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Are you keeping up with fulfillment?

Posted by Speed Commerce

You’ve invested in marketing – SEO, paid search, email marketing, social – and it’s paying off. Orders to your online store are on the rise, and you’re forecasting that trend to continue.

But is fulfillment keeping up with online sales? What may have worked six months ago probably isn’t working very well today.

You don’t want to stop growing your businesses to focus on operational issues. Outsourcing fulfillment may be the perfect option for your growing online store.

#1 No Fixed Costs

Outsourcing means you won’t have to raise or unlock capital to pour into fixed costs. A successful fulfillment operation will have several overheads, such as:

  • Labor
  • Warehouse/storage rent
  • Packaging
  • Technology costs
  • Freight

You don’t have to invest in these overheads directly when you outsource. These costs are converted into a variable cost per order which you can work out with your fulfillment partner based on your needs and requirements. This works well for smaller companies that may need to put most of their money into inventory and marketing.

#2 It Absorbs Seasonal Spikes

In retail, sales often go through spikes and lull periods. The holiday season (especially for B2C merchants) can get very busy, so much so that extra help may be needed in the warehouse. Hiring and training part-time staff, plus reorganizing the warehouse for increased order traffic, can be too much to handle. A fulfillment partner can take care of that for you since they have staff and space of their own. Outsourcing also helps absorb those seasonal spikes in returns volume- it’s bound to be higher around the holidays. A well-trained fulfillment partner can help get the product back in shape for resale quicker and more efficiently.

#3 It Offers Flexibility

Even Amazon started small before it became one of the biggest online retailers in the world. When you outsource, you can start small and expand without worrying about raising infrastructure capital. You can ramp up as you gain more customers, ship to more locations, and even scale back if you feel a certain product line is not working well. The fulfillment center handles staffing, storage, and shipping, so you won’t be caught between negotiating rates with carriers and looking for a larger storage unit or figuring out how to get out of an expensive lease.

#4 It Lets You Focus On What You Do Best

You can’t be the best at everything. So if product strategy and marketing are your forte, shouldn’t you spend more time doing that and not waste time doing something you are not good at? And if you are great at uncovering interesting new products, you should focus on adding more inventory. When you outsource order fulfillment, your fulfillment partner will take care of everything that happens post-checkout, which gives you more time to focus on bringing in more business.

That’s what we offer at Speed Commerce. When you outsource to us, we take care of large orders and small; slow seasons and busy ones; we handle storage and handling. Our direct retailer clients are free to focus on core business activities such as strategic planning, marketing, product selection, and customer relations. Speed Commerce clients say that their time is best spent developing expertise in these areas, not fulfilling orders.

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