A retailer’s core competency is to either design, source, market and sell the products on different channels. And anything that is not a retailer’s core competency should be outsourced. Many sellers will be of the view that why would I outsource the work that I can do by myself. But they don’t try to understand the basic issues, instead waste their time, money and resources. Resources who can focus on some other aspect of the business, that may be fruitful and beneficial.
Being a small or medium-sized business, you cannot do all the things. Letting to do certain tasks to others would free up your valuable time and allow you to focus on your retail business. It may be difficult to trust other people to manage some of the aspects of your business. But aspects like order fulfillment is better to let it go off in the hands of trusted fulfillment services.
What is an Order Fulfillment Services?
The fulfillment service providers such as FBA, warehouse your products. Which means they would keep your product in their warehouse and maintain it. As any of your order comes in, they would fulfill and ship it on your behalf. To make this work in a streamlined way, these fulfillment services integrate their software with your eCommerce store. Once you receive the order it will be automatically notified to them as well. They will then pick the product, pack it and then prepare it for the shipment. You can keep a complete check of all these processes through the software.
The fulfillment service providers are associated with the best shipping partners like FedEx, USPS and many more. They coordinate with the shipping companies and schedule the shipment pickups. It’s their responsibility to ensure that the product would be delivered to the customer on time.
Why as a startup you should prefer fulfillment services?
As a startup, you should focus more on your business rather than the internal business procedures. Fulfillment services come with many benefits like:
- Reduced Operating Costs
- Lower Shipping Rates
- A broader reach of your business into new markets
- You can focus on your actual business
- You get a good scope and time to nurture and grow your business
Fulfillment is a different department that requires a team with a different skill set. Don’t waste the time of your overqualified employees on fulfillment processes. Also, in-house fulfillment is more expensive when compared to outsourcing as it includes many other expenses. But it also depends on the fulfillment service provider you are opting, so, choose wisely.
There are several factors that make your product best in the market. The success of your brand does not only depend on the quality of the product but also the quality of your order fulfillment services. Missed, Delayed or incorrect product shipments are the main reasons for customer dissatisfaction.
We have listed down and explained the benefits in details to make start-up sellers better understand the concept of fulfillment services.
Lower Shipping Costs
With the best fulfillment service providers, you can save up to 15 to 35% on shipping costs. The fulfillment service providers are partnered with many shipping companies. This helps the provider to choose the lower-priced shipping carriers to ship your product. If you are associated with only one shipping company, you will have to bear the same rate for all shipment.
Most of the fulfillment services have facilities available all over the country and overseas. This helps them to provide lower shipping rates and also higher discounts on bulk delivery. The fulfillment service provider has software that allows them to choose the most cost-effective option.
Reduced operating costs
Pay only for what you use with the fulfillment services. You will be charged a flat rate only for the products that are warehoused, picked, packed and shipped. If you experience any seasonal ups and downs in sales, you will be charged the minimum warehousing charges. The storage expense change, if the number of stored units increases or decreases.
Expand your reach
With the fulfillment services, you would be able to reach the customers around the globe. The right providers help you to take the business to the next level. Most of the fulfillment services can ship and deliver the orders at any part of the world. This helps you to take orders from customers of any part of the world and deliver them at the stipulated time.
Improve your customer service
Returns or exchanges not only wastes a seller’s time but money as well. Many fulfillment services, provide 24/7 customer support that allows them to perform the exchange and return at a faster rate. This helps to enhance customer satisfaction. Also, with other products to courier they have the option to adjust the price and send back the replacement as soon as possible with less shipping costs. Same day and two-delivery periods make a customer happy which helps to increase your product reviews as well. The order fulfillment service providers help to meet up with the demands, keep the customers satisfied and doesn’t turn your delivery services into logistics nightmare.
You can focus on your business and selling:
Handling the order fulfillment by self may create certain inefficiencies in your business. During season’s you won’t be able to focus on your actual business like marketing product, handling customers and more. Rather you would be busy doing the picking, packing and shipping the products and managing the returns and replacement. When your business is at small scale the fulfillment is manageable but as it grows especially during the season it becomes unmanageable and creates chaos as well.
Now as you know the benefits, your first step should be to compare the prices of different fulfillment service providers. Then know what all additional services they offer so that it may help you in your business. Then compare the prices with the shipping costs you are spending and the efforts you are putting in. If you feel the outsourcing is worth then you opt for the best fulfillment service providers.