7 Tips for Choosing the Right Fulfillment Company!

Fulfillment Company

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Order fulfillment is an important part of the selling process. Even if you have the best product in the world, your customers will not be happy if you can’t deliver it quickly and safely. Therefore, choosing the right fulfillment company for your business is essential.

It might be challenging for startups and small enterprises to locate a provider of packaging and fulfillment services in a smaller size. Many of the fulfillment centers you work with will want larger inventory numbers or will charge you more than the competition. 

Choosing the right fulfillment company will help you become more successful and can help with brand awareness. When customers can get their products quickly and efficiently, they will remember your business and often turn into repeat customers. 

1. Quick Shipping Speeds

More than ever, modern customers expect their orders to arrive quickly. Working with an order fulfillment business that can quickly meet these growing requirements can help. Otherwise, you risk losing out on sales from customers who claim to have canceled an online order due to lengthy delivery times.

The best fulfillment centers will have many locations, efficient organization, and automation in place that allows them to get your products out the door and to the customer quickly, without a lot of delays. 

2. Your Fulfillment Partner Must Understand your Customer’s Wants

The final stop before your products reach your customers is fulfillment. Your fulfillment procedures should be guided by what will appeal to your buyers the most.

How can your brand be exceptional with millions of e-Commerce companies vying for customers’ attention? Sending your goods in generic, uninteresting brown boxes won’t help because it feels cold and impersonal to your customers. 

On the other hand, choosing an order fulfillment provider that offers branding possibilities can aid your business’s branding and publicity efforts. 

Consumers in the modern day are more apt to interact with brands that tailor their experience. To get a repeat customer to come back again and again, you need to make your brand fun, interactive, and engaging. The right fulfillment partner can make that happen. 

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For instance, unlike a medical item, a beauty brand’s packaging is likely to be far more attractive and have fewer instructions. A high-value camera will require much more security in its packing than a dietary supplement. Both of these factors should be considered when choosing a fulfillment company.

Make sure your fulfillment provider can select the branding, packaging, and shipping method that best suits your customer’s requirements.

3. Transparency and Reliability

Since many businesses are selling comparable goods, it can take time for customers to decide which ones are worth purchasing. As a result, people are more likely to stay with a company for a long time once they find one that they can trust. But how do you go about creating this trust? Transparency.

A crucial element of transparency is your fulfillment procedure. Customers appreciate additional features, including the option to track shipments in real time. Suppose your fulfillment company fails to deliver customers’ items within two days of the date stated. In that case, customers may be less inclined to shop with your company again. Don’t make a promise you can’t keep.

4. Software and Automation Features 

Efficient e-commerce fulfillment services should ship purchase requests automatically from your e-commerce platform without further input from you or your team.

The software should automatically update inventories and order statuses on your e-commerce website and at the warehouse. These are straightforward, automated processes created to simplify your life and enable real-time functionality on your website. 

However, only some e-commerce fulfillment companies offer their customers this degree of complexity and efficiency. This is why you need to take your time and research your options before choosing a fulfillment center. 

Furthermore, your e-commerce fulfillment company should provide customers with a portal that allows them to track the status of their orders.  For instance, has an order entered the system, or has the warehouse just received it? The software should also offer detailed reporting on delivery timelines and freight costs.

5. Costs

You should anticipate early up-front fees when dumping fulfillment to a third party. However, you will save money over time on labor, expenses, packing materials, and more. Additionally, you want to confirm that the fulfillment company you select provides you with the best offers.

Since you want your products to get to your customers, they are continuously moving. Your fulfillment company shouldn’t charge you for prolonged storage.  

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Due to the volume of packages, fulfillment services can negotiate lower rates from carriers than a single e-commerce business could. You want to ensure that some of these savings are being passed along to you. By providing free or discounted shipping, these lower expenses frequently enable e-commerce firms to compete with traditional bigwigs.

6. Don’t Sign a Long-Term Contract

If you decide you’re ready to select a fulfillment company, check to see if it will not bind you to a contract. You can cancel at any time with the most trustworthy e-commerce fulfillment firms.

To ensure everything goes as planned, you can use this method to test the system in use and the interconnection with your e-commerce platform.

7. Simplicity in Pricing

Even if you have identified a fulfillment center that offers a standard price, you should also read your contract carefully for any mention of additional or hidden costs. Do the small packing peanuts known as “dunnage” (which safeguard your items) cost extra? Are packing slips an additional cost? 

If you need to communicate with programmers, are there any associated costs? Do you have to pay each time you phone the support desk to speak with someone? Make sure you are aware of any potential expenses up front, as they can mount significantly as your company expands.

Employing the Ideal Fulfillment Company 

Countless businesses sell goods to consumers. They engage in various market niches and provide the general public with multiple products.

Some businesses are primarily local, while others ship their products worldwide. No matter how big or small those businesses are or what kinds of products they sell, they all share a trait in common. A significant portion of their success depends on reliable order fulfillment services.

With the tips above, you can ensure that you pick the best order fulfillment company for your shipping needs. 

Fulfillment company article and permission to publish here provided by Gabe Nelson. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on January 11, 2023.
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