Are you the owner of an eCommerce business that is experiencing a boom in sales? Or have you been projecting constant growth recently and are unable to cope on your own? You don’t need to burn yourself out with stress, there’s a solution to that.
Rather than running to the post office every day to send out your eCommerce orders, have you thought about looking into eCommerce fulfilment centre services? Below, we detail what you need to know about how shipping fulfilment centres work, as well as how they can benefit you.
A fulfilment centre is an actual location from which a third-party logistics provider (3pl) can fulfil your eCommerce orders. The purpose of an eCommerce fulfilment centre is to make sure your eCommerce orders are delivered to your customers quickly and efficiently in order to relieve eCommerce CEOs, such as yourself, of the duty of managing this essential and challenging process.
Shipping fulfilment centres work to get your customers’ shipping orders to their doorstep in a fast and efficient manner – this is also known as the order fulfilment process. Your inventory for your eCommerce business can be strategically stored in a third-party logistics company’s order fulfilment centre to prepare for fulfilling your customer shipping orders. After a customer completes a purchase on your eCommerce page, the items are picked and packed into boxes, then labelled for shipment – eliminating the need to do any of this yourself.
When you outsource your eCommerce fulfilment because of an increased order volume, the third-party logistics company will be completing the fulfilment process on your behalf. From inventory management to negotiating rates with shipping and delivery carriers, this includes everything to do with fulfilment. Outsourcing fulfilment makes life easier for eCommerce business owners when it comes to inventory management, customer service improvements, as well as saving you time to focus on strategy and growth for your business.
We can also provide more information on the uses of a fulfilment warehouse. Fulfilment warehouses are also known as fulfilment centres – however, a standalone warehouse differs drastically from that of an econ fulfilment centre. A warehouse is usually where you’ll find your inventory is only stored, while an eCommerce fulfilment centre has many other jobs besides storage.
There are multiple advantages to using an ecom fulfilment centre to help bolster the operations of your eCommerce business. Below, we detail the top advantages for online sellers when they decide to begin outsourcing to a fulfilment centre.
Managing a physical space is not ideal for your business unless you’re a retailer with a physical store. An order fulfilment centre is a great choice when looking to avoid the unnecessary effort that comes with storing inventory or dealing with warehousing.
Further, having to run to the post office every day in order to ship your orders can get very tiring very quickly. In order to avoid burnout from constantly running your orders to be shipped in time – a fulfilment centre will help to eliminate that process from your day.
If you find that you’re unable to keep up with the increasing number of customer orders, order fulfilment centres can give you more time to grow your business with planning strategies, whilst helping you spend less time packing shipments and dealing with the post office.
Tasks such as packing boxes and shipping your customers’ orders are essential when it comes to meeting minimal consumer expectations. These tasks can generally be outsourced so that you can stay focussed on the never-ending, and constantly expanding, list of things to do that help the business scale and make money.
Outsourcing fulfilment will free up time to instead focus on building the company through marketing, customer support, and product management. This will allow your business to become more strategic with making money, rather than relying on operations. Utilising the services of a professional fulfilment centre can help sellers and businesses become more proactive in areas of the business that need to grow to make money.
Inbound and outbound logistics can be challenging – especially for those who are new to the world of eCommerce and are hearing this jargon for the first time. A fulfilment centre has many moving pieces that must work together in harmony in order to achieve what it needs to, like a big complex machine. Order processing, inventory management, preparing for peak commercial seasons, fulfilment companies are filled with expert colleagues who understand the entire selling process – so you can rely on them to get the job done quickly and efficiently.
A fulfilment centre can handle the operations of multiple eCommerce businesses. The limits for how many businesses they can handle are determined by the provider, but many can stock thousands of products from thousands of retailers – all while regularly shipping out millions of orders in a timely manner. This experience and volume of stock make shipping fulfilment centres a great choice when looking for a strategic partner who can understand your needs.
These companies can also make other operations more efficient – such as low shipping rates by negotiating with mail carriers and couriers, to the size and number of locations of the physical fulfilment centre. All of these points are put in place to benefit the businesses they work with in order to make the lives of business owners and customers easier.
Technology is what allows modern fulfilment companies to stay ahead of the game – it allows companies who use the latest tech to provide expert eCommerce fulfilment services to their vast clientele. Technology can do many things within the fulfilment centre process, such as every fulfilment step being automatically documented in real-time, to make order fulfilment services as strong as possible. This allows eCommerce businesses to know the status of their inventory and every order that is processed at any time, and at all times, without the need to physically be at the fulfilment centre.
This is only possible when fulfilment solutions have integrations built-in with their eCommerce platform and marketplace partners. This connection allows every customer order to be sent to the fulfilment centre automatically for the purchased item to be picked off the shelves, packed into boxes, and shipped out to the customer. Once the item is shipped, the tracking info is first shared with the eCommerce store, and then shared with the customer.
Here at The Delivery Group, we can provide an expert fulfilment partner who can serve throughout the UK with multiple different fulfilment costs to suit any budget. If you’re in need of a fulfilment centre in London, Brighton, Portsmouth, Manchester, Newcastle, or anywhere else throughout the UK; we’ve got you covered. We can pick, pack, and ship customer orders for eCommerce platforms and online stores with the lowest shipping costs. We’ve integrated our technology directly with leading eCommerce platforms too in order to automatically send orders from your online store to our fulfilment centres.
To learn more about our services from experts at The Delivery Group, get in touch today for a pricing quote and to discuss your needs with our fulfilment experts.
Cost-effective and efficient management of your inventory is an essential part of any eCommerce platform and online store’s responsibilities if you want it to thrive. Though the terms ‘fulfilment centre’ and ‘warehouse’ are frequently used to mean the same thing – the need for warehouse space in order to store inventory is much different than the need for third-party fulfilment and logistics services. These differences are determined by the type of company that you work with. A warehousing company that can help with the storage of large amounts of inventory over a long period of time, or a fulfilment company that can quickly fulfil and ship orders from fulfilment centres in order to achieve ultimate customer satisfaction.
The short answer is yes. Fulfilment centres receive the inventory from online stores and then sort and shelf the products in the respective bin, shelf, or pallet locations – keeping track of the on-hand units. The reason for this is to turn over stock quickly and to ship orders out as efficiently as possible. Most fulfilment centres will provide the necessary technology to help online stores and eCommerce businesses manage their inventory without the need to be physically present. This includes inventory tracking tools that help you know when to reorder stock before a stockout happens.
Many fulfilment centres offer a range of delivery options to the benefit of you and your clientele. The exact services offered will depend on where your fulfilment centre is, the technology they have available, the operations they have in place, and the carriers they use. A fulfilment centre in Japan will have different services to that of a centre in the UK for example.
An order is processed when a customer makes a purchase on your online store. The eCommerce platform that powers your online store will then send the order details to the technology used at your chosen fulfilment centre, which will alert the staff at the fulfilment centre to retrieve the ordered products from stock, pack them away into a box, label the customer package, and ship the order. This allows the tracking information to be shared with the eCommerce platform and the customer so that they know where their package is, and when it will arrive, at any time.