You’ve gotten your products in front of buyers, and they’ve started to buy them. The marketing phase is finished: now it’s time to fulfill the orders.
With eCommerce growing so rapidly, you might have customers across the country and even internationally. Setting up a fulfillment operation doesn’t have to be time-consuming, complicated, and expensive.
What is eCommerce fulfillment?
At the most basic level, when you store products, pack, and ship them yourself, you’re doing eCommerce fulfillment. Managing fulfillment on your own involves safe storage, compliant shipping and packing supplies, and a reliable carrier to deliver the packages to customers on-time and efficiently.
How to Set Up a Fulfillment Operation
Before you start, identify the key steps in the order fulfillment process. The details will probably vary depending on what you’re selling and how it needs to be stored, packed, and delivered, but these are the basic steps in order fulfillment:
- Receiving inventory (whether it’s your own or you’re buying from wholesalers)
- Storing inventory or warehousing
- Processing orders (picking and retrieving items, preparing shipments)
- Processing returns
Once you understand these steps, you can implement a plan for delivering products to your customers as efficiently and affordably as possible.
Why is inventory control so important for small businesses?
Think about a great problem to have: you have more orders than you can fill at a time— you have to tell customers to wait. They will only wait so long. Some may cancel their orders immediately. Others may say nothing and wait, but they won’t order from you again.
Having seamless ordering and fulfillment is crucial to your success in eCommerce. Why?
- More than half (53%) of eCommerce shoppers have abandoned their carts because delivery costs were too high.
- 25% have canceled orders because delivery times were too long.
According to an in-depth survey of over 2,000 online shoppers, fast, reliable, free delivery services are the single most important factor for eCommerce businesses. Customers are expecting even better service in the future according to the survey.
How to Manage Inventory Effectively
Many small eCommerce business owners consider this as soon as they begin to get more than a few orders. Inventory control is crucial to keep your business from running out of goods or the opposite: overproducing or over-ordering.
Maintaining sustainable stock control using inventory management software can help you to manage your supplies, fulfill orders, and increase customer retention. You can buy some of these types of software to install on your computers or mobile devices. Most of the software is subscription-based, which means you’ll pay a monthly fee, not a one-time cost.
Working with a professional fulfillment service would provide you with inventory accountability and stock control through 24/7-access warehouse inventory software.
Benefits of Fulfillment Services for Businesses
You may be asking yourself, does my business have to do every step itself? This is where fulfillment services come in.
Make running your business easier by sending your goods to a fulfillment services provider— this company has a warehouse, and they will store your items and fulfill your orders so you can focus on growing your business.
What are fulfillment services?
With today’s proliferation of eCommerce, traditional models of retail selling are changing dramatically. Fulfillment services can provide a small business and growing small-to-medium eCommerce businesses with services that fit every step of order fulfillment, from initial order fulfillment, picking, packing, and delivering, to accepting and processing returns.
Fulfillment services can also help you to maintain eCommerce stock control. They maintain sophisticated eCommerce software and data systems. They can help you to maintain a simple inventory system for small business if you’ve wondered how to organize inventory for small business.
If your orders are seasonal and patterns change, how do you maintain stock in the warehouse? A fulfillment service can help you to manage this and similar challenges.
Set Up Your eCommerce Fulfillment with Bridgetown
Whether you’re just starting out or you’re already handling fulfillment and shipping and wanting to grow, a service like Bridgetown Trucking can help you process and manage orders smoothly.
We offer short and long-term storage for you to better control your inventory and plan for the future. If you are selling non-perishable foods, we have solutions for you. We can offer inventory management service with current technology. If you’re looking for third-party logistics (3PL) services and reliable deliveries, Bridgetown Trucking is prepared to help.
Instead of reinventing the wheel and conducting every aspect of order fulfillment, outsourcing the job to an experienced provider could free you to focus on the parts of your business where you’re the expert.
Bridgetown Trucking has locations in Portland and St. Louis that could help your eCommerce business to grow and thrive. We’re glad to work with you to help you determine which of our services could benefit your business and bottom line. Contact us today to find out where we can work with you to grow your business and satisfy customers in today’s ultra-competitive eCommerce environment.