Outsourcing fulfillment and logistics can help your business step up to the next level. The obvious advantages are lower shipping costs, same day shipping and reduced workload; however there are other advantages in collaborating with a fulfillment partner. Three major advantages of using a fulfillment center are:
1. Reduce and Control Operating Costs
If you plan to expand it’s important to consider outsourcing to a fulfillment company. Fulfillment companies are equipped to scale while sharing shipping discounts due to customer volume. If shopping for a fulfillment collaborator ensure that you validate shipping discounts for comparison. Choosing the right partner for your online business can typically save enough on shipping fees to absorb fulfillment fees by outsourcing. You should expect to save money on shipping and improve your cash flow.
Small businesses start tend to start from home, out of a garage or spare bedroom, fast growth can soon limit your space. Commercial storage space to house your products can be expensive, typically billed by square foot, with fixed-term leases and other overheads. E-commerce business owners can side-step such overheads; save time and money associated with recruitment - hiring and training employees to handle warehouse packing and shipping process. Using a fulfillment partner means that you only pay for packing and shipping of your orders as needed.
2. Access new Markets
Having an e-commerce site is not enough to compete in the digital space, you need to find efficient ways to expand your presence and sell into various marketplaces.
There are numerous online marketplaces to sell products today, managing so many channels is difficult to keep orders streamlined. Amazon, eBay or T-Mall, the fact is you want to get your products in front of as many buyers as you possible. In this instance a fulfillment house can play a key role and offer software assistance with multi-level selling features.
Many fulfillment centers offer tools that combine web store and multi-level marketplaces into one order-processing platform. In most cases, software usage is free and can help expand your marketing potential along with your shopping cart platform. Order data is collated in one system, - inventory, tracking, shipping costs, order volume and other aspects of your business is available on demand. Make sure that fulfillment providers offer a multichannel order management and a dependable data system to access your order data.
Global Business to Consumer e-commerce sales is going to hit $2 Trillion in 2016; Asia-Pacific will be the world’s largest regional e-commerce market according to eMarketer’s forecast. So look beyond domestic / regional borders and expand your market place to international customers. Fulfillment companies can ship products all over the world, they do so on a regular basis, get improved shipping discounts and understand duty, tax and regulation. International paperwork alone can be a headache, doing business with a company that’s familiar with this saves time and money and possibly legal bills if you’re not compliant to begin with.
3. Value Add Service
Fulfillment service providers are automated with processes to speed up order packing and shipping. That said many are recognising the need to have an array of customized services to add value. Services like gift-wrapping, shrink-wrap, bagging, folding clothes or labeling and prepping items for retail packaging spring to mind. These services are categorized as kitting and assembly, usually with a labour fee attached. Since fulfillment warehouses are equipped to provide this, they can accomplish high volume kitting to meet volume demand.
So if you have a product that needs to be shipped, research your options, discover what works for your business. You’ll find that savings are in order while building a partnership with a company that understands the distribution industry, open doors in new areas that you may not have considered.
Bottom line, do your homework when shopping for a fulfillment partner and ask for references, sample shipping rates and ask questions to see how they can work for your business. Your business structure should never have to fit their mold and the uniqueness of your business should never have to be altered.
The growth of your business will depend on your partner of choice - the assistance of a reliable fulfillment provider will take your business to an all-new level in 2016, so make it a great one!