Ecommerce fulfilment services have become the best friend of many an e-commerce company. It has proven its merit in fulfilling orders across the country (and even the globe), shipping them, and making sure they arrive at their destination as promptly as possible. Once your customers finalise their purchases, your e-commerce fulfilment partner can take charge of the fulfilment process, and it is indeed a necessary element in your supply chain.
Aside from storing your product inventory, the fulfilment company will process the order, pick and pack the product, and transport or ship it to your customer. Your e-commerce fulfilment partner will ensure a much more streamlined process, and if you may already know, this takes a lot of work and effort. But if you are not completely sure of what you can expect from a fulfilment service, here’s a look at the step-by-step process of fulfilling an order.
Step 1: Receiving the order
The first step relates to inventory, and for the fulfilment company to take care of orders, you need to have enough inventory for your products for the fulfilment company to have what they need. Your fulfilment provider should already have the stock on-hand in their facility or warehouse, so once they receive an order, they can begin fulfilling it
Step 2: requirements for storage
Your fulfilment company should have proper warehousing for your goods, and they need to make sure that your inventory is stored in an organised and easily accessible manner. It would be best to have a dedicated location or area for each product, and your fulfilment partner is responsible for keeping your products visible and secure.
Step 3: order processing
Once the fulfilment provider receives an order, it’s time to pick and pack it. They will be responsible for picking it from the warehouse and packing it for delivery or shipment. They should have a packing slip containing information about the location and quantity of the product, along with packing customisations and requirements.
Step 4: shipment
When the fulfilment service has attached the shipping label, the package is ready for shipping to your customer or merchant. You can have the packages delivered to a specific home address, a post office, a courier branch, or a fulfilment centre. The shipment should come with tracking details, allowing your fulfilment partner to keep track of it and update you and the recipient on the parcel’s real-time whereabouts.
Step 5: returning items
Your e-commerce fulfilment partner doesn’t just take responsibility for delivery – they can also take charge of and handle returns. It’s not often, but sometimes customers may want to return an item. If this happens, make sure your fulfilment partner can deal with returns. For returns, customers will send back the item, and when the item is sent back, your e-commerce fulfilment partner can evaluate it and determine why it was returned. They will inform you of their findings, and you can then decide whether to dispose of the product or restock it in your product inventory.
Whilst these steps are crucial, remember that speed is of the essence – once you receive an order, your fulfilment partner should act on it right away. When you have a solid fulfilment process, it secures your business’ standing with your customers as well.
Jason is the Marketing Manager at a local advertising company in Australia. He moved to Australia 10 years back for his passion for advertising. Jason recently joined BFA as a volunteer writer and contributes by sharing his valuable experience and knowledge.