By Fulfillment.com – Last Updated September 8, 2020
Order Fulfillment in 2021 - Learn how savvy eCommerce CEO’s handle their Shipping
Our 2 day shipping and 99.7% success rate applies for all customers… Including those doing over 2,000 orders a DAY.
Order fulfillment is the process of receiving your customers order, packing it, and then shipping it directly to them. Usually handled by inhouse employees in the beginning stages of your business, it becomes essential to hire a trusted third party once your stores order volume increases. Fulfillment.com is an award winning order fulfillment company serving high volume national and global ecommerce brands.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when reading the technical jargon of different fulfillment and 3PL websites, but we can assure you that order fulfillment is actually really simple. Let’s break down what order fulfillment means at the different stages of your ecommerce store’s growth:
Ecommerce Order Fulfillment for the new store owner – Simple and effective at the beginning stages
When your customers place their orders on your ecommerce website, you see those orders come into the “orders” section of your store’s admin portal. Maybe you set up a nice email notification for yourself every time that happens (impressive technical wit!), and you would take care of packing and shipping the order as fast as possible. Remember this part? You would jot down the name/address for the order, pick out and weigh the required inventory, purchase a shipping label, pack the box, and drop off that box at the post office or shipping store – that’s order fulfillment.
Not so complicated right? Well, we’re sure you’re past the nostalgia of driving packages to the post office yourself. If your store grew to the point where you started to get weak from filling out postage paperwork and your car turned from family vehicle to shipping van – you probably (hopefully!) hired some help and found some cool tools along the way. That brings us to:
Order Fulfillment for the growing ecommerce brand – effective in the first stages of growth
Once you start getting a lot of orders coming in every day, you quickly learn about new ways to improve your shipping operation. If you’re using Shopify, Magento, Woocommerce, or any of the popular ecommerce platforms, you may have come across software products like Shipping Easy or Ship Station that help you handle postage purchasing and label printing as your orders come in.
Depending on your order volume, you can actually put a pretty impressive shipping operation together utilizing shipping software and an organized process for managing inventory. However, as you continue down the path of handling your ecommerce shipping in-house, the overhead creep is unavoidable.
The ecommerce shipping dilemma – overhead creep
Overhead creep in your ecommerce shipping comes into play when your order volume increases but you don’t feel like you’re getting richer. That’s a pretty lame combo if you ask us! So what happened? Maybe you had a big sale on your website for a product you had no idea you just sold out of the week before (way to go Tom from wholesale for not informing marketing the units they’re running a BOGO deal on today are all gone ). Hey, it wasn’t the cleanest way to bring on a new hire, but you did the “responsible” thing and hired an inventory manager as a result of that blunder. But new hires aren’t cheap!
More hidden costs in your ecommerce shipping
How about when you had two people in the same month ask for a product? You, living to serve, of course created the products – and since the other products in that line come in 4 different options and 2 sizes, you of course needed to match the rest – and just like that you added 12 new SKU’s to your inventory. Boom – thousands of more units to buy, stock, and keep track of! Or maybe a wholesale customer requested something unique with the promise of repeat orders… and well, you see where this is going: More SKU’s and more inventory means more overhead – and that’s just to ensure all your items are in stock.
The added costs of complexity
Things get even worse when you don’t have advanced inventory management systems, cameras in your facility, and proper measures in place to track this monster of a warehouse you built. What’s your actual shrink? How many dollars did you actually lose to mismanaged inventory that got lost or broken (or even expired!)
Hopefully you know and use COGS (cost of goods sold) in your business – but when was the last time you updated those figures? The creep of these increasing costs in your shipping department is going to hit you right in the face sooner or later if you don’t prepare yourself to scale properly. Too real? Let’s see how some of the biggest ecommerce giants rule the internet from their tiki huts in Bora Bora without ever having to yell “Why the heck didn’t this go out yet?!” (the PG version of course) – Read on so your employees can start sleeping at night again.
Ecommerce Fulfillment on EPIC Mode
What do you get when you combine a fast growing ecommerce brand with a broken order fulfillment system? As explained above, it’s not too pretty, like the saying goes – more money, more problems. That is, until you meet us! Here is what you can expect from a world class ecommerce fulfillment company like fulfillment.com during a typical work day:
Part 1 – the order fulfillment joy factor
You walk into your office at 2PM because.. well you’re the boss, you have your reasons. It’s time to open up the laptop and check how many new orders you have. That number is just mesmerizing – is it even real? Is this real life? Two Thousand orders… 2000 orders! That’s more than double what you got on Black Friday and it’s just a Tuesday in August.
