The advancement of technology has been a welcomed development, and now we see more and more consumers all over the world shopping for different products online. However, one thing still stands as a continuous battle for e-commerce businesses, and that’s winning over the trust of consumers. Just like the previous stages in process of delivering an order, handling an order needs to go smoothly, but this is highly complex especially if you are dealing with an international order. A number of e-commerce businesses have already found out that in the process of delivery and returns, there might be extra time and cost spent, which, of course, eat into their profit margins. But with order fulfillment, all of these can be avoided.
One very important rule when it comes to e-commerce business is to get it right the first time, this invariably keeps your customers happy every single time. To do this, order fulfillment has to be a number one priority if your business is to be rewarded by loyal and satisfied customers that keep on supporting your business. So, what is order fulfillment?
Order fulfillment simply encapsulates the entire processes involved right from receiving an order till the moment it is delivered to a customer. If you have knowledge of e-commerce operations, you would know that this involves a number of composite steps in the supply chain that all play a part in the way customers see your business.
For a better understanding of order fulfillment, you need to know the logistics it takes care of for an e-commerce business. These include:
When does an e-commerce business need a fulfillment center?
Have you ever thought about what a fulfillment center is and if you need it for your e-commerce business? Well, simply look at it as a more preferred way of increasing sales, getting more free time, saving shipping costs, and of course, keeping your customers happy.
However, let’s take a few steps back and understand what a fulfillment center is and when you need one to handle your shipping and warehousing.
What is a fulfillment center and when do you need one?
Without using long and confusing definitions, a fulfillment center is a third-party body that handles your shipping and warehousing troubles, and ensures that your customers get their order on time. This gives you time to search for new products, increase your publicity and marketing campaigns, and focus on other areas of your business that you might have abandoned if you did the delivery yourself.
If, as a small or medium-sized e-commerce business owner, you want to scale, include more products to your list, keep costs at a minimal and at the same time increase sales, then a fulfillment center is your best bet. But that’s not all. You also need a fulfillment center if:
With the addition of newer products to your supply, you might need to hire additional hands to assist you with shipping, inventory management or packaging. Also, you might need to rent your own warehouse, which might incur huge costs. What if you have a slow season? Let’s be honest, every business has one. Would you still want to pay those extra costs for rentals, electricity, and so on? Now, that’s when you need a fulfillment center to help you reduce costs and give you enough flexibility with your payments.
Scaling would involve adding more products to your inventory, but when there is no physical space to store them, then a fulfillment center comes into play. You get the space you need at very little costs.
Are you looking to expand your customer base and inevitably increase sales by targeting say, the Canadian market? Then a fulfillment center within Canada or one that ships to Canada can help you with that. They would take care of shipping and other processes and regulations while all you have to do is click on a “We ship to Canada” icon on their site. Yes, it’s really that easy!
There’s a lot of hassle that comes with shipping and packaging, and sometimes they would make you want to curl up in a corner and stay there. Honestly, most e-commerce businesses find the greatest fulfillment in coming up with strategies on how to scale, coming up with new products and sourcing products. But with shipping? They prefer running from it. This is where a fulfillment center comes into the equation. They take the workload off your shoulders while giving you room to do what you do best.
How will having a fulfillment center make your business more successful?
Some e-commerce businesses might shudder at the thought of someone else handling any part of their business, but if they are going to increase sales, they need to find the right fulfillment center to go into partnership with.
Still don’t believe you need a fulfillment center? Here are ways your business can become more successful with one:
Improved business focus because they free you from mundane issues like delivery, packing, and storage. You get to divert more energy to core business activities like planning and expanding your business.
Free access to the best of advanced technology with state-of-the-art software used for tracking shipments, monitoring inventory, accounting platforms, and so much more. You get all of this at very little costs.
Improved scalability with resources that can adequately accommodate changes in the volume of orders. This gives you the opportunity to penetrate foreign markets at low costs.
Reduced susceptibility to market fluctuation since your business is shielded from changes in shipping and trucking costs caused by changes in fuel.
Order fulfillment and fulfillment centers all serve to enable your e-commerce business to grow and increase profits without the hassles involved in shipping and delivery. Competing in the space of e-commerce businesses used to be a tough one, but with order fulfillment, your business has a greater chance of being at the top.
