When Black Friday is imminent and Christmas is around the corner, eCommerce businesses gear up for a steep increase in demand. If you handle all your operations in-house, this time of year can be particularly stressful, and the drop in orders as things settle down after January sales have ended can bring with it its own set of challenges.
If you’re reviewing your eCommerce fulfilment strategy and haven’t yet considered outsourcing your fulfilment needs, there are many reasons this could be an excellent move to help your business cope with highs and lows in demand.
Get a handle on large stock volumes
Fulfilment warehouses are not only very experienced in managing a large amount of stock but have the space available to hold it. If you are a small-to-medium-size business, the idea of forcing in pallets and pallets worth of product could put a huge strain on your own premises, so it makes sense to have these orders (and any returns) handled elsewhere.
Save money on extra staffing
A key advantage to outsourcing to a fulfilment centre is that with none of this extra stock coming to your site, there will be no need to interview and hire additional staff, or go to expensive agencies.
Reduce financial impact when demand slows down again
If your fulfilment provider offers flexible contracts, there will be far less impact when demand slows down again, even unexpectedly. There will be no need to reduce your own staffing levels, and no empty warehouse space swallowing up profits. A fulfilment house will also have options available to help you get rid of any redundant seasonal stock as cost-effectively as possible if delivering it back to you is not ideal.
Gain insight from expert IT systems
Some fulfilment companies, like James and James, are using cutting-edge technologies that not only increase efficiency for pick-and-packers but can provide you with real-time updates on stock levels and orders. Orders are also pulled through by our system at least hourly, so in times of peak demand, you can be assured that items are being picked and packed at a sustained level.
This should be a consideration in the process of choosing which fulfilment centre to outsource to – insights into which lines have performed brilliantly and which may be worth dropping could prove invaluable to maximising profit. Knowing where an order is at any precise point in time could also reduce the time your customer service team spends chasing up enquiries and improve customer satisfaction.
Focus more time on your business and brand
Perhaps the most obvious and most important benefit of outsourcing fulfilment of your eCommerce business is that you’ll be left with a lot more valuable time to focus on driving in traffic and getting those sales, rather than managing stock and orders.
To find out what our eCommerce fulfilment solutions could do for your business, get in touch.
It all began in 2010, when James Hyde and James Strachan couldn’t find a modern shipping service for the eCommerce business they ran. Faced with messy warehouses based on out-dated systems, they decided to build their own. We’ve not stood still since, helping hundreds of online brands scale up – and scaling with them.