We’re revisiting our last post with five more crazy things we’ve heard about outsourced order fulfillment to talk about. Read on to learn more.
1. Order fulfillment doesn’t matter as long as my website looks good. Ecommerce is highly visual, and it needs to be – your website, photography, and content is what will drive shoppers to the site and encourage them to buy. But to keep them coming back, fantastic customer service, quick delivery, and unique packages are what count. If a customer receives an incorrect order, a damaged order, or worse – doesn’t receive the order at all, they will not want to buy from you again, no matter how good the site looks.
2. Order fulfillment is all about shipping, so I can use a courier service instead. Order fulfillment is not just about the logistics of getting an order from the warehouse to the customer – it’s a long process that begins from the moment an order is placed. It is completed when the package reaches the customer’s hands. Sure, shipping a package can be done by the postal service or via courier – but the in-between tasks, like invoicing and order processing, locating the product within a warehouse, packing the order perfectly, and providing it in custom packaging – these are things that a courier cannot handle. A fulfillment partner, on the other hand, can.
3. Order fulfillment is about having a large warehouse. Order fulfillment is not just renting out a warehouse and dumping your inventory there. Good warehouse management is a science. A fulfillment provider will be able to store your inventory in a way that’s both cost-effective (as few square feet as possible) and efficient for the picking process. They will proactively manage labor and track and update stock levels when an order comes through. They will monitor issues such as expiration dates, weather, and shrinkage to ensure your product is ready to ship when the time comes. It sure beats running your own half-empty space.
4. Order fulfillment will make me lose control over my business. Fulfillment is a strategic partnership. You may be letting go of one aspect of your operations, but you are in no way letting go of control over your customer experiences. Your order fulfillment partner work to understand your brand’s story, what your brand stands for, and what your customers expect from your fulfillment partner. Train them on your products. In turn, they will work with you to provide a seamless experience to your customers. As long as you and your fulfillment provider stay in communication and stick to your key performance indicators, you and your customers will benefit – and your brand will shine.
5. Order fulfillment will take away from giving customers a personalized experience. Customers appreciate ecommerce companies that offer personalized experiences, whether it’s engraving and gift-wrapping or custom product recommendations and members-only rewards. If personalization is your thing, outsourcing won’t change any of that, as long as you choose a partner with the capabilities you need. And who knows – having a partner who can handle those services in-house might save you both order processing time and costs, too.
Outsourcing can be scary for a business owner. With a proper order fulfillment provider, your business can eliminate headaches in your process and build capacity and flexibility, allowing your business to grow.