Ecommerce has stood out as one of the fastest growing business models of the past decade.
Today, a seller based in Texas can offer (and deliver) goods to buyers in Asia, with relative ease. However, it’s not all roses as the model has to overcome complexities ranging from inconsistent expenses to language barriers. These obstacles haven’t stopped ecommerce from becoming a billion dollar industry, one expected to cross the $443 billion mark in 2017, and that’s for only the USA.
Ecommerce sellers find that expediting fulfillment is one of the most efficient ways they can consistently wow (and retain customers).
But attempting to master avoiding shipping delays, accurate order processing, having timely customer service can quickly become a time sink.
As your brand grows and sales increase, you’ll need to scale your business to keep up with demand.
One of the best ways to manage this is to outsource elements of the operation to professional order fulfillment companies.
Some eCommerce sellers hesitate at spending money, but outsourcing can be the difference between dominating the global market and staying local.
Here are the top ten ways that outsourcing your order fulfillment can help your business expand past your country’s borders:
1. Get Your products to Market Faster
New eCommerce sellers soon find that moving goods to market is not as easy as they envisaged.
Add operational redundancies, supplier inefficiencies, legal conundrums and things just seem to get more complicated and costly.
Outsourcing your fulfillment removes unnecessary steps between you and the customer, essentially shortening your supply chain. By reducing your days of sales outstanding, your eCommerce business will gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
2. Access to More Global Customers
It used to be that only the biggest brands had the logistics capability to enter international markets.
But these days, using order fulfillment firms, e-commerce companies (of all sizes) can vie for customers with the best of them.
Using a logistics provider with warehouses close to the target market makes entering such far flung market less risky. This allows even the smallest companies easy access to global customers.
3. Risk Mitigation
No business can afford to lose inventory or freight in transit, much less one that’s just starting out. Yet, this is a very real possibility for businesses that use unproven shipping carriers.
‘Cheap’ carriers expose businesses to financial losses from having to write off inventory, loss of freight fees and any taxes paid. One way an order fulfillment company can mitigate this risk is to have warehouses in or close to the country of manufacture itself. This reduces the risk of inventory loss while also reducing the cost of transportation.
4. Reduce Customs Delays
Attempting to memorize the Customs laws and duties for over 200 countries, will consume your time and resources. Yet this tedious logistical nightmare, is a given in global eCommerce.
Your international customers expect to be able to tracking their packages and have them arrive when you said they’d arrive. They’ll also expect you to have sorted out any Customs fees or duties.
Rather than spend time (and resources) trying to understand Customs, use a professional order fulfillment company like Floship to help you navigate the murky waters of international fulfillment.
5. Reduce Inventory Storage Costs
As your company grows and sells to global customers, you’ll find it necessary to expand your warehouse network. This can be a cost-intensive process involving purchasing and refitting of buildings, plus the added cost of staffing. Experienced logistics providers have multiple warehouses spread across the world, that can help your eCommerce business lower storage costs while still reaping the benefits.
6. Save Valuable Time
In business, you’ll find that the more time you spend on one task, e.g admin, the less time you have to spend on making sales, nurturing leads and closing deals.
For a fledgling eCommerce business, the daily compilation of orders to forward to a supplier, is one of the most time-consuming aspects of the business.
By incorporating our online ordering system with your business, you can spend more time on selling and less time on general admin tasks.
7. Consolidate key Information in Real-time
With your sales team working across a range of different sales channels, it’s vital that information gets shared in real time.
Imagine over-selling your inventory, simply because your sales team are not in contact with each other. This can be detrimental for businesses that deal with wholesale clients where larger volumes are involved.
Real-time access to your current stock levels is essential for better order processing, but keeping track of stock levels can be tedious. Most logistics providers offer custom inventory control software to help keep your staff in sync, in real-time.
8. Customer Satisfaction Upgrade Value Add
Your customers are your most valuable business asset but keeping them satisfied can get difficult.
This is especially true for eCommerce sellers whose SKUs come in different shapes, colors and sizes. They often find that their customers tend to buy their products in different configurations.
But by using the value added services provided by an order fulfillment company, your business can offer customization like gift wrapping, messaging and customized packaging etc.
9. Improved Pick and Pack Service
An increase in sales volume can lead to more incoming orders getting mixed up, especially if customers arrive through different channels.
With each incorrectly packed (and dispatched) order, you are liable to lose a customer, and the money spent on sending out replacements.
But keeping order fulfillment with very low error rates, isn’t easy when you have a cramped storage area and over-worked staff.
When you utilize a shipping provider–like Floship–you’ll have the help you need to pick, pack and ship the right products, whether it’s a single order, small consignment or bulk shipment.
10. Efficient Returns Management
Regardless of how stringent your processes are, you’ll occasionally have to deal with returns.
The ease of returns can be an important factor when some customers are deciding whether to buy from you or not. As complex as eCommerce returns can be, they are also an important part of running a successful eCommerce business.
An order fulfillment company can help your brand develop an effective returns process, that will keep your customers satisfied and returns to a minimum.
One of the most efficient ways to increase business revenue is by increasing customer lifetime value. By keeping your customers happy and satisfied, you’ll sell more, and faster too. By increasing conversions, you’ll also reduce the cost of new customer acquisition and marketing as the business expands.
Your customers expect you to deliver their goods, quickly, every time; but with the many hurdles in fulfilling orders, it’s easier said than done.
At Floship, we’ve developed custom software suites, have multiple warehouse locations and established connections with professional shipping carriers; we basically offer you a one-stop fulfillment solution. Our experienced staff value efficiency, speed, and guarantee error-free delivery to your customers. We aim to keep 100% of our customers happy by keeping 100% of their customers happy.
Ready to experience what successful order fulfillment feels like? Contact a Floship fulfillment specialist here.