You can have the greatest product in the world, but if you can’t get it to your customers safely and on-time, it won’t mean much. For this reason, choosing a fulfillment company for your eCommerce business is a crucial decision.
If you make the right choice, your fulfillment partner can greatly contribute to the success of your brand—but make the wrong choice, and it could ruin your customer experience and prevent you from bringing in future revenue from repeat customers. But with so many fulfillment companies out there, how can you choose the right one?
5 Things to Look for When Choosing a Fulfillment Company
It’s important to do your research and make sure you’re choosing not just any fulfillment partner, but the right one. Here’s five things you should look for when it’s time to choose an order fulfillment company for your growing online business.
Amazon Prime-delivery speeds are the new norm, which means modern consumers are expecting faster shipping speeds than ever before.
So, how can you align with these evolving expectations? By working with an order fulfillment company who can deliver on them—literally. If you don’t, you could lose out on revenue from the 53% of consumers who say they’ve abandoned an online purchase because of slow delivery times. Top fulfillment companies should have efficient and effective fulfillment processes that enable them to get your products to your customers quickly. This becomes possible when they have numerous, strategically-located fulfillment warehouses and simplified order fulfillment software (which we’ll get to in a minute!).
Location of Fulfillment Warehouses
It’s clear that customers are all but demanding lightning-fast shipping speeds, and naturally, an important component of this process is the proximity of the fulfillment warehouse to the customer. It makes a ton of sense—the closer the order fulfillment center is to the end customer, the shorter the distance your products have to travel to get there, which means shorter shipping timelines.
So, when choosing a fulfillment company, it’s necessary that you know where their fulfillment warehouses are located. For example, a fulfillment company with just a few fulfillment warehouses most likely won’t be able to deliver at the speed your customers are expecting, so working with them could hurt your user experience. It’s important to make sure your fulfillment partner has warehouses located where your customers are. Plus, if you sell worldwide, you need to be sure the fulfillment company you’re thinking about working with offers global shipping before agreeing to work with them. After all, if you can’t ship your products where your customers are, your business won’t stay in business very long!
Features and Ease of Use of Order Fulfillment Software
As an eCommerce business owner, you’ve got a lot going on. You’re already using various digital tools, applications, and platforms throughout your day-to-day operations—so the last thing you’d want to do is implement yet another software that’s slow, disorganized, and nearly impossible to figure out. For this reason, it’s important to not only do your research on the fulfillment company you’re thinking about working with itself, but the order fulfillment software they’re using.
Different fulfillment companies out there use different order fulfillment software with various features and capabilities. It’s important to understand what your needs and goals truly are, and choose a fulfillment partner who leverages a software with features that can align. You also want to make sure their order fulfillment software is easy to implement and actually use throughout the day-to-day, and that it can seamlessly integrate with any other platforms and business apps you’re already using.
Transparency and Visibility
There are so many companies out there selling similar products, so determining which ones are actually worth buying can be an overwhelming task for consumers. So, when they find a brand they feel they can trust, they're likely to stick with them long-term. But how can you actually build this trust? Transparency. In fact, 56% of consumers in a survey said they would be loyal to a company for life if it provided complete transparency, and 81% percent said they would be willing to try a brand's entire product line if they were comfortable with its degree of transparency.
Your fulfillment process is a key component of this transparency—88% of consumers say the ability to track shipments in real-time is important, and 69% say they are less likely to shop with a retailer in the future if a purchase is not delivered within two days of the date promised. A promise is a promise, and if you can’t fulfill it (literally), you shouldn’t make it. For example, if your website guarantees two day shipping but your fulfillment company can’t actually meet that deadline, there’s a good chance they won’t become a return customer (especially if this was the first experience a new customer had with your brand). Why? Because you have failed to build trust with that customer. So, it’s essential that you’re choosing a fulfillment partner who gives you full visibility into their fulfillment process, is reliable, and that you can trust to be held accountable.
There’s millions of eCommerce businesses out there competing for consumers' attention, so how can your brand stand out? Sending your products in generic, boring brown boxes certainly won’t help because it creates an unengaging, impersonal customer experience. On the other hand, choosing an order fulfillment company that provides branding options can help you build a brand and create a buzz for your business.
Why is this so valuable? Modern consumers are more likely to engage with brands who personalize their experience. A custom-tailored, fun, and exciting user experience will delight your customers and make them want to purchase from you again and again.
The bottom line on branding? With 89% of digital businesses investing in personalization and 51% of digital marketers saying that personalization is currently their number one priority, failing to consider branding potential when choosing a fulfillment partner can be detrimental to your user experience!
Experience the Best Fulfillment Services with the Fulfillment Lab
In an increasingly competitive online market, order fulfillment needs to move just as quickly as eCommerce businesses themselves. That’s why The Fulfillment Lab created a cutting-edge, proprietary order fulfillment software to change the way that fulfillment is handled and meet the needs of modern online businesses through:
- Reliable shipping. We offer dependable, efficient shipping, with global order fulfillment capabilities and expedited shipping options that guarantee delivery in 3 days or less.
- Strategically located fulfillment warehouses. With 14 fulfillment warehouses (2 domestic and 12 international), you can be sure your products are always on the fastest possible route to your customers. Utilizing multiple warehouses cuts down not only on shipping time — but also costs by reducing the number of zones that each shipment will cross.
- Proprietary order fulfillment software. Our proprietary Global Fulfillment Software (GFS)™ was designed to be easy to use and seamlessly fit into your existing day-to-day business processes.
- Full visibility into every stage of the fulfillment process. GFS™ provide clear visibility into every stage of the order fulfillment process. You’ll be able to see what we see in real-time, so we’re always held accountable and you’re always in the know.
- Customized packaging for limitless branding potential. GFS™ allows you to quickly set up your fulfillment logistics and design customized boxes, labels, coupons, and inserts so you can deliver a customized, engaging user experience that drives repeat sales.
- Dynamic integration. We offer dynamic integration with every major eCommerce system including Magento, Shopify, Limelight, SquareSpace, and more.
- Unmatched flexibility. With the ability to make last minute edits, changes, add customer service delays, and more, you can tailor the entire fulfillment experience to your customers and make adjustments as necessary.
Ready to learn how we can help your business boost efficiency and improve its user experience? We’re ready to be your end-to-end fulfillment partner. Contact us today!