E-fulfillment is one of the most important elements of a successful ecommerce business. Many people do not understand the term completely, so we will be defining the term, as well as defining what successful e-fulfillment looks like. E-fulfillment is easy to understand, but there are a lot of facets to it, and even those who use it may not be aware of all of them. This article approaches the term from a marketing perspective.
Let’s start by defining the term. The word e-fulfillment is actually a combination of two different words: “ecommerce” and “fulfillment.” Fulfillment simply refers to a customer’s order being put together and shipped out to them. Amazon has fulfillment centers around the world that fill customers’ orders and get it out to them in a timely fashion. If you have an online business, or you are thinking about starting one, then e-fulfillment is one of your primary concerns. However, even if you are just a marketing or advertising professional within a company, e-fulfillment is still something that you need to be concerned about and understand how it works.
The E-Fulfillment Provider
One of the things that you will notice about e-fulfillment is that although the word can apply to filling your own orders with products from your own warehouse, it usually refers to a service rather than a particular method or tactic. E-fulfillment services are companies that fill all or part of the order that your customer makes. Some e-fulfillment services offer complete, top-to-bottom fulfillment service that takes care of everything from the moment that your customers check out on your website to customer service even after the sale. We will take a look at all of the different aspects of the e-fulfillment company and the process behind it.
Advantages of E-Fulfillment
First, let’s discuss some advantages of e-fulfillment services that you should be aware of. First, e-fulfillment takes the work out of your business. You don’t have to worry about that part at all. In most cases, you don’t even need to do customer service unless there is a problem with your website or payment gateway. You basically can run your entire business by yourself, leaving the difficult stuff to an e-fulfillment provider.
The second advantage to be aware of is that e-fulfillment services almost always save you money. You don’t have to stock massive quantities of items, have a warehouse, hire employees to fulfill orders or any of the other huge costs associated with order fulfillment. Although the disadvantage of using a third-party to fill orders is that you have to pay a fee for each order, but the savings more than make up for it.
Third, e-fulfillment is absolutely necessary. Your customers need to have the best experience possible if you want them to come back to you again and again. Choosing the right one is not only vital, but it is rather difficult and requires a great deal of research. Remember, the e-fulfillment company is your partner in business.
How E-Fulfillment Works
There are a couple of ways that e-fulfillment can work. First, it might be a company that already has products and services that you can sell, although this is less common. What usually happens is that you choose the products that you want to sell in your store and the e-fulfillment company ships them to their warehouse and keeps them there for when customers order them. As soon as a customer orders something, the e-fulfillment service pulls the item and ships it out to them. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have everything you need, and you usually have to work within a certain amount of space or dollar value of the items.
But the e-fulfillment service can really be a great help to businesses who just want to sell online without any of the hassle. You get people to your website to buy products and the fulfillment service takes care of the rest. This works out really well for anyone who is just a single operation. All they have to worry about is their own website, and the outsourcing will do the rest for them.
The bottom line is that e-fulfillment is an incredibly useful tool that has become quite common for ecommerce websites. You may not be able to compete with Amazon on many things, but if you have a niche site and are able to offer the same shipping cost and speed as Amazon, you can compete in your own niche.