The key to the success of an ecommerce business is offering quick & timely delivery of the orders to every customer. The geographic location, existing situations, and several other factors can hinder the process of order fulfillment, but that’s not the customer’s concern. It’s your headache to make all the calculations and decide on the order fulfillment solutions that can be perfectly fit for your ecommerce store.
There can not be one order fulfillment solution that fits the fulfillment requirements of all sizes of business. It’s your supply chain management, business’s size, type of business, and the business model that decides the order fulfillment options for your online store.
Wait a while!
Do you know what order fulfillment is?
Order fulfillment is the entire process of fulfilling orders, from invoice generation to delivering it to the end customer. Don’t get confused between order fulfillment & warehousing services. Warehouse service is to keep your products in the assigned location, whereas ordering fulfillment if the process of taking the orders from the seller’s location or warehouse and delivering it to the end customer.
The ecommerce sellers often use three options to fulfill orders: self-ship, shipping via in-house courier services, and partnering with third-party shipment services. The idea of inhouse courier is perfect for local transportation and covering the few locations where you have the warehouses of your business. It is a costly affair and adds a lot of additional responsibility on the ecommerce business owner. Using the option of self-ship, sellers can directly send the products to customers via courier services without partnering with any.
To streamline the process of order fulfillment, sellers can partner with third-party shipping service providers and get discounted rates. Some of these shipping service providers do offer end to end order fulfillment services, right from the invoice generation to pick up and deliver it to your customer.
What is the order fulfillment solution?
The fulfillment solutions are the end to end service providers that can pick, pack, and ship your products on behalf of your business. The ecommerce order fulfillment is often referred to as ecommerce fulfillment. Such fulfillment service providers also offer essential shipping services. It’s your choice to add the type of services you want to use for your business.
If you are a startup, or a hobby business that is not full-fledged, the self-shipping option can be best for you. But, if you own a fully grown business, you need to work on order fulfillment solutions. The order fulfillment service provider that you will choose will enable the APK integration to your store to give you access to a dashboard from where you can easily access the order details, manage status and track their live location.
What features must you consider to choose the best ecommerce order fulfillment solution?
The selection of the best ecommerce fulfillment solution depends upon the volume of the order, the count of sales channels on which you are selling, the tenure of product delivery, and so on.
Whether the fulfillment service provides you integrate with have a distinct seller dashboard, or it’s a standalone ecommerce solution, it should have the features like:
- Automatically fetching orders from the linked sales channels
- Automatic invoice generation and sharing to the customer. Also the easy generation of pickup orders
- Options to send customers notification about the orders shipped and notification for different stages of shipping.
The advanced functionalities to count on can be:
- Addition of business places or order pickup locations. This feature actually serves well for dropshipping businesses.
- Automatic inventory sync across the linked sales channels
- Low stock alerts for warehouse locations as well as sales channels.
- Route drop shipments to the supplier business along with the seller to streamline the drop shipment service.
For enterprise-grade businesses, the integration of a dedicated WMS, order transfer between locations, real-time view of inventory, and few more advanced features will be required.
Ecommerce fulfillment companies may have packages dedicated to different business sizes. You can check for the befitting solution and go ahead with the chosen plan. Also, you can enquire with the ecommerce solution provider for the customer service plan, if they are offering.
Leading ecommerce fulfillment service providers
There are numerous shipping & courier service provider companies. Still, not all of them have gained the name and fame like the ones listed here:
The former ones are for US-based businesses, whereas the latter ones are best for Indian businesses. When you open your online store with Builderfly, you can configure your merchant account with any of these ecommerce service providers to offer live shipping rates to the customers. Since we are already partnered with them, you can get benefited from the discounted shipping rates in your store.
You can enquire with these companies if you want the end to end order fulfillment services for your business. If you opt for such services, like Amazon’s FBA, you can put your inventory in their warehouse in different locations to reduce the delivery time. The fulfillment partners will pick, pack, and ship your products for some nominal shipment handling charges. This will not only reduce the order fulfillment time but improvise the ROI of your business by reducing the investment in your warehouses.
That’s a lot of information for you to process. If you are already selling on any of the sales channels, you can check the shipping locations to take note of the locations of the warehouse, from where you get most of the orders. Such a decision can save you a lot more expenses, and you can actually reduce the shipping delivery days in the meantime.