QuickBox is the only supply chain management center that is fully integrated in nutritional supplements and skin-care products aligned with world-class fulfillment services. Dedicated to high volumes of internet direct-to-consumer brands, we provide FAST, FRIENDLY, and ACCURATE fulfillment seven days a week. Combine that with our 24/7 world-class client services to help maximize your business’ profits and provide the ultimate wow factor to your customers.If you would like to learn more about how you can get started in the private label health and beauty business feel free to contact QuickBox Fulfillment here.
When evaluating a fulfillment provider, there are three important critical metrics that should be measured that most other fulfillment centers don’t track or report. Take a moment to learn about the top three and why they are so important.
1.) Time to Home
Each month your fulfillment center should measure and validate the time it takes for a package to leave the facility and reach the intended recipient who ordered it. You want to make sure that your provider is staying within the guaranteed time frame. At QuickBox, we make sure that that time frame is staying within our standard of 3 to 4 business days anywhere in the U.S. 48 states. Being centrally located in Denver, Colorado we’re equidistant to most of the coastal cities, which allows us that quick time to home.
The second metric that is important to measure is backorders. If you’re selling a product and you have a backorder that creates a lot of consequential damages to your customer relationship. Backorders can be caused for numerous reasons. One major reason is not having enough inventory due to improper forecasting. QuickBox offers a service called “On Demand Inventory” where we’re help you develop you a brand, cosmetics or neutraceuticals that fits your customer base. It is designated inventory that you have access to each week in advance of the demand in which you’re going to use it, hence the name “On Demand Inventory.”
3.) Returns Processing
The third metric that’s important to measure is the ability to process returns. Most fulfillment centers process returns once a week. Well, you know what happens if you wait more than 3 or 4 days to process a return? Your customer is usually calling customer service wanting a refund, maybe even issuing a chargeback. Those are things that no one wants! We want to take good care of our customers so at QuickBox we make sure that your returns are processed on the same day Monday through Friday, every day.
These are three important metrics that we think you should be measuring and, in fact, you should be demanding from your fulfillment partner. If you’re not getting those, talk to us and we’ll make sure that we’re providing those key metrics for your business.
Give us a call today at 303-757-6500 or email us at email@example.com learn more about why we are your #1 choice for a 3rd party logistics partner.
When looking for a fulfillment center to support and manage the logistics of your thriving e-commerce business, it is important to know the common D2C pain points before you decide on the correct fit. Even more important is what solutions the fulfillment center will offer if/when those D2C pain points arise. Yet sadly, most fulfillment centers arose from a retail background with little to no experience in D2C. As you can imagine, it typically doesn’t work out so well.
After working with hundreds of successful e-commerce businesses, here are the top 5 D2C pain point to be aware of and, better yet, what D2C solutions your fulfillment center should be offering to you.
1.) D2C Pain Point: With so many products on the market, it is easy to become overwhelmed. Which ones should you choose for your e-commerce store? How are you to know what’s truly a high-quality product guaranteed to sell? How do you know that product is safe for your consumers?
Solution: If you want to take the direction of private labeling and wholesale, it is crucial your fulfillment partner has a variety of compliant product options available. They must also be able to provide you with an adequate supply that is readily available to sell when you are, so neither you nor your customers are left waiting for stock.
2.) D2C Pain Point: Your product is a huge hit and your inventory needs to triple quickly, but where are you going to put it all? You want to capitalize on your product following and offer a second or perhaps third option, but you have no idea where to start and how to get your new product turned around quickly enough to support your consumer demand.
Solution: Scalability is another crucial component for your chosen fulfillment center to provide. They must be able to scale and scale quickly! As your successful campaign takes off, your fulfillment partner needs to be able to take off with you. Choose a warehouse that has an incredible amount of space, is centrally located for fast delivery, and is staffed appropriately to process all of your new growth.
3.) D2C Pain Point:Like it or not, returns are going to happen. With your returns piling up, how are you supposed to keep up with them to prevent chargebacks and other customer nightmares?
Solution: Speed of returns processing minimizes potential customer services calls, refunds, and chargebacks. Not only must the process happen quickly, it must happen accurately. Another huge plus is having a fulfillment partner with an FDA-Compliant Returns Processthat allows you to get your product back on the shelf and ready for your next sale.
4.) D2C Pain Point:You have an amazing product that really is improving your customer’s life, but no one seems to value it like they should, which means they are not becoming repeat customers.
