How to choose a fulfillment center?
Selling products or items online, there are many essential factors to consider, not only with a niche product. If you want to have 20% gross profit per sale, here is the cost breakdown: 40% for marketing expense, 20% product, 15% fulfillment cost, 5% other costs. A qualified fulfillment company makes your online orders fulfill accurately and deliver safely to your end customers.
If you make the right choices, your fulfillment partner will help you scale the business, unleash online orders, and decrease costs.
But how do you choose or find the right fulfillment company?
6 essentials to choose a fulfillment center
1. Order fulfillment software
To accurately fulfill your online order is the essential ability of a fulfillment center. This point should be in the first criteria. How the fulfillment center integrates your order? By CSV, Excel files, or by API integration. There are many ways to incorporate online orders. The safest, accurate, and easy way is through API integration with your online platform. It allows the fulfillment center to receive your orders automatically and mark the order as shipped with tracking information back to your store. Imagine the orders you download from the store, send to the fulfillment center, then send you shipping detail, and you need to upload the tracking information back to the platform. However, it squeezes your time for launching product and store marketing. If you hire a virtual assistant to do, it compresses the profit. And meantime integrates order with CSV or Excel, increasing the risk of inaccurate order fulfillment.
2. Same-day fulfilling
Once your customers placed orders, they are willing to receive the product as soon as possible. If your fulfillment receives orders, picks items, packs orders, and labels orders on at same day. It helps increase the order total transit time. Also, it allows the customers to track their shipments. Only when 3PLs pick up your shipments on at same day, that’s called same-day fulfilling.
Shipping is crucial for online orders because the shipping cost will eat your profit if you don’t know to manage it well, and delivery performance will impact your store branding, customer service, loyalty, and customer returning. A qualified fulfillment center needs to have a partnership will a variety 3PLs, to meet the online sellers’ requirements for destinations, on-time delivery rate, successful delivery rate, and shipping cost. A good fulfillment center needs to negotiate with 3PLs for the discount shipping rate for their customers. And the fulfillment center needs the latest warehouse pickup time from 3PLs. (what’s the latest pickup time-3PLs pickups the shipments in a fulfillment center, then send them to the 3PLs operation station to arrange air/round/sea ship for shipment. The latest pickup time allows fulfillment to fulfill the daily orders as many as possible before 3PLs pick up the shipments.)
4. Packaging options
A proper way to pack the product may decrease the risk of damage during transit, drop the shipping cost (due to the airship may apply volumetric weight), increase customer satisfaction (imagine the customers’ mood when receiving a well-packed shipment or a broken shipment). The fulfillment center needs to suggest based on the sellers’ product specification and shipping method. Like some easily broken items may apply for bubble wrap, peanuts foam, or airbags. Also, you may look for customized boxes, tapes, or poly mailers. The fulfillment center helps you to find suppliers.
Transparency is a crucial component for choosing a fulfillment center. Once you send the products to a fulfillment center, they have all control of your inventory. The inventory data should be updated daily. And the inventory on hand and available reflect the inventory changing flow.
The essential part leaves in the last. When you choose a fulfillment center, there slight difference in cost charge. Typically, there are some basic charges, receiving cost, storage cost, and fulfillment cost. The extra costs like relabel, promotion insert, customized API integration, and so on. Receiving cost charges by hourly, by pallet, by boxes. Some offer free 30 days storage fees, which means the products fulfill in 30 days. There is no storage fees.
Why choose eComhub as your fulfillment center?
- 99.99% accurate order fulfillment eComhub fulfillment center integrates with most major online platforms. Like Shopify, Woocommerce, Esty, Shopee, Lazada, Wish, Amazon, and so on.
- 100% transparency eComhub fulfillment system offers sellers a visible order process and inventory dashboard, let sellers know the daily processed orders, the inventory levels, and credit balance.
- Multiple and customized packaging solutions eComhub allow sellers to choose the packaging method and material and help sellers have customized packaging solutions.
- Shipping optimization eComhub logistic experts help sellers with shipping solutions, increase successful delivery rate, increase on-time delivery rate, and reduce shipping costs.
- Low fulfillment cost with no extra cost eComhub offers 30 days free storage for most products and lower fulfillment cost for most item fulfillment.