Oh it’s real alright. More than half of the orders have already shipped too. You were worried the last few times you got sales like this in a single day, but Fulfillment.com shipped 100% of your orders out in 2 days or less every time and they already sent more than half of today’s orders out. Welcome to pure joy – not that half joy half terrified feeling from the past, just pure joy!
Part 2 – the world is in your hands
Before you partnered with fulfillment.com you were only shipping to the US. You remember trying to ship to Canada, Europe, and beyond, only to struggle with customs requirements and lost/damaged packages. Times have most certainly changed since your fulfillment.com account manager completed all the paperwork to help you ship internationally with ease – and the percent of internationally shipped orders has been growing ever since. Today is crazy though, as you realize (from looking at your slick BestOMS dashboard) that more than 50% of your orders in the last 24 hours are from outside the U.S.
Instantly, it all clicks. The priority for today just became to get someone to write all your product descriptions in German and French because more than 30% of your customers are apparently from those two countries now. You never would have guessed that’d be the case, but here we are!
Part 3 – Getting back to everything else
One thing you shouldn’t have to worry about with your ecommerce brand is shipping. There is literally no reason when a third party logistics provider (such as us, hi) can do more for you than any in-house team ever could.
Here is what some real customers have to say:
“ I was expanding off of Amazon and I needed a 3PL provider with killer logistics and a killer interface. We were also looking for a fulfillment facility that could expand with our brand worldwide. We had problems fulfilling high volume, we had problems with logistics, and we had problems with shipping. ”
-Matt S. CEO, Health Brands
Ecommerce Fulfillment Services – where one size doesn’t fit all
Fulfillment.com was built by ecommerce store owners just like you, and we love all of our clients (It's true and I wasn't even paid to say it!) - and we mean that, no matter where you are in the process. However, we'd be lying if we said we didn't have a favorite type of ecommerce store.
Even if you’re just starting out and doing less than 100 orders a day, you should still reach out – we have trusted partners that we work with and can save you a ton of googling. We’ll even put you in touch, help get you a great rate, and will be here for you when you’re ready for the next level. That said, don’t assume we just want the bigger fish because of the higher order volume. We could point fingers at other fulfillment companies that try to land bigger contracts and can’t actually stand the pressure of their advanced logistics needs – but we’re something much different than those guys and you’ll see what we mean when you work with us.
Fulfillment.com is a well oiled machine built for high volume ecommerce brands that are ready to scale up everything about their logistics, including scaling up internationally.
So what’s our favorite type of ecommerce store? Low SKU’s – High volume!
That’s right, if you have less than 50 SKU’s and are doing hundreds of orders a day, you’re pretty much killing it – and you should probably get in touch so we can help get those orders into the thousands with our global logistics and down right impressive inventory management abilities. And hey, if you’re doing 1000 orders a day and have hundreds of SKU’s that’s great too (seriously, bring it on!).
Essentially, If you’re doing big things online – we’re here to help you do them even bigger and better. If you’re doing HUGE things online, we’re one of the only fulfillment companies in the U.S. that can truly handle the pressure. In fact, our 2 day shipping and 99.7% success rate still applies for the clients we have that do over 4,000 orders a DAY – if that type of operation sounds daunting on your own, give us a call. If you’re doing hundreds of orders and want to do thousands of orders a day – it’s time to get in touch. Let’s do big things together!
What makes our ecommerce fulfillment services different
Fulfillment.com (FDC) is committed to making worldwide fulfillment easy. By combining customized technology with outstanding customer service, we are able to achieve this goal and distinguish ourselves from other Ecommerce fulfillment companies. Just as you’re the authority on your business, at FDC, we’re experts at Ecommerce fulfillment services worldwide. We manage your orders, liberating you to concentrate on what’s central to your business. We are integrated with the industry’s top CRM and Ecommerce platforms, so you can trust outsourcing all of your fulfillment services to FDC. In fact, there are very few aspects of your business that we can’t take care of for you! FDC’s reputable technology and resources let you gain the benefit of our top-tier tech without making a hefty investment that needs continual upgrades. As a third party logistics company (3PL), Fulfillment.com allows our customers to alleviate infrastructure overhead expenses and re-invest in their core business.
