Streamlining Success: The Integration of Fulfillment Services In E-Commerce Platforms

| Updated on February 16, 2024
e commerce fulfillment

In the fast-paced world of e-commerce, the essence of efficient and dependable fulfillment services cannot be overemphasized. The more online shopping grows, the higher the rate at which businesses face the challenge of meeting customer expectations for fast and accurate deliveries. 

Here’s where e-commerce fulfillment services become essential.

E-commerce fulfillment solutions provide efficient and effective ways through which retailers can successfully tackle the complexity of the fulfillment process.

In the intense e-commerce competition, reduced shipping costs and faster product shipping can win customer loyalty and preferences. The better the strategy is, the greater the edge people gain over their competitors.

Fulfillment Services In E-Commerce Platforms

Through the integration of e-commerce fulfillment services into their operations, businesses get to enjoy several benefits that ultimately lead to their success. 

Let us now examine what it means to integrate fulfillment services into the e-commerce business.

What is E-Commerce Fulfillment?

E-commerce fulfillment is the part of the supply chain that obtains bulk goods, keeps SKUs in a warehouse, picks and packs orders, and delivers products to clients. The online order fulfillment processes include:

  • Getting products onto e-commerce fulfillment center shelves
  • SKUs being placed into inventory
  • Picking and packing orders
  • Delivery of orders
  • Managing returns.

How to Fulfill an E-Commerce Order

 The e-commerce Fulfillment Process

All e-commerce businesses need a fulfillment process. For the small online vendors, it may mean some shelves of products in the garage, picking and packing orders, and getting boxes transported to the Post Office, UPS, or FedEx.

For bigger enterprises, e-commerce fulfillment begins with a whole container or truckload shipment or pallets of stock being delivered to the fulfillment warehouse. 

Workers add the products to the warehouse management system (WMS) and put them on shelves.

The moment a client places an order, integration between the e-commerce platform and order management software delivers the order to the WMS virtually immediately. 

Do You Know?:
Recently, logistics costs account for between 25% and 45% of total costs and up to 20% of product prices. Take note, it depends on the activity and type of business.

The order creates a pick list, which the picker makes use of to pull items and fill the order. 

After that, a packer secures the products in a box for shipping, and the 3PL surrenders the package to a carrier for delivery.

Advantages of Outsourcing E-Commerce Fulfilling

Outsourcing an e-commerce order fulfillment is a cost-effective way to achieve business needs as it expands. The following are some ways by which 3PL can help the brand:

Ability to Focus on Other Areas

Perfectly executed order fulfillment is vital to online retail success. However, it is not a top skill for the majority of e-commerce entrepreneurs. Hence, once you outsource the logistics, you also outsource the hard labor and headaches, giving sellers more time to focus on other parts of their business they can excel in.

Leave Logistical Questions to Professionals

When working along with logistics experts, then sellers get the benefit of experience. Warehouse staff are aware of how to deal with their merchandise, to prevent shrinkage and appropriately pack their orders for an awesome customer experience.

Lower Shipping Costs

E-commerce warehouses are high-volume shippers, so there is every possibility to negotiate reduced shipping rates and transfer discounts. Besides, experts can give professional guidance and provide new solutions, like package consolidation, to save money on shipping.

Warehouse Networks

In-house shipping is usually limited to the business headquarters location, which may not be a good place for a two-day delivery of orders. Working with a 3PL will enable sellers to select the most suitable warehouse locations to reach their customers, placing products in one or more warehouses to expand their reach.

Select an E-Commerce Fulfillment Partner

The best order fulfillment provider for an e-commerce business is the one that meets each of the logistics needs. The following are things to consider before choosing a fulfillment company.

Fulfillment Center Locations

Make sure to choose a 3PL that has warehouse locations for national fulfillment, for easy shipment.

Kinds of Products

If you sell crock pots, the products will not do well in a warehouse focused on apparel. Thus, select an e-commerce fulfillment provider that has the equipment and experience to take care of orders and products similar to yours. 

Global Service Fulfillment market

By 2029, the service fulfillment market size is expected to grow by 9.80%, reaching nearly US$ 14.16 billion. 

Inquire about the average package weight the warehouse ships and choose the one that processes orders similar to yours.

Volume of Orders

Certain 3PLs need a minimum order volume, and others do not. Your best fit is a warehouse working with customers that have a monthly order volume similar to your business, if it is in the hundreds or thousands.

SKU Count

Some warehouses specialize in dealing with brands that have high SKU counts and some others that reduce the number of SKUs that will be stocked for you. The best 3PL will be in the SKU sweet spot.

Allowance for Inventory Shrinkage

Shrinkage of inventory is the industry term for inventory loss as a result of damage, theft, or simply being misplaced. The majority of 3PLs have a shrinkage allowance, which means you will often be required to pay for a particular percentage of inventory loss. 

That could take a bite out of the bottom line. So, choose a 3PL with a zero shrinkage policy.

Customizing Your E-Commerce Fulfillment

E-Commerce Fulfillment

Various products need various fulfillment options. Shipping heavy or oversized items, such as furniture or bicycles, differs from order processing for lightweight goods, such as accessories or apparel. 

Fast Fact:
As per the study, 63% of online customers want their buys delivered fast by the store of their choice.

If selling high-quality things, then clients may have expectations of faster shipping times and premium options.

For example, small businesses need different logistics than large enterprises. Thus, there is a need to customize fulfillment, to fit your e-commerce.

Streamlining Success Through Fulfillment Services

Fulfillment Services

If it is properly done, e-commerce fulfillment will be almost invisible to the clients. Since their orders will always arrive early, appropriately picked and packed, and they are aware that their brand can be relied upon, then they will continue to order from you. 

That is how order fulfillment offers a strong foundation to build an e-commerce business.

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