We all know it - at the beginning of the first own online shop, pretty much all tasks fall back on you and the team. However, the desired growth of the business - especially in the field of logistics and shipping - can quickly get out of hand. That's why the implementation of fulfillment service providers makes sense in order to lighten the burden on online trade, save costs and make logistics processes more efficient.
But: How do you find a trustworthy partner?
To minimize chaos, we have identified five factors that can help you choose the right fulfillment partner.
How Should Your new Fulfillment Partner look like?
It is essential to communicate all desired services as precisely as possible. If your E-Commerce business has special requirements, you have to address them right from the beginning. In doing so, possible complications can be excluded in advance. It may also require the creativity of your new partner - especially with non-standard logistics procedures, thinking "outside of the box” can be helpful. It makes sense to choose a flexible partner who can adapt to innovations quickly if required.
Lege am besten vorab drei Dinge fest, die Dir für Dein Fulfillment am wichtigsten sind (zum Beispiel: reibungslose Shopanbindung, niedrige Preise, Echtzeitanzeige von Lagerbeständen) und kommuniziere diese im ersten Gespräch.
Transparency Right From The Start - The Pricing
If a company has captured your interest with a convincing offer, you should be transparently informed about the pricing right from the start. Do not only rely on the general offers - hidden costs can lurk everywhere. It is advisable to request an individual cost estimate. Are there monthly/annual fixed fees? What are the costs for extra services? Are there any minimum amounts? What we consider important here is transparency and fairness.
The Ideal Location of Your new Fulfillment Partner
To remain competitive - particularly in the E-Commerce Business - fast shipping is definitely important for customers. It is no longer appropriate to wait more than a week or even more for the required product - at worst, the customer will switch to a competitor exactly for this reason. Within Germany, goods can be shipped from almost any location within 1-2 days. Strategic location selection is therefore more of a "cosmetic" than a real effect, especially for small and medium-sized shops. You don't really have to consider the geographical proximity of your future fulfillment partner. By ensuring accessibility, it is not even necessary to be on site all the time - but if you are, it might be the wrong fulfillment partner. Much more important are cut-off times to ensure that orders are send out same-day.
The Customer is King
Customer care plays an enormous role due to the fact, that only satisfied customers will shop at your store again. Failures always happen, so it is even more important to quickly solve problems. Consider hereby your partner’s ability to solve problems and additionally his availability. How fast can your partner react to order delays? What is the speed and quality of customer service in the event of errors? Because if there is no sufficient customer care, customers can get lost.
Highlight Your Brand by Branding & Inserts
To build your brand, it is worth paying attention to small details. This could be a small message or your logo on the packaging - the possibilities are many and individual.
It's best to talk to your future fulfillment partner about the packaging options. Ideally, your service provider will accept your individual wishes or even advise you on the design of an optimal packaging material. In addition, you can have flyers with discount codes inserted to encourage further purchases. Your fulfillment service provider may even have customers in similar industries with whom you can "trade" flyers.
These five factors should now give you a great overview of how to choose your future fulfillment partner. It is always helpful to talk about all details and costs - so don't be shy! Finally, you should only commit to a partnership if you are convinced of their concept and can trust your chosen fulfillment partner.
Warehousing1 will support you in finding the optimal fulfilment partner. In an initial meeting we can discuss exactly how you imagine your perfect fulfillment service provider and what specific requirements you and your business have. Through our network of over 300 warehouse locations, we can then use AI-based software to identify the perfect service providers and make you tailor-made offers.