
Your e-commerce business depends on your ability to accurately fulfill orders and deliver your customers.
There are many steps that go into order fulfillment, but with the right partner, it can be seamless. Plus, your customer gets a top experience, and you don't have to worry about it.
Fulfiltopia specializes in e-commerce order fulfillment integration, giving you a seamless solution. We're also located within 1-2 days of delivery of 70% of the U.S. population. That gives you the opportunity to delight your customers.
To see how we can help your business, fill out a quote