Solution: First impressions are everything, even with a tangible product. Value is perceived by customers when they receive their package in a timely manner and it is presented well, looking great upon arrival and opening. And of course, it’s important that they received exactly what they ordered in perfect condition. You HAVE to have all of your presentation ducks in a row to avoid returns and build brand/product loyalty.
5.) D2C Pain Point:Perhaps you have a question about an existing order that doesn’t seem right, or your orders are taking off quicker than your projected forecasting. Whatever the issue that comes up, who is going to help you solve it before it becomes a bigger issue that will cost you money?
Solution: Responsiveness is everything. Your partner should respond and solve your issues quickly, so you can keep things moving forward and upward. Your ecommerce store is open 24/7, meaning issues can arise at any time. It is crucial you are provided with 24/7 customer access and support to help you when you need it most.
Here at QuickBox Fulfillment, we specialize in direct-to-consumer marketing fulfillment, and because our owners come from this space and we have years of experience with hundreds of e-commerce companies, we know your D2C pain points and, more importantly, how to solve them when it comes to logistics. Every solution you just read is a solution that QuickBox Fulfillment proudly provides its valued clients. The genius of QuickBox Fulfillment is that we are built by and for director marketers. Our ENTIRE organization, process, and system is engineered for D2C.
Give us a call today at 303-757-6500 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org learn more about why we are your #1 choice for a 3rd party logistics partner.
Have you continuously faced stockouts with active sales orders of your successful e-Commerce products? Have you gotten to the root cause of this e-Commerce nightmare? The cause generally is due to the lack of strategic planning of inventory management, warehouse management and delivery system. The best solution to get back on track with your entire fulfillment management is to outsource the overall process of your product delivery, where everything is coordinated with on pair of expert hands.
Let’s get started by reviewing the overall strategy of our fulfillment service center that will turn your E-Commerce business into a smooth running, money making machine. In this article we focus in on our warehouse management, our inventory management system and how our set up allowspleanty of room for your business to grow.
Our 105,000 sq. foot state-of-the-art warehouse is temperature-range controlled and provides a great amount of customer valued specific services. Among them, the FEFO inventory system is the most remarkable and compelling to our clients. FEFO is a first expiration in and first out system. The FDA requires and approves this inventory system for nutrition, skin, and food products.
The FEFO is a versatile and straightforward process of methodizing and supervising and has a set priority of moving final materials between any phases of operations. The delivery is performed according to the prior date of consumption and expiration regardless the date of entry or procuration. Products have to be used according to the expirtion date, so to manage the best quality and customer experience, we use the FEFO method. That’s not all; our logistic experts continuously communicate with you to better understand your specific strategy and customize the process to be best apt for your requirements. We provide the best economic and profitable warehousing service for you.
Inventory control and management is the most important and sensitive task for an e-commerce site as the overall process is related to the consumption of the end users. Both front and back end inventory controlling and monitoring is done proactively.
Step 1: It starts from acquiring product on our production floor quickly and precisely where the right amount of products and the original quality are maintained rigorously.
Step 2: The products are storedsafely and securely, preventing minimal error or mishaps occurring when the product is in our custody.
Step 3:Successful delivery of products to the end users with the perfect boxing system of each specific productgarenting your desired customer experience.
Throughout the enire process, the products are handled with expert hands, and the overall fulfillment procedure is done by eliminating the chances of inefficiency by 95%. The Advanced Inventory Control Technology System lets you run business economically, effectively and efficiently. A slight error can create a big set back; but a perfect inventory workflow system would earn you profitability, trust of customers, cost minimization and overall optimize the welfare performance of your company.
Want to take off a new campaign suddenly or make an expansion in your product line? Don’t worry; we have an easily scalable procedure to handle the daily fluctuation efficiently. We are always ready to manage and plan our staff on a daily basis so that we can honor any of your projected volumes. Don’t worry if any further escalation is urgent, because we have the plenty of space for the accommodation of your product growth. In addition, we have the best attainable people to ensureerrorless delivery of products on time, every day. With our wholesale and private labeling programs, QuickBoxOnDemand would help you estimate the demands, control the inventory and provide the high-quality products to the end customers at the lowest wholesale price.
As the products are scheduled on a daily basis, you can share any of your plans or rescale your orders at anytime. We can maintain the scalability with the same level of performance and efficiency. If you cannot handle the scalability, then you opt to lose the efficiency and fail to meet the market demand. We are here to help you on the most demanding and profitable episode of your business.
