Three things you must know about ecommerce fulfillment
The process of developing your Internet start up can be daunting, and there are hosts of ecommerce fulfillment companies willing to help by offering you turn key solutions to allow you to focus on sales.
One such area is ecommerce fulfilment: often an area over simplified, and left until last to hone and tweak. No matter what you sell, it needs to be sold and delivered.
What is ecommerce fulfillment?
Ecommerce fulfilment is the process undertaken from clicking to buy until delivery to the customer. There are a few questions that you need to ask as a new vendor when contemplating your order ecommerce fulfilment strategy, however, the most glaringly obvious are:
1. How do i ensure that my product be delivered correctly?
2. How do i ensure it will be delivered in a timely manner?
Why is Ecommerce fulfilment important?
For an online business, there needs to be a strong emphasis on customer satisfaction to enable both repeat and new business and to ensure the long term growth of your venture. With this motivation, your ecommerce fulfilment strategy once formulated and maintained should drive business growth, and free up your time to focus on driving business without having to worry about unreliable service when it comes to the checkout and beyond! Having a great, easy to navigate website, with tantalising products is only half the battle when there are no systems or processes in place to ship your products!
With this in mind, There are a few ecommerce fulfilment options available to the savvy entrepreneur.
1. Doing it yourself
Looking after the process yourself, has a host of benefits for the small business as you can monitor customer satisfaction at every point so as to find and deal with issues as quickly as possible, tracing reliability of the system in place and fine tuning as you go.
This can mean quite simply having your ecommerce site, and dealing with the shipping by using a local post office, which can be far from cost effective, or by outsourcing to a preferred partner or network of partners, using companies such as Scurri to find transporters to ship your goods.
To do it yourself, you’ll need a suitable space to house your products, shelving and such to provide organised storage that will allow quick and methodised shipping procedures. Doing it yourself, or even outsourcing to local companies to house your products will allow you to brand the products that you sell, and allow you to raise brand awareness in this way.
2. Drop shipping
For some companies, drop shipping may be an option, allowing you the freedom and peace of mind of never buying more than you sell. Drop shipping is the process of selling products of another company through your website, with your markup, but the product is both stored and shipped directly from the drop shipping company’s warehouse.
Depending on the provider drop shipping of course may or may not include branding from your company, and if you cannot negotiate it with your supplier it wont help build brand awareness. However, it will allow you to save money on having to store products, and have an existing shipping solution already arranged for your customers.
3. Fulfilment Companies or houses
Another option is using a turn key option of fulfilment houses, they will in some cases, assemble store and ship your products even labelling the boxes with your labels, and some offer back end integration with your store allowing for a seamless process from checkout to delivery. In the initial stages of development however, this can be an expensive option.
This option allows you to plan out where your customer market is from and allow you to source your solution in that area cutting down on costs. There are a host of solutions available which makes this option accessible.
Whatever solution you choose, effectiveness and reliability are key. Make sure that any solution you use has been vetted and audited carefully , its your baby, take care of it personally!