Are fulfillment services right for your business? FAQ’s to help you decide.
When you started your eCommerce business, you set up your website, listed your items for sale, likely kept inventory in your home or office, and handled all the fulfillment services yourself. Now your business is growing, and it’s becoming more and more of a task to manage all the aspects of online selling. If inventory has taken over your home and garage, or even if you have now rented space to handle the influx of orders, it’s becoming more and more expensive and time-consuming to get the merchandise to your customers.
Because you know that delivering on your promise from the beginning to the end of a transaction is critical, looking for fulfillment services to outsource order processing has crossed your mind. You know you need help managing inventory, shipping product and even dealing with returns, but you still aren’t sure if fulfillment services are right for you. We are here to help sort it all out for you and help make the decision, and transition, easy and simple.
What do fulfillment services do?
We covered this in a previous blog post but to summarize, fulfillment services are third party operations that act as a retailer’s warehouse, shipping clerk and customer care representative all rolled into one. Fulfillment services are responsible for storing product, maintaining inventory and ultimately getting products into the hands of your customers. They even handle customer service and returns. Using a fulfillment service like Thill Inc. gives you more time for marketing, sourcing inventory and even enjoying the fruits of your labor by freeing up your time for other things.
So how do I know if fulfillment services are right for me?
In most cases, outsourcing your fulfillment services to a third party is the best decision you can make. Businesses of all sizes, from start-ups to well-established sellers, will benefit from outsourcing the fulfillment portion of their online business. The pros absolutely outweigh the cons, so deciding to contract with a top-rated fulfillment service like Thill Inc. should not be a difficult decision. It all comes down to analyzing your particular situation, the costs and time dedicated to managing fulfillment internally, and your vision for future growth.
What’s your time worth?
Many business owners fail to realize how much time is actually involved when handling their fulfillment services internally. Once inventory is received, it needs to be sampled, bar coded, logged and stored. It is also critical that your inventory is then managed by both warehouse management software (WMS) and order management software (OMS) that work together. This assures that you have real-time reporting which keeps you updated when it comes to sales and inventory levels. The orders then must be processed to send to the customer, which involves packing and shipping the merchandise via your chosen carrier. Have you ever actually sat down and calculated the amount of time all of these tasks take on a daily, weekly or even a monthly basis? You will likely be quite surprised by the numbers, and they will likely reflect much more time than you thought. Fulfillment services sound better and better at this point!
How much money are you spending?
Now that you know what kind of time is involved, you should also crunch the numbers and figure out exactly how much money the internal fulfillment process is costing you. The first figure to analyze is staffing costs. How many people do you pay to process and fulfill orders? Can their time be better used in other areas of the business such as sales, marketing or management of your team? Then there are various shipping costs which can also suck up a large portion of your profits. Fulfillment services like Thill Inc. are able to negotiate much better rates with carriers because of the high volume of inventory they process (most business can’t touch the shipping rates that fulfillment services can). Have you outgrown your home warehouse and are now renting a location for your operation? What is the cost associated with that? Lastly, you may not realize that you also have costs associated with returns. WOW- you are probably now realizing that all of these figures are much higher than you anticipated as well.
Am I providing the best customer service possible?
Every business likes to think they are providing the best customer service they can, and you are likely doing it to the best of your ability. The truth is that you can always do even better, and when choosing to outsource your fulfillment services to a company like Thill Inc., you can take your customer care to the next level. Our team is US-based, fluent in English, Spanish, and even French – and is highly trained to make your customers feel valuable, important and well cared for. Our service reps will be trained to be experts relating to your products which can save sales, encourage additional purchases and build loyalty to your brand. You probably never thought you could have a staff of that size with so much expertise working for you!
How do I decide which fulfillment service to use?
You now realize that fulfillment services are the smartest option for your eCommerce business, so it’s time to decide what company you will choose to provide you with the best fulfillment services. Chances are you will Google “fulfillment services” and come up with several viable options, and determining the right one may seem like a tedious process. Start by looking for a Multichannel Merchant Top 3PL provider like Thill Inc. We are included in a listing of leading third-party logistics providers selected by the editors of Multichannel Merchant. Another important part of the selection process is making sure the fulfillment service can provide everything you want and need without breaking the bank. Again, Thill Inc. is known for providing the “FULL SPECTRUM” when it comes to providing an exceptional experience in fulfillment services to both your business and your customers. We stay on top of every step of the order fulfillment process and are constantly innovating to serve everyone even better. Your business is our business!
We hope we have been able to help you understand how fulfillment services work and show you that outsourcing your fulfillment services is the BEST decision you can make when it comes to streamlining and building your business. Fulfillment is all we do and our motto “The Art of Fulfillment” reflects that. We encourage you to check us out and even give us a call. We are happy to answer any additional questions you have and get you started in the right direction so handing over the fulfillment portion of your business is a piece of cake. Happy selling!