Growing online businesses face unique challenges, especially when it comes to finding the best eCommerce fulfillment center for their products.
Keeping order fulfillment in house might have been ok when your orders were trickling in, but now that the trickle has turned into a wave the only way to stay above water is to partner with a stellar 3rd party logistics company, or 3PL. Choosing the right one can sometimes feel like a challenge.
The Best eCommerce Order Fulfillment Centers Help You Grow
When you’re interviewing order fulfillment centers, it’s important to go beyond questions about warehousing and distribution to learn more about how the facility will work with an eCommerce company like yours. It’s not enough to be the cheapest or the biggest, the most important factors should be centered on the way your business runs today and will run in the future.
Here are a few items to ask about before you make your final decision:
- Do they have a focus on data? There’s a lot to be said for efficiency when it comes to 3rd party logistics. Faster, less labor intensive processes ultimately result in cost-savings for you, as well as your customers. A good eCommerce order fulfillment center should be interested in tracking the movements in its facility and modifying its practices in response to what the data shows. You should also have access to this rich source of information, which can help guide your business growth as well.
- Is it in a centralized location? In a world where customers expect shipments to appear instantly on their doorsteps, every hour matters. This is why it’s so important to choose a 3rd party logistics company that’s centrally located for your main customer base.
- Are flexible pricing schedules possible? Most retail businesses will experience sales peaks and valleys throughout the year as product demand shifts. It’s perfectly normal, but not all eCommerce order fulfillment centers will give you a break when you’re shipping fewer packages.Flexible pricing means you can use the amount of warehouse space you need without paying for empty spots when your seasonal inventory disappears. You should only be charged for what you use, rather than a flat fee for a maximum amount of storage.
Order fulfillment is a huge part of the success of an eCommerce business, so it’s vital that you put some effort into choosing the right fulfillment partner the first time. After all, you don’t want to gain a reputation for being a slow or inaccurate shipper. The faster fulfillment moves, the happier your customers will be.