The eCommerce industry has grown substantially over the past couple of years. It’s also projected to continue growing throughout this decade.
Working with a fulfillment company is one of the best ways to ensure your customers get their orders on time. However, not everyone understands fulfillment outsourcing as they should.
Let’s take a look at the most common outsourcing mistakes that you need to avoid.
Using Price as Your Primary Factor When Choosing a Provider
Interestingly, many business owners attempt to find the cheapest form of eCommerce outsourcing possible. As you can most likely tell, this can easily lead to a large number of complications.
When it comes to working with a fulfillment partner, you often get what you pay for. This means that choosing the least expensive fulfillment provider likely won’t get you the results you want.
In some cases, it could even cause unexpected issues when working with them.
To elaborate, hiring a low-quality or inexperienced fulfillment service may result in numerous customer service problems. Orders may not arrive on time, or products may arrive damaged.
This can cause significant damage to the reputation of your brand.
Being Unwilling to Share Relevant Data
In order to make the most of your fulfillment partner, you’ll need to share relevant data with them. This means information about your sales volume, best-selling products, etc.
Some entrepreneurs refuse to disclose this information with a fulfillment provider. This is often done out of fear the provider will use this information maliciously.
To clarify, a business owner might worry that a third-party fulfillment service will sell their customer information to the competitors. Or, they could be concerned that the provider could use this info to start their own company.
In the vast majority of cases, this type of thinking is simply irrational.
If you want to get the best results, you’ll need to share the data that your provider requires. Keep this in mind when moving forward.
Having Unreasonable Expectations
More likely than not, working with a fulfillment partner isn’t going to transform your business overnight. It’s also not going to allow you to drastically scale your customer base.
In practice, hiring a fulfillment service is a long-term strategy that can help you prioritize other obligations of your company. It can also help you maintain a certain level of customer satisfaction.
If you unreasonably expect your fulfillment partner to catapult your business to new heights, you’re going to be fairly disappointed.
Instead, understand that a fulfillment service is one of many tools that you can take advantage of to grow your business. This will allow you to make the most out of this professional relationship.
Failure to Research Your Fulfillment Provider
It’s essential that you properly research your fulfillment provider before working with them. Unfortunately, it’s fairly easy to fall victim to shady partners if you have no prior knowledge.
These fulfillment companies may be notorious for mishandling inventory. Or, they may fail to adhere to the standards they established during your agreement with them.
Checking online reviews is a great way to gain insight into what you can expect. It’s worth noting that overly positive reviews are not always honest.
The same can be said about reviews that are overly negative.
For example, a competitor may leave false reviews to lower the online rating of another fulfillment center. Similarly, they may leave false positive reviews about their own company in order to artificially increase their reputation.
In general, the most honest reviews are ones that provide a detailed account of the experience the user had with the company.
Not Properly Communicating Volume Forecasts and Fluctuations
Some fulfillment providers have order minimums that you must adhere to each month. Although each provider is different, it’s not uncommon for fulfillment companies to impose fees if you do not ship a certain number of orders within a 30 day period.
This is simply due to the fact that they become much less profitable when they are not consistently shipping products to customers.
If you anticipate a volume fluctuation, you need to communicate this with your provider as quickly as possible. Occasionally, they may even be able to work with you and come up with a solution that benefits both parties.
It’s also essential that you do your best to estimate the duration of this lapse in performance. This will give them a realistic look at what they can expect from your company in the coming months.
If you don’t take the steps, you may encounter a handful of consequences. In addition to fees, your provider may simply cease working with you.
Overestimating Your Savings
As previously mentioned, working with a fulfillment company is not going to be a transformative experience within the short term. Part of understanding this means that you should also avoid overestimating your savings.
While it’s true that outsourcing order fulfillment will both save you money and generate additional revenue, that may not be as much as you think. As you begin to scale, though, the real benefits begin to kick in.
You can check out this website for more information about what to look for in a fulfillment provider.
The Fulfillment Outsourcing Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult
Ensuring that you avoid the above pitfalls will allow your company to thrive in the future. So, keep these fulfillment outsourcing mistakes in mind while moving forward.
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