There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all order fulfillment approach. Here are some questions to ask yourself while scaling fulfillment for your online business.
1. Sales and purchase volume, as well as company size
How many SKUs does your company have?
What’s the number of orders you’re currently shipping each month?
Next month, how many shipments do you expect to ship? Next year?
The quantity of items you offer and your monthly order volume are important factors when selecting a fulfillment solution. If you’re new to ecommerce, your fulfillment approach is likely to be very different from, say, Walmart Marketplace or Target.
Low order volume may make it more cost-effective for you to keep fulfillment in-house rather than outsourcing. If you sell a limited range of goods and ship only a few orders each week, you don’t need a complete inventory or warehouse management system to manage your inventory and operations.
When your company is expanding rapidly and your average order value is steadily rising, bear in mind when you’ll outgrow your order fulfillment strategy. It’s critical to ensure that your ecommerce fulfillment plan can grow with you.
2. Sales channels and technology for order fulfillment
For order fulfillment, Where can I buy your goods and services?
Is your shop located on an ecommerce website or a marketplace?
What ecommerce platform are you utilizing?
A successful ecommerce business is a customer-centric company that sells on several platforms and serves its clientele across the globe. A popular approach to utilize multiple online sales channels is through order fulfillment strategy, especially in terms of technology. Order fulfillment software that already connects to your ecommerce platform and marketplaces can help you manage the whole order fulfillment.
This is especially crucial if you’re selling across more than one channel; rather than adding to the burden of your technology, it should streamline the order fulfillment procedure.
As a result, when an order is placed on any of your sales channels, it should be immediately transmitted to your fulfillment operations. It can then be picked, packed, and sent in a timely manner.
It’s also important to find a fulfillment firm with the appropriate inventory management software. It’s critical to have complete visibility into inventory quantities on hand at fulfillment sites, as well as a method in place for keeping stock shortages at bay.
Overall, ecommerce enterprises need to utilize technology that links the upstream processes of purchasing and manufacturing with the downstream activities of sales and product demand to make more accurate purchasing and production selections.
3. Location, location, location
Are your clients concentrated in one region, or do they span the nation?
For order fulfillment, do you have a global clientele?
The destination and the supplier you use are two of the most crucial elements to consider when deciding on a fulfillment strategy. Customers want inexpensive, rapid services: 73% of consumers desire low-cost, fast deliveries, and 24% of clients quit an order due to slow delivery.
To ensure that you can fulfill client expectations, minimize the number of shipping zones your typical package passes through. This can help you save money on delivery and transit time, resulting in happier consumers.
If you’re currently shipping goods from more rural areas, you’re almost certainly paying too much for shipping. Instead of that, consider picking up items in more central towns (s).
Multiple warehouses close to your customers may also help you save money on freight and delivery times. This allows you to use ground shipping more often, which is considerably less expensive than expedited shipping and faster than ground transportation from one state to the next.
4. Customization needs for order fulfillment
Do you offer custom-made items?
Is there any way you can improve on your brand’s visibility?
If you specialize in unique, hand-crafted, or fragile items, consider adopting a more hands-on approach to your entire supply chain.
When you outsource fulfillment, you give up control over every unique aspect. You have the freedom, adaptability, and assurance that each customization will be correct every time if you can pack things yourself.