Successful eCommerce firms have excellent fulfillment services. eCommerce fulfillment covers all processes after a customer places an order on a website or app. Picking the goods from the warehouse, packing them, transporting them to the target storage facility, and delivering them to customers are all part of this process.
Whether you’re selling high-quality products and have a well-functioning website, your online business will fail if your fulfillment operation isn’t up to par. While eCommerce fulfillment isn’t the most fun aspect of owning an online business, it is necessary for long-term success.
Let’s figure out why that is and some eCommerce fulfillment essentials in this article. This blog will answer the question, “What is eCommerce fulfillment and its scope in 2022?
- What is Fulfillment in eCommerce?
- What is a Fulfillment Partner?
- E-commerce Order Fulfillment process steps
- Types of e-commerce fulfillment models
- eCommerce Fulfillment Costs Depending on The Model
- How to decide when you need a Fulfillment Partner
- What are the benefits of E-Commerce Fulfillment service providers?
- Scope of eCommerce Fulfillment in 2022
- The Ingenious Method of Fulfilling eCommerce Orders – Pickrr Fulfillment
What is Fulfillment in eCommerce?
The complete order processing of purchase is referred to as fulfillment. eCommerce fulfillment refers to processing orders placed through E-Commerce websites or platforms. E-fulfillment is another name for this process. This includes accepting orders, maintaining master data on eCommerce websites, processing refunds, packaging, and delivering to the end-customer.
Efficient eCommerce fulfillment is becoming increasingly critical as customers want speedier delivery and more customer-friendly return conditions. As a result, many of the duties that arise during the e-fulfillment process are outsourced by online merchants and handled by third-party logistics companies.
E-fulfillment outsourcing is not only beneficial for small eCommerce retailers with limited capacity, but many large internet shops too are outsourcing their logistics.
What is a Fulfillment Partner?
Companies specializing in order processing for online stores are known as eCommerce fulfillment partners. While retailers focus on their core business, such as expanding their product line and marketing, fulfillment service providers handle shipping and returns.
Many fulfillment services provide storage as well as customer service. Which fulfillment service provider is best for your eCommerce business is determined by more than just price. Many retailers want to outsource their customer service, insist on international shipping options, and require accounting services.
eCommerce Order Fulfillment Process Steps
Storage Services – Warehousing
Warehousing, or storing your products is the most crucial function of eCommerce fulfillment services. It entails keeping your things in an organized manner for easier access.
Warehousing allows you to store all of your products at one accessible location, handling them swiftly and keeping track of your inventory more efficiently.
The administration of incoming orders received on your eCommerce website is called order fulfillment in eCommerce. Using effective order management, you can ensure that no order is missed and that all orders are processed appropriately before being delivered.
Order management must be in perfect sync with the warehouse and inventory management systems for information to be updated on all fronts and subsequent processing processes to be completed instantly.
The second essential part of order fulfillment is inventory management, which concerns keeping track of all by-products to know which ones are out of stock and replacing your supply accordingly.
Inventory management allows you to gauge customer expectations better and plan ahead of time for your organization. It also aids you in remaining much more organized and streamlining your demand and supply in accordance.
Order Picking & Packaging
Following the receipt of an order, the eCommerce fulfillment chain proceeds to the picking and packing process. The order is collected from its designated warehouse location and then packed with the appropriate packaging material for the goods. The labeling of the packaged product is required to ensure that all necessary information is attached to the packaging for a smooth delivery process.
Picking and packaging must be done with extreme care and precision to ensure that no orders are packed and delivered incorrectly. Furthermore, if the order is not packaged correctly, it may leave an unfavorable impression on the buyers, reducing their likelihood of returning to your website for future purchases.
Shipping & Logistics
The next and most important steps in the fulfillment process are order shipping and logistics. After all of the preceding procedures have been completed, a delivery executive is dispatched to transport the package to a courier hub. Finally, it is shipped to the customer’s delivery address.
To avoid delays in the first mile and last mile of fulfillment operations, all orders must be passed over to the delivery supervisors on time.
The proper shipment of orders will ensure that they are delivered on time and without tampering or damage to your customers. As a result, it is recommended that you ship with the best courier partner so that you do not face late deliveries or have to pay extra.
eCommerce and fulfillment encompass more than just order delivery. It also accounts for any return orders that may be received if customers are unhappy with the product they ordered. As a result, you can improve your customer’s purchasing experience by using effective reverse logistics and order management.
Types of eCommerce Fulfillment Models
There is no single method for carrying out eCommerce fulfillment. Instead, it includes several models that differ depending on the number of orders, your inventory, and the time you need to process orders.
There are different types of eCommerce fulfillment strategies that you can adopt for your business based on these parameters. Of course, each fulfillment model has advantages and disadvantages and is best suited to specific requirements, making it tailor-made to a large extent.
In this eCommerce fulfillment, you handle all fulfillment processes, including storage, inventory and order management, packaging, shipping, and returns.
This means your small storage facility can perform all processing operations independently. This model is appropriate for small businesses that are just getting started but are not sustainable. When your order volume grows, you need to invest in more storage space and resources to manage your operations. Your orders might be delayed if you do not do this and also incorrect orders might be shipped.
It is only appropriate for businesses that are just getting started and need support to ensure on-time delivery.
Dropshipping is a business model where the wholesaler or manufacturer ships the product directly to the customer. This means that the merchant never has a physical inventory.
When a consumer puts an order on your website, it is either manually or automatically transported and sent to the supplier, processed, and delivered.
Dropshipping is a good option if you’ve just started a business and are still learning your way around storage and processing.
It can be not easy in the long run because it does not allow you to control inventory and limits your branding options.
If you want to scale your business, it can be difficult because you may have to work with multiple drop shippers and coordinate with many to ensure a seamless experience for your customers.
