Six tips to select the right e-commerce fulfilment service
In e-commerce, order fulfilment involves managing inventory, packaging orders, shipping to customers and handling returns. Many e-commerce businesses are outsourcing this to third parties, thereby giving e-commerce businesses the freedom to focus on growth.
Selecting the right e-commerce fulfilment partner will enhance customer satisfaction, minimise fulfilment blunders, attract repeat business and boost profits significantly. However, making the wrong choice could mean doom for your enterprise. Here are six points to consider when making this decision.
Most fulfilment companies specialise in specific kinds of business or industries. Before making a decision, one needs to find out if the provider would be a good fit for one’s business. Carry out some research to find out which customers it has worked with and ascertain if the e-commerce fulfilment partner is able to scale to fulfil the demands of a growing business.
When it comes to fulfilment, technology is very critical. Make sure the fulfilment provider has the necessary technology solutions to carry out its role efficiently and effectively. For instance, warehouse management systems (WMS) and flexible order management systems (OMS) are a must for success in fulfilment.
One needs to choose a fulfilment service that can deliver orders to customers in a timely manner. This is why it would be advisable to work with providers that are located near train depots, shipping ports, airports and major highways. Fast delivery will make one stand out from the competition and attract more repeat buyers.
It is very important to ensure that one is protected from losses due to extreme weather, water damage, fire, theft and vandalism. Therefore, find a fulfilment service that has an insurance policy covering one’s products. Do not forget to check out the kind of security measures provided at the warehouse. There should be sufficient security cameras, climate controls, perimeter fencing and patrol guards. In addition, make sure there is proper network security to protect sensitive information.
5. Pricing terms
Fulfilment companies charge based on inventory storage, shipping location, order handling and package weight/size. Visit the websites or offices of different companies and take time to understand their fulfilment pricing terms. Many of these companies even provide calculators on their sites which can help one determine expected costs.
6. Range of services
The ideal fulfilment provider should be able to handle a wide range of services. This includes order fulfilment, shipping, warehousing, logistics and shipping. Finding a service provider that offers everything under one roof will save one the trouble of working with different companies.