Our Guide To Understanding E-Commerce Logistics And Fulfilment
March 16, 2023
What is eCommerce fulfilment?
eCommerce fulfilment is the process by which you deliver goods sold on your online platform to the customer; it is primarily centred around inventory organisation, order assembly, and delivery. eCommerce retailers can perform this service independently or outsource, for example, by partnering with a third-party logistics company (3PL). Throughout this article, we will discuss each component in more detail and, as a result, share the advantages of eCommerce fulfilment.
How does the eCommerce fulfilment process work?
In eCommerce, fulfilment is more than just the process by which your product orders are packed and delivered to the customer; third-party providers are an extension of your business, assisting your retail business to run seamlessly.
Fulfilment comprises several different components, starting from:
- The integration between the eCommerce store and the 3PL system.
- Inventory Management: the stock is ordered, stored and managed.
- Fulfilment of orders: picking, packing and shipping
- Reverse Logistics
eCommerce Fulfilment Explained
The foundation of your retail business is fulfilment. To manage your outsourced eCommerce fulfilment effectively, you must thoroughly understand the steps involved in the process.
The integration between retailers and 3PL providers: As a third-party logistics company, the technology and software it uses to connect with retail businesses form the foundation of its success. Integration between the eCommerce store and the 3PL provider’s internal system should be seamless. This way, orders placed on your online platform will be sent directly to the fulfilment centre’s team, who will assemble and ship them.
eStore Logistics offers cloud-based management software that allows businesses to view and engage in their warehouse operations daily. The advantage of this is that retailers can access the system at any time to monitor their inventory and distribution, make changes to stock, and read reports on the stock’s trajectory.
Inventory Management: Firstly, businesses need to send their products to the fulfilment warehouse of the 3PL provider for the company to distribute to their customers. As soon as stock arrives, it will be logged onto the system and placed onto the shelves, ready for the eCommerce order fulfilment process to begin. 3PLs can track inventory scheduling, stock arrival and existing inventory levels, log stock location in the warehouse, and generate reports on business activities.
Fulfilment of orders – picking, packing and shipping:The fulfilment centre will collect the products from within the warehouse (picking), assemble them in the packaging allocated to the order (packing), and the third-party logistics provider will ship them to the customer. This process must take place as quickly as possible to ensure customer satisfaction and timely delivery.
eStore Logistics uses AI-powered technology and services to reduce order assembly time and generate a more time-efficient fulfilment process. As a result of using autonomous shelving units, our pickers can remain in one location, and the stock can be transported directly to the picking station, thus speeding up the delivery of products to customers.
Reverse Logistics: Following your business return policy, your 3PL provider will receive your customer’s return or exchange request and issue an RMA (return merchandise authorisation). If your fulfilment provider processes the return promptly, your customer will receive their refund promptly. As a result of efficient returns, your stock will be available for sale again.
While offering reverse logistics, eStore Logistics can also perform as a return assessment provider. All information pertaining to a return will be documented, including linking the product to the original order, verifying the returned items, and determining their suitability for resale.
How Should an eCommerce Order Fulfilment Provider Be Selected?
You should ensure that any third-party fulfilment provider you partner with will be able to deliver the kind of service and value that will benefit your eCommerce business. The following factors should be considered when making this decision for your business.
- How many warehouses do they provide, and are the locations close to your target market?
- Does the warehouse have adequate space for the quantity and size of your product?
- What is the size of their networks of distribution?
- Are they able to integrate seamlessly with your existing system?
- Do they have a reputation for excellent service within the industry?
- Do they offer a range of fulfilment services, and can they be tailored to your business?
Reasons to Outsource eCommerce Order Fulfilment
Outsourcing order fulfilment to an experienced third-party logistics provider offers eCommerce businesses a streamlined, cost-effective solution to managing order assembly and distribution. The following are some reasons your company may benefit from outsourcing fulfilment.
Focus on sales and marketing: Outsourcing fulfilment and logistics to the experts allows you to reinvest the hours spent managing orders into focusing on the products and marketing of your business.
Reduce the shipping costs: Depending on the service provider, you may be able to access various warehouse facilities, allowing your products to be delivered quickly to your customers. Further, as high-volume distributors, 3PL providers frequently receive reduced rates from carriers, allowing you to choose the most cost-effective rate.
Reduce operating costs: It is important to note that even when running as a 1PL, there are costs associated with packing, shipping, and taking stock inventory, as well as the possible additional expense of renting warehouse space. Even though outsourcing fulfilment may incur a fee, with eStore Logistics, you can save overhead costs and only pay for your required services.
Provide Accurate Orders: In the case of outsourced fulfilment, you will be able to provide accurate information during the checkout process, including estimated delivery time. A reliable outsourced partner has the experience, resources, and safeguards to provide accurate shipping information and perform on time, every time.
Extend your Reach: The correct order fulfilment provider can help your business reach new heights. If you self-manage your distribution, calculating shipping rates and predicting delivery times can be challenging; however, outsourcing fulfilment can allow you to reach more customers and expand your market.
eStore Logistics is the best e-commerce fulfilment service for you. We offer logistical solutions across several warehouses in both Melbourne and Sydney. As the largest provider of order fulfilment Australia-wide, we offer reliable, flexible and tailored services to your business.