Starting an e-commerce business involves many steps and decision that need to come together at the right time to ensure success. You will need to build a strong customer base and deliver products and services on time. Many company owners choose to outsource their fulfillment operations so they are free to concentrate on other business necessities while customer requirements and satisfaction are carefully managed by experienced fulfillment professionals.
The fulfillment process refers to all of the steps involved in getting a product to the customer – from order processing, to picking, packing, shipping and delivery.
“At least fifty percent of our business is fulfillment, we can do everything right upfront but if they open that box and things are not right it messes up the entire experience. You gotta get that part right.”
- John LawsonCEO, 3rd Power Outlet and ColderICE Media
Let’s look the variety of fulfillment options that are available for e-commerce businesses:
Self-fulfillment – Businesses that rely on self-fulfillment assume the responsibility for picking, packing and shipping orders and managing inventory themselves.
Outsourced Fulfillment – Many e-commerce companies look for an outside company that specializes in fulfillment to handle their fulfillment needs. Because these companies focus only on fulfillment, they often offer efficiencies and advanced technologies that will benefit your business.
Drop shipping – This unique shipping method involves having products delivered/shipped direct to customers by the manufacturer or wholesaler.
E-commerce fulfillment options are not one-size-fits all. Evaluate the pros and cons of each method and make your decision based on your business requirements. There is always the option of ‘Mixed Fulfillment’ which is a combination of the above mentioned options. At the end of the day, you need satisfied customers who will help attract new customers to your business.
“It is equally important to identify and continuously evaluate the right shipping mix for your business. Many businesses think it’s easiest to select one carrier for everything, but each offers distinct advantages and pricing options.”
- Amine Khechf´e
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