Shopify Order Fulfillment Logistics: When to Outsource
Is it time to think about outsourcing your e-commerce shipments? We’re sharing everything you need to know on when, and how, to get started here.
It’s a question that’s been on your mind for some time now, “should I outsource my Shopify order fulfillment logistics?”
Your Shopify business has been growing. But now the garage that you once thought was big enough to hold all of the stock related to your e-commerce business seems to be shrinking.
Business growth is always good, but it inevitably comes with growing pains. One of those pains can be deciding to keep all of your stock on hand, and handle shipping and returns yourself, or to outsource it.
If you’ve been on the fence about using a Shopify order fulfillment center for your Shopify store, you’re in luck. This article is the guide you’ve been searching for to give you the 411 on using a third-party warehouse for your Shopify order fulfillment.
Find out how to Automate your Shopify Order Fulfillment process with the Shopify + Floship Integration here!
Why a Third-Party Warehouse is Often the Better Choice
Regardless of your industry, if you run a product-based business you know the hassle it can be to handle all your orders on your own (or even with a team).
When you’ve been making use of effective marketing tactics for your e-commerce store, then it’s expected that your product is reaching your target audience and is growing. Therefore, scaling is necessary.
The problem is that all too often e-commerce businesses tank because of all the difficulties involved with scaling to suit the growing demand.
When you incorporate the costs of potentially leasing–or renting–a bigger space, employing staff to help you and all the other technical issues, it’s easy to see why scaling can be an e-commerce business’ downfall.
So where does a third party warehouse come into play? Here are a few ways.
It’s easier, much easier
It’s not unheard of for order fulfillment to take up huge chunks of time:
As the head of your e-commerce business, you have to handle most of the technicalities that come with shipping, returns and ensuring that products leave when they’re supposed to.
Shopify order fulfillment logistics are the kind of thing that will keep you up at night.
A third party warehouse will handle everything for you. They will store your products, ship them on time (every time!), and even handle returns.
That means you’ll have time to spend on the more important things, like marketing and building your brand.
They’re Adaptable and Designed to Suit the E-commerce Model
If you run an e-commerce store that provides Halloween costumes, it wouldn’t be feasible to lease an entire warehouse or office space for a year to handle that demand.
After all, most of your sales would only be in September and October. If you’re lucky, the latter part of August as well.
That scenario illustrates the fact that every e-commerce business has slow seasons.
A third-party warehouse mitigates you against the risk of going under during those times. How?
Because they’re adaptable. There are no long-term contracts, and they are able to scale up and scale down to suit the needs of your business, without any added anxiety or risk on your part.
Again, this gives you more peace of mind to grow your business!
For E-commerce Stores Strapped on Cash, They’re the Cheapest Option
The fact that you started your business on Shopify means that you wanted an out-of-the-box solution that was both easy and affordable.
When it comes to affordability, using a third-party warehouse for your Shopify order fulfillments is definitely the way to go.
There’s no overhead on your part, as your third-party fulfillment warehouse handles everything. Your products are delivered to them, they deliver them to your customers, handle returns and all the other technicalities.
So you don’t have to employ staff, lease a warehouse and spend the majority of your time handling orders.
Most times, you won’t even have to see your product! Everything is taken care of.
Sounds like the option you need?
Here are a few things you need to know before you select a third-party warehouse to fulfill your Shopify orders.
How to Choose the Right Third-Party Warehouse for Shopify Order Fulfillment Logistics
When it comes to your products and the success of your Shopify e-commerce business, there is a ton to take into consideration. So, selecting a third party warehouse to handle your order fulfillment is a big deal.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when making the choice:
- Set a standard, and only consider providers who stick to that standard. Every business is governed by rules or brand code. Always be sure to vet all third-party fulfillment warehouses to ensure they align with your brand’s message and ethics.
- Think long-term. Choose a third-party warehouse that will actually be an asset to your e-commerce store. For example, if you have plans to expand your shipping routes worldwide, go with a company who already offers worldwide shipping options.
- Pricing is important, and so are hidden fees. Even though outsourcing is meant to be a cheaper option, some companies have exorbitant margins and even hidden fees. Do your research to ensure that outsourcing your order fulfillment will keep money in your pocket, and not run you bankrupt.
- Relationships are key. You have to ensure that the company isn’t just a good fit with your brand, but also with you! Remember, you’re going to be entrusting this company with the majority of your business. If it’s hard for you to cultivate a “human” B2B relationship with this business, then it’s more than likely not the best option to take. You have to be able to trust them.
All in all, when you’ve found a great third-party warehouse to handle your Shopify order fulfillment, you’ll know. You’ll be able to feel it.
However, if you’re in need of first-rate services, personable customer service and affordable pricing for any Shopify e-commerce store, FloShip is your best bet.
We’ve got world-class shipping partners, and tens of happy customers who enjoy our top-notch services.
Interested to see how affordable our prices are for an e-commerce business like yours? Fill out our form here, for a personalized quote that reflects just how easy it can be to start outsourcing your order fulfillment!