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What to Look For When Choosing a Fulfillment Service

Sep 08, 2020

Diagram of order fulfillment

7 Important Things to Look For When Choosing a Fulfillment Service

Sales in the U.S. e-commerce industry will reach a staggering $707.78 billion by the end of 2020. The growth is in part due to the shift by most brick and mortar businesses to online stores. Fulfillment centers are a crucial component of this blossoming e-commerce sector.

These centers focus on the process of receiving, packaging, and shipping of orders to consumers. You won’t meet your customers’ needs without proper logistical support for your online store. A fulfillment service is a useful companion for both budding and well-established companies.

You’ll avoid the last mile challenges most online stores face. The convenience is on top of the savings on the capital expenditure associated with in-house warehousing. This option also saves you the complications of loss and damages to shipped goods.

Do you need a fulfillment service for a flawless shipping process? Here’re things to consider when selecting the best fulfillment service provider.

1. Pricing

Cost-saving is one of the key reasons businesses opt to outsource services. When it comes to selecting the best fulfillment service, pricing should matter.

It’s essential to consider the recurrent monthly subscription or annual fees and their effects on the total cost. Also, be keen to assess the per-transaction fees and note their implication on the total bill.

The goal of paying attention to pricing is also to assess the possibility of any additional hidden costs. If the per-order expenses and other extra storage costs are high, it beats logic to consider the specific service.

One of the other essential factors to consider is the value of the service. Remember that cheap can be expensive. Ensure that while you wish to settle for a pocket-friendly option, you don’t end up compromising on the quality of the last mile process to your esteemed clients.

2. Location of the Fulfillment Service Provider

Same-day order delivery will grow by $9.73 billion during the 2020-2024 period. Customers are now used to the same day delivery as more e-commerce businesses focus on shortening the time between ordering and receipt. The ability to achieve this depends on a full range of other factors including proximity to the clients

When selecting a fulfillment service, the idea is to ensure that the products reach the intended destination sooner. The closer the fulfillment service provider is to the clients, the shorter the time needed to deliver. For this reason, location matters when selecting a fulfillment service provider for your business.

Are you looking to achieve a world-class delivery system for your business? It all starts with having a fulfillment service provider who can reach your customers within the shortest time. It would help to ask the potential fulfillment service provider about their specific location.

Such information will be useful in the determination of the fulfillment center that’s most convenient for you. It’s essential to consider the location given that it will affect the speed and the cost of the order.

3. The Provided Services

Shipping is a delicate process. You need a fulfillment service provider who can handle all your shipping needs. It would help to consider the provided services before making a decision.

Every fulfillment center should be able to offer basic warehousing, order fulfillment, and shipping services. However, the deal-breaker is in the ability to be creative and adaptive to suit your specific needs. The fulfillment center should demonstrate the ability to handle multi-items with utmost care.

The other important considerations include the providers’ ability to offer specialty services. Such extras include batching. Batching is the ability to send single items to multiple customers simultaneously.

You should also consider relevant services such as kitting. This is the dispatch of numerous unique items grouped then sold as one item.

4. Customer Support

Did you know that disposable personal income among American consumers increased by 0.2% to $39.9 billion in July this year?

With this more money in circulation, it’s essential to focus on customer satisfaction to enhance spending. One way of building your e-commerce business is to focus on building a customer-centric experience.

You aren’t anticipating problems with the shipping process. However, shipping thrives on logistics. Sometimes hiccups can derail the delivery of services.

Every customer can live with instances of technical hitches. Nevertheless, what’s appalling is a flawed approach to the communication process. How will the fulfillment center deal with customer support?

What medium of communication is most convenient for them? Such questions are vital, given that they often set the pace for future engagement with clients. Most clients are keen on real-time communication with customer support.

If the fulfillment service provider isn’t available to respond to client-related emergencies, this should be a red flag. The fulfillment service provider should also have multiple communication channels. The approach will ensure accessibility on various channels.

