Little is more important in the world of eCommerce than fulfillment of online orders. Beyond just the shipping process, fulfillment also accounts for the storage, packaging, and returns of merchandise. Unlike some other platforms such as Amazon which does provide some through their Fulfillment by Amazon service, Etsy order fulfillment is left entirely up to the seller. Outside fulfillment operations can free more time for you to work on your orders, improve your craft, and grow your business at the top without being bogged down by everyday logistics.
Your Etsy Fulfillment Options
Etsy as a platform does not handle fulfillment in any way. As a site dedicated to helping clients sell handmade goods, the default expectation is that the client will be able to mail their orders themselves. For some Etsy pages that make small custom items this may be ideal, but for those who sell large/fragile items, or a large quantity of items, a third party fulfillment service may be a better alternative.
While becoming an Etsy fulfillment partner yourself may be tempting, consider your needs and availability. Some questions to ask include:
- Do you have the space and workforce to properly store and process orders?
- Are your storage facilities in a good location to ship to customers widely and quickly?
- Would your time be better spent focusing on product creation/marketing rather than shipping and processing?
- Are you in a strong financial position to support more employees and warehouse space?
- Do you have an organized system of management to ensure you are providing quality fulfillment services?
While it’s great that your Etsy business is growing, there are still many factors that might deter you from becoming a fulfillment partner yourself. For many, being a fulfillment partner simply means dedicating a part of your work room to packaging and completed items, and for many that may be enough, but for the rest, it simply isn't feasible to fill your living room with packages. But don’t worry, even if you decide that becoming a fulfillment partner isn’t for you, 3PL partners are here to assist you in making your business the most successful it can be.
As noted before, Etsy does not offer a service to fulfill orders on your behalf, however, Etsy does have built in integration software for use in conjunction with third party fulfillment companies. This means that a third party of your choice is likely to be able to seamlessly integrate itself with Etsy’s software, fitting it perfectly into the machine that is your Etsy store.
Why a 3PL partner may be the answer to your Etsy fulfillment needs
The benefits of working with a 3PL partner for Etsy fulfillment far outweigh the costs.
Saving time and money
By working with a 3PL provider for Etsy fulfillment, you can save money on storage space and save time you’d otherwise spend on packing and shipping your products. While partnering with a 3PL company is an added expense, the cost is usually balanced by what you save in your current storage rate and by fewer returns.
Through systems such as pick and pack fulfillment, 3PL providers efficiently and safely pack each order. You can often choose additional services, such as climate-controlled storage or packaging protection, to ensure your customers receive each order in pristine condition.
Faster and cheaper shipping and delivery
Behind the scenes, 3PL partners ensure your orders are being processed correctly using an organization system that makes it easier and faster to ship items. Your products are stored in secure warehouses and are packed and shipped as soon as an order is received. You can communicate with your 3PL provider as soon as an item is sold, usually through an online portal, and the 3PL company will begin processing the item immediately and inform you of any tracking information once it’s been shipped.
Better customer satisfaction with fewer returns
A 3PL partner ensures that fulfillment errors are rare. Damaged or misplaced items and packages sent to the wrong address only add to the stress of running a business. When you place your trust in a professional 3PL partner, you can rest assured that your orders are being delivered on time and in excellent condition. Plus, many 3PL companies—including ourselves—handle all customer returns, allowing you to skip the extra step of organizing return policies and shipments. With these procedures in place, 3PL partners can guarantee 100% customer satisfaction and amplify customer loyalty.
Other 3rd-Party Services
Many 3rd party services do not appreciate the intimate, custom nature of selling custom made goods on a platform like Etsy, and this has left a vacuum for fulfillment companies who truly care to step in and help. Be sure to shop around and do your research, as you find the fulfillment company that's right for your Etsy store and its needs.
Questions To Ask Yourself Before Making a Selection
This is the best way to figure out which kind of method would be the most applicable to your business.
Contact NextGen3PL to Help Scale Your Growing Etsy Business!
For the best Etsy fulfillment service around, look no further than NextGen3PL! NextGen3PL provides efficient, cost-effective Etsy fulfillment that will satisfy the needs of your business. We continue to expand because of the results we produce, which have allowed NextGen3PL to acquire over a million square-feet of strategically located facilities. We can cater to your business’s needs and devise a personalized plan that will help your growth explode. If you need fulfillment for Etsy, Amazon, eBay, or any other eCommerce player, look no further than NextGen3PL. Get started today!