Online business works best when partnered with a reliable fulfillment company. Reaching out to prospective customers is possible. Increasing revenue is also achievable. It creates a positive impact on merchants. Do you want to attain the same goals? Then, understand what fulfillment for the eCommerce business is all about.
Define eCommerce Fulfillment
eCommerce fulfillment is now a well-known strategy to broaden your spectrum. It is a vital part of the eCommerce operation as it delivers products directly to the customers. In 2021, Forbes described fulfillment as the epicenter of E-Commerce enablement.
An e-fulfillment process is a systematic procedure. It manages the preparation of the ordered item and brings it straight to clients’ homes. It includes getting the product from the fulfillment shelves. Picking and packing of orders is also part of it. Shipping is the last yet crucial factor.
It’s no surprise why there’s a high demand in fulfillment for the eCommerce business. Its role is an integral part of the success of the venture.
4 Types of Order Fulfillment
Order fulfillment is essential and beneficial to any type of eCommerce business. But first, one must know which kind of fulfillment service must be used.
In-house – The concept indicates all procedures of order fulfillment done internally. Sellers have direct management of what happens in the business.
Third-party – It involves outsourcing services to complete all the fulfillment activities. It consists of an order fulfillment vendor and other third parties; click here to learn more.
Dropshipping – Production, and shipment of orders are from the manufacturer’s end. It saves both the buyer and the seller costs from a middleman and overhead expenses.
Hybrid – It is excellent fulfillment for the eCommerce business. It is a combination of any of the three types or probably all of them. Merchants can handle or outsource fulfillment based on the peak periods. Also, it permits manufacturers to dropship bulky items.
A fulfillment provider uplifts the heavy tasks from business owners. It aims to lessen the hassle of product preparation once an order comes in. That’s why learning how a particular fulfillment center works is a must. This way, you can choose the best type for the eCommerce business.
8 Process in the Fulfillment of eCommerce Business
It is favorable if you have fulfillment for the eCommerce business. It takes over the manual procedure of your shoulder. Find out what to expect from a fulfillment company. Here are the basic 8 processes it offers.
Receiving is the step of acceptance and storage of incoming stocks. The fulfillment center manages the inventory in hand before they can handle orders.
A fulfillment provider organizes all received and stored inventory. It does proper documentation, counting, and inspection. Also, they use SKUs and barcodes for proper checking, sorting, and storage. It must coincide with the merchant.
All the items must be inside the dedicated warehouse storage locations. Then, orders start coming in. Soon, shipping them towards the customer’s location.
Proper storage is essential for the fast-paced process of an online business. Plus, retrieving goods from internal storage is more accessible.
It is essential to designate products for short-term and long-term storage. For example, edible products must be in a conspicuous space. Also, make sure to check the expiry upon storing.
Store only items suitable for existing sales. Stocking up too much might cause a loss of income instead of earning for future sales. HubSpot suggests using inventory management software like Delivered, Notify Me, Ordoro, and Oberlo. There is a lot to choose from so take the time to explore which one best fits your needs and business process.
Your eCommerce business is good to go with received and adequately stored goods. The next step is to process every order that goes in.
A fulfillment center works by checking out all the orders and stocks. Then, it initiates the order processing for every received customer order. Therefore, it takes over picking and packing activities for you.
The process of a fulfillment center starts in the warehouse. An assigned picking team begins to work once it receives a packing slip’s instructions. It includes order details such as the SKUs, product variation (size and color), and quantity. The designated location in the warehouse is in the slip, too.
The picking team checks the designated location of the goods. Then, collect the ordered items based on the packing slip. Afterward, hand it over to the packing team once everything is complete.
The adequately trained packing team works based on the picked items. They pack the order securely at the lowest practical dimensional weight. This way, the goods will travel with protection. Thus, reach its buyers in excellent condition.
Some fulfillment companies charge the packing materials used. Meanwhile, others provide it based on the agreed fulfillment services. Packing supplies include boxes, packing tape, air-fill, bubble wrap, bubble mailer, poly bags, and other dunnage.
Business owners often want to keep their brand upfront. Most fulfillment companies permit stocking custom boxes. It all depends on the said agreement.
Once an order is entirely ready, it is time to ship. Shipping labels play a crucial role in delivering the buyer’s order.
Most fulfillment centers purchase it from shipping carriers on your behalf. But some that have partner carriers they prefer. So, it ensures much affordable pricing compared to shipping from various providers.
When the order ships out, merchants receive an order tracking detail. With technology, you can share it with customers manually or automatically. You can also rely on Red Stag expedited shipping for a better customer experience.
During delivery, it is inevitable to have more than one carrier. Such instances happen when the buyer’s address is in a remote area.
Here’s an example. The first carrier picks the order from the fulfillment center. However, it has no direct access to the customer’s location. So, they hand it over to those carriers that can reach and deliver direct to the doorsteps.