If you run an eCommerce business, fulfillment is one of the critical aspects of your daily work. In short, order fulfillment is a comprehensive service that’s based on gathering orders, picking and packing them, and shipping them to customers. But this service comprises even more elements, and we are going to take a closer look at them today. In this article, we want to show you what fulfillment is, what the benefits of using this service are, and how to find a perfect order fulfillment service provider.
Today, more and more eCommerce companies have started using order fulfillment services. What is this service all about?
What is fulfillment?
In short, order fulfillment is a specific model of logistics services utilized primarily by eCommerce and online companies. When you’re using an order fulfillment service, you work with an external logistics partner (also frequently called logistics operator or a 3PL company) that deals with every logistics-related process in your eCommerce business.
Omnipack is such a logistics operator. We act as a 3PL (Third-Party Logistics) company. We offer comprehensive logistics outsourcing that covers all of the relevant aspects of selling online:
- ECommerce platform integration
- Warehousing and delivery
- Picking and packing orders
- Returns and complaints
The service provider can also offer you a whole range of additional fulfillment services, like storing and shipping products with special requirements (for example, regarding temperature or humidity). Thanks to the order fulfillment service, you, as an online eCommerce business owner, don’t have to worry about logistics and can focus instead on the store’s marketing and sales development.
The fulfillment process
The fulfillment process comprises several crucial facets. Some of its elements are repetitive, and some are done only once, mainly at the beginning of the cooperation with the external logistics service provider. Let’s examine the major aspects of the fulfillment process:
ECOMMERCE SYSTEM INTEGRATION
Typically, our work starts with the eCommerce platform integration. Omnipack can offer integration with almost every eCommerce platform available on the market. It doesn’t really matter whether you utilize some SaaS solution like Shopify or have a standalone system like WooCommerce. Thanks to this integration, we can continuously gain insight into new orders placed in your store, which allows us to start working on them without unnecessary delays.
DELIVERY OF GOODS
With our help, you don’t have to run a warehouse. You can use our storage facilities. We are responsible for receiving and storing your products that can be shipped directly from you or your distributor. Afterwards, your products are stored in our warehousing spaces (currently, we have two warehouses in strategic locations in Poland).
Our warehouses are designed to suit the various needs of online stores. In our warehouses, we have a racking infrastructure strictly adapted to the eCommerce industry: fashion racks, metal racks, hangers, zones with limited access (for valuable products), and a high-storage area designed for pallet storage.
Furthermore, we have intelligent solutions that automate and facilitate our work. As a result, we work efficiently and quickly, fulfilling thousands of orders every day. Our warehousing spaces are adjusted to store various types of products, including clothes and food products (yes, we have all the necessary approvals and permits). All our magazines are air-conditioned.
PICKING & PACKING
The picking and packing stage is the next step in our job. We are responsible for collecting products for each order, completing them, and packing them according to your requirements. Thanks to extensive capabilities, we can pack your orders in many creative ways, including several branding options, like branded packaging materials, for instance. Moreover, we can completely personalize the packaging by adding inserts or hand-signed notes or proposing one of our many standard packaging options.
An order fulfillment company is also responsible for shipping your products. For instance, here at Omnipack, we ship products globally in cooperation with the largest carriers in Europe but also smaller local courier companies. Thanks to the consolidation of large volumes of orders in one place, we are able to negotiate attractive shipping rates and assist our clients in dealing with additional formalities such as customs clearance.
Finally, our job is to take returns and complaints off your shoulders. When products are sent back to your store, we handle the re-preparation of goods for the next shipment and put them back in your inventory. Unfortunately, returns are very common in the eCommerce sector, especially in the fashion industry. We do realize that dealing with this problem can be time-consuming. That’s why we want to help you with this difficult field of running an eCommerce business!
Benefits of using fulfillment
There are four major benefits of the order fulfillment service that we’d like to mention:
For starters, this service helps you grow. It doesn’t really matter whether you ship 1,000 or 10,000 orders per month. Our warehouses are adjusted to dealing with large-volume sales and managing eCommerce inventory. Many of our clients value this possibility, especially during Q4 when, due to Christmas and Black Friday, the number of orders in their stores temporarily goes up, and additional efforts are necessary. With the fulfillment service, you can focus on growing sales, and therefore, our offer grows along with your eCommerce business, and nothing stands in the way of your development.
