Outsourcing your order fulfilment allows you to ensure a professional delivery for every buyer, providing the best customer service exactly when it counts – at the delivery of the product. To many online shops, their order fulfilment outsourcing is as intrinsic to their operations as minibus insurance is to a taxi, coach or vehicle hire firm. They simply wouldn’t set their precious cargo on its way without it. Because what outsourcing your order fulfilment provides, is the peace of mind that everything is in place; that you can deliver exactly the product and service that your customers expect, without the fear of wasting your precious time, space and energy in the administration. It is your assurance that you have the ability to continue your steady (or more rapid) growth by providing a great customer service – a service that will encourage repeat business. It is this acute attention to detail that your customers really will appreciate.
What Sort of Business Benefits from Outsourcing Order Fulfilment?
Any business can outsource its order fulfilment – whether you are a limited company or an individual sole trader, selling anywhere from eBay and Amazon to your own ecommerce websites. Most choose to outsource at the “crunch point” – once their own storage and delivery needs become ineffective in terms of either space, cost or time.
If you are looking for a way to streamline your growing business without hiring extra staff or renting warehouse space, outsourcing your order fulfilment might be the ideal solution.
The Space Saving Benefits of Outsourcing
A growing number of online businesses – especially eBay shop style companies – are established from back rooms, bedrooms and garages, where it is convenient to store only a small amount of stock. Once demand starts to grow, space becomes incredibly important so many small businesses find they need to invest in further storage – racking where a bookcase may once have done the job, and warehousing in the place of the modest garden shed.
If you don’t increase the amount of stock you hold, you won’t have the capacity to provide the quick delivery your customers deserve – and that they’ve come to expect of ordering online.
Even when you have fulfilled your storage solution, you still need to find all the extra resource to do all the weighing, labelling and posting of your products.
When you outsource, you simply redirect your suppliers to send your stock to be stored at the secure fulfilment centre – where it is kept well-ordered and in the optimum conditions for its product type. Everything that makes its way to the centre is measured, weighed and recorded online so you can take stock counts without having to leave your home office.
Once an order is placed, your stock is picked, packed and dispatched – sent to your customer in a seamless and timely fashion.
If you’re operating a small business, this flawless customer service helps you boost your brand; helping you to further your public perception as a competent and trusted organisation.
Why Outsourcing Order Fulfilment Increases Customer Satisfaction
More consumers in the UK use the internet to shop than in any other country in Europe. Eight out of 10 UK internet users order goods online, an Ofcom report states, and numbers are set to grow. With this continued increase in internet sales, businesses should look at their delivery and fulfilment services in order to provide the best possible proposition for their valued customers.
As an online business, your primary concern should be achieving the highest levels of customer satisfaction throughout the entire product journey – from the basket to the front door. If your online business involves the delivery of a product, you need to pull out the stops to ensure your items are received on time and at the correct location. Nothing damages a brand image more than angry, unsatisfied customers who like to talk. Remember, more than three quarters of the country’s internet consumers are also users of social networking sites, where gossip spreads like wildfire.
This is especially poignant when you’re dealing with deliveries scheduled for a specific day, as it is possible for consumers to claim compensation for items which are not delivered within the specified time frame. If it doesn’t cost your company in cash, it will most certainly have a negative effect on your brand image.
Outsource and Save Time
Small businesses or online start ups may find that at the beginning of their endeavours they have the time and inclination to visit the Post Office to send each individual parcel. However, as a business grows and gains momentum, they often find that these tedious trips take up precious time, which could otherwise be used to a greater advantage.
At around the time when business starts to increase, many small enterprises choose to outsource their order fulfilment to a professional company. This allows them to remove the stress of delivering their own parcels, so they have more time to focus on running the other aspects of their business. However, businesses can remain secure in the knowledge that their products will be delivered in a professional and timely manner.
Lisa West is a freelance business writer from England who covers logistics issues for a number of transport and shipping blogs. Many small businesses waste too much money trying to do for themselves what an outside firm could do for them cheaper and more efficiently.