Fulfilling orders is one of the most cumbersome and logistically challenging aspects of any business. Many successful businesses turn to outside services that specialize in shipping orders for them. By utilizing the following three means to fulfill your online orders, you can turn your focus to other vital aspects of your business, such as marketing and production.
Fulfillment by Amazon
Using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is one of the most effective ways to get your products to your customers. Amazon will automate your order fulfillment process if you choose and take care of shipping your merchandise, usually at a discounted rate.
They handle all returns, offer 24-hour customer service and manage the warehousing of your products. Moreover, you can tap into Amazon’s huge customer base and even gain access to a portion of their loyal and high-volume Prime customers. Anyone who has been on the consumer side of Amazon knows that their top priority is customer satisfaction. With no shortage of fulfillment centers in various locales, Amazon ensures speedy delivery of goods. Buyers of your products will likely have a pleasant experience and come back to buy from you again.
Fulfillment by Amazon Alternative
Certain situations may call for fulfilling online orders with an outsourcing facility other than Amazon. Depending on your business’ needs, it could be cheaper to go through an alternative fulfillment center rather than through FBA. Some companies specialize in low-cost same-day delivery in particular localities, like Chicago or Los Angeles.
You may also need to go outside of Amazon if you have international shipping requirements. Some fulfillment centers specialize in shipping oversize products, and others utilize FedEx’s expertise in delivering orders. Finally, you might choose an alternative fulfillment center if your products require limited assembly or customization before they’re ready to ship. Specialty fulfillment centers can perform those tasks for you. If you want to switch from one service to the other, be sure to know all the steps involved in that switch.
Ref to SFC
Finding a Fulfillment Vendor
If you are not sure what vendor to hire to fulfill your online orders, you can use the services of a company that connects business owners with fulfillment services that match their needs. They do all the heavy lifting with respect to screening the performance records, cost savings and customer ratings of order fulfillment companies.
A few of these vendor directories pass their costs on to the fulfillment company only, and so they are free for you, the business owner, to use. If you prefer not to use a third party to find a fulfillment center, there are informational resources to help you. Equipped with guides and tools, you can vet fulfillment vendors yourself. Make sure you outline your distribution needs, verify references for any businesses that you are considering, and confirm their terms of service.
Outsourcing order packing, shipping and returns to an efficient and reliable vendor is the secret of many successful online businesses. Do your research so you find the right one that fits your needs, and always remember that the relationship you have with your customers should come first and foremost in all your decisions.
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