Simply put, ecommerce fulfillment is simply the final phase of your distribution chain that occurs within a fulfillment center or warehouse. From receiving and inbounding your product to picking and pack orders, to shipping and delivering your merchandise, fulfillment plays the role of either lowering your costs or increasing your revenues depending upon how you plan on utilizing it. There are many companies offering ecommerce fulfillment services. Here are some of the most common:
Logistics companies are primarily focused on warehousing. warehousing is the process of warehousing of your goods from beginning to end, including shipment arrangement, receiving, pick and pack, and shipping. Many ecommerce fulfillment companies offer full range warehousing services including inventory control, order tracking, and transportation of products from your manufacturer to your door.
Inventory control is key for warehousing, as it enables you to ensure that you have enough stock on hand to meet future demand. Many ecommerce fulfillment companies utilize technology to track your long-term inventory levels. This includes the ability to determine when you have new stock available as well as information about how much of your current inventory needs to be sold. By properly controlling inventory, you can maximize profits by ensuring that you are selling your product to your customers at the right time.
Your customer’s satisfaction begins long before they walk into your store. In addition to handling the inbound traffic that arrives at your site, an ecommerce fulfillment center also handles returns, solves return/satisfaction issues, and generally helps to foster customer loyalty. By taking this extra step, you not only ensure that you are providing great customer service, but you are also building a solid reputation on which to build your ecommerce businesses.
When it comes to ecommerce fulfillment, there are many benefits to utilizing an onsite storage provider. One of the primary benefits is that ecommerce businesses often experience a spike in sales during the holiday season. During this time, many consumers will purchase gifts that they cannot locate in their home states. Instead of having to travel to the local store to pick up these presents, they simply drive to the store in search of the right gift.
By using onsite storage services, you can expedite the process of picking and packing gifts for your customers. Instead of spending countless hours running back and forth to the store, you can simply move some of this work to the fulfillment center where it can be picked up and packed for you. They will even deliver the gifts to your customer once they arrive. Best of all, the process will be completed while you are free to do other things. You can spend more time with your family or spend some quality time tending to your business.
The second benefit to utilizing ecommerce fulfillment centers is that they provide a way to meet customer expectations. When you run an online business, it is not uncommon to encounter customers who are a bit unsure about making a purchase online. Because it is an online transaction, many consumers are afraid to purchase online because they do not feel comfortable giving their credit card information over the internet. This is why a local on site storage facility can be such a great benefit to an ecommerce business. Once the order has been processed and an order picked and packed, it becomes possible for your customers to return what they purchased and pay with a credit card so that they can be refunded.
Online fulfillment also offers an opportunity to streamline the process of inventory control. Ecommerce stores commonly operate on a single server, which means that each item is stored in its own virtual location. However, physical inventory requires that each item be shipped to a separate shipping destination. In order to keep track of all of the items currently in inventory, your order management department will have to manually enter information about each item and then enter the shipping information for each individual item. This automated process could be greatly reduced by using a fulfillment service to manage your inventory.