All successful e-commerce businesses have one thing in common – e-commerce fulfillment. You may have an outstanding product and a terrific website, but if your e-commerce fulfillment doesn’t run smoothly, your business will not give you any returns. E-commerce fulfillment is not the most exciting part of your business, but it is the most crucial element of any business. Hence, here are 3 eCommerce fulfillment models for a successful business.
What is e-commerce fulfillment?
The process of receiving, packaging, and shipping refers to fulfillment. When any company uses an online platform for selling products directly to customers, they must deal with fulfillment. The term fulfillment is generally associated with e-commerce. After your customer places an order, several steps go into processing it to prepare it for delivery.
Furthermore, these include steps like inventory and order management, packing, shipping returns, etc. It is the part of your eCommerce operations that takes care of the delivery of your products. Picking and packaging orders are called order fulfillment.
In truth, e-commerce is an integral part of your business right from the start. Now that you have understood that the meaning of e-commerce fulfillment is, let’s understand the importance of e-commerce fulfillment.
Why does your business need E-commerce fulfillment?
Delivery can make or break your business. Unhappy customers can affect the business of your product. The fulfillment of delivery affects the overall shopping experience of a customer. Hence, the need for e-commerce fulfillment is a crucial aspect. If e-commerce fulfillment is taken seriously, it leaves an impression of your brand on the customer.
To ensure top-notch customer satisfaction you need to streamline your fulfillment chain. This secures customer brand loyalty. It also ensures your customers come back to your store repeatedly. Let’s take a look at what actually takes place at the backend for the fulfillment of e-commerce.
Order fulfillment steps
The very first operation included in e-commerce fulfillment is warehousing. In simple words, it is the storage of your products in an organized fashion for better accessibility. With the help of warehousing, all of your products can be stored in a single place. This helps you to track your inventory conveniently and avoid confusion.
Another crucial aspect is order fulfillment is inventory management. It is important to always maintain records of all the products. Inventory management makes it easier to plan ahead, makes it easier for you to assess customer demands and supply accordingly.
Order management includes the cycle of people, processed, and suppliers. To create a positive customer, the process of efficiently and fulfilling sales orders involves the seamless integration of orders from multiple channels with inventory databases, order processing, fulfillment systems.
Packaging comes under order management
After the order received, the fulfillment chain progresses with packaging. Attention to details ensures that no incorrect order packaged and delivered to the customer. The order can leave a negative impression on the customer. It may also affect the decision purchase.
Shipping and logistics
The most crucial part of the fulfillment process is the shipping and logistics of orders. Post the execution of the above procedures, the delivery executive will send it to a courier hub from where the shipment takes place. Make sure to schedule your orders and reach your customer with the utmost care. Hence, one must select a reliable courier partner for your shipments.
More importantly, e-commerce fulfillment also includes a return order that may come your way. Reverse logistics and order management both used to improve your customer’s shopping decision.
Types of fulfillment model
In the self-fulfillment model, you manage all of your storage, inventory, orders, packaging, shipping, and returns. This method caters to small businesses that are still finding their way into the market.
This method requires you to own a small space where you can carry out various fulfillment operations. Hence, looking after the fulfillment yourself can be quite the challenge. Even though its recommended for small businesses, it is not the most sustainable method. Lack of professionalism and precision can result in incorrect orders shipped to customers.
Self-fulfillment has more negatives than positives. The sooner you make the switch to outsourcing fulfillment operations, your business will see improvements.
The full form of 3PL is third-party logistics. Hence, the involvement of third-party logistics simply means that you outsource your fulfillment operations to a 3pPL company.
A 3PL company works with several merchants, they have fulfillment centers to process orders faster. Additionally, partnering with a 3pl company depends upon the type of business that you have. Every 3pl company offers unique solutions, you need to collaborate with the one that meets your needs.
Third-party fulfillment is the most reliable model of fulfillment as it is flexible and no investment is necessary for growth. Thus, you are delegating the work to professionals who know what they are doing. Moreover, you get experts carrying out the operations for you with great ease and efficiency.
In the Dropshipping model, your manufacturer or wholesaler directly ships the product to your customer. No need for storage of inventory required in this model. So, when a customer places an order on your website, the fulfillment of the order is taken care of by the supplier directly.
This model is suitable for those businesses that are still trying to figure out the allocation of resources. In comparison to the 3PL method, it can get difficult in the long run especially if you want to scale your business.
Inefficient e-commerce fulfillment can slow the scalability of your business. Hence, for a successful business, the line-up of fulfillment operations should run like a well-oiled machine. Moreover, the better you manage all of the different moving pieces; the greater will be the success of your business. And for this, choose a logistics aggregator best suited for your eCommerce fulfillment model. Dash101, a shipping solution for all your shipping needs.
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