The e-commerce market is saturated with many businesses selling products across different industries. Companies are constantly looking for ways to stand out from the pack. One of the main challenges that e-commerce companies face is getting their products to customers quickly and at a reasonable price. According to Econsultancy, 50% of shoppers abandoned their carts due to unsatisfactory delivery options.
Whether it’s determining your shipping costs, creating a one of a kind unboxing experience, or deciding on your packaging options, fulfillment can be an intimidating aspect of business. Outsourcing your fulfillment can save you a lot of time and money. Consider bringing on a third party logistics company like Federal Direct that specializes in the following 4 services:
1. Drop shipping and Direct shipping
Depending on the stage of your business and/ or your business model you may request to have your products shipped directly to customers, vendors, or both. When vetting out a fulfillment partner, make sure that they have the capacity and structure in place to ship your products wherever they need to go. Having your products drop shipped means that your products will be shipped in bulk to your warehouse or to a vendor. Direct shipping means shipping directly to individual customers.
2. Kitting and Assembly
Kitting and assembly are terms used to describe combining multiple products and shipping them instead of picking, packing, and shipping products individually. Kitting is especially useful for companies who sell products in bundles. This service gives you the option to have your products pre-assembled while saving time and cutting costs on labor. Kitting your products can also result in postal savings.
3. Shopping Cart Integration for Order Fulfillment
Depending on what you already have in place, you may need shopping cart integration installed so that order information (i.e. pick tickets, shipping labels, etc.) is sent directly to your fulfillment partner. Having this information sent directly to the fulfillment company makes for a seamless operation and ensures that your products are shipped out in a timely matter. Many fulfillment companies offer shopping cart integration as a service or they will require access to your third party shipping software. You will want to make sure that the service that is being provided works for your specific needs.
4. Inventory Management and Reporting
Inventory management is a very important part of business. Having too little or too much inventory on hand can be an issue for your business financially and it will impact customer satisfaction. To better understand the flow of your inventory, you will need to see the metrics. Finding a fulfillment partner with a strong inventory management system in place is key. You will want to have 24/7 access to up to date inventory reports. You will need that information so that you are communicating accurate information to your customers about product availability. A few important metrics to keep track of are reordering point, inventory on hand, inventory turnover, and item fill rate.