Having a professional and functional website offers a competitive advantage to any business. Small-scale businesses that lack adequate budgets or capital fail to hire website developers and coders to create professional websites.
Ready-made sales website templates are ideal for companies creating an online presence without investing in website developers. Businesses are realizing the importance of the sale website template elevates business growth and revenue and ECommerce ROI.
Despite the popularity of unique and modern website designs, the use of ready-made attractive, and intuitive sales website templates is extensive for website development.
Technological advancements have made our lives more convenient. Different sectors of the economy have benefited from novel innovations; however, businesses can be considered as the biggest winners and ECommerce fulfillment is critical.
From manufacturers to retailers, technology has greatly improved the efficiency and operations of these sectors. The emergence of ecommerce redefined how entities and their customers relate. Today, the ecommerce sector has made it easier for people to purchase their desired products hassle-free.
The entire world of business has changed forever and one of the featured and most notable changes has been the move online, including online marketing. Just a few decades ago it was only outbound and so-called traditional marketing techniques that were used by business to generate leads and build their brand among the general public and those who were interested in their products and services.
Now it is the inbound marketing on the internet that has become a must have for all businesses that want to reach a global audience.
Launching an eCommerce business is a thrilling journey with endless potential since billions of people are now buying online across the globe. Numerous eCommerce businesses have skyrocketed thanks to well-crafted content and strategies, growing in fame while also making it easier to acquire customers.
Taking your eCommerce Business to the next level can be difficult, but with a well-executed plan to scale your eCommerce business, there is an abundance of potential for exponential growth!
E-commerce is defined as the buying and selling of products or services exclusively through electronic channels. If you’ve made an online purchase through eBay, Shopify, Amazon (through Amazon FBA), and other platforms, then you have made your purchase via an e-commerce site. More and more people spend their time browsing on the internet and the more likely they are to buy stuff online.
Admittedly, the e-commerce industry is booming. Retail e-commerce sales in the United States are projected to grow at a fast pace in the coming years, going from 322.17 billion U.S. dollars in 2016 to just over 485 billion US dollars in 2021.
Why You Need Order Fulfillment Services
If you’re looking for a business that will eventually get you out of your 9-5 job, or looking to expand your existing business, having an online presence and web-based store could fulfill this goal. For beginners in the e-commerce trade, what do you need to do to get more sales, with a lot of online businesses competing for customers’ attention?
Customers want products that will give the best bang for their buck with speedy delivery, and good after-sales support. Here’s where the different companies offering order fulfillment services come in.
What is an Order Fulfillment Service?
Order fulfillment is defined as the steps involved in receiving, processing and delivering orders to end customers. A fulfillment service is defined as a third-party company that provides these order fulfillment steps on behalf of another party, such as an online seller.
FBA, or Fulfillment By Amazon is a business model wherein e-commerce sellers on the Amazon Marketplace, big or small, can have their products stored in any of Amazon’s giant warehouses, pack and deliver them to customers, handle customer support, and returns.
Expertise and Reach
Amazon has one of the most advanced e-commerce fulfillment service in the world, can help you scale-up or grow your business and as of the last measured period, the source estimated 90 million paying Amazon Prime subscribers in the United States, up from 63 million in June during the previous year.
Amazon Prime customers are eligible for 2-Day Shipping, Free Shipping and other benefits. If you sign up your products for Amazon Prime, your products are eligible for free shipping, too.
Customer Service and Returns
FBA handles customer service and returns. Listings are displayed with the Prime logo, so customers know that Amazon handles packing, delivery, customer service, and returns.
They handle the fulfillment services side of the business and saves your time, so you can focus on the other aspects of your business.
With Multi-Channel Fulfillment, you can fulfill orders from other sales channels using your inventory stored in Amazon order fulfillment centers. Single-source your inventory to streamline your fulfillment operations, manage your inventory through an online user interface and can direct Amazon to return your inventory in e-commerce fulfillment centers at any time.
Cons of using FBA
Little to no order customization. Sellers must comply with existing Amazon .processes.
Items are shipped in Amazon boxes. Sellers can ship in generic boxes which may cost extra.
Storage fees are generally higher compared to 3PLs and usually rise during holidays.
Higher order handling fees for non-Amazon orders.
Solutions are based in standard processes which may pose little opportunity for dialogue.
Conflict of interest
The fact that Amazon may actually be a competitor to the seller. Amazon is in the business of selling, they just happen to offer shipping services. For Amazon, it’s free product and market research, and they’re making money off you.
Third Party Logistics (3PL / TPL)
Third–party logistics in logistics and supply chain management is a company’s use of third party businesses to outsource elements of the company’s order fulfillment services.
Pros of Using 3PL
Boxes/bags and all internal packaging are customized to a specific brand. Processes are adapted to your business’ operation and specification.
Attractive storage costs that is variable. Customer pays storage space on a given month. Some 3PLs even offer free warehouse storage for a limited time.
Has onboarding processes, frequent communication before and after product launch. Collaborative approach is encouraged.
B2B (Business to Business)
Certain 3PLs can handle both B2B and B2C (Business to Consumer) fulfillment, resulting in one e-commerce fulfillment partner for all sales channels.
Cons of Using 3PL
Finding a Trustworthy 3PL company takes time.
Not all 3PL providers are created equal. It takes time to find a good company to work with from the beginning. Once you find someone you can trust, you can rest assured that your goods are being properly cared for. The initial search could be stressful but it will all be worth it once you find a reliable 3PL company.
