Congratulations! It’s time to start thinking about scaling your e-commerce fulfillment strategy. Don’t worry. This guide has you covered. Happy shipping!
Congratulations! You’re having a lot of success with your Shopify store, and now you’re thinking about how to scale your e-commerce fulfillment so you can reach the next level.
U.S. e-commerce grew 14.6% in 2015, and trends show that growth will continue. If you want to make sure you capitalize on your success, you have to find a way to scale your e-commerce fulfillment economically and effectively.
The bottom line is that when people buy from you, they expect to receive their purchased item quickly. You’ve reached the point where you can’t fulfill all the orders yourself. Now you need a simple plan to scale your e-commerce fulfillment.
Step 1: Stay True to Your Brand and Vision as You Scale
Growing quickly brings a lot of challenges, and one of them is that it can be easy to lose the focus on who you are as a company, your brand identity.
Remember that your loyal customers have come to know your brand as though it were a person. They know how it talks, how it acts, how it looks, and how it responds to pressure.
As you scale you get more popular and sell more – needing to then ship more – be sure that you don’t lose your vision or brand voice. If you do, you’ll lose the customers that form the backbone of your growth.
Losing those loyal, early-adopting customers can mean disastrous consequences for your company. It definitely isn’t worth it.
So as you move quickly to scale your fulfillment process, don’t lose the touch and vision you’ve always had. Otherwise, the scaling will be for naught.
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Step 2: Think Big
You may be tempted to find an fulfillment solution that fits your company right now. That would be a big mistake.
If you find a solution that fits where your company is today, what will you do in six months when you continue to grow?
You don’t want to be scrambling again and again to find new warehouse’s that can handle the changes in your order volumes. When you look for a way to scale your business, think big.
Think about where you are now, and where you want to be in a year. In two years. In five years.
Find a solution that works today and can grow with you into the future.
Step 3: Use the Right Shopify Tools to Scale
Now that Shopify has been around awhile and has gained significant success, there are a lot of integrations and 3rd party connections you can use to help your business succeed.
Several of these options will help you scale your e-commerce fulfillment more effectively and efficiently than ever before.
In the Shopify App Store, you can add a “Buy Now” button to your pins on Pinterest. When you use this app, your pins will have two buttons – the usual “pin it” button and a “buy” button.
This will help you make more sales without involving more work hours on the part of your or your staff. This growth will help you scale your business.
There is also a dropship add-on available that helps you remove yourself from the process of picking, packing and labeling each order that comes in (More on that shortly!).
The plugin allows you to have shipments go directly from your supplier to your customer.
One such add-on is the Floship-Shopify connector app. In just a few clicks you can turn your e-commerce fulfillment into a seamless process.
Step 4: Outsource E-Commerce Fulfillment – Thoughtfully
As your business grows, one of the keys to meeting your e-commerce fulfillment needs will be outsourcing.
You may be afraid to give up the reigns. More than that, you may be afraid to give part of your profits to a company who can help with your work.
If you think that way, however, you’ll be limiting your success. Remember that investment is part of growth, and that ultimately and outsourcing solution can mean long-term growth at a scale you can’t even imagine yet.
Plus, do you really want to have to have your hands on every package? You deserve a vacation at least occasionally, don’t you?
More importantly, you want to be able to focus on working on your business, not just in your business. Create something that can work even without your direct involvement. That way you’re free to rest or pursue new projects, and you’re protected if you are injured or have a long illness.
At the same time, you want to make sure you outsource e-commerce fulfillment responsibly, with the future of your company in mind.
Find out how to Automate your Shopify Order Fulfillment process with the Shopify + Floship Integration here!
Consider the following questions when choosing an outsourcing solution:
Can your e-commerce fulfillment provider give you access to years of experience?
One of the benefits of outsourcing is that your provider has the experience to navigate complex challenges you’ve never faced. Make sure that your e-commerce provider is well-established and responds to questions promptly.
Can your e-commerce fulfillment solution grow with you?
If you’re already at the top tier of the provider’s service, you want to look elsewhere. Saving money isn’t a bargain if your fulfillment can’t grow with your company.
Can your e-commerce fulfillment provider handle cross-border commerce?
International e-commerce is growing significantly, and Shopify is the type of platform that attracts international buyers. Make sure that your fulfillment provider is equipped for international orders and has experience with the unique challenges a global marketplace entails.
Growth is Good
With these four steps, you’ll be well-prepared to scale your company’s e-commerce fulfillment. Keep your eyes on your company’s brand and vision – they’re why your company was successful in the first place.
Think big – don’t allow yourself to solve today’s problem only to encounter a new problem tomorrow. Think long-term and find an e-commerce fulfillment solution that can grow as your company grows.
Use the right Shopify tools to grow your sales and handle your fulfillment. There are dozens of high-quality apps and connectors available. Find the ones that work for you!
Finally, outsource your e-commerce fulfillment carefully. You don’t want to have to handle every package, but you also need a good fulfillment partner. Find someone who has years of experience, is quick to answer questions, can grow with you, and most importantly, is equipped and experienced enough to handle cross-border commerce.
With these steps in place, there’s no limit to where you can go!