Running an e-commerce business can be extremely rewarding work. It can also be extremely time-consuming.
Customer-facing activities are enough to keep most online businesses busy 24/7. These include building client satisfaction, responding to inquiries, resolving troubleshooting issues, and more.
There are also many back-office functions that are essential to e-commerce success. These include warehousing and fulfillment order tasks. Customers might not even know most of the details around how these activities occur. Still, they are critical to keeping the ebb and flow of your company alive.
With so much already on your plate, it can be difficult to find the time to devote to it all. That’s where 3rd-party fulfillment services come in.
By outsourcing a part (or all) of your administration and support activities to a 3rd-party outsourcer, you’ll free up time and energy to devote to more front-office tasks.
Interested in learning more? Let’s read on!
Outsourcing Fulfillment Order Functions Improves Efficiency
Manage the books. Answer the e-mails. Locate, package, and ship the orders. Hold the meeting.
You might feel like you’re getting more done when you multi-task. In reality, by stretching yourself and your team paper thin, you’re doing more harm than good.
Research shows that performing more than a single task at a time reduces your efficiency rate by 40%.
You shouldn’t have to juggle it all. Outsourcing your fulfillment order functions can result in an immediate increase in operational efficiency.
Time that was once spent tracking down and preparing orders by a specific deadline can now be saved. It can be devoted to more impactful, customer-facing tasks such as marketing and branding initiatives.
In short, you’ll be free to do the tasks that you and your team do best, without the added burden of handling tasks that someone else could take off your plate.
This is good news, as most business owners (63%) work more than 50 hours per week, though the average desirable workload is only 41.7 hours.
If fulfillment order requirements are holding your business back by reducing how efficient and effective your operations can function, outsourcing can help alleviate these pain points and more.
Improved Delivery and Shipping Boosts Customer Satisfaction
Research reveals more than 70% of online shoppers cite “free shipping” as the top factor contributing to their overall customer satisfaction when dealing with an e-commerce company.
Even if offering totally free shipping isn’t feasible to your business model, there’s still a way to encourage more business. The study also revealed that shoppers would pay more if shipping were only faster.
Outsourcing your fulfillment order tasks to a 3rd-party service can enable you to do just that.
One way this comes into play is by allowing you to strategically select your geographical preference to optimize operational logistics.
For instance, your company headquarters might be located in a specific part of the United States, but the primary market for your goods or services might be across the country.
How do you meet shipping and delivery demands then?
In this scenario, it would be unfeasible and costly to offer free shipping to the Continental U.S. Yet, what if a portion (or all) of your products were stored in and shipped from a warehouse closer to your core audience?
Suddenly, the logistics around shipping and delivery become much simpler to resolve. In addition, delivery times are reduced as the product takes a shorter time to travel from your shelf to your customer’s doorstep.
Being able to offer expedited services like this can especially come in handy during seasonal bursts in product sales.
Consider the holiday rush.
A recent study revealed that customers expect to be able to order a gift around December 17 or later and still receive it by December 24. Are your current operations set up to support such an expectation?
Outsourced Operations Can Lead to Financial Gain
Chances are, a large portion of your company expenses are tied up in back-end logistics, primarily warehousing.
Allowing a 3rd-party to handle fulfillment order tasks, specifically those that deal with storing and shipping products, can help alleviate this financial strain.
By moving some, or all, of your warehouse services to a 3rd-party outsourcer, you could greatly reduce your at-home warehousing needs. You may even be able to eliminate your own warehouse (purchased or leased) altogether depending on your circumstance.
In addition, reducing warehousing labor and resources can have a beneficial domino effect. One area that is indirectly affected is transportation.
Research reveals that total logistics expenses in the U.S. are around $1.45 trillion. Accounting for $900 billion? Transportation costs. Warehousing costs alone accounted for $143 million.
Outsourcing fulfillment order activity to a 3rd party cuts down on how far product will travel, and as such, how far each delivery person will be required to take it.
You could invest in multiple warehouses or storage units scattered around the country to fulfill this same end goal. Yet, the cost to set these up and staff them would be exorbitant.
Instead, you can work directly with one 3rd-party outsourcer and achieve the same result at a fraction of the cost.
Removing or at least reducing warehouse tasks from your operational docket can also save your e-commerce business valuable money on packaging costs (as many 3rd-party outsourcers can provide lower rates on such items), warehousing labor wages and taxes, and more.
Making the Move: Investing in a 3rd-Party Outsourcer
Every e-commerce business is different. Yet, a majority are looking to cut costs and boost customer satisfaction, all while building their bottom line.
Working with a 3rd-party outsourcer on your fulfillment order needs is an excellent way to achieve these end goals.
Your company can reduce operating expenses and conserve valuable resources. It will also be able to redirect efforts toward more customer-facing initiatives such as marketing and sales.
Interested in learning more about e-commerce fulfillment services? We offer one-of-a-kind listing, advertising, warehousing, and logistics platform that delivers on all of these initiatives and more.
Feel free to contact us, browse our blog archive for topics of interest, or leave a comment below and let’s start growing your business, together.