Some years ago, while planning their wedding a young couple came upon the idea of selling wedding invitations online. The product cost nothing to wholesale, there was a dearth of similar sights available online, and the actual production costs were next to nothing following an initial investment into printing materials.
Shortly after returning from their honeymoon the couple set about establishing an online storefront in which they could sell wedding invitations through ecommerce-based mail order fulfillment. They were very careful in their research of the market, and conservative in their web hosting and page design choices. After careful consideration, they elected to use a Yahoo storefront platform to start their business.
So What Happened?
At first, the business went as well as anyone could expect. Order began flowing in, they expanded their product variety and made plans to move to independent hosting. In time, they had more business than they could possibly handle, as the “wedding season” between June and October loomed in the near future.
Let’s repeat that last part, because it’s important: they had more business than they could handle. Literally. In time, they were forced to abandon orders and even shut down business for a day or so, while their printing capabilities could catch up to the demand for orders. The couple worked impossibly long hours (they had other careers, as well) and were even forced to contact a temp agency for additional staffing. What had begun as a fun, simple way to operate a home-based business for extra cash had turned into a giant and implacable nightmare of logistics and order fulfillment complications.
It Doesn’t Have To Happen To You
The couple could have avoided all their headaches and setbacks had they realized that, in the ecommerce market place, dramatic shifts in business levels happen with unpredictable regularity. If change is the only constant, as the old saying goes, then change is certainly the only constant on the Internet, and any ecommerce entrepreneur would be wise to accept that.
An Ounce of Prevention
The moral to the story: by outsourcing your fulfillment to a third party fulfillment provider, you spare yourself the trouble and expense of dealing with surging upswings in business. Fulfillment service companies are specialized, expertly trained, and also flexible enough to accommodate any level of shipping, warehousing, and fulfillment demands. There are many fulfillment service companies available online, so you have a choice of companies as well.