Whether you’re a new business, or you’re an existing eCommerce retailer that is looking to make 2022 the most efficient year in history, eCommerce fulfilment can help you to take control.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the process and role of eCommerce fulfilment services in facilitating business growth and whether outsourcing or in-house is the right decision for your business.
Before we dive into the nitty gritty, let’s check off the most important question, what is eCommerce fulfilment and why is it an essential cog in growing an e-comm retailer?
eCommerce fulfilment is the end-to-end process from the moment that a customer places an order, to the moment that it arrives on their doorstep. eComm fulfilment involves processing new orders, picking orders, packaging orders, transporting orders, and (finally) getting the order to the customer.
eCommerce Fulfilment can be handled in one of two different ways:
1. The process is handled by the eCommerce retailer that hires an in-house team to take care of processing, stocking, sending, and updating orders as they go out.
2. The retailer hires an external third-party logistics (3PL) company to handle the process and spends more time focussing on increasing the number of orders.
The eCommerce Fulfilment process is a key part of the online shopping experience. By understanding the steps involved, retailers can ensure that their customers have a positive experience and are able to receive their purchases in a timely manner.
There are four key steps in the eCommerce fulfilment process:
This is the first step in the process and involves the retailer receiving and processing customer orders. This includes ensuring that all necessary information is captured, such as shipping addresses and payment information.
Once an order has been processed, it needs to be fulfilled. This involves picking the products from inventory, packing them for shipping, and arranging for delivery.
The third step in the process is the delivery of the products to the customer. This can be done via a number of different methods, such as shipping carriers or local delivery services.
The final step in the eCommerce Fulfillment process is providing customer service. This includes resolving any issues that may arise during or after the order process, such as damaged goods or incorrect items being delivered.
By understanding the steps involved in the eCommerce Fulfilment process, retailers can ensure that their customers have a positive experience and are able to receive their purchases in a timely manner.
There are pros and cons to both in-house and outsourced eCommerce fulfilment. Ultimately, the decision comes down to what makes the most sense for your business. As you grow and move through different stages, one option may be more applicable to you than another so it’s important to constantly reassess your business model and decide what makes the most sense for you.
In-house eCommerce fulfilment can be a great way to maintain control over your inventory and orders. However, it can also be costly and time-consuming.
Conversely, if you decide to outsource your eCommerce fulfilment, you can save money and free up your time to focus on other aspects of your business.
3PLs can scale up or down as needed, which is ideal for businesses that experience seasonal spikes in demand.
3PLs can often provide cheaper shipping rates and other discounts.
3PLs have in-depth knowledge of the shipping and logistics industry, which can save you time and hassle.
3PLs can help you improve your order accuracy and delivery times, leading to happier customers.
A long running myth when it comes to eCommerce fulfilment is that your store or online presence needs to be located within close proximity to your fulfilment centre.
The truth is this is rarely the case. Your fulfilment centre needs to be located closely to your customers in order to keep your shipping costs low and ensure that fastest turnaround between order and delivery.
A recent study out of the US found that proximity to customers is indeed one of the most important factors in determining fulfilment success.
The study found that when products are shipped from a fulfilment centre that is closer to the customer, there are significantly lower rates of returns and cancellations. This is likely due to the fact that products arrive faster and are less likely to be damaged in transit.
While this research indicates that proximity is important, it is important to consider the other factors that contribute to fulfilment success. For example, cost and efficiency are also crucial. If a fulfilment centre is significantly cheaper or more efficient than its competitors, this could offset the disadvantage of being further away from customers.
Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to locate a fulfilment centre close to customers depends on a number of factors. Proximity is certainly one consideration, but it should be weighed against other important factors such as cost and efficiency.
There is often confusion over the terms warehousing and eCommerce fulfilment. However, there are some key differences between the two.
Warehousing is simply the storage of goods, while eCommerce fulfilment also includes picking, packing, and shipping orders.
So, while all eCommerce fulfilment requires warehousing, not all warehousing is used for eCommerce purposes.
ECommerce fulfilment also generally needs to be much quicker and more efficient than traditional warehousing, as customers expect their orders to arrive quickly and efficiently. This means that eCommerce warehouses need to be set up differently, with different systems and processes in place.
Warehousing is just one part of eCommerce fulfilment. While all eCommerce fulfilment requires warehousing, it is not the same thing as eCommerce fulfilment. There are some key differences that need to be considered.
There are a number of things to keep in mind when choosing an eCommerce fulfillment company. The most important thing is to find a company that is able to provide you with the services that you need at a price that you can afford.
At One Warehousing, our goal is to deliver the most value to your business. We do not claim to be the cheapest outright, but we do believe that we offer the most cost-efficient eCommerce fulfilment service in Australia.
Find out how e-Comm fulfilment services can save your business time, money, and help you to focus on the big picture while we take care of the day to day.