Your business is growing, so it’s time you updated your online store. Outsourcing eCommerce fulfillment is an easy and efficient way to boost your business. Learn more about third-party eCommerce fulfillment providers, and how to set up an online store. No business is too small to launch an eCommerce site, even you can launch your store today!
eCommerce makes life more convenient for consumers and opens up all kinds of new opportunities for small businesses. Shopping online is quicker, easier, and often cost-effective for both the buyer and the seller. Here is a simple overview of how eCommerce works.
How does eCommerce work?
Every time individuals or companies are buying or selling online, they’re engaging in eCommerce. It also encompasses online auctions, payment gateways, and internet banking. It is expected that by the year 2040, 95% of transactions will be eCommerce. If you’re interested in the statistics, take a look at some more eCommerce facts and figures for 2020.
eCommerce is about combining different systems, managing an online storefront through a web server, a database of all the inventory and transaction records, and a dispatch method such as through a private warehouse or a third-party provider.
Depending on the size of your inventory, you could start by running your own website, and then move on to outsource eCommerce fulfillment as your business expands. As you begin to scale your business, you’ll need more resources to deal with demand. Outsourcing your eCommerce fulfillment can help you with this.
What is eCommerce fulfillment?
eCommerce fulfillment is the basis of the entire process. This includes storing, sorting, and selecting products, then shipping them to the customer. Once you start to scale your business, this process can become a tall order. You can then choose to outsource this to a third-party logistics provider (3PL) who will handle all your business orders and administration.
Order fulfillment is the most important part of the supply chain. It’s essential that your customers receive the right goods. Imagine being in the Amazon warehouse, selecting, and sorting inventory. Once demand increases, it’s more difficult to manage a quick and efficient supply.
How does eCommerce fulfillment work?
The process begins when your customer places an order online. Your state-of-the-art shopping cart software then sends all the details of the order off to your 3PL provider. Your inventory is stored in a large warehouse called a fulfillment center, and your order is received here.
Once your order is confirmed, the staff at the fulfillment center will locate the order, and then it’s ready to be wrapped and packed. You can give the fulfillment center specific instructions for all of these details, you can choose how your products are packaged and posted.
How you choose your packaging is an important question to consider. Single-use plastic pervades eCommerce warehouses, for example in tape and bubble wraps. Industry predictions suggest that consumers will demand more sustainable packaging in the future. This could affect your branding and your budget.
Once the product is packaged, in whichever material you decide, it’s sent to the customer. Customers are normally notified of dispatching and estimated delivery time.
What is 3PL eCommerce fulfillment?
Third-party logistics (3PL) eCommerce fulfillment allows you to outsource all parts of the supply process. You can outsource how your products arrive at a fulfillment center, their storage, packing, and finally shipping. This means everything is taken care of along the way.
You can still manage your eCommerce from afar. Most 3PL providers will help you set up cloud-based software to help you oversee the supply chain process in real-time. Cloud-based software means you can stay connected with your business at all times. You can invest in the best marketing automation platforms to analyze your client data and other trends.
How much will it cost?
You will need to pay certain costs as a standard. These include your license, and customer support, and shopping cart. You’ll also need to pay storage fees and your fulfillment center, which will be charged per pallet, so it depends on how much inventory you have.
You’ll need to compare the cost of providers and their subscription rates. If you provide good customer service even in small and medium-sized businesses, it will be well worth your money. Have a look at some average costs of running an eCommerce in 2020.
What are the advantages of outsourcing eCommerce fulfillment?
There are many advantages to outsourcing eCommerce tasks. One of the main benefits is that you and your employees will be able to save time. You can dedicate your time to customer research, development, and outreach to help grow your brand and your business.
Outsourcing eCommerce fulfillment has many other benefits such as lower shipping rates, reduced operating costs, and a broader reach to help you expand into a wider market. It also makes more sense for retailers to focus on the things they’re good at and outsource other responsibilities to service providers with the skills and experience to do them.
Often order fulfillment providers have the resources to run on a larger scale, or even internationally. This provides a solid foundation to offer lower shipping rates. You can take advantage of bulk orders and deliveries at a better price than you would normally.
Outsourcing in general helps you to reduce your operating costs. You only pay for the services you need at the time. This will save you more money than operating in-house. The main constant is the storage fee at the fulfillment center.
Speed of delivery and customer service, in general, are often better. By improving the customer experience you’ll build a better reputation for your company, and you’ll generate more business through both new and more loyal existing customers. Your business will be able to offer more convenience services such as same-day delivery and “click and collect”.
How do you design an eCommerce site?
Firstly, it’s a good idea to outsource this as well. Working with larger eCommerce platforms, a Shopify Plus agency can take care of everything so you can get back to running your business. A professional agency can help to design your perfect online storefront and impress your customers with the best graphics, then replatform your data to fulfillment providers.
The design of your eCommerce site is very important. It needs to be easy and logical to navigate. You want your customers to find and buy the product they’re looking for in a minimum amount of clicks. Here are some of the important things that need to be included on your eCommerce website.
Your eCommerce site design needs to be clear. Your products should be well-represented with plenty of useful information. You could even include an FAQ page or chatbox for further customer queries and information. Customer experience is very important, and they need to feel like they have all the information they need to make a quick decision.
It’s a good idea to make your site as accessible and fast to use as possible. It needs to be fast loading and easy to use for all visitors. User experience needs to be at the forefront of your mind and make sure you take a customer-centric approach. Positive user experience will turn visitors into customers.
Your shopping cart is probably the most important icon on the page, so make it stand out. The shopping cart button should be visible at all times in order to increase conversions. Think about the customer experience at your checkout as well. Imagine how customer service affects you in a shop, you want to make their checkout quick and easy, and you’ll be more likely to have a satisfied customer.
Will it work on smartphones?
If you want your eCommerce site to be adaptable for smartphones, you need to update the design. An eCommerce web design agency can do this for you. More than half of all internet shopping is done from a smartphone. Catering to smartphone users needs to be part of your digital marketing strategy as well.
What is the future of eCommerce?
There have been some trends emerging in the world eCommerce this year.
- The second-hand market is doing very well as consumers are becoming more and more eco-conscious.
- Advances in PWA software mean it’s even easier to approach smartphone users by making your site appear as an app.
- Dynamic pricing technologies and strategies are helping business owners to understand the optimum amount to charge and when and it’s more complicated than you might think.
- Social commerce is continually on the rise, which is using social media to boost your sales.
2020 is a great time to launch an eCommerce site, and you should make watching trends like these your new hobby. If you’re looking to take your small business to the next step, why not consider outsourcing your eCommerce fulfillment today? Reach out to more customers and save money.
A professional eCommerce site can help you to build trust with your customers and boost your credibility. Outsourcing means you can focus on growing your business and reaching out to a larger client base.