Online marketers spend a lot of time in preparing content, clicking photographs, interviewing, shooting, designing advertisements, etc to prepare a sales campaign for their product(s) or service(s). Once customers approve of the call-to-action, it’s time that the marketers live up to their promise. An important link between the marketers and consumers is—eCommerce Fulfillment Center.
It is through this dedicated logistics center that online marketers’ products are shipped worldwide. There are a few important things to consider before choosing an eCommerce Fulfillment service for your business. Herein, eight important things are explained that you should take into account while analyzing an eCommerce Fulfillment center’s services.
1. Reap Huge Benefits
By outsourcing your order fulfillment to a third party, marketers rid themselves off from operating a warehouse with staffs themselves. Instead of paying monthly salaries to staff and covering overheads, renting a space in a fulfillment center on a long-term basis is a wise idea. Depending on the length of one’s term, the fulfillment centers shall provide discounts on rent expenses.
Think of how much time a marketer might potentially save, if all responsibilities of shipping are transferred to a fulfillment center. Marketers can concentrate on product development and increasing sales strategies rather than worrying about how to punctually ship their products worldwide.
2. The Right Time to Outsource
There are many marketers who love to handle their own packaging and shipping of their products. However, a time might come when they’ll need to rent the services of eCommerce Fulfillment Centers. Those times might occur, when:
- A marketer is experiencing uneven and fluctuating sales figures, and warehouse overheads are decreasing the ROI.
- A marketer is genuinely busy with traveling, promotions, meetings, product development, etc so much so that he is not able to give ample time in maintaining a private warehouse.
- A marketer’s business expansion outgrows his infrastructure. During expansion, the entire concentration is about adjustments with new expansions and handling new customers.
3. Do You Really Need One?
Though there are many beneficial reasons for outsource order fulfillment, yet there are circumstances when one should not hire separate logistics services. Limited cash flow is one of those circumstances. Put simply, if one can’t afford it, one should look for alternate ways to fulfilling their orders.
E-Commerce Fulfillment Services offer a variety of customization options for filling marketers’ orders. However, if a business is highly specialized, it might not be able to find a suitable fulfillment center to carry out its customization standards. Every center will obviously have its own limits in customization. Again, alternative means of shipping should be considered here.
4. The Fulfillment Process
On signing up with an eCommerce fulfillment center, operations become easy. Marketers only need to manage the inventory volume with the fulfillment center. There are apps available that can connect sellers to fulfillment centers for live updates and communication. In this way, one can save time by knowing always that smooth synchronization exists between sellers and fulfillment centers.
Most of these centers offer the service of handling refunds from customers, so that one can get feedback on consumer complaints. Not all, but many fulfillment centers might work with you to design the consumers’ unboxing experience of your product. This last step in product delivery helps in developing repetitive customers.
5. Calculating Rates
Knowing how e-commerce fulfillment centers calculate the package and delivery will help the marketer develop a good price rate that consumers won’t mind paying including the extra shipping costs. The shipping rates of a product will vary depending on the package size, weight, the exporting country, importing country, tracking and insurance.
There are certain centers that specialize in shipping products related to a certain industry, therefore their rates might be cheaper than the ones who ship or package a product of any kind. A lot of companies have started providing online calculators to calculate the shipping cost of your products.
6. Business Accounts
Most big e-commerce fulfillment centers offer special business accounts to their clients. These business accounts are vital to any client. Business Accounts expand services by giving access to apps, heavy discounts, expense tracking and many other useful features. Various centers offer various types of services through their business accounts.
Some might offer a permanent 5% discount on all products in all seasons while some might agree to charge a flat shipping rate for all products irrespective of volume. A detailed shipping strategy would help in finding the right fulfillment center that’ll help in making good impressions on consumers via their quality of shipping service.
7. Options to Consumers
One must consult an eCommerce fulfillment center after finalizing the details of shipping strategies. The marketer first decides whether the products will ship for free, at a flat rate or choosing real time carrier rates. No third party fulfillment center would ever ship products for free.
So, in a sense `Free Shipping` implies that either the consumer or the seller or both, are bearing the shipment costs. Free shipping is promoted to attract consumers who discard online carts due to shipping costs. Real Time Carrier Rates would help consumers to choose the service and the price they would like to pay for their shipping.
8. Choosing an eCommerce Fulfillment Center
While choosing a perfect eCommerce Fulfillment Center marketers must make sure to select the one that specializes in selling their specific products. This experience of the center in your industry would easily leverage the sales. They are already adapted with the global eCommerce updates that’ll help a seller improve the marketing strategies.
At Floship<, our focus is on you as a customer and how we can help you serve your customers better. Whether you’re crowdfunding or already have an established product, our aim is to help you get your product in your customers’ hands quickly from one centrally located fulfillment center.
Probably, the biggest mistake a marketer can do is to go for cheap priced new eCommerce fulfillment startups. Instead, marketers should make a list of all their shipping needs. Then contact an experienced center and discuss the needs with them and select the one which fulfills all needs.
The eCommerce Fulfillment Centers have extended their services to even Crowdfunding Fulfillment. The money raising authority needs to decide two Ps, namely: postage and packaging. With just two inputs, Crowdfunding can be easily gathered from all over the world.
The Global eCommerce Sales have been expanding with about 15%–20% every year, reaching over $800 billion. The end of 2016 might witness sales expanding beyond a trillion dollars. In a way, the eCommerce Fulfillment Centers are as much an integral part of the eCommerce industry as much as the online marketers. The fact is that without these fulfillment centers, leveraging online sales to billions would have simply been impossible by individual marketers’ efforts.