Consumers have grown accustomed to two-day shipping, which means there is now the expectation that their products will arrive quickly once ordered online. To compete with the competition, it’s not enough to have good products. Your products need to arrive efficiently and in a timely manner.
Order fulfillment is now more critical than ever. Unfortunately, it’s not the easiest thing to master when it comes to your business. Though, once you understand it, you can focus on improving your strategies.
What is Order Fulfillment?
To put it simply, order fulfillment is the process of picking and packing products and then shipping them out to the customers. Order fulfillment can be outsourced to third-party fulfillment centres, or it can be completed by the company in-house.
Order fulfillment applies to business-to-business orders (B2B), usually involving big box stores and business-to-consumer (B2C), where you ship to an individual.
Ecommerce Fulfillment Strategies
1. Third-Party Fulfillment
While some businesses choose to handle the fulfillment process themselves, others may hire a third-party fulfillment centre (3PLs). Hiring a 3PL can help your business in a variety of ways. When you hire a 3PL, they handle the entire fulfillment process, from receiving products from your supplier to returning products. In addition, third-party fulfillment centres work with various merchants, so they have a wealth of knowledge and experience to ensure your products are shipped out correctly and in a timely manner. They also have connections that you might not have and would help negotiate cheaper shipping rates.
Make sure to choose a third-party provider you can trust. They handle everything in the fulfillment process, which means they can make or break your customer’s overall experience.
2. Technology Integrations
The easiest way to manage your online business is to find apps or software that will integrate with your store. Specific software can help you to manage your order fulfillment seamlessly and eliminate the need for manual data entry. Once an order is placed, your team can immediately start the order fulfillment process.
There are also other apps and software that allow you to show the customer inventory levels. This transparency enables B2B customers to understand the best times to purchase to avoid out-of-stock dates.
When you use these integrations, it allows your business to run smoothly and focus on other critical business tasks.
3. Two-Day Shipping
Shipping costs are constantly changing, so it can be challenging to determine how much to charge, especially when you want to offer customers lower shipping rates. However, minimizing the shipping cost and allowing your business to provide two-day shipping is more accessible than you think.
Including the shipping price in your product price will help you cover extra shipping fees and keep costs lower. Some businesses also create an offer for customers to spend a minimum amount of money to get free shipping.
Thinking strategically about shipping can help you minimize cart abandonment and help you to achieve a higher conversion rate.
McKenna Logistics Can Help With Third-Party Fulfillment
We have over 70 years of experience at McKenna, and our team of dedicated logistics-consulting professionals is committed to filling your custom warehousing and distribution needs.
If you have questions about our third-party logistics (3PL) services or our warehouse locations and options, contact us today to get a free quote!