Fulfillment services are for many online business owners a match made in heaven. Using a fulfillment service eliminates parts of business that most online store owners dislike: packing, shipping and dealing with refunds. Outsourcing order fulfillment allows e-tailers to focus 100% of their energy and resources on marketing and growing their business.
However order fulfillment services are not necessarily the right solution for all online business. Below you will find five questions that you should ask to determine whether fulfillment is the right answer for your e-Commerce business.
Does Your Product Require Customization?
Products that require customization for each customer are unsuited to an order fulfillment service. For example a company that sells medals, plaques and awards with personalized engraved messages will not be able to use a fulfillment service to deliver their products.
Do You Do Enough Business To Justify The Monthly Fees?
Almost all fulfillment services charge a monthly minimum fee for using their services. If you are just starting out you may not yet being doing enough business to justify paying these monthly fees. However there are some fulfillment services, such as Allpack fulfillment, which cater to smaller and medium sized businesses and have a range of payment option plans.
Are You Struggling To Meet Your Delivery Targets?
If your business is rapidly growing and you are struggling to meet your current delivery targets then you probably should seriously consider using a third party fulfillment service. Packages consistently being sent late or improperly packaged are all signs that you need to outsource these activities. Many online stores make the step up to using a fulfillment service because their current warehousing resources are being overwhelmed.
Do You Want To Retain Complete Control Over Customer Interactions?
When you use a fulfillment service they will take over some or all aspects of customer service. For many company’s this is a distinct advantage as it frees up resources to grow the business. However some businesses prefer to maintain complete control over their customer interactions and so prefer to not outsource fulfillment. If you still want to retain control over customer service while outsourcing other elements of fulfillment you should talk with your fulfillment service providers. They may have a customized plan that can meet your needs.
Is Packing And Delivery Taking Up A Lot Of Resources?
In some businesses packing and delivery will not be taking up a lot of the company’s resources. If this is the case it may not be worthwhile paying a fulfillment service to outsource these activities. An example of this might be a software business which delivers the majority of its products digitally but occasionally has to ship physical products as well.
If you are still unsure whether a third party fulfillment service is right for you, try testing with a small number of goods. If the experience meets your expectations then you can move to outsource all of your product fulfillment. When used correctly fulfillment services can transform an online business and allow them to rapidly scale up their product sales.