Bad Service Reflects on Your Company
An inefficient 3PL provider could make your company look bad. Your customers do not care who is in charge of getting the product to them. All they care about is the end result. It is very important to look for a good distribution center early on to avoid customer-satisfaction issues in the future.
Amazon FBA or 3PL in Conclusion
Order Fulfillment Services are a crucial part of your business and a major factor in determining its success or failure. Whether you entrust your fulfillment services to FBA or a 3PL, there is a greater chance that you will be in good hands – these are fulfillment experts, after all. The key difference is you as the owner, – what do you want for your brand and what kind of customer experience you want to give to your consumers.
If you are happy to use Amazon’s existing system and tap into their wide customer reach, FBA may be a perfect fit for your company. If, however, you would like more control over your order fulfillment services, partnering with a 3PL could be the best solution. Make sure your order fulfillment service provider is experienced with the type of operations you need before you entrust them with your reputation.
Amazon FBA article and permission to publish here provided by Dona Dimaculangan at 3p-logistics.co.uk. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on March 8, 2018.
At Supply Chain Game Changer we believe in sharing experiences and expertise from people in every industry and from across the globe. As such we have introduced our “Seasoned Leadership in Action™” Interview series at Supply Chain Game Changer. This interview is with Paul Kretz, Head of SCM at Church and Dwight.
I first met Paul at Celestica. He left to purse other interests but our paths crossed again later on. I was at a company that had just implemented a new WMS system in the Distribution Centre. The system cutover was a disaster. And the operation had been run without true Warehouse Management experience as well. As I looked to recruit a new leader I was looking for a someone who could lead change.
I toured my final two candidates through the Distribution Centre, including Paul. Their reactions would help me decide who to select. The other person seemed overwhelmed and lost while looking at the mess in the warehouse. It wasn’t clear what they would do. Paul looked at the disastrous situation like a kid in a candy store. He saw opportunity at every turn. And instead of being intimidated by the situation Paul was motivated and inspired. I found my leader!
Warehouses play a significant role in businesses that offer goods and products. Whether you have a physical or online store, they’re important since they hold these products and house your inventories but they must deliver a positive ECommerce ROI.
Since they are beneficial in your business, it is only important that you have an efficient system in place. That’s where a warehouse management system (WMS) comes in.
An effective WMS can significantly improve the efficiency of your business’s daily operations and optimize your warehouse’s overall function, as well as your ECommerce ROI.
As consumers the complexity in the retail supply chain is usually oblivious to us. We go to the store and pick up the goods that we want. Or we order goods online from our devices at home, in the office, or anywhere for that matter. We consume the items, returning them if necessary, unaware of all of the work that went into making those goods available to us.
A phenomenal amount of activity goes on behind the scenes to make this experience as seamless as possible. I am not saying that it always goes smoothly. Sometimes items are broken. They are late. Or there is some other issue.
But behind the curtain that is Retail there are a lot of people managing a lot of processes and dealing with a lot of complexity earnestly trying to make your goods available to you.
During the pandemic more people have been shopping online than ever before. It stands to reason that with lockdowns in place and many physical stores being closed, that ECommerce ordering and shipping is a great alternative to face to face shopping. And customers typically except sellers to consolidate orders they place.
Along with online shopping the never ending push for fast delivery has continued unabated, whether it’s really necessary or not.
The result of this however is that more and more online orders are being fulfilled and delivered piecemeal. An order of 3 or more items more often than not results in the delivery of 3 separate packages. There is no focus to consolidate orders at all. It’s insane.
Unless there is an urgent need for a specific item companies should be consolidating their items in fewer packages and avoiding all of this waste.
ECommerce payment processing is the process of accepting electronic payments for online transactions. Internet-based shopping and banking have immensely grown over the years. Therefore, eCommerce payment processing has become vastly popular. Click for more here.
The common goal amongst all eCommerce businesses is to ensure the payment transactions are successful and the process is simple and hassle-free for customers.
Businesses have long since entered the E-Commerce marketplace. But how do you physically fulfill all of those online orders?The age of technology and innovation has made E-Commerce order fulfillment business processes and solutions so readily available that it has become highly competitive.
This competition is especially apparent in the area of E-Commerce Third-Party Logistics (3PLs).
As to Supply Chain predictions, in the book The Living Supply Chain, the authors argue that, “Speeding up the supply chain is at the root of everything that is good: improved revenue, reduced working capital, higher profitability, and less obsolete inventory. Conversely, slowing down the supply chain is at the root of everything that is bad: working capital write-offs, reduced profitability, and slowing revenues.”
When you order something Online there is great excitement in anticipation of opening your package when it arrives. With any luck the company you have ordered from has provided a positive experience in the online ordering and payment process. Now you are just waiting for the package to arrive. You certainly don’t want them to stop shipping.
Most recently we ordered a couple of items online. They were relatively small items and could easily fit in the palm of your hand. Within a couple of days a large box arrived at the front door. I wasn’t quite sure what it was because the box was rather big, big enough for a toaster or perhaps a couple of large board games.
I was surprised when we opened the big box, removed a bunch of crumpled paper and packaging material, and found the 2 small items we had ordered sitting on the bottom of this box. The items could have fit inside a standard envelope. Instead they were deliberately packaged in a box which could have held 200-300 of the items. Why don’t they stop shipping air?