Meeting high customer expectations for shipping
Logistics is often an underestimated but critical success factor for your online shop. After all, the delivery options offered, the delivery time and the quality of delivery service play an important role in the purchase decision. According to the study, 50% of online shoppers have reported abandoning the purchase process in the past because no satisfactory delivery options were offered. Adding to that, 54% of consumers state that they stopped the ordering process because of shipping costs. In short – if the fulfillment of orders from your online shop is not optimized, many potential buyers will be reluctant to place an order.
When the order volume is still rather low, e-commerce merchants can send parcels to customers themselves without any problems. Many Shopify Shops use shipping apps to generate shipping labels or bring the parcels directly to the post office. However, the more parcels you send, the more complex the logistics becomes: You have to consider the packaging material, there are more returns, the stock has to be checked regularly, there are complaints and you have to make sure that parcels are sent as quickly as possible. This creates even more stress and oftentimes there is no time left to focus on your core competencies. Sooner or later you realize that you have to build up a warehouse and hire employees to take care of order fulfillment. Having a suitable warehouse management system is also essential to ensure that this is done efficiently. In addition, packaging and shipping costs also increase. For this reason, many e-commerce companies, especially D2C brands, decide to outsource their fulfillment to professional service providers, also known as 3PL service companies. In this way, fixed costs can be minimized and buyers’ expectations of shipping can be successfully met.
What to look for when choosing a fulfillment service provider
Choosing a fulfillment partner is not an easy task. There are numerous providers on the market and in order for the outsourcing of logistics to work smoothly and scale successfully, various factors must be taken into account. This is a fundamental decision that can have a strong influence on the further development of the business and should therefore not be made hastily.
Technical integration of the e-commerce system
Many fulfillment service providers today offer technology solutions to connect the online shop directly via digital interfaces. This enables a Shopify retailer, for example, to fully integrate and automate logistics. Due to the automated transmission of order data from the shop system to the warehouse, the fulfillment can commence without delay to enable a fast delivery – no need for the online merchant to intervene. With regard to the technical integration, however, it is necessary to question exactly which functions are available. Above all, real-time stock management is advantageous to avoid stock outs. In addition, the return of shipment data to the online shop should function smoothly so that full transparency is provided for both seller and buyer.
Flexible packaging process
The packaging not only ensures that sold products arrive safely to the customer, they can further be used as a powerful marketing tool. Through a unique unboxing Experience, e-commerce merchants can successfully strengthen their branding and add a touch of personalization, which will boost customer’s satisfaction. This increases the probability of repeat purchases as a first step towards customer loyalty.
Therefore, when selecting a fulfillment partner, it is important to consider whether they offer individual packaging solutions that can put the brand in the spotlight and communicate the corresponding values. Especially popular are ecological packaging materials that emphasize the environmentally friendly and sustainable aspects of an online shop.