If you’ve ever wondered what an eCommerce fulfillment operation is – and how your business can benefit from it - all you have to do is look at a couple of complaints from customers and struggling eCommerce businesses in their day to day operations. Complaints such as: “I received this but ordered something else.” Or: “It’s been a month and I still don’t have it.” And from the business side: “I’ve got too many orders, I’ll never be able to send them off in time.” That’s where the fulfillment services come in – they take care of those issues with efficiency and with quality. Here’s a look at trends in eCommerce fulfillment – and how you can take advantage of it in the best way.
The current problems
To understand where the future lies, we have to take a look at the past and see what the problems are today; it’s exactly these issues that will reveal what companies will be doing in the future. The kind of issues mentioned above can be disastrous for a business. People also expect better prices, and it’s very hard to provide a personal service and keep costs low. And whilst in a real, mortar and brick shop, the item can be simply given to the customer, an eCommerce shop needs to ensure packing and shipping. Then there are issues of returns as well. It’s these issues that shape the following two trends:
Trend 1: third party solutions
Third party solutions specialise in the packing and delivery of products with experience and efficiency you yourself, in-house, would require years to achieve. Because they service a wide range of customers, they are able to specialise and therefore save. It’s about a better service at lower cost. The quality keeps increasing.
Trend 2: reverse logistics
It’s sad that you need this service; nobody wants their product returned to them – but it’s a necessity. Often it’s an opportunity not only to do damage control, but also to actively gain loyalty. The business model is quite different, but very progressive.
So how do you judge whether the ecommerce fulfilment service might be good for your needs? It’s simple: look for speed, accuracy, opportunity for growth, and seasonal flexibility. You need to be sure your orders are delivered quickly and to the right person – getting that wrong means impressing upon your customer a wrong image of yourself and your company. Of course, you should also look into the future. Your fulfillment service needs to take care of your needs and be able to adjust for growth and seasonal fluctuations. Take a look around and do some background checks. You need a fulfillment service, but you deserve a professional one.