Retail, wholesale, and institutional shipments necessitate a comprehensive order management system and FDC’s proprietary technology, the BestOMS, simplifies the Ecommerce order fulfillment process. Our warehouses utilize sophisticated equipment that works in concert with our custom technology. FDC’s system flexibility accommodates any level of shipping volume, so whether you’re a business-to-business (B2B) shipper outfitting national retail chains, a small electronics manufacturer equipping niche catalogs, a higher-education institution providing branded school supplies, or are somewhere in the middle, we can capably handle your business.
How Our Ecommerce Order Fulfillment Process Works
At FDC, we understand the processes and sales cycles of the Ecommerce industry. B2B orders tend to be made in a logical fashion, with more than one person at a company influencing the purchase, and the purchase meeting a business need. Business-to-consumer (B2C) orders, by their very nature of being a consumer purchase, tend to be more emotionally-driven, i.e., the consumer seeks to satisfy a want rather than a need (look no further than the proliferation of 'miracle pills' promising results with no personal effort to see the reality of this).
The differences in buying cycles and reasons are as varied as the products offered, but Fulfillment.com has the warehouse capacity and technological logistics infrastructure, along with key API and Ecommerce platform integrations to our Best OMS, to easily manage both types of sales. As your orders increase, Fulfillment.com helps you market your product to more customers by expanding your global reach. FDC’s system sends a daily email inventory alert to help you manage your product supply. Our developers take the time to listen to our customers and implement system features that enhance the Ecommerce order fulfillment process from start to finish.
Not All Ecommerce Fulfillment Companies Are Equal
Many Ecommerce fulfillment companies claim that they offer ALL the comprehensive services you need, but Fulfillment.com truly delivers. Logistics and supply chain management are responsibilities that take up a majority of company staff time and energy. Fulfillment.com has an established global infrastructure of facilities to dominate worldwide fulfillment–we do all of the heavy lifting for you! Avoid the expense of hiring and overseeing staff, as well as the potential of workers compensation, and let FDC’s able crew get working for you. Your product is inventoried at a Fulfillment.com facility, ready to be picked, packed, and shipped as soon as we start receiving orders. Our method of pick, pack, and ship is perfect for the Ecommerce order fulfillment process, which relies on order accuracy and attention to detail while requiring orders be filled within 24 hours. If you’re managing shipments yourself and delivery lead times are tipping the scale at over 24 hours since receipt, let FDC’s experts manage your orders and knowledgeably oversee your business expansion. Inventory receiving processes require a strict protocol rotating stock for First In, First Out (FIFO) product management and more. FDC’s custom order management system allows our warehouse team to practice these essential procedures. Fulfillment.com customers can access their inventory 24/7 through our dashboard, providing them with the ability to manage inventory anywhere and anytime. Connecting with Fulfillment.com saves you the cost and time of implementing new systems and services yourself.
What To Look For In An Ecommerce Fulfillment Center
Most companies that start out modest, focusing only on B2C orders, strive to ultimately expand into wholesale, or B2B, orders via large retail chains, TV shopping networks, catalogs, even reality TV shows like Shark Tank. These higher volume sales channels present challenges different than smaller, B2C orders. At FDC, we specialize in both B2C and B2B orders, handling the logistics and back end of our customers’ businesses—while providing rapid, accurate order processing and excellent customer service—regardless of the shipping volume. If you are not staffed to adequately deliver product, the result can be improperly packed or shipped orders, revenue loss, and even irate customers. Poorly executed campaigns can have a negative impact on your business, but Fulfillment.com preserves your brand reliability with our exceptional customer service.
High Volume Expertise
Additionally, as a company expands from B2C orders into higher volume B2B orders, Fulfillment.com enables them to be operational almost instantly: the customer simply enters their new SKUs and integrates their CRM or Ecommerce platform to our system, which then automatically allocates warehouse space. Our group of global Ecommerce fulfillment centers allows our customers to quickly scale and expand into international markets and our dedicated shipping department continually works with our carriers to ensure we have the best shipping rates in the industry while offering a variety of ground and air options. FDC’s facilities are purposely adjacent to parcel hubs in North America and the UK, saving you time and money by reducing transit times and getting your product into your customer’s hands more quickly than other Ecommerce fulfillment centers.