Multichannel commerce gives you access to a larger customer audience and enables you to sell more. However, you could soon find yourself overwhelmed, trying to process orders flooding in from the various marketplaces you use. To keep up with demand and meet customer expectations, you need a solution that will prioritize order fulfillment for you, leaving you free to focus on your business. Here is a rundown of how multichannel fulfillment works and the benefits and considerations of using such a solution.
How multichannel fulfillment works
Firstly, a multichannel fulfilment solution provides you with warehouse storage for your products. The fulfillment center integrates with your website as well as many marketplaces, such as Amazon, eBay, and Wayfair. Any orders placed are automatically transferred to the fulfillment center which then picks, packs, and delivers them depending on the customer’s preference, such as same-day, next-day, or two-day delivery.
A multichannel fulfillment solution can improve customer experience through speedy delivery and returns while making it easier to manage your inventory and freeing you up to grow your business.
Growth is almost impossible if you don’t have somewhere to store all your stock. A multichannel fulfillment solution provides you with secure space to store more products.
If you are a small company with large packages, then outsourcing your fulfillment gives you access to more people power. Large volumes and heavy or oversized parcels are no issue since fulfillment companies are able to provide two-man picking, as well as specialized machinery to do the lifting.
When you juggle many marketplaces accounts you run the risk of losing track of stock and getting penalized for missing an order. A multichannel fulfillment solution centralizes the process, giving you inventory control and reducing the risk of stockouts and backorders. You can also make quick changes when needed while ensuring consistent quality control regardless of the sales channel.
You can offer your customers a variety of shipping options, from same-day delivery to five business days. This is because fulfillment services partner with most of the major carriers to provide speed and efficiency.
According to a 2015 study published in the Operations Management Research journal, since over 50% of the leading retailers take a multichannel sales approach, fulfillment companies need to be competitive with their fees. Therefore, most offer flexible contracts to suit your business needs. Some only charge for storage and shipping and others offer discounts for bulk orders.
As well as providing tracking numbers, the right e-commerce fulfillment partner like Bezos.ai uses the latest technology to send you and your customers status updates on orders. Alert monitoring systems prevent delays by tracking every movement of the delivery journey.
Returns portals enable customers to create return labels with the click of a button and fulfillment partners usually allow you to choose whether returns will be sent back to their warehouse or directly to you. If you chose the former, the service provider would repackage and restock the product for resale.
Despite the many benefits of partnering with a multichannel fulfillment solution, there are a few things you should consider. For example, can they handle your goods?
Some fulfillment centers cannot handle restricted goods, such as aerosols, flammable substances, or perishables that require refrigeration. Furthermore, if your products have a short shelf-life, it may be better for returns to come to you so that you can avoid the cost of removing expired products from the fulfillment warehouse.
Some fulfillment programs specialize in delivery within a small area, while others will deliver to the whole of the UK. If your customers are based across the globe, you will need a service that will ship to the EU or even worldwide. Check that there are no hidden fees for geographic coverage.
Multichannel commerce allows merchants to reach more customers and maximize business, but that’s no good if you can’t deliver the goods. Partnering with a multichannel fulfillment service is a strategy that can benefit you and your customers with secure storage and fast, reliable delivery. However, be sure to choose a fulfillment solution that fits your business needs so that you can meet customer expectations, optimize your operations, and boost your profits.