Though it’s not generally discussed outside of the most exclusive ecommerce and online marketing forums and membership boards, there comes a time when the needs of order fulfillment start to eclipse the other duties and responsibilities the business owner must resolve.
The Importance of Superb Fulfillment
Fulfillment is a crucial part of any ecommerce endeavor. Indeed, it’s the life’s blood of the business operation, leading to successful website visitor conversion and repeat business. It’s actually hard to imagine, from an objective point of view, a successful website or ecommerce concern that isn’t able to effectively and efficiently deliver its mail order products or services to its customer base. Such failures can lead to dissatisfaction that erodes the ecommerce business’ reputation among consumers and within the online marketplace overall.
Third party fulfillment service companies prevent those dangers from tripping up even relatively smaller ecommerce and home based businesses. They manage the logistics and order fulfillment needs for their client companies, making sure that the client company is able to deploy and deliver its products with a minimum of problems or interference.
How Third Party Fulfillment Works: A Step by Step Process
Your fulfillment service company accepts inventory from the manufacturer or wholesaler on behalf of your ecommerce business, storing all products inside its secure and climate controlled warehousing facility. This enables you to rest assured that your inventory is safe and protected without committing to the time and resources needed to find and purchase sufficient warehousing space or train and payroll its staff.
Fulfillment companies hire and train their own workers, bringing them up to date on the latest efficiency-boosting methods and ways to quickly and expertly prepare products for shipment. Once the package is shipped to the customer’s delivery address, the fulfillment company then provides tracking information both to the customer and to the client business, working to satisfy both ends of the conversion transaction.
Regarding payment, the fulfillment company will typically extract a percentage of each product sold as a fee for the storage and order fulfillment duties it executes on the client company’s behalf. The percentage is agreed upon in advance, part of a binding contract agreement.
Many fulfillment companies are also able to satisfy their clients’ mail order fulfillment needs, sending out brochures, pamphlets, and other printed information via the post office to their client business’ customer base.