There are numerous e-fulfillment solutions available to help your online store today, but before choosing the best provider for your requirements, there are a few things you should be aware of. Those who run an online business are well aware that they face ongoing challenges when it comes to managing online orders.
E-fulfillment is a solution based on integrations and automations that helps us manage everything related to product storage and logistics for an online store. The involvement of an external partner to manage the logistics of the online sales process has the main objective of streamlining the processes and significantly reducing the time and costs associated with these operations.
Currently, the number of online stores using outsourced e-fulfillment solutions is growing in comparison to those that still process manual orders. So, in order for you to make the best decision possible, we have prepared a list of important factors to consider when selecting your e-fulfillment partner.
Setting up logistics operations
Such a supplier can provide integrated services for the entire logistics chain, including supply transportation, product receiving, storage, packaging and labeling, and receiving products returned by customers.
One of the first steps is to analyze logistics operations and the flows that result from them, such as how goods are received, stored, orders are picked up and shipped, returns management, partner courier companies, and, last but not least, stock turnover. Why is it important? Because the required storage space is calculated based on this, stock rotation indicates a product’s lifetime.
Integration with various e-commerce platforms
Whatever volume you manage, even if it is less than 1000 orders per month, it is important to consider integrating the e-commerce platform with a management and invoicing system, courier, and online payment processor. If you run an online store with ever-increasing product volumes, you already know that a warehouse management system (WMS) is required to process them in a timely manner. Online businesses benefit from shorter transit times and lower costs due to optimized operational processes based on intelligent software such as a WMS (Warehouse Management System).
Fast integration with any courier
An e-fulfillment provider should offer you rapid integration with any Romanian courier, as well as access to information about shipments, stocks, orders in preparation, and parcels on their way to delivery in one location. As a result, you’ll benefit from integration with the courier company’s system, as well as product handling equipment (e.g. barcode readers). Because the end customer constantly compares shipping time, delivery, and costs, being able to offer free shipping can help you win more potential customers.
Integration with a real-time reporting system
Data analytics, return logistics, document management, and other information can be easily accessed by automating certain processes using API or ERP software. Integration with a real-time reporting system will allow you to track warehouse activity and provide your online store with easy access to all logistics chain processes. You will have easy access to everything that the logistics process entails, just as the end consumer benefits from the AWB Tracking system for monitoring a package that is about to be delivered.
A good information and analysis of the offers adequate for your store will direct you to the supplier who best understands your needs and, above all, is available to find and constantly improve the solutions offered through the constant interest he gives to the end customers’ experience. As an entrepreneur of an online store, you should consider the flexibility of the partner with whom you will collaborate, his ability to respond to your peak periods, and the dynamics of the services he provides you.
Outsourcing the logistics of your online store can save you valuable time, allowing you to focus on activities that are important to you: sales, marketing, and development. This is why it is important that your business partner understands your business altogether, so that his services contribute to a satisfied and happy end user.