How to choose an eCommerce fulfillment provider

Ask any ecommerce store owner, and they will tell you they are more concerned with the experience their customers get on the front end. They are always occupied with user experience (UX) on their site. However, what happens on the back-end is critical to giving expertise, and that’s where e-fulfillment providers shine. 

When operating a retail e-commerce site, you’ve to spend some good hours poring over the site  to get its feel and the look, the navigation features, the online shopping cart and other capabilities that help the customer get what they’re looking for; then quickly pay and get help when needed. But what happens in the background is what matters much. Processing payments is just a step; after that, the order has to be fulfilled and shipped to the customer’s location. Fulfillment services come in handy in accomplishing that assignment seamlessly, and they’ll help you manage the inventory availability, packing, shipping and, of course, handling returns, among other things. 

Flexibility and prices

When talking to an ecommerce fulfillment service, ask them about their billing. Avoid any large annual or monthly retainers. That’s because you may end up paying for the service when you don’t need it, or you’ve not reached the agreed threshold. For instance, if you’re selling products that are preferred during the Christmas season, you don’t have to pay a monthly retainer of say $400 in April, May, June and such months. If you agree to such a package, you will have to pay the provider even when you’re not shipping much. The best way would be to look for a low flat-rate pricing structure. That will ensure even if your company shipments increase, the cost won’t surge dramatically. 

Storage rules and fees

Some online stores demand that products be moved out of their facility fast. And any delay attracts charges. That forces merchants to use fast movers and get their products out of the stores. When looking for a fulfillment service, contact one like Order Fulfillment Services by RakutenSL that charges low storage rates and flexibility on how long you can keep the products in the warehouse. You want to avoid a situation where you have to pay for additional storage charges or, worse still, keep them at your garage. When you have a fulfillment service provider offering low and flexible rates, you will have an easy time fulfilling your customer orders. 

Simplicity in pricing

Even when you’ve found a vendor offering standard pricing, you have to look for hidden fees and other charges usually written in the fine print. Are there extra charges for dunnage (the packing peanuts protecting your goods) – are there charges for technology or fees when you’ve to talk to developers? DO they charge you every time you have to get help from the helpdesk? These hidden fees can easily skyrocket and could hurt your start-up business.

Can the fulfillment provider scale?

Your business is growing, and therefore you need a provider who will accommodate your growth. Is the physical warehouse large enough to handle the volumes you could generate in a day? Does the company have enough staff to meet your daily fulfillment demands? Do they have robust technology? Such and many other questions are necessary before you commit yourself to a fulfillment service provider.

When looking for a Fulfillment Company, check through all aspects to ensure you get one that will help you achieve your goals in the simplest way possible. Pricing matters much, and the best way would be to choose affordable and flat rates.