Start Today: Grow Your Business

Ways to Make E-Commerce Fulfillment Work for Your Business

by Donald Woods

Whether your business already has a physical presence or you exist entirely online, e-commerce fulfilment can help you expand. In a nutshell, e-commerce fulfilment allows you to use third-party logistics to ship stock on your behalf. Your stock exists in a warehouse away from your usual premises, and the third party delivers it when a customer places an order. If this is an avenue you're yet to try, here are some ways to make it a success.

Use an order management system

If you're using various suppliers, you need to find a way to make sure your stock moves smoothly from each one to the distributing warehouse. When items don't move smoothly, your customers may experience variations in shipping times. From a consumer perspective, that can feel quite frustrating.

Using an order management system ensures everything moves smoothly from one place to the next. When your shipping times become consistent, your customers know what to expect, and they'll have more faith in ordering from you.

Make sure your stock is visible

When your stock isn't visible through every stage of the shipping process, communicating with the buyer becomes challenging. Both you and your third-party logistics provider need to be able to see what is in stock and the number of items available. Once it's on its way to the customer, you need to know where it is so you can provide an update if they make a query.

Having visible stock also helps you save money. When you're aware that stock is low, you can order more and avoid missing sales. Similarly, when there's too much available, you can avoid making unnecessary orders that are a wasted investment.

Find the right logistics team

When you use a third-party logistics service, you need a team that'll make your life easier. The organisation you choose should be dependable. When they don't ship items in a timely manner, your customers will become frustrated. As their frustrations mount, they'll take them out on you rather than the person holding your stock.

Investigate each third-party logistics provider thoroughly and look at their record. Consider asking your business connections if they've dealt with them. Praise by word of mouth is usually authentic, and it'll give you a reasonable insight into which providers are dependable.

Consider using multiple warehouses

Finally, if you're shipping your products throughout the country, use multiple warehouses. Having more than one warehouse increases your shipping times, so you can deliver a consistent service to your customers no matter where they are. In the event that one runs out of stock, you can always rely on another for backup.

Speak with third-party logistics companies near you about their work.