To run a successful ecommerce business, you have to get things right on the front-end as well as the back-end of your business operation. Many new retailers on the ecommerce space focus their attentions on giving the customers great shopping experience. They ensure that their sites look great and easy to navigate. They also take extra steps to ensure that customers find what they want quickly, pay for them as quickly as possible and get all the help they need. While this is very important, it is only one aspect of what makes buyers happy. The joy of any buyer will only be complete when the product is delivered how and where they want it. That is where fulfillment services companies come in.
Unless you are a supply chain and logistic expert like Amazon (unlikely), you may need the services of a fulfillment company to handle the delivery aspect of your business. Micromanaging may be viable at the early stage of your business but once you start getting more orders, it will be necessary to engage a fulfillment provider. Finding the best company to handle this aspect of your business can be hard. To help you achieve that, we will briefly discuss some helpful tips:
Look For Certified Companies
It is always better to work with companies that are certified by some relevant bodies for the services they provide. In the case of fulfillment services companies, the bodies that may certify a company include American Purchasing Society, the International Warehouse Logistics Association (IWLA), and the Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC). A company that is certified by any of these organizations can be trusted to perform well.
Consider Experienced Companies
Choosing an experienced company is also very important. Companies that have been operating in the sector for a while will most likely have the necessary software and hardware to handle the delivery aspect of your business in the best possible manner. An experienced fulfillment provider is also less prone to mistakes which will be a good thing for your business.
Consider the Distribution Network of the Company
This is one of the reasons you need to understand your customer base. It will be helpful to choose a fulfillment provider that has the right distribution network to handle your orders. If you sell to people within a particular state, you can choose a company that is very strong in that particular state or region. If most of your customers are overseas, you should consider only companies with global reach.
Choose Companies with Clear Terms and Conditions
It is important that you clearly understand the terms and conditions of any company you are dealing with. The agreement you will enter needs to clearly state what you will get and what you will pay. Read the fine prints carefully and clarify such points as minimum and maximum volume the company will handle at a time. You also need to know the service guarantee you get as their customer.
Avoid Companies That Will Try to Lock You In
You need to be careful to avoid being locked into an unfavorable contract. In fact, it is important that you avoid being locked into any kind of contract at all. There are great fulfillment services companies that allow you to cancel at any time and those are the companies you should work with.
Consider the Pricing Structure
Pricing is one important aspect you shouldn’t joke with since it will significantly influence your profitability. It is important that you understand the pricing structure proposed by a fulfillment services company before entering into agreement. Understand exactly how they will bill you. It is also important that you avoid large monthly and annual retainers. A low flat-rate pricing structure is always better.
Consider All Applicable Fees and Rules
Asides your regularly service cost, there are some extra fees that may apply to the services you will enjoy from your fulfillment services company. It is critical that you consider such fees and rules that apply. Some may charge for storage: choose companies that charge low rate for storage capacity and offer flexibility in terms of how long your goods can stay in their warehouse.
Consider the Possibility for Scaling
As a business owner, you should always plan for growth. You also have to consider this while choosing a fulfillment services company. You need a company that will accommodate your growth. This means that the company must have a warehouse with the capacity to accommodate increased volume from you. It is possible that your products may go viral and you don’t want to start looking for a bigger company when this happens. If you plan adding new lines of products, you also have to consider a company that can handle the new products perfectly.
Software and Automation
The whole point of ecommerce is to make buying and selling easier through technology. As you make things easier for your customers, your fulfillment provider should also make things easy for you. This will basically depend on their software. It is important that you work with a company that lets you send product orders automatically from your ecommerce platform. The software should also be able to automatically update inventory and statuses. You should be able to see what is happening with your orders. If you can test a demo account to see how things work, that will be great.
Consider Reviews from Their Past and Present Clients
It is also important that you consider the reputation of the company you are going to work with. One simple way to do this is to check the reviews from their past and present clients. It should not be hard to find helpful reviews on Google and Yelp.
Using the services of a product fulfillment company will definitely attract extra cost for your ecommerce business but the benefits it offers is often massive. It will make your business more efficient in terms of order delivery. The satisfaction of your customers should be your priority and that is what a fulfillment services company can help you achieve.
Do you need a reputable fulfillment services company for your ecommerce business? Contact us today at Fulfillman. We provide a wide range of services including Warehouse fulfillment, Drop Shipping, China sourcing, Third Party Logistics, and many more. Our dedicated team will be available to discuss with you and provide suitable answers to your questions and concerns. We guarantee you excellent services.