The Covid-19 effect on ecommerce was beyond any other effect ever experienced. With almost every aspect of life switched to online, ecommerce thrived and continued to grow, reaching USD 2.4 trillion globally. Such growth comes with challenges, fulfillment teams of many ecommerce businesses are running on full capacity (or more) for a while already. And flawless fulfillment is crucial if you want to retain your demanding online customers. One mistake and they are gone and so are their friends, colleagues and relatives. Have you ever thought of outsourcing a crucial (non-core) organisational business processes such as fulfillment? Keep on reading if you want to find out why you should do so, today.
1 Logistics are dominating your business
Picking, packing, solving possible human errors, managing the shipping of an order, making sure everything delivers in time, reverse logistics, refunding customers...
If your ecommerce sales are going up, things can quickly get out of hand. You might have found yourself flooded with orders. Although this is the reason for being in business, it can be extremely time-consuming and might make it impossible to cross off the rest of your to-do list towards growing your business.
When you outsource your fulfillment, you can focus on improving and growing your product assortment, marketing, the customer experience and anything else that results in even more orders. Why waste all your time and energy on something that can easily be outsourced to specialists that do it at least just as good as you?
2 Cross-border competitiveness
According to research, cross-border transactions grew by 24% in 2020, and are expected to reach a worth of USD 500 billion globally by 2025. The majority of webshops do have (occasional) orders from across the border. To really be able to compete with strong local ecommerce businesses abroad, cut off times and delivery fees are crucial
You need cross-border volume to get lower delivery rates, whilst lower delivery fees are needed to get cross-border volume. To get out of this catch-22 partnering up with a fulfillment provider makes sense. The fulfillment provider has the volume required for lower cross-border delivery fees. Make sure to ask any possible external fulfillment partner about their cut-off times. Fast delivery is crucial, even when your delivery fees are already low.
3 Excel in customer experience
Ecommerce efficiency comes with a logical side effect, the expectations of your (potential) customers are sky-high. Everybody is used to next day delivery nowadays and more and more players are offering same day delivery, in fact, 67% of consumers said they preferred same-day delivery, and 37% said they were even willing to pay extra for it. To be able to offer your cross-border clients this kind of delivery service, you most likely need to outsource your fulfillment locally. Only with local/regional fulfillment centers, a next day delivery service is possible.
According to research, about 18% of people said a slow delivery was their primary reason for cart abandonment. And half of them (50%) said their main reason to leave a transaction unfinished were high shipping costs. This means that people won’t buy anything that takes more time than what is expected or that costs more to send than what they are willing to pay. It can be said louder, but not clearer: Customers want fast and cheap shipping.
You can take advantage of fulfillment companies to improve your customer experience. Use their global network to ship locally, but with a global vision; operate from whichever warehouse is closer to your client, making it easier to reach them, and therefore faster and cheaper.
Just in case those 3 reasons didn’t make you tick the box...
...Here are a few more reasons why you really should consider ecommerce fulfillment outsourcing:
Pay only for what you use
By outsourcing your fulfillment, you no longer have to invest in your own furnished warehouse, IT and staff. Pay a recurring fee only for what you really use. This will most certainly reduce costs, opening up budget for revenue driving investments.
Scalable, quick and flexible
Outsourcing fulfillment operations, allows businesses to adapt as they go. This means that you can profit from the advantages of, for example, more storage space during peak season.
Around 22% of online retail customers end up returning their purchases, where return logistics costs are incurred. By working with an (international) external fulfillment provider, both you and your clients will profit from lower return rates due to local return rates.
Track your orders
Monitor every step of the way with the innovative software and tools external fulfillment specialists already have. You won’t have to invest in any devices, and you will easily meet customer expectations.
In conclusion, if you weren't thinking about outsourcing your fulfillment yet, now is the time to start doing so.