In today’s digitally interconnected world, consumers are all-powerful. They type, click, and swipe their way to the products they want, always looking for a stellar experience. If you’re an eCommerce startup or if you sell goods via the Internet, your success will not only depend on the quality of your product—it will also depend on the quality of your order fulfillment service.
While there are some benefits to packing and shipping orders on your own—flexibility, economy, and ease of creating a personalized unboxing experience—as your business grows and gains momentum, it can become difficult to keep track of order fulfillment.
Shipping is a challenge, and it can make or break your business in myriad ways. Unfortunately, many new eCommerce entrepreneurs don’t give much thought to shipping and fulfillment. In thinking that they can get away with doing it themselves, more often than not, they end up creating more problems for themselves.
So, how can you stay competitive and ensure stellar shopping experiences for your customers? It’s simple: Partner with a third-party logistics and fulfillment company!
Here’s an infographic and an explanation of the top five benefits of outsourcing order fulfillment:
1. Focus on Growing Your Business
Chances are, you didn’t start your eCommerce business because you love packing boxes. Even if you happen to be gifted when it comes to filling and wrapping packages, it’s the other skills you bring to the table that make your business unique. Even more than that, as your online store sales grow in volume, your time grows scarce. Even if you have a small yet exceptionally talented and efficient team on your side, you still don’t want to spend countless hours of your business day packing and shipping orders.
Outsourcing order fulfillment will save you precious time so that you can focus on growing your business. The time you save by outsourcing can now be focused on sales, product sourcing, and/or online marketing rather than backend logistics.
2. Cut Costs
Although it may seem cheaper to fulfill orders yourself, as you grow, hiring an eCommerce fulfillment company can actually save you money. There are three key ways a fulfillment service will reduce your overhead:
First, you’ll no longer have to settle for long-term warehouse leases—a definite budget drain during slow periods. With a fulfillment service, you’ll pay a monthly fee only for the amount of space you occupy and for the service provided.
Second, many fulfillment services can negotiate a better rate with couriers due to greater shipping volumes. Additionally, not only will you benefit from their expertise, you can also leverage the fulfillment service’s negotiating power on packaging and shipping costs.
Third, when you fulfill orders on your own, as your business grows, so too will your staff. No matter how efficient and hardworking they are, managing employees still costs time and money. Outsourcing order fulfillment to a fulfillment company lets the firm worry about warehouse space, finding quality fulfillment staff, and negotiating great prices with shipping companies. You can then focus on hiring staff with the talents and business savvy necessary to grow your business, not pack your boxes.
3. Efficient Storage and Distribution
It goes without saying that a fulfillment company lets you store, organize, and ship your orders more efficiently. They’ll do all the work of receiving, storing, and managing your products, and they’ll provide easy access for tracking your current stock levels.
More importantly, a fulfillment service eliminates the risk of shipping errors. Their state of the art inventory technology, automated processes, streamlined pick and pack methods, and advanced receiving and return procedures ensure accurate and efficient order fulfillment processing.
4. Scale Your Business with Fewer Headaches
As your business grows, shipping becomes more stressful, especially if you sell your products via multiple paths. Consider how many steps there are between receiving an order and delivering it to your customer’s door and you’ll realize that fulfilling orders yourself is rarely a walk in the park.
But when you take that walk with a fulfillment company by your side, you won’t have to worry about packing and distributing, managing additional inventory, finding low-cost warehouse space, or hiring new fulfillment employees. Instead, you’ll have all the confidence you need to grow your business as quickly as you wish without fear of negatively impacting your customers’ experience.
5. Enter New Markets More Easily
Without a doubt, eCommerce is one of today’s fastest growing industries. Many small online businesses aspire to tap into the global market but hesitate to do so for fear of the risks involved. Outsourcing order fulfillment is an excellent way to enter new markets without setting up brick-and-mortar shops in every country you plan to sell your products. Furthermore, you can take advantage of the fulfillment company’s excellent shipping rates and distribution location, and some order fulfillment firms will even assist you with the necessary documents for international trade.
Customer expectations are already high, and as the world of eCommerce progresses, they’ll only get higher. In this swiftly changing market, you can’t afford to settle for merely satisfactory order fulfillment—you must have perfect. Outsource to a fulfillment company and you’ll not only remain competitive and efficient, but you’ll become even more so!