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What is online order fulfillment?

One of the most important things to understand about ecommerce is the fulfillment process. Seamless fulfillment will make your business – and your life – much easier, while a complicated fulfillment process can slow everything down.

In essence, online order fulfillment is all the steps between the customer placing the order and receiving their goods. That might sound pretty simple, but there is a lot to consider. Once you receive the order, it needs to be processed, the product needs to be picked and packed, and then the parcel needs to be dispatched. While many companies choose to do this themselves, others use a fulfillment service.

There is a misconception that ecommerce platforms (like Shopify, WooCommerce or Magento) provide this service out of the box. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. This is a process you need to put in place, and it is arguably the most important aspect to any online business.

Thinking through order fulfillment

There are a number of questions to ask yourself that can help when figuring out what your fulfillment process should be, and whether it can be handled in-house or you need to use a third-party service.

  • What happens when someone pays for an order on your store? What are the processes thereafter?
  • Do you have somebody to pick and pack your products? Is there a dedicated person on your team who chooses the product and ensures it’s properly packed for delivery?
  • Are you selling out of a bricks and mortar store or do you have a warehouse?
  • Where do you store your products?
  • What kind of fulfillment partner are you considering? A courier service means you do the picking and packing yourself, and they deliver. An outsourced solution like Parcelninja means they store your products in their warehouse and do the picking, packing and delivery.
  • Have you done a cost benefit analysis? You need to look at the costs of renting storage space and hiring someone to pick, pack and deliver vs. the monthly storage fee, pick and pack fee and courier fee of outsourcing.

How we can help

Once you’ve decided on your fulfillment process, Stock2Shop can integrate your various systems and automate ordering. We’ll save you time and help you avoid data capturing errors by sending orders directly from your ERP to your fulfillment service. We can also help you keep track of your stock from one simple, easy-to-use console. Get in touch with us to find out more.

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