6 Characteristics of an Effective Ecommerce Fulfillment Services Provider
Though ecommerce is a lucrative sector, individual ecommerce entrepreneurs face a number of obstacles when it comes to earning good money and a building a big customer base. The large volume and variety of orders remain constant pain points for any ecommerce business owner. But unless the business leadership commits to solving these problems, the ecommerce site will be doomed to fail.
The need to solve such problems resulted in the birth of the ecommerce logistics industry. Nowadays, order fulfillment companies for ecommerce are there to close the gaps. They can improve the core ecommerce business processes of order management, warehousing, packing, and delivery to such a great extent that their clients gain a competitive advantage. In a cutthroat and ever-evolving industry like ecommerce, business owners should take all the extra help they can get.
But who are the best people for the job? How will you know which third party logistics (3PL) provider to trust with this side of the business? If you’re exploring external options and you’ve settled on 3PL, here’s a list of qualities that you should look for when hiring ecommerce fulfillment companies.
- They have a wide network, and they’ve worked with people like you. One of the best indicators of an efficient logistics company is how wide their business network is. This is often a sign that many people trust them. If you need further assurance, you should find out if they’ve worked with similar ecommerce clients or people in your industry, and if those past clients are happy with their service. This shows that the order fulfillment company is aware of the trends, unique problems, and industry-specific approaches that they need to take—and what they will do to meet to your expectation.
- They use equipment and technology that’s to-the-times. A good company will have invested in the proper hardware, software, and facilities to do order fulfillment services well. This covers the delivery fleet, warehousing features, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems that they will use in their order fulfillment. Moreover, their technology should sync with yours. Their software should be able to integrate with your ecommerce platform without too much extra work from a web developer.
- They know how to manage costs accurately. Regular business should give an order fulfillment company a good grasp of how to price their services. Look for a provider who will help you arrive at crucial values in order fulfillment, such as cost per order, and whose methods will save you the most money.
- They’re detail-oriented and extremely careful. The right provider will care about the kinds of products that you sell and will know to handle them in the right way. If they’ve successfully dispatched orders of similar products with few complaints, then they’re the people you should hire.
- They know how to handle surges caused by holidays or sale periods. The true test of an order fulfillment company’s mettle should be in how they handle the hardest situations and that’s often during surge periods in the case of ecommerce. An experienced 3PL provider will know that Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Black Friday, and other similar occasions can get hairy. They will also know to make the proper adjustments to keep shipping fast and meeting customer demand regardless.
- They can scale up or scale down with you. Ecommerce clients will never demand the exact same level of service from their logistics providers on a month-to-month basis. Business can either slow down or surge upwards, and this will reflect in the rate of orders coming in. The ideal services provider will be able to engage you on that rate of orders, no matter how big or how small.
Getting the right people to do order fulfillment services for you will truly keep your ecommerce business in competitive shape. So here’s to hoping that you find an ideal logistics partner and that your business gains increase as a result.