5. The Use of Technology

The use of technology is changing how e-commerce businesses are handling the shipping process. One of the main factors that should determine your choice of the fulfillment service provider is their technology use. Any fulfillment center worth your top dollar should have the latest technology in place to support their routine processes.

If the fulfillment center uses warehouse inventory management systems, then they are worth considering. A top-rated fulfillment center should use software that can support inventory management, enhance data reporting, and manage inbound/outbound freight.

Mobile Phone Technology

At least 5 billion people have access to mobile phones today. The best fulfillment center should be able to integrate mobile phone usage in the process of managing orders. Mobile phones play a critical role in the tracking process.

The fulfillment centers should be able to integrate mobile technologies in a way that ensures round the clock monitoring of all dispatched orders. This means that the clients can track orders on their phones and still keep communication with the fulfillment centers active.

Voice Tasking

What happens within the fulfillment center will affect your ability to meet your clients’ needs. As such, it would help to consider other useful technological applications within the fulfillment facility. The use of voice tasking can help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery.

It would help to consider such additional technological applications when selecting the best provider. This will ensure that you give your clients the best possible service.

6. Consider Scalability

Your business might be starting, but this does not mean it won’t snowball in the next few years. The best fulfillment partner should be able to help you grow your business in the long-haul. The main problem with most fulfillment centers is the limitation when it comes to expansion.

An important consideration when determining a fulfillment partner should be their ability to scale up over the next few years. If the center cannot grow in line with your business in the future, it’s not worth your top-dollar. The growth of the e-commerce sector will spur most online stores’ expansion in the next few years.

What should worry you during this period of growth is the ability by fulfillment service providers to scale up their service offerings. You should avoid a situation where you grow in a rapid sequence only to mess up your ability to sustain the growth rates.

The fulfillment center should support your growth journey in the long haul by working with you during the improvement process. Scalability should include other factors, such as the integration of systems to meet your routine customer needs.

The fulfillment center should also plan ahead of time to ensure that they remain flexible to the industry’s changing scope. At Fulfilltopia, we are working round the clock to expand our reach to other countries to meet your growth targets.

7. Experience

You will be entrusting the satisfaction of your clients in the hands of a fulfillment service provider. As such, it’s imperative to ensure that you only work with a fulfillment center that has the experience needed. A greenhorn company that’s only starting can mess you up.

While the allure of a cheap service is overwhelming, it’s essential to work with a seasoned fulfillment company. You don’t want to end up with frustrated clients because of entrusting their needs to a beginner in the sector. Our team comprises highly experienced individuals with the capacity to deliver according to your expectations.

It’s Time to Outsource Your Fulfillment Service

Your e-commerce business needs logistical support to thrive. One way to ensure that you meet your client’s needs is to focus on a flawless last-mile process. Fulfillment service providers are your best bet during such instances.

With a fulfillment service provider, you’ll not only cut on shipping costs but also achieve greater efficiency. However, it would help if you considered aspects such as scalability, experience, and the use of modern technology when selecting a fulfillment partner.

Other factors that should matter include the facility’s location, the pricing, and the services on offer. Once you get a provider with all these characters, it might be time to go all out. Our services at Fulfilltopia meet all these essential qualifications.

Are you looking for a reliable service provider to offer you fulfillment options for all your need? Contact us today.

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“Good service, reliable and flexible. Good communication and systems know how”

“We’ve had a great experience with Fulfilltopia. They’ve been flexible to fit our needs and hhelped us establish a previously non-existent supply chain for our business”

“Prompt, courteous service. Warehouse staff is attentive, orders are shipped in a timely manner. Issues are immediately addressed”

“Prompt, courteous service. Warehouse staff is attentive, orders are shipped in a timely manner. Issues are immediately addressed”

“We’ve had a great experience with Fulfilltopia. They’ve been flexible to fit our needs and hhelped us establish a previously non-existent supply chain for our business”

“Good service, reliable and flexible. Good communication and systems know how”