Creating an eCommerce business can be exhilarating, but that doesn’t mean it comes without its challenges. You may find that you’re doing everything yourself, from product development, customer service to fulfilling and shipping orders.
If you’re having to do everything, how can you possibly reach your goals and successfully upscale the business and enter new markets.
Lucky for you, fulfilment centres take an edge off for small businesses, where they handle picking, packing and shipping orders out. When the fulfilment partner is the perfect fit for your company, you can entrust them with these responsibilities whilst you focus on other areas of your business.
So how does using a fulfilment partner differ from coordinating your fulfilment in house.
For small-businesses, its a timely process finding orders, packing them and sending them out. Usually, the business owner ends up driving back and forth to the post office multiple times, to ship out all the orders on time. It’s important to bear in mind that a growing business takes on more pressure, as you’re required to fulfil a great load of orders at the same speed. Delays can often lead to unhappy customers and negative reviews; all of which can affect customer loyalty and immediate word-of-mouth.
When using a fulfilment partner, all your stock is secured safely. When a customer purchase is made, you can ensure that the fulfilment partner will quickly and efficiently send that order out. This leaves you with happy customers and repeat business.
Its a sad fact of life that returns are an unavoidable part of eCommerce. Despite a stellar service and top end products, some customers will have a change of heart or feel like the product isn’t a right fit for them. Managing returns can be a BIG pain. When handling a return yourself you may find that you have to deal with customer queries, wait for the return, examine the condition of the product, determine whether it can be resold, and then get the item restocked and back up on your website for resale.
On the other hand, with a fulfilment centre you can completely avoid returns management and let your fulfilment partner take ownership of it. The partner will sort the return, effectively examine it’s condition for resale and list it back on the website/store hassle-free.
The simplest headache-free route when managing parcel volumes internally can be having only one type of delivery. Working with an assortment of carriers necessitates more time spent on shipment; where you manage different contracts, store integrations, delivery options and multiple drop-offs or pick-ups. However, having different delivery options can often be essential to some customers. It’s a known fact that customers abandon their carts when there is a lack of delivery options, i.e. not having a next day shipping option.
Its pretty normal for a fulfilment centre to already have contracts with numerous suppliers and can therefore ship with other delivery options easily. Following an easier integration on an ecommerce store, small business owners should be able to showcase different delivery options to their customers, increasing sales and customer contentment as a by-product.
Managing and Storing Stock
Aside from everything else that you have to do when shipping an order, you must monitor stock levels and ensure that you’re regularly ordering the correct quantity of products to prevent out of sale lines.
When working with a fulfilment centre, everything is safely stored in a warehouse. Additionally, you will also get access to a stock management system where you can monitor what products are going in and out, so that you can effortlessly re-order the correct product lines from your supplier.
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