Your e-commerce company’s success depends on how well orders are fulfilled. It may seem cliché, but a trustworthy e-commerce fulfilment partner will support the expansion of your company and help your brand please consumers. Contrarily, no matter how fantastic your product is, a subpar e-commerce fulfilment service will result in customer churn and ruin your brand’s image.
The question is, how do you choose the best e-commerce fulfilment, partners? What are the ideal standards?
Here’s a quick introduction to e-commerce order fulfilment services so you can have a better understanding of them before we get into the key factors that will help you make the best decision.
E-commerce fulfilment services: what are they?
Consider an e-commerce fulfilment service as a command center for your online store that handles the delivery of client orders after the customer completes the checkout process.
But e-commerce fulfilment involves much more than just leaving a package on a customer’s doorstep. Receiving and storing inventory, processing orders, selecting things, packaging boxes, and delivering the items to the customer’s location are all parts of fulfilment, along with the necessary internal and external communication.
Who would need partners in e-commerce fulfilment?
Direct-to-consumer companies without a high-street location or storage facilities
Businesses that have just exceeded their ability to fulfill orders internally to the point that they are unable to distribute orders at scale;
Businesses with many channels that want to add an online store
Modern fulfilment solutions employ a number of small-scale warehouses known as micro-fulfillment centers instead of the typical huge warehouses on the outskirts of cities that are used by most fulfilment providers. These urban micro-fulfillment centers depend on automation to serve customers’ demands and achieve the objectives of quicker and more reliable delivery across various geographies.
E-commerce fulfilment services differ from conventional 3pls in several ways.
Although there is some overlap between traditional 3pls and e-commerce fulfilment services, most 3PL firms only focus on basic logistics services (pick and pack, warehousing, distribution, etc.), whereas full-service fulfilment centers provide a wider range of services, such as customer support and returns.
Delivery speed: Due to their business strategy, conventional 3pls are unable to provide brands with fast delivery; at most, they may reduce the wait time to two or one day (next-day delivery). However, shortening delivery times is expensive for them. However, here is where contemporary the order fulfillment process services like agetionexpress since they can deliver items on the same day, often in less than two hours.
Cost: While contemporary e-commerce platforms like Ohi offer a flat rate, 3pls often assess fees depending on weight, transit time, and distance. Even if the number of specialized deliveries considerably rises, instant commerce systems often forward-position goods in micro-fulfillment centers throughout the nation, greatly lowering the transportation and delivery necessary on an order-by-order basis.
Sustainability: Another significant distinction is the proximity of these contemporary e-commerce fulfilment services to their final recipients, which enables them to use more environmentally friendly modes of transportation (such as electric vehicles, bicycle messengers, and walkers) and less wasteful cardboard packaging. With a standard 3PL, this is not at all feasible.
The demands of 3pls and instant commerce providers like Ohi tend to vary, notwithstanding some minor patent differences. Because it is impractical and unrealistic for any fulfilment service to offer two-hour or same-day delivery coverage across the country (including in rural areas), many retailers work in tandem with cutting-edge e-commerce fulfilment companies like Ohi and their 3PL to provide amazing instant commerce experiences (where available) and reassuringly quick delivery elsewhere in the nation.
How can I choose the best fulfilment partner for my online business?
Consumers are becoming less and less happy with two-day shipping these days. And with outmoded fulfilment strategies that primarily depend on enormous warehouses located in the middle of nowhere, where land is inexpensive, it is almost difficult to match the delivery speed requirements of today’s clients. Although this can first sound appealing, think about the implications for your last-mile delivery experience and delivery speed.
If speed is what you’re wanting, you should search for a micro-fulfillment-based solution that reduces the time/distance to the end consumer by using tiny warehouses (or micro-fulfillment centers) in highly populated urban areas. The last mile delivery experience may be expedited by having your inventory close to your consumers since a delivery courier can then deliver one order at a time (point-to-point) rather than hundreds of orders by truckload.
A good prospective partner should share your commitment to the expansion of your business. They should also be adaptable and ready to change with you as your firm expands. You should find proof that they have the ability to match your expanding order volume while maintaining a high level of operational quality and your crucial customer experience (or that they are actively developing the capacity).
In conclusion, be careful to work with an e-commerce fulfilment service that is adaptable, flexible, scalable, and able to handle extreme circumstances and volume surges.
The best way to expand your company is to fully understand your kpis so that you can focus your efforts on potential growth areas and develop solutions for any bottlenecks you may find. E-commerce companies must also be able to provide exceptional customer service as a crucial part of brand distinction, which depends on having accurate and fast data at their fingertips.
Select a fulfillment service that offers as close to real-time access to these vital data monitoring features as possible:
- Availability of your items in stock (as well as forecasted ordering schedules)
- Real-time monitoring of client orders for all of your deliveries
- Inventory order monitoring in real-time lets you know when your items are available.
- Improved product purchasing trend insights with analytics