As the e-commerce industry continues to grow, outsourcing order fulfilment can provide many benefits such as reduced operating costs and lower shipping rates. Fulfilment companies are capitalising on this rising demand, but what qualities make a great fulfilment partner?
1. Location and Speed
Offering fast delivery is a key way to compete with companies selling similar products to yours. E-commerce businesses will be particularly interested in how quickly fulfilment partners can deliver their products to customers. Orders must be picked, packed and dispatched as quickly as possible. Selecting a fulfilment partner that guarantees rapid order turnaround will keep delivery times to a minimum, thereby helping to build your brand’s loyalty.
Consider also the location of your proposed fulfilment partner relative to your base. Whilst we’re all becoming increasingly familiar with remote working, being able to drop in to the warehouse for a review meeting or to examine some returns is a distinct advantage over having to undertake a trek to a distant location.
2. Customer Service
Exceptional customer service is crucial within the e-commerce sector where competition for orders is fierce. Providing the best customer service possible fosters customer loyalty and improves customer retention. You need a fulfilment partner that takes pride in its work and looks after you and your customers.
The best partners will be able to connect with you via phone and email for day-to-day operational matters, and electronically (API or EDI) for order transmission. They will appoint an account team to look after your activity so you always have at least one knowledgeable point of contact for general liaison.
The best fulfilment companies will focus on the customer at every stage of the process to ensure the highest possible service standards are maintained.
If you select an inexperienced partner, you risk delivering a poor brand experience to your customers. Hiring a reputable fulfilment partner with many years of experience ensures that your activity is in good hands.
Within the fulfilment industry, the ability to prevent problems arising is key to maintaining customer service and usually comes from previous experience dealing with the myriad issues that can occur. An experienced, reputable fulfilment partner will have the depth of knowledge to enable them to anticipate and address potential challenges before they impact your supply chain, ensuring a seamless fulfilment process and a positive brand experience for your customers.
Industry-leading fulfilment companies rely on the latest technology to improve efficiencies and provide a better service to customers. They use state-of-the-art systems to automate certain activities, monitor inventory, and track shipments, all of which can significantly improve the efficiency of the fulfilment process.
By partnering with a technologically savvy fulfilment company, you will benefit from these systems without needing to invest time and money into the technology yourself.
The best fulfilment partners are flexible, and will quickly respond to any spikes in demand, ensuring all orders are fulfilled promptly, with minimal delays.
They also need to be responsive to changes in your product range, enabling you to launch new items in the shortest possible time and dispose of obsolete stock without incurring unnecessary storage charges.
EC Group has successfully provided tailored logistical support to clients for many years, utilising industry best practices and expertise in order fulfilment. Ideally located thirty minutes from central London, EC Group offers fast delivery times and a flexible approach to meet the needs of you and your customers. EC Group provides reliable order fulfilment and professional customer service support. Together, these will add real value to the customer experience, helping to enhance your brand’s reputation and grow your business to its full potential.
To find out how we could improve your order fulfilment, please contact EC Group to discuss your current logistical requirements.