How to Choose the Best eCommerce Warehouse Fulfillment Location
Whether you have just started your e-Commerce business or you’ve been in the industry for a long time, a solid order fulfillment strategy is crucial. When you’ve just started, you could use your spare room for your warehousing needs, but as your business grows you’ll require a bigger space, more staff, and most importantly, a fulfillment center that’ll suit your location needs.
For most established e-Commerce businesses, one of the biggest challenges is to split their stock between multiple warehouses. Especially when you have customers across a wide region, owning multiple warehouses or fulfillment centers is not a feasible option. Partnering with a 3PL (third-party logistics) for your e-commerce fulfillment is the best bet, especially with the pandemic leading to an increase in online shopping. This can not only save costs on your logistics, but also help you fulfill your orders faster and serve your customers better.
So how exactly do you decide on the best fulfillment location for your e-Commerce business? Consider these factors:
Customers nowadays expect fast delivery, and to meet the requirements in such a short time, you need to have your shipping and order fulfillment strategies in place. Find out a company that can deliver your orders on time to your customers. The best fulfillment center will have effective and efficient shipping services to help you in catering to your customers on time, mainly because of the widespread eCommerce fulfillment centers and warehouses.
Location of fulfillment centers
A single warehouse location is not enough when you have to cater to a larger audience. To achieve lightning fast deliveries, you need an order fulfillment center in close proximity to the customer.
However, just because a fulfillment company has many warehouses doesn’t mean they are the one for you. You need to check where the warehouses are located and if they suit your needs. If you have customers across the globe, then you need a fulfillment partner that has warehouses located across the globe and offers international shipping.
Order fulfillment software
Being an e-commerce owner, you already have a lot of things to take care of. You might already have a lot of digital applications and tools you use to make the shopping experience smooth for your customer, and you shouldn’t be dealing with other software too on your own.
Depending on the warehousing services they offer, every fulfillment company uses different software to suit their needs. Before you decide on one, understand your goals and deliverables and choose a fulfillment partner who offers advanced software that aligns with your needs. The software should be easy to execute, use, and integrate easily with any other platform you use.
E-Commerce and other online stores are popping up in every corner of the world, and the customers have many options to choose from. One of the factors that should make your company stand out should be transparency. More than 50% of customers say that they are more likely to stay with a brand for the long term if they offer transparencies in their order processing.
Real-time tracking of the shipment, updates, information regarding the delivery, etc., are some of the details that customers are looking for in a brand. If your website or app says delivery within three business days, you should meet that deadline. There’s a high chance that you’ll lose a customer if your promises are not fulfilled or updates are not being shared.
People these days care a lot about the aesthetics of a package or a product. Nobody is excited to open a plain, boring brown cardboard box, even if the product inside is something they’ve been waiting for. To offer a personal customer experience, you should choose a fulfillment company that provides a tailored branding solution for your orders. Personalization is the key to retaining customers and making their purchases with you over and over again.
Imagine you ordered a bookmark, but it came in an 8” x 10” box—not so lovely to picture, right? Packaging options should be considered one of the significant factors while choosing a fulfillment partner. Check the different sizes of boxes they offer, the packaging options (check out the tips to pack and ship apparel here) for different products and the kind of insulation material used, etc.
Even though you have outsourced your storage and shipping to a fulfillment partner, you still need to make sure they are worth spending each penny on and do not negatively affect your brand image.
Packing and shipping the order is not the end of service when you choose a fulfillment company. They should be able to handle the returns too. Almost 30% of the online orders are returned due to controllable and unexpected reasons. An efficient 3PL partner should take care of the controllable returns and identify those “serial returners.” These things can help you improve your customer service experience and save costs on additional shipping charges.
Partnering with any of the fulfillment companies will require an initial cost. But the idea is to reduce your costs on warehousing, logistics, and shipping in the long run. Always make sure you compare different companies, their costs and deals offered, and how much they are charging for long-term storage solutions.
Let ShipBots pick and pack for you!
You have a lot of options to choose from when considering your 3PL fulfillment company so it’s only right that you carefully choose your fulfillment partner.
At ShipBots, we care about your branding and customer experience, along with the storage, shipping, and warehouse management. ShipBots is a third party logistics 3PL fulfillment center that will store, ship, pick and pack your products on your behalf. Get in touch with us to learn more about how we can help your e-commerce business thrive.