Many eCommerce business owners run an operation that is classed as small.
Whether just starting out, or not having the time or desire to scale, there are many reasons why small businesses are so prevalent in this industry.
So why would a small business want to outsource its order fulfilment?
Well, with success comes more work. With the emergence of more customers and orders comes the need for more products, more storage space, and more time spent fulfilling your orders.
Then why not look to a fulfilment service to not just remove some of the strain from your shoulders, but to also take your business to the next level.
Here are seven key benefits of using a fulfilment service, such as Diamond Logistics.
Keep control of your inventory
Managing an inventory isn’t easy.
With sales constantly being made and new stock regularly being delivered or produced, it can be tricky to know just how much of each product you have.
This is often a source of trouble, as inaccurate stock levels often lead to stockouts and overselling.
These are detrimental to a business as they risk losing out on sales and also harming their relationships with their customers.
In fact, over a third of customers will opt for a competitor to make the purchase if they see an item is out of stock on your site.
So how can a fulfilment service help?
Well, simply put, fulfilment services have expert staff and state-of-the-art technology that is made to deal with the constant flux of inventory levels. With every sale, every return and every delivery, your stock levels are updated, meaning you can rest easy knowing every item you sell is in the warehouse, waiting to go.
Ship with speed
Speed is important in shipping. If you can’t offer a service that will get your product to your customer quickly, you risk losing out on sales to your competitors who can.
A study found over a quarter of online shoppers stated Next Day delivery as a key reason they shop online, so if you’re not offering this, you may be missing out on these potential purchases.
This can be tricky when fulfilling orders on your own, especially as the amount racks up.
A fulfilment service will optimise the full process, from the moment the order is received to the moment it leaves the warehouse. Speedy shipping isn’t just about choosing the best courier, it’s about picking efficiently, printing labels without fuss, and assigning products to orders to be packed quickly.
The entire fulfilment service has to be streamlined to achieve Next Day and Same Day delivery, which are now often seen as major positives when choosing where to shop for many potential buyers.
Boost your revenue
It is often said in eCommerce that time is money, and there’s a reason for this.
If it takes you or a member of staff half an hour to pick, pack and ship an order, then this is costing you time. As your business grows you may have to hire staff to help fulfil orders or rent storage space which all adds up in cost if you don’t have a streamlined operation.
A fulfilment service provides expert pickers whose methods drastically trim the time it takes to fulfil an order.
This means more orders can be processed in a quicker time, meaning you are spending less on the process but receiving more in return.
With a boost in order processing speed, comes a boost in reputation which in turn will lead to more orders.
While it does cost to use a fulfilment service, your revenue is sure to rise because of this, as your customers grow to love the efficient, accurate service you can provide.
No more chasing orders
For a small eCommerce business, selling on multiple sales channels is vital.
The feeling of rubbing shoulders with the huge brands and seeing your products on websites such as Amazon, eBay and Etsy is really exciting, and the benefits are vast.
Nearly 90% of online shoppers in the UK use Amazon, with over 15 million Prime subscribers in the UK alone.
Selling on these eCommerce behemoths is important, but also tricky.
It can be tough to juggle orders and keep stock levels up to date as you sell across many different channels. Using a fulfilment service means the hassle of processing orders is handled, leaving you safe in the knowledge every order will be processed and fulfilled quickly, no matter where it came from.
With tools such as Despatchlab by Diamond Logistics, your orders are consolidated onto one platform, making sure none are ever neglected.
Global marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay want their sellers to provide a good service to their customers, therefore can hand out penalties if a business isn’t up to scratch.
Slow deliveries and neglected orders are huge contributors to a business’ behaviour score, so using a fulfilment service that is sure to maintain high standards will keep your health score high and keep you selling to an audience of billions of users.
Grow your own way
If and when the time comes that you want to scale your business, it can feel daunting.
When operating a small business and storing your products in your home or a small storage space, the idea of taking on more items and more customers when you’re already working long hours can seem impossible.
A fulfilment service is a way of scaling your business without the stress of taking on more work. More products and orders can be dealt with easily by the fulfilment company who often operate inside a large warehouse and can offer more space.
If you are in the early stages of your eCommerce career, then don’t let the fear of scaling stop you from doing so.
Using a fulfilment service means you have the time to grow your business the way you want, which brings me to the next point.
Have time to run your business
When the thought crossed your mind about running an eCommerce business, you probably didn’t imagine wrapping up parcels all day.
Opportunity cost is a big factor in the decisions made on how to run your business.
Do you want to spend all day fulfilling orders? Or will your time be better spent marketing your products, communicating with customers, and building your brand?
If the answer is the latter, then maybe a fulfilment service is for you. Removing the strain and time it takes to fulfil orders means you are free to spend the hours saved working on other areas of your business.
By removing the focus from fulfilment, you can really focus on the main reason you embarked on this journey, to sell your product.
While many people may see using a fulfilment service as losing control over your product, it is actually the opposite. By handing over fulfilment, you have the time to grow the business your way and in the mould that you envisage for your brand.
Cut out errors
When dealing with lots of orders that are all needing a quick fulfilment, mistakes happen. We wouldn’t be human if they didn’t.
Especially in industries such as fashion eCommerce, where different sizes and shades can look very similar, it is easy to pick the wrong product from the shelf.
Just because it is easy though, it doesn’t mean it’s not costly.
Spending money on returns and damaging customer relationships are some of the consequences of fulfilment errors, of which picking errors are the most common.
A fulfilment service uses expertly trained staff to deliver the best service possible, as well as using the latest technology such as barcode scanners to ensure the product being picked is the right one and is assigned to the right order.
When building a business from small to large, your reputation is paramount to making customers take a chance on you, so by minimising errors in your fulfilment, you are ensuring the best service possible for all customers.
2 in 5 eCommerce sellers now outsource some of their fulfilment, and the number is rising.
There’s good reason for this.
A fulfilment service makes the whole process quicker, more accurate, and removes the strain of processing orders from the seller. It allows a business owner to have the time to really grow the business and provides the perfect platform for them to do so.
If you operate a small eCommerce business, why not take a look at what Diamond Logistics can do for you to help take your business to the next level.