Selling on multiple eCommerce channels: the challenges of managing your inventory and shipping your orders

01 June, 2021

E-Commerce

There's so much opportunity to grow sales across multiple channels and countries but how do you manage operational challenges?

Find out more about Asendia's multichannel fulfilment and shipping services

 

As a growing eCommerce business, you’ll no doubt be hoping your ecommerce platform (Shopify, Magento, Bigcommerce etc.) will grow with you. You’ll need them to be scalable to cope with greater inventory, different options and a localised order process, depending on where in the world your customers are.

Thankfully, these ‘big three’ eCommerce platforms know this is something you need so they have flexible packages and options to help you grow.

Then there’s marketplaces, like Amazon, eBay, Etsy and many others. They all give you access to millions of shoppers and have an international footprint giving you lots of opportunities to grow.

But what about the real-world implications? It’s great having thousands of products listed on several channels, but how do you manage these listings, inventory and orders across these channels, where is this stock being stored in reality, and who’s getting it to your customer once they’ve placed an order?

Thankfully as retailer’s desire for multichannel sales has developed so has the technology to support this. There’s no longer the need to manually duplicate listings across multiple channels, assign inventory to these channels, and log in to each one to fulfil the orders. There are many channel management, inventory management and order consolidation tools available. What’s more, there are solutions to suit the smallest online store as well as enterprises.

While it’s relatively easy to grow your online presence by selling on more channels in more countries, and to access technology that streamlines processes, it’s not as easy to increase your operational team or storage space as sales go up, and even reduce them quickly if you have slow moment at various points in the year.

A third-party order fulfilment service is a great way of taking this weight off your shoulders. They’ll be able to share with you their delivery solutions, which have been finely tuned over many years, to make sure your orders are delivered efficiently, safely and securely.

But how can you be sure you’re going to get the right service from outsourcing this side of your business?

First and foremost, make sure they can integrate with your current (and future) eCommerce platform and marketplaces. They’ll need to be able to receive notifications into their system so they can then grab the baton and get the customer journey finished within the agreed timeframes.

You’ll also need to look at:

  • Delivery cost and options – their prices need to be right for you and your customers
  • Proven quality – check out reviews and listen to what other businesses have to say
  • International shipping and local knowledge – another big consideration if you’re expanding into new locations
  • Flexibility – As you grow can they adjust your package to cope? Can they offer storage space and manage your picking and packing too?
  • User friendly technology – you need to devote your time to running your business not learning a new complicated system that is painful to use
  • An easy-to-use service – the relationship needs to be nurtured but easy to manage

While it’s frustrating that Shopify, Magento don’t offer mail solutions outside of the US and Bigcommerce doesn’t at all, they are (at present) sticking to what they do best, eCommerce solutions.

Therefore, it makes sense to use a third-party delivery provider who knows what it’s doing to manage the real-world part of the customer journey, so long as they can interact with your eCommerce platform and deliver what you need.

Outsourcing any of your processes to another company is daunting. But with the extra resources you can access through a seamless integration with your business, and eCommerce platform, you really will start to see our business go from strength to strength.

To see how Asendia can solve your growing order fulfilment problems and take your business international, get in touch.


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Asendia's fulfilment and international shipping services for multichannel online stores

We handle the fulfilment and shipping of international orders for some of the biggest etail brands in the world and hundreds of smaller online stores too. Many of these sell on marketplaces as well as their websites.

Find out more about our international order fulfilment services

See details about our international packet and parcel services

 

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