There are many variables involved in eCommerce order fulfillment. Whether you are a new online retailer or an established multinational eCommerce brand, you need efficient fulfillment services to align with customer preferences and meet demand. People expect prompt service and product delivery. Even if you have the best product on the market, the eCommerce fulfillment company you select will significantly impact your customer satisfaction. To help you, we decided to explain how third-party logistics (3PL) can help you improve your eCommerce business and describe the characteristics of a good fulfillment center.
How to Choose the Best Fulfillment Company for Your eCommerce Business
Finding a stable and reliable fulfillment center is an essential requirement for a profitable business. As a result, you must ensure that the 3PL company has everything necessary to handle your logistics needs. Aside from pick and pack, there are several services to consider when looking for a 3PL. The right third-party logistics company will simplify integrating your online store. Technology-enabled 3PLs combine shipping, inventory and order management technology. This automates the fulfillment process while providing complete visibility and control of the entire process.
What Makes a Great Fulfillment Center?
While it may be tempting to get carried away by advertisements or even great deals, it is critical to cover the most essential bases first, as these will lay a solid foundation for your business. A few important factors should be considered when choosing the best order fulfillment company for your business needs. These are the most important characteristics to consider when making a final decision.
- Flawless shipping logistics and short delivery times
- Fast and effective communication
- Reliable return management and agile problem-solving workflows
- A Proprietary WMS platform
Fast shipping and short delivery times
Selecting a fulfillment company must include an eCommerce fulfillment service capable of delivering your company’s product to your customer in a timely manner. A longer delivery time may cause your customers to buy from competitors, resulting in losing customers. To avoid losing customers, ensure that your fulfillment partner is dependable and will always be there when your sales volume increases. I-Fulfilment is an excellent example of a fast order fulfillment service.
Fast and effective communication
Establishing a customer-centric experience is one way to grow your eCommerce business. Most customers prefer to communicate with customer service in real-time. This should raise a red flag if the fulfillment service provider is not available to respond to client-related emergencies. The fulfillment service company should also have multiple communication channels. This approach will ensure accessibility across various channels.
Reliable return management and agile problem-solving workflows
It’s important for eCommerce businesses to have a reliable return management system in place to maintain customer satisfaction and ensure a smooth returns process. By implementing agile problem-solving workflows and leveraging technology to track and analyse customer behaviour, businesses can identify common issues and patterns that cause returns and take action to prevent them from occurring. Additionally, you should provide clear and concise return policies, offer timely refunds or replacements, and address any customer concerns or complaints to quickly address any issues that arise during the returns process.
How to Choose the Right Fulfillment Center
It is critical to research to ensure that you are selecting not just any fulfillment partner but the right one. Here are a few things to look for when choosing an order fulfillment center for your online business.
Location of the Center
The location of the center is highly crucial to the supply chain. The distribution network will become unnecessarily long and complicated without properly located fulfillment centers. This can cause significant delays and increases in logistics costs that could otherwise be avoided. While having multiple fulfillment centers in various regions is crucial for global shipping and timely delivery, it may not be as critical on a national level within the UK. The distance between different regions in the UK is relatively shorter than international distances, which means that shipments can often be delivered within a reasonable timeframe. However, having multiple fulfillment centers within the UK can still improve delivery times and reduce shipping costs for domestic orders, especially for businesses that receive high volumes of orders from different regions of the country.
Features of Order Fulfillment Software
If you want your business to stay ahead of the competition, ensure the fulfillment service you choose has integrated software. With the right technology, you can send product orders from your eCommerce platform to your fulfillment provider for distribution without requiring additional input from you or your team. Understanding your actual needs and goals is critical before selecting a fulfillment partner who uses software with features that can align. You should also ensure that their order fulfillment software is simple to implement and use on a daily basis and that it can integrate with other platforms and business apps you’re already using.
Transparency and Visibility
As a client, you want to be able to log into your account and track the package at every step of the way. Transparent businesses should have software that allows you to track shipment, whether it is in fulfillment center storage or has already been dispatched. This transparency helps foster the growth of trust, which contributes to achieving customer retention. You are less likely to lose a customer if they are familiar with your company’s ordering process and can quickly check their order status at each stage.
Branding and Packaging Options
Building brand awareness should be a goal for any business. Along with branding, you should select a fulfillment center that offers a wide range of packaging options depending on the product you are shipping. Unique packaging can increase customer satisfaction and enhance the unboxing experience. When combined with your product, branded packaging can even elicit strong feelings of loyalty. Consumers today are more likely to interact with brands that personalise their experience. A custom-tailored and fun customer experience will delight and entice them to return for more.
There are several costs associated with the fulfillment process, and different fulfillment companies will charge you different rates as a customer. You want to ensure that shipping and fulfillment center storage fees will save you money in the long run. While there may be some initial fees, you can reduce the cost of services by comparing different pricing plans before committing to a fulfillment company. Most customers look for fulfillment companies that offer services that are within their company’s budget. I-Fulfilment provides the most competitive pricing package to suit every business as it is customised to their needs.
Is a fulfillment center important for your eCommerce business?
Your e-commerce brand requires logistical support. If your business has outgrown your current fulfillment center or you can no longer ship orders manually, it’s time to hire a fulfillment service provider. Focusing on a flawless last-mile process is one way to ensure that you meet your customer’s needs. A fulfillment service provides several benefits:
- It saves you time: You will have more time to manage and optimise things that are more important to your business.
- You’ll be partnering with a team of logistics experts: You get a whole team of experts who manage everything and help you along the way when you use an outsourced fulfillment services provider.
- It will save you money: Rather than committing to long-term rental contracts, many fulfillment service providers offer flexible pricing that can adapt to your needs as you grow.
- You can benefit from economies of scale: A fulfillment service has more negotiating power regarding packaging and shipping costs. You can capitalise on these efficiencies to achieve new levels of agility.
Why Should You Choose I-Fulfilment?
You can choose from a variety of fulfillment companies, but in a highly competitive online market, order fulfillment must be as quick as your eCommerce businesses. I-Fulfilment provides a cutting-edge, specialised order fulfillment process that fundamentally meets modern online business needs.
- We provide reliable, efficient shipping, global order fulfillment and expedited shipping options.
- Our fulfilment software, BladePRO, was developed to be simple and integrate seamlessly into your existing day-to-day business processes.
- Every stage of the order fulfillment process is transparent to us. You will be able to see what we see in real-time, which means you’ll always be up to date.
- We will help you set up your fulfillment needs, and design customised boxes and labels to deliver a personalised, engaging user experience that drives customer loyalty.
- We provide dynamic integration with all major eCommerce systems, including Shopify, Amazon, WooCommerce, eBay, and many others.
- You can tailor the fulfillment experience to your customers and make adjustments as needed with the ability to make last-minute edits and changes and add customer service, along with other things.
Are you ready to learn how we can help your company increase efficiency and improve user experience? We’re ready to be your one-stop fulfillment partner. Contact us today!