As you can see, we are the perfect fulfillment management center with integrated fulfillment services for a growing business that is in the health and beauty industry. We will handle all the logistics so you can focus on growing your business. QuickBox provides the best-dedicated service of warehousing and product management with affordable pricing and 24/7 client service access. Our promise is not just to deliver your products accurately as per your demand, but to maintain a long-term relationship to make your life easier and make your business expectedly successful.
This is a guest post written by Mona Bushnell, B2B Tech Writerand originally published by Business News Daily. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Managementsoftware is a widely used method customer management for eCommerce businesses. Integrating your business with CRM software helps manage client interactions, deal with future and current customers, and optimize and systematize relationships. The article below is your 2018 buyers guide to finding the best CRM for your ecommerce store.
CRM software was originally designed to help businesses build and maintain relationships with new and existing customers. Since then, CRM software has evolved from a simple contact management system into a robust tool that helps users manage sales, marketing, point-of-sale (POS), accounting, vendor and other types of operational data, all in one easily accessible solution.
From a growth standpoint, CRM is used to find leads, follow up with prospects and nurture them through the sales pipeline. CRM is also used to maintain customer loyalty by storing key information to boost sales – for instance, by personalizing the experience and providing excellent customer support.
Here is our 2018 guide on how to choose the right CRM software for your business. If you already know what you need and just want to see our recommendations for the best CRM software, visit our best picks page.
The cost of CRM software varies greatly. Vendors typically use a subscription-based pricing model, which can depend on a variety of factors, such as the number of users and the types of features available.
You can generally expect to pay on a per-user, per-month basis. Some vendors charge a flat monthly fee for a set number of users, but require larger packages or extra fees for additional users. Pricing can range from $10 per user per month to thousands of dollars per month, depending on your business’s unique needs.
Don’t have a budget for CRM software? Or maybe you’re not sure that CRM software is right for your business, but would like to see what it has offer. Many vendors offer free trials of their software. There are also free versions of popular CRM software; some are full-featured but limit the number of users or records, while others offer only the bare-minimum capabilities.
CRM doesn’t just keep your contacts organized – it offers a bevy of tools to help you boost sales and execute more effective marketing campaigns. These include:
Lead management and sales. Find new customers by automatically generating leads from various sources like social media, website visitors, inbound calls, newsletter sign-ups and more. Follow up with leads automatically with preset emails and tasks, or contact them directly yourself. CRM can nurture prospects all the way through the entire sales pipeline, from lead generation to closing the sale. Additionally, many CRM allow users to create and store sales quotes and track invoices.
Marketing. Many CRM solutions have built-in marketing tools, including email templates, email marketing pipelines, SMS messaging and lightweight project management tools. Some even offer competition tracking and sales forecasting capabilities.
E-commerce. Some high-level CRM software has built-in e-commerce functionality, while many other products allow for easy ecommerce integration, either by accessing the API or by using a third-party service.
Reports/dashboards. Most CRM software includes some reporting functionality, and many of the higher end products sport live dynamic dashboards. Make sure any exporting or importing needs you have (for instance, transferring information to and from Excel or Quickbooks) are compatible with a system you choose.
Call center. Most low-cost CRM products do not have call center capabilities, but there are third-party integrations available to link call center software with CRM software. However, if a call center is central to your business, it may be worthwhile to adopt a CRM with full call center features. [See Related Story: Best Call Centers and Answering Services for Businesses]
Workflows/approvals. Project management is an important aspect of any CRM. Most high-quality CRM have built-in workflows and checkmark style approvals that help with task management and organization. However, the extent to which these project management tools are customizable varies from products to product, so if you require a specific workflow step or approval process, make sure it is achievable with the product you choose.
Questions to ask when evaluating CRM software
There are many different types of CRM software available, so choosing the right one is key to making it work for your business. Here’s what small business owners advise asking potential vendors:
Ready to choose a CRM solution? Here’s a breakdown of our full coverage:
About the Author:
Mona Bushnell is a New York City-based Staff Writer for Tom’s IT Pro, Business.com and Business News Daily. She has a B.A. in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College and has previously worked as an IT Technician, a Copywriter, a Software Administrator, a Scheduling Manager and an Editorial Writer. Mona began freelance writing full-time in 2014 and joined the Purch team in 2017.