Are you into online selling but are exhausted as you do everything yourself? Discover how a fulfillment center can be the solution to your e-commerce problems.
These two approaches to businesses, traditional selling, and e-commerce are different when it comes to customer delivery. But, there is one thing that can both benefit these approaches. It is through the utilization of order fulfillment services.
What is A Fulfillment Center?
A facility that can serve as your business’ storage, assistant in packaging, the shipper is called a fulfillment center. While it can serve both types of selling (traditional and e-commerce), it plays a more significant role in e-commerce.
Fulfillment centers allow online sellers to outsource their warehouse and shipment requirements. It alleviates lots of challenges in e-commerce, which permits the seller to focus on more essential tasks.
How Does It Work?
The seller sends their product to the fulfillment center. Items are then sorted out and stored properly in the fulfillment warehouse. Once an order has been placed, the partner shipment provider will deliver the item to the customer on behalf of the seller.
- Inventory Management: It is a major process for online sellers. Fulfillment centers help e-merchants to manage their goods, which allows them to allot more time to other pressing concerns for their businesses.
- Customer Service: When e-merchant order fulfillment services, one essential factor that they should consider is the fulfillment of customer needs. Fulfillment centers can do so for sellers that use their services. They can answer customer inquiries, refunds, returns, and exchanges, depending on various terms and conditions.
- Shipment and Returns: Fulfillment centers also make product delivery and return easier for both the seller and their customers. As major shipment providers are willing to give lower prices with large volumes of packages, subscribing to a fulfillment center is smarter than doing the shipment and returns on your own. With this trend, low shipping costs even allow online sellers to offer free shipping promotions to their customers.
Fulfillment centers also assist in processing returns. Product categories included in fashion and retail typically encounter such requests. Returning goods go to the warehouse instead of the processing area, which lowers the risk for confusion and goods mix-up.
- Software: A fulfillment center also allows online sellers to gain access to their exclusive e-commerce software. Software, as such, allows fast-tracking of orders.
E-Commerce Problems That FulFillment Center Can Solve
The four points mentioned above show how a fulfillment center works. Now, how is it beneficial to e-commerce? To give you a better perspective on how it helps online sellers, discover the ten most common e-commerce problems that using a fulfillment center can solve.
#1 Lack of Knowledge and Experience in the Fulfillment Process
To be successful in e-commerce, experience in storing, packing, and delivering goods is critical. Unfortunately, a significant number of business owners, especially those in start-up companies and those who are new in e-commerce, have a lot to learn in fulfilling orders.
Subscribing to the services of a fulfillment center will let you complete the purchase request of your customers with the help of the experience and knowledge of the center and its employees. Its proven system, tools, and connections will give you a hassle-free, seamless fulfillment process, which will be a plus factor for you to gain more customers.
#2 Limited Reach
The forecast shows that more than 2 billion online shoppers are expected to purchase globally in 2020. It did happen. Now, look at it from a bigger perspective. There are above 7.7 billion people worldwide, and who is to say how many in this population are going to buy an item online anytime soon? The question now is, how far is your reach? Can you ship in other areas and abroad?
Fulfillment centers can be your best solution for this concern. Most centers have international connections and have experience in following the rules and regulations of various countries to avoid delays or the decline in customs.
#3 Cramped Storage Space
The truth is that not all businesses have the privilege of ample space to accommodate a working area, sorting area, packing area, and storage. Most companies resort to the conversion of their attics and garage for storage, office, and packaging are all in one. More often, these spaces become a pile of mess, with tapes, boxes, and bubble wraps all around and becomes unbearable before you even know it.
Using a fulfillment center will take off the problem of finding more space for all the space needed to make your online business running. This solution that a fulfillment center offers lets you put more attention into ensuring the quality of your products. The more you get to focus on keeping the quality of your items better, the more customers will be happy.
#4 Maintaining The Quality of Your Customer Service
Did you know that it is better to find ways to keep your customers than to call for new ones? Yes, it is what business experts say. And according to studies, companies can be throwing away more than $60 million years because of poor customer service.
Are you one of those online businesses that struggle when answering customer inquiries? Then, fulfillment centers can provide 24/7 support to your customers. They can get back to your customers via phone, email, or software messaging options, which makes your customers feel at ease that they are taken care of.
#5 Unending Tasks
Business tasks are inevitably unending. Activities can vary from administrative work, human resource tasks, to brainstorming of new products. Then, there is thinking of ways to boost your marketing and sales.
The utilization of a fulfillment center helps you keep your focus on these things as they take care of the storage, inventory, and shipment of your goods to your customers.
#6 Inability To Keep Up With Increasing Orders
Start-up and small businesses might be able to perform good management of their inventory and fulfillment. However, they are sometimes overwhelmed when big orders start coming in. Unfulfilled requests then turn into unsatisfied customers, which can put a big dent in the reputation of your business.
If you opt to go for fulfillment services, you will have the ability to offer an unlimited number of orders to your target customers. What is the best part? You can do so without the fear of not being able to deliver on time. Now, all you need is to make sure you supply the products to your fulfillment center. Right?
#7 Expensive Shipping Fees
One thing that might hinder customers from choosing your online store is expensive shipping fees. Fulfillment centers have numerous connections of reliable shippers, both local and international. As these shipping companies form partnerships with fulfillment centers and most prices are in bulk due to a large number of parcels, you can have lower shipping costs.
#8 Inconsistent Packaging
If you are doing the fulfillment on your own, especially if you are new with e-commerce, then you need more materials to ensure a presentable and sturdy packaging for your products. Why? Of course, the items must reach your customer in their best condition. This factor becomes a problem when you use inconsistent packaging materials that you bought from some store in the neighborhood, and the package arrives at your customer battered and unkempt.
As fulfillment centers are experts with packaging, they already know what materials, including boxes and tapes, are best for various products. They can ensure that your goods arrive at your customers in their best shape and on time!
#9 Towering Operational Expenses
Another concern that businesses face is the piling up of operational expenses. It is a crucial problem that needs to be addressed, especially if the sales of your business does not meet the expenses to keep it running. Operational costs include rent, staff salary, product investment, quality control, storage, and many more down the list.
Opting to go for an outsourcing fulfillment will let you eliminate some of these costs. While you still need to shell out a certain amount to get their services, it would not be as high as doing it all by yourself.
One of the most common problems online sellers encounter is overselling. It is when they offer products to customers more than what they have in their inventory. What happens then is that you need to inform some customers who ordered that the items they requested are out of stock. This approach may lead to bad customer reviews and even a decline in sales.
Order fulfillment services allow better insight and monitoring of your stocks. Better inventory management takes place, which will allow you to be accurate in placing available stocks on your listing.
E-Commerce is a great approach to level-up your business as people shift towards online transactions. Discovering innovative and efficient approaches, such as the utilization of fulfillment centers, allows online sellers to provide superb product delivery and support to their customers. Moreover, you do not have to worry about storage, inventory, and packaging as most fulfillment centers can also do that for you.