The pros and cons of Efulfilment services

23 October, 2017

E-commerce has revolutionised the ways that we retail and shop, opening up new markets for a whole range of different businesses. It also brings its own unique set of challenges for every business to provide a satisfying customer experience.

E-commerce fulfilment (efulfilment) is one solution where the process of picking, packing and shipping is outsourced to a third party – but is it right for you? These are some of the pros and cons of efulfilment.

The cons of efulfilment services

You have no control over the processes involved. It’s so important to choose the right provider to work with because they will be in control of everything, from the care taken with packing, to ensuring no mistakes are made. For some businesses, this loss of control is difficult to handle.

Efulfilment is not always cost effective. It’s a case of working out whether this method is a good option for your business and finding the right efulfilment partner. Outsourcing fulfilment offers the opportunity to create many cost savings in the right circumstances. However, if the provider has hidden costs or you have products that just sit on shelves and don’t sell it many not be as cost effective as you had hoped.

There’s not much scope for your own branding. Many efulfilment providers will use only their own generic packaging so you may not be able to send goods out in your branded packaging this way.

The pros of efulfilment services

You’ll save on shipping. The shipping costs are one area where you can almost guarantee savings when working with an efulfilment provider. For a small business shipping costs can be astronomical but these tend to drop when you’re partnering with an efulfilment provider who benefits from the lower shipping rates that come with sending a high volume of deliveries.

Inventory is no longer your problem. You don’t have to spend time doing manual inventory audits as these are carried out by the provider.

Seasonal spikes are easier to handle. As long as your efulfilment provider has enough product then spikes around Black Friday or Christmas, for example, won’t put excessive pressure on your business as they’re dealt with by the fulfilment provider.

The burden on you is reduced. Many tasks and processes will no longer be on your list – for example, handling returns and customer service, as well as responding to the need to scale your business up for sales increases or down for slow periods. Instead, you’re free to focus on other key elements of the business, from growth to marketing.

Warehousing and Fulfilment

Whether you are a leading brand or young e-commerce business, our order fulfilment centre in Bedford can provide you with high quality and low cost order fulfilment solutions.

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