Third-party fulfillment is abbreviated as 3PL fulfillment. For example, outsourcing your fulfillment operations to a third party gives you access to warehouses, inventory management systems, shipping, and return management.
When you decide to use 3PL fulfillment, the third-party logistics company will handle all operations. In addition, 3PL firms work with various merchants; they have a training resource for all functions and fulfillment centers to facilitate faster order processing.
Depending on the type of business you have, you can approach 3PL companies about partnering with your eCommerce store. Every 3PL provides distinct solutions such as B2B order processing, B2C order processing, temperature-controlled storage, etc.
When you contact these fulfillment companies, they will be able to customize your order fulfillment process to meet your exact needs. In addition, you can contact them for warehouse, processing, and shipping arrangements if you want to ship with them.
According to Pickrr, third-party fulfillment is a viable, dependable option because it allows you to ship more orders while scaling your business based on demand.
It is adaptable, and no investment is required for expansion. You get trained personnel to carry out all processes, and you can process orders much more quickly by storing them with a 3PL provider closer to your customers.
eCommerce Fulfillment Costs Depending on the Model
The cost of fulfillment is the next factor to consider regarding eCommerce fulfillment. How much would the completefull eCommerce fulfillment process cost you based on the numerous models we presented?
Let’s dig deeper to see what aspects of fulfillment each model addresses and how this affects your fulfillment costs.
You must handle all fulfillment operations yourself under self-fulfillment. That means setting up a manual inventory and order management system, purchasing additional storage space, training resources for picking and packaging, and partnering with courier companies to ship your products.
Each of these operations is labor-intensive and necessitates a substantial investment. As a result, you may need to invest significantly more in self-fulfillment as your business grows.
In 3PL fulfillment, you get into a contract with a 3PL provider to handle all fulfillment operations. Because you only pay a processing fee based on your inventory and the storage space you occupy, your overall costs are much lower because you avoid overhead and labor costs. This model could be highly beneficial if you want to scale up your business eventually.
Typically, 3PL providers cover shipping, and you only pay for the shipping costs. The solution is to select a 3PL partner closer to your customer’s delivery location. This way, you can cut down on delivery time and costs.
Finally, when we talk about drop shipping, it does not initially include any overheads or total costs because your supplier handles the entire shipping process, including storage and processing. However, it can be difficult as your business grows because you need to work with multiple drop shippers. This may result in including the precise costs to scale up.
How to Decide When do you Need a Fulfillment Partner?
As your company grows, so will its other aspects, such as inventory management, order management, warehouse management, etc. Eventually, you won’t need to incorporate technological innovations to improve the flow of operations.
To avoid these costly investments while seamlessly growing your business and fulfilling orders much faster, it is preferable to partner with a fulfillment partner who provides this necessary software and technological ecosystems.
If you’re still unsure, here are some questions to ask yourself to determine whether your eCommerce business requires a fulfillment partner –
What are my plans for expanding the company?
If your company is expected to grow significantly, it is time to consider using a third-party logistics provider.
Is there enough space for my inventory?
You should outsource your inventory and warehouse management if the answer is no.
Do my customers want more expedited shipping options?
If so, it’s time to store products closer to where they’ll be used.
Is order fulfillment taking up too much of my current time?
If you answered no, you still have the option to fulfill orders yourself. However, if the answer is yes, it is time to start looking for fulfillment partners for your company.
What are the Benefits of eCommerce Fulfillment Service Providers?
Outsourcing eCommerce fulfillment has numerous advantages. The retailer benefits from order processing outsourcing in the following ways:
- The benefit of saving time and money.
- The optimal infrastructure and expertise provided by the cheapest fulfillment servicers.
- The advantages of faster delivery and location
- Possibilities for rapid growth and adaptability
Scope of eCommerce Fulfillment in 2022
eCommerce fulfillment providers are expected to invest heavily in omnichannel fulfillment, data-backed platforms, and automation.
Sellers are now venturing into sales on various platforms such as mobile applications, eCommerce websites, social media, etc.
Sellers can use omnichannel fulfillment to conduct and expand their business. They can integrate their retail store information into a centralized network and disseminate information accordingly, with an omnichannel retail experience.
The use of technologies such as big data will aid in bridging the gap between marketplaces, courier partners, payment gateways, consumers, and other stakeholders in the eCommerce supply chain. Real-time data will be crucial in demand forecasting, shipping, return management, and many other areas.
Even now, merchants are under intense pressure to reduce delivery times. As a result, sellers will be able to make more informed decisions and process orders faster using real-time data management.
We expect to see a significant increase in automation trends in 2022 as technology becomes more involved in the entire fulfillment chain. However, using warehouse management systems in conjunction with inventory management systems can aid in centralized management and social communication among warehouses and fulfillment centers.
The Ingenious Method of Fulfilling eCommerce Orders – Pickrr Fulfillment
Pickrr Plus Fulfillment is a complete fulfillment solution offered by Pickrr. The solution includes warehousing, inventory management, and product shipping. It allows you to store products in technologically advanced and fully-equipped warehouses closer to your buyers.
You can improve delivery speed by offering next-day delivery and tamper-proof packaging to your customers. You can also provide faster intracity and intra-zone shipping, lowering shipping costs. Additionally, because you provide your customers with a high-quality experience and on-time delivery, your chances of receiving repetitive orders increase exponentially.
Because it is a flexible shipping and warehousing model, you save a lot of money on any additional warehouse investment without sacrificing the quality of your fulfillment operations.
Pickrr Plus Fulfillment is ideal for companies that want to outsource their warehousing and fulfillment operations to deliver more orders faster.
eCommerce fulfillment is a critical component of your eCommerce business, and it must be done correctly if you want to provide a positive delivery experience to your customers.