Imagine this scenario. You send an email announcing a sale on one of your custom T-shirts and receive an order. All those hours setting up your online store are finally paying off. Hurray! You rummage through your stock, find the right T-shirt, print out the mailing label, and drive to the post office. (You get 10 points for your same-day delivery.)
But then, when you get home, you see a second order has come in. You check the time and see that the post office is now closed, so you decide to wait until tomorrow. Tomorrow comes, and you are all set to ship that package out when your printer runs out of ink and you can’t print the shipping label. Or your grandmother calls with an emergency. Or a freak rainfall floods the streets. Or You get the idea?
Aside from floods, grandmothers, and no printer ink, here are 7 more reasons your e-commerce store could use a fulfillment service.
- Less stress to complete orders.
Fulfillment services can lessen the burden of immediate shipping. Amazon’s speedy delivery services have fanned an appetite for immediate wish fulfillment. And most e-commerce shops can find it challenging to deliver with the speed Amazon provides. However, fulfillment services and logistic centers can take the whole burden of speed off of your shoulders.
- Saves you money.
Have you outgrown your basement? Is your inventory now taking over your house? Or perhaps you are toying with the idea of renting a warehouse, but are worried about the steep leasing fees? Not to mention the required security deposit that accompanies the lease. With a fulfillment service, you get warehousing combined with shipping, all at a fraction of the cost of renting your own space. No warehousing. No leases. More money in your pocket.
- Saves you time.
You have multiple top-priority to-dos all vying for your attention. Shipping inventory yourself should not be on that list. Outsourcing this task to a fulfillment center will save you time. Time that you can use to think of new marketing plans to create even more sales. Instead of using that precious headspace to think of how to avoid traffic on the way to the post office, or where to purchase boxes and packing supplies.
- Keeps your business looking professional.
Remember that handwritten address label? Not going to cut it. Not unless your product’s image centers around the cutesy and handmade. Customers want a professional experience. If you can’t give them something that looks flawless, find a service that can.
- Allows for business growth.
Remember that problem you had earlier? Where you could handle one order, but it was the second order that took you down? What happens when you experience sudden business growth? Think you will be fine? Try this question out: Can you ship 100 T-shirts to different locations as easily as you can ship 10? What if that number grew to 1,000? Have you prepared your business to scale for growth? This is where you need a trusted partner in logistics.
- No need to hire staff.
Were you considering hiring staff to take care of your increasing pack-and-ship needs? Fulfillment centers eliminate the need to bring someone on board for this task. Hiring employees creates a whole slew of workplace concerns that your one-man show may not be ready to deal with. Even if you already have a number of employees, and you have employee regulations down, why not keep it simple?
- Better customer experience.
The real measure of whether to use a fulfillment service or not is how it affects your customer’s experience. Providing a great customer experience will go far in nudging them along toward a repeat sale. And a happy customer is a customer who will tell others about you. Which will mean more sales and more business growth.