ALL THE FIXED COSTS BECOME VARIABLE
Most likely, that’s the most exciting advantage of logistics outsourcing. When you run your own warehouse and deal with logistics on your own, many monthly costs and fees are fixed. The warehouse owner does not care how many products you store or ship. The rent is constant every month. When you’re working with a logistics partner, many fixed costs become variable, as you pay only for utilized space and services. At Omnipack, there are no hidden fees or subscriptions.
ORDER FULFILLMENT IMPROVES YOUR CX
Order fulfillment is not just a way to lower your expenses. This solution also significantly improves your customer service and, in turn, CX as well. Why? There are a couple of reasons. First of all, we have all the logistics processes figured out (we’ve already sent millions of packages!). This means that order mix-ups hardly ever happen. You can be sure that your customers get exactly what they ordered. Secondly, because we have many advanced solutions onboard, we ship products quickly. Every order placed before 6 pm is shipped the same day! This way, we can offer express delivery (48h tops) to every country in the DACH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland).
And while we are on the subject of the Western European countries, we help you in the cross-border expansion of your online store. We can integrate with foreign eCommerce platforms and Amazon so that you have direct access to entire Europe and even the world with no additional logistics investments! All you have to do is make sure your eCommerce website has a foreign language version, and you’re good to go!
To find out more, read our articles about the cross-border strategy and running an eCommerce business within Western European countries. Also, bear in mind that we can help with tax and customs issues regarding cross-border sales.
When it comes to fulfillment strategy, we honestly believe that Third-Party Logistics (3PL) is the most straightforward and efficient solution. Our goal is to ensure that our clients get Amazon-grade customer service. Why? Because Amazon is famous for their flawless logistics service, and that’s precisely what we want to achieve at Omnipack. And we do have what it takes! Even today, our error-free rate is at a whopping level of 99,95%!
We believe that the best order fulfillment strategy is based on customer satisfaction. That’s why we prepare and ship orders the way we would like to receive them.
With a 3PL company’s help, you don’t have to worry if your customers receive their orders on time. It’s our role to make sure everything runs like clockwork.
Fulfillment services provider
There are many order fulfillment companies out there. If you are interested in this service, we recommend you do thorough research and find a reliable partner that will grow along with you and will be able to provide you with all the necessary services.
Think about what your needs currently are and how they can change in the future. Send a request for proposal to companies you think might help you and ask them about cooperation conditions. We would like to kindly invite you to send such a request to Omnipack as well. Just go here and fill in the contact form or send an email!
How much does this service cost?
The overall cost of the order fulfillment service is based on how much space your store requires and how many parcels are sent each month. There are many variables, so it is impossible to indicate even an estimated per-parcel cost.
What does the eCommerce platform integration look like?
The integration/implementation process is divided into 3 stages: Preparation: At this point, we collect detailed information about your store and work on the implementation schedule Integration: We connect your eCommerce platform with our Logifact warehouse system The operational part: Here, we prepare trial orders and check whether we are ready to start shipping your orders When this process is completed, our regular work starts immediately.
How are my products stored?
All our clients’ products are stored in an organized and safe manner. Thanks to various storing solutions, we are prepared to provide service for various products such as clothes, food, toys, sporting equipment, and large-sized products.
How long does it take to ship my order?
We ship all the orders placed by 6 pm on the same working day. For Poland and the DACH countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), we ship products within the next-day delivery standard. We need 2-4 days to ship products to other European countries.
How does fulfillment work?
The fulfillment service is all about outsourcing all of your logistics processes to an external company. Every time your customer places an order in your store, the information about it is instantly sent to our system. Next, we pick and pack this order and ship it. Additionally, we can handle returns on your behalf and minor product repairs or service and put products back in stock.
What does a fulfillment center do?
Fulfillment centers handle the implementation of fulfillment services for eCommerce. Centers can serve dozens or even hundreds of different online stores, processing their orders and returns, storing goods and accepting deliveries.