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Choose the Best Fulfilment Center for Your E-Commerce Business

8Apr, 2015
Pick and Pack

There are many fulfilment centers happy to receive your e-commerce business, but which one is worthy your business, not to mention your trust. After all, the success of your e-commerce business is riding on the effectiveness of getting your product out and keeping your customers happy. When selecting an order fulfilment service, be sure to get the full information on:

Location of Fulfilment Center

When choosing the location it’s wiser to select a warehouse that is close to your customers than to select one that is close to your business. Depending on where your warehouse sits versus the location of your customer base can greatly affect your shipping rates.

Warehouse size

Some fulfilment warehouses function with only a few employees while others have hundreds of employees. Depending on your daily fulfilment needs, you may need a fulfilment enter that can handle consistent as well as spiked orders. If your e-commerce has orders that spike, it will probably be more successful to choose a fulfilment center that can handle the extra workload and still ship the orders on time.

Shipping Options

To help you grow your e-commerce, the best fulfilment service offers all of the shipping options you currently offer your online customers as well as shipping options that you may want to offer down the road.

Turn-around Time

Be clear on what the policy is for the fulfilment warehouse. They each have their own policy regarding order processing. Be sure yours matches. For example some fulfilment centers will ship all orders that arrive before a specific time on the same business day. If you miss it, the order will be shipped the next business day. In this case, next-day shipping will inadvertently become two-day shipping. This could affect when your customers receive their product.

Methods of Order Entry

Order entry methods can be very important when considering a fulfilment service. The most common methods include sending individual order invoices to the warehouse and entering each order on the fulfilment center’s web-based system. Some fulfilment centers use a spreadsheet with all daily orders. Depending on your budget and number of orders, options of entry methods include entering the orders manually or automatically send email each individual invoice to the warehouse.

Rate of Error

Mistakes will happen in the fulfilment of e-commerce products. The wrong item will be sent or shipped to the wrong address. Be sure to about their rate of error and how they remedy errors. Many fulfilment centers will replace the product with expedited shipping at no additional cost to you or your customer.

Customer Service

Customer service is an important part of every business. Most fulfilment centers are available via phone and email for customer questions or concerns. You should not have to wait more than a few hours for a response, either a phone call or email, from the fulfilment center.

Rates for Delivery and Storage

Each fulfilment center sets their rate schedule. Some require contracts while others charge per order with no contracts. Fulfilment centers also charge a base fee to store your inventory at the warehouse and an additional fee per item.

When choosing a fulfilment center, interview the warehouse manager and request solid references. When you find the best fulfilment center for your needs, the time that you normally spend shipping orders, managing inventory and dealing with returns, can now shift expanding your business.

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