Setting up an e-commerce store may help you to get your customers for online products and services. But it is impossible to retain your new customers for long if you fail to deliver the products at the doorsteps of your customers. You should deliver the products quickly and safely to your customers.
Before shipping your product, there are some important things that you need to consider. You should store your products properly in the warehouse, proper product packaging, and finally safely shipping of items to the destination. All these processes fall under the category of e-commerce order fulfillment.
E-Commerce Order Fulfillment
The e-commerce order fulfillment is a technique in which the online orders are received; the item is picked from the warehouse, packed for shipping, and finally transported to the destination. In e-commerce fulfillment services, there are six basic components:
- Inventory Management
First of all, you need to manage the inventory before starting to receive online orders. The inventory management includes receiving orders, and properly utilizing the raw material and finished products of the company.
- Storage of Products
After producing various products to fulfill the demands of the customers, you need to store your products in the warehouse. Whether you can store products in your warehouse or hire third-party warehousing services.
- Order Receiving
You will ship the products to the destination if you have online orders. Online orders with the complete address of the customer will help you to ship the orders to the destination.
- Pick & Pack
Once the online order is received, then you should pack the ordered products. After picking the ordered product, pack it properly so that it can be shipped safely.
Finally, after the product packaging, ship that product to the final destination. Make sure that your customers will receive the products quickly and in good condition.
If you want to expand the customer base and want to have repeat customers, then you should consider taking returns for damaged or bad quality products.
Different Types of Order Fulfillment Techniques
Usually, there are three different types of order fulfillment methods. The different types of order fulfillment techniques have different advantages and different benefits. But it is very difficult to choose the right order fulfillment strategy for your business. Let’s have a look at different order fulfillment techniques:
In-House Order Fulfillment
The in-house order fulfillment is just like its name. In this order fulfillment technique, the business owners handle their order fulfillment services by themselves. They use their facilities, workforce, and assets. The business owners do not take the help of the 3PL service provider.
If you want to consider the in-house order fulfillment technique, then consider your inventory volume.
If you are handling small business and your online orders do not exceed 100 items per month, then in-house e-commerce order fulfillment is the best thing to consider. For business owners who have a small inventory and receive a small volume of orders should choose in-house order fulfillment techniques.
There are various benefits of in-house order fulfillment:
- Simple to implement the in-house order fulfillment technique.
- Reduce expenditure and help the start-up business owners to grow.
- You can pack your products according to the needs and reduce expenditure on packaging
- You will have complete control over the whole fulfillment process.
Drop shipping Order Fulfillment
Drop shipping is an order fulfillment technique in which the online orders of the e-commerce sale are sent to the suppliers. The suppliers will receive the ordered products and ship them to the destination. The suppliers do not need to pick, store, pack the products. They will only receive the packed products and ship them directly to the destination.
Well, the e-commerce owners can enjoy Drop shipping because they do not need to worry about product packaging and shipping. But it also means that e-commerce business owners have less control over fulfillment. There are various benefits of the Drop shipping order fulfillment technique:
- Low cost for starting the business.
- Least expenditure for maintaining inventory
- Reduce cost for the order fulfillment
- Simple to regularly update the inventory
- Reduced lead time
Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Order Fulfillment
Another model of order fulfillment service provider is third-party logistics. This e-commerce order fulfillment model is good for all kinds of business owners. If any business owners are looking for different techniques to improve the supply chain, then third-party logistics services are extremely helpful.
Third-party logistics services can help e-commerce business owners to improve their supply chain. They help in inventory management, provide warehousing facilities, custom brokerage, ship your products to the destination, etc.
There are various advantages of 3PL service providers such as:
- Reduce the cost of shipping because 3PL ship in bulk
- Take advantage of experienced professionals.