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E-COMMERCE FULFILLMENT PROCESS
NextGen3PL fulfillment and eCommerce experts is a Pixior Company that specializes in eCommerce fulfillment. ECommerce fulfillment is the process behind when a customer orders something from an online business, and the procedure the order goes through to be packed and delivered to that customer.
Ecommerce fulfillment is the overall term that describes the steps involved to ship an online order to a customer after that order is placed. Many aspects are involved in eCommerce fulfillment such as:
- Order Fulfillment
- Order Management
- Inventory Management
- Return Management
- Pick and Pack Fulfillment
You can think of NextGen3PL as an extension to your business. Outsourcing your eCommerce fulfillment can help make your business operate smoothly. This allows you to have the option to expand your warehouse space as your business continues to grow. Overall NextGen3PL will create more opportunities and minimize risk in your business.
There are many steps that are involved in eCommerce fulfillment. It is easier to understand how eCommerce fulfillment works if you understand each step individually. Below will discuss in depth some of the procedures orders go through in eCommerce fulfillment after the customer places the order.
NextGen3PL's Process begins with
Fulfillment Center Services:
Order fulfillment is used hand in hand with eCommerce fulfillment. When thinking about order fulfillment warehouses, you may visualize rows and rows of products and inventory. A good order fulfillment center is a technological company at its core. As order and eCommerce fulfillment work side by side, these two systems should be seamlessly integrated. Orders placed by customers should go directly to the people who will pack and ship those orders. Good eCommerce fulfillment centers should have a reliable technological background.
- A 3pl company should seamlessly integrate with all other software platforms used within that business. This is important to connect incoming orders with the necessary sales channels. Similarly, all platforms should work with each other to ensure product information is correct and up to date across all systems.
- A 3pl company should be reliable and easy to get in contact with if a glitch should happen. This is important for a quick fix that keeps your business running as smoothly as possible.
- Along with being reliable, they should have a well-grounded IT department. This also contributes to the efficiency of quick fixed if a glitch may happen.
Receiving Order Management:
Order management is the concept for overseeing and managing all purchases a customer may make. NextGen3PL is able to keep track and manage all of these orders in one place. This includes packing and shipping the orders. Order management is important as it keeps the customer up to date with the status of their orders such as delivery time or possible delays. Similarly, it is important for the business as it helps manage order trends over time, such as customers buying behaviors, changes in volume, preferences, and locations. NextGen3PL order management also keeps track of their progress in fulfilling these orders. This includes orders that may have had mistakes, orders that cannot be fulfilled due to lack of inventory or inventory mismanagement, and returned orders.
Inventory management is how businesses’ eCommerce inventory is monitored. This includes how inventory is stored, stocked, and restocked when necessary.
It is important for the business to be aware of how their eCommerce fulfillment center is managing their orders because it can impact their inventory levels, and therefore their sales. Sometimes pallets of inventory may be left sitting on the dock, and although it is technically at the order warehouse it is not listed in the inventory as has not been unloaded. If the inventory is not unloaded, there cannot be sales.
Additionally, another challenge commonly seen in inventory management is a term called “shrinkage”. This term represents the possible loss, theft, or breakage of inventory throughout the e-commerce fulfillment process. It is common for e-commerce fulfillment centers to have an allowance for shrinkage included in their contracts. This allowance means that up to a certain percent, your business will eat the cost of the lost merchandise. Typically, there is between 2%-10% of shrinkage in warehouse inventory.
Here are some additional qualities NextGen3PL provides:
- Updating inventory frequently, within one to two days of receiving inventory shipment. This way all systems are up to date on current inventory.
- Giving businesses direct access to their inventory systems. This allows for real-time data that can be critical for businesses when trying to maintain a steady flow of inventory.
- Having a low shrinkage allowance. If your eCommerce fulfillment center takes responsibility for inventory that is lost or damaged in the warehouse, your business won’t have to account for shrinkage when calculating stock levels.
Once NextGen3Pl receives the order, your product will start to be processed.
First comes the picking, one of our team members will retrieve the ordered item from your stores section. Next, packing, which is simply getting the order prepared to be shipped.
We use a packing slip to ensure each item ordered is packed in the exact fashion your request.
This could include special instructions on the type of shipping materials you'd like to use, boxes, envelopes, packing tape, bubble makers, packing peanuts, air fill, etc.
This could also include any custom packing experiences that will enhance the unboxing of your items on the customers end.
Last, once all of this is squared away a shipping label is added to the package.
Ecommerce shipping refers to the delivery methods you offer to your customers and how much these methods cost. There are many factors that can affect these methods, such as the location of shipping, where the order is being shipped, the weight of your product, and the speed of shipping you offer your customers. NextGen3PL offers bulk and discounted rates to businesses which creates fast and affordable shipping. Shipping carriers also pick up from our center daily to ensure fast delivery.
Returns in the eCommerce market are unavoidable. Returns management includes the processes of receiving, accessing, and processing the returned items so they are able to be put back in inventory. A dysfunctional return process can be more costly than the initial order was.
NextGen3PL makes returns for customers and businesses as easy as possible. A functional return policy is crucial as customers will remember how they had interacted with your business. Having an easy and quick return process can contribute to a higher return customer rate than the initial order itself. Here are some additional steps NextGen3PL takes in insuring good return management:
- Quickly putting return orders back in inventory systems and on the shelves. Returns that are not unpacked and processed limit the inventory available for sales.
- Handling customer service on returns. This allows you to focus on your business and increasing your sales.
Dropshipping is a term that means the business doesn’t keep their items they are selling in stock. Rather than keeping these items in stock, as the orders are purchased, the businesses then buy the product and from there it is directly shipped to customers.
Dropshipping is different from a third-party fulfillment service as businesses pay upfront for their merchandise. Then they use a third party to store and ship their inventory. When a customer places an order, the 3pl company takes merchandise directly from the business’s pre-paid inventory and ships that directly to the customer. The money from this order then is put into your business. The profit your business will receive is the difference between sales cost and wholesale cost, plus overhead.
3pl is more effective than drop shipping as it allows for a faster delivery rate to your customers. Your merchandise is already purchased and on hand. Therefore NextGen3PL is able to package and ship these orders out much quicker than businesses that use drop shipping as their form of inventory and order management. In addition to a quicker turnaround, once the order is placed, you will also profit more from each order through a 3pl. As you don't own the merchandise in drop shipping, a larger amount will need to be spent in order to get the necessary inventory for the customer, therefore limiting overall profits to your business.
NextGen3pl is an eCommerce fulfillment center that is motivated to create a solid platform to help your business with its order, inventory, and shipping management. Outsourcing these management systems can take less stress off your business, focusing your attention on increasing your sales. NextGen3pl provides solid order, inventory, return, and shipping management that will be beneficial to both your business and tour costumes.
NextGen3PL is an eCommerce fulfillment center that is dedicated to helping your business run as smoothly as possible. We create a quality platform for your business to assist with order, inventory, and shipping management. Outsourcing these management systems can alleviate stress from your business, allowing your attention to be more focused on increasing your sales. NextGen3PL provides quality and reliable order, inventory, and shipping management that is beneficial for both your business and your customers.