Making the sale is a huge achievement, but it is only the beginning of what goes into order fulfillment. The next step is to guarantee that your items reach your clients as soon as possible and in perfect condition. Customers nowadays want fast, inexpensive delivery services, as well as quick and straightforward returns. As a small business, delivering these expectations could present a challenge. If this sounds like you, it may be time to consider working with eCommerce fulfillment centers.
What are eCommerce Fulfillment Centers?
Like warehouses, e-commerce fulfillment centers provide businesses with storage space for their products. But aside from that, they also offer end-to-end services, including management and delivery. They fulfill orders by ensuring the right products are delivered to the right recipient on time.
Managing the entire fulfillment order on your own may not necessarily be best for your business if you don’t have the capacity to manage inventory and shipping processes. Here’s how an e-commerce fulfillment center can benefit your business.
Offer Better Inventory Management
Fulfillment centers have inventory tracking technology and trained personnel to receive your products when they arrive. They take care of packing and shipping the products out to your customers. Plus, they come equipped with notification systems that alert you when inventory levels are low, so you know when to start replenishing your stocks.
eCommerce Fulfillment Centers Deliver Orders Fast
Late deliveries can cost businesses a lot. They can decrease retention rates, sales, and trust. A study found that 69% of consumers are less likely to shop again from a retailer if their orders aren’t delivered within two days or on the promised date. In an age where customers demand quick delivery, small businesses need to improve their logistics processes to keep up with others. This is where fulfillment centers come in. They handle everything from inbounding, transporting inventory, picking and packing orders, to shipping them to respective customers. With their advanced technology, they can promise speedy and accurate order fulfillment.
Ensure a Smooth Return Process for Your Customers
Customer returns and exchange are standard after-sales services that are essential components of any business. A good fulfillment center will ensure a smooth process for you and your customers. They will manage the return service and deliver undamaged goods back to your inventory. They will also handle product exchanges and ship replacements to your customers promptly.
Help Improve Customer Satisfaction
As a small business, you may have a limited workforce to handle fulfillment or have limited space to store inventory. Poorly handled orders during sales surges can cause delays in shipping and ultimately lead to customer dissatisfaction. A fulfillment center will take the load off your shoulders as its primary goal is to pick, pack and ship orders to your customers as soon as possible. They can help businesses minimize complaints regarding receiving wrong products and delayed deliveries. This is how they boost the quality of your customer service as well as customer satisfaction.
Build Business Reputation
Customer satisfaction can be achieved when businesses deliver on their promises like shipping their orders on time. With a third-party logistics company taking care of your product warehousing and deliveries, this won’t be a huge problem. As your business consistently meets the expectations of the customers, you are also able to earn their trust. You are building an image of a reliable small business. And because the customers trust you, they are inclined to buy from your store again, leave positive reviews, and even attract potential customers.
Save You Time and Money
Handling your own fulfillment process also means forking out extra cash for renting costly storage space and purchasing packaging materials. In this scenario, you’ll also need to establish a proper inventory system and hire additional staff to keep track of and process shipping. All of these require time and money to set up and maintain. As fulfillment centers operate on a larger scale, they can negotiate betterer shipping prices with various shipping options with different carriers. By outsourcing your fulfillment needs, you’ll save both money and time which will free you up to take care of other business aspects.
Let Business Owners Focus on Other Aspects
Most small business owners juggle their time between so many tasks. They are busy designing products, sourcing suppliers, and addressing customer concerns. Among the biggest advantages of outsourcing is that they take care of the heavy lifting, allowing business owners to focus on other important matters. This way, you can all focus on doing what you do best. For e-commerce fulfillment centers, that will be handling your logistics. And for small businesses, these include improving product quality, innovating production processes, and thinking of more effective marketing strategies.
Free Up Your Resources
A fulfillment center relieves pressure on your limited resources. Instead of maintaining a warehouse, training employees to package and ship orders, and purchasing the most up-to-date inventory management equipment, you can just use all the resources and services of your trusted fulfillment center. Your business will greatly benefit from the experience of its experts as well as its technology.
Alpacka is your reliable e-commerce fulfillment partner. As a family-run business, we treat your small business like our own. We take pride in our high attention to detail, inspecting every product and following your specific instructions on kitting and packaging. Let us take care of your fulfillment processes while you focus on expanding your business. Contact us today to find out more about our services!