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Guide to E-Commerce Fulfillment in 2022

Before we get into what you need to know about e-commerce fulfillment, why it’s so important in 2022, and how it can grow your online business, let's first talk about the supply chain issues of 2021.

We’re all familiar with the shipping delays and supply chain issues that flared up since the start of the pandemic. Many of the supply chain challenges began with pandemic-related restrictions and shutdowns. Those delays were exacerbated by other factors, such as:

  • Weather events.
  • Port congestion.
  • Lack of port warehouse space.
  • Labor shortages in port unloading and trucking.

In many cases, all of these problems fed into each other, creating feedback loops that continued to make the delays worse.

Of course, this impacted both e-commerce businesses and customers in a negative way. Vendors were unable to get the supplies or goods they needed in a timely manner, and consumers received orders late or not at all. Delivery reliability went out the window, and many e-commerce businesses found themselves suffering when it came to cash flow and customer service.

It’s important to note that shipping woes are expected to continue through 2022 and, unfortunately, it’s likely to get worse before it gets better due to recent events, sanctions and lockdowns.

On the bright side, many e-commerce businesses that worked with a fulfillment partner avoided some or all of the supply chain challenges brought on by the pandemic. Here’s how.

Benefits of an E-Commerce Fulfillment Company

First, a fulfillment partner takes the burden off e-commerce shops with limited staffing and resources. Staff can focus on what they do best and don’t need to worry about shipping requirements, returns, delays or tracking down lost orders.

Additionally, e-commerce businesses only have to make a limited number of shipments when they work with a fulfillment partner. Inventory is sent to the fulfillment center in bulk, and it’s the job of the fulfillment company to get products to customers as orders come in.

In spite of the supply chain issues and delays, consumers still have high expectations when it comes to online shopping. Working with a fulfillment partner can mitigate many of the supply chain challenges.

For example, an e-commerce fulfillment provider has multiple warehouse locations in strategic regions and key markets, which can expedite delivery times since shipments are closer to the customer. Same-day and next-day delivery options also become feasible, which gives your business an edge over the competition.

The advantages of using a fulfillment service don’t just benefit online retailers. When consumers get their orders correctly and on time, they see businesses in a more positive light. But, customers are less likely to shop with a business again after a poor delivery experience.

>>>Related Resource: Avoid these 6 e-commerce customer mistakes.

Other perks to partnering with a fulfillment service include:

  • Eliminating the need to invest in or repair equipment for picking and packing (more on that below).
  • Avoiding errors in order selection and shipping.
  • Outsourcing the headache of handling returns.
  • Expanding your business to the international market.
  • Lowering shipping costs and reducing cart abandonment.
  • Scaling your business as it grows without incurring additional costs.
  • Getting access to key data and insights on customer habits and shopping trends.

>>>Related Resource: Check out our e-commerce fulfillment checklist for 2022.

What Services Can an E-Commerce Fulfillment Company Provide?

You probably have a pretty good idea by now of what e-commerce fulfillment entails, but let’s summarize what services you can expect from an all-in-one e-commerce fulfillment partner:

>>>Related Resource: Learn how to find the right fulfillment partner for your business.

What to Look for in an E-Commerce Fulfillment Partner

If you’re ready to get ahead of the competition, eliminate hassles and improve customer satisfaction, you’re ready for an e-commerce fulfillment partner. First, take a moment to think about the unique needs of your business. Not all fulfillment partners are created equal and some are better positioned than others, especially when it comes to subscription box fulfillment, health and beauty fulfillment and nutraceutical fulfillment.

Next, use the checklist below to help you find the best e-commerce fulfillment company:

  • Have sufficient warehousing for your merchandise.
  • Provide comprehensive and modern inventory management capabilities.
  • Offer shipping capabilities, partners and resources that are both reliable and cost-efficient.
  • Provide a variety of shipping solutions, such as overnight delivery or international shipping.
  • Offer flexible customization for kitting, batching, and inclusion of print materials.
  • Able to scale as your business grows.
  • Create custom development solutions for storefront integrations.

You may not need all of these features now, but keep in mind that you may in the future. It’s better to find a fulfillment company that offers more than you need, so you can grow without relying on multiple vendors.

Grow Your Business with GLF E-Commerce Fulfillment in 2022

With more than 20 years of experience in e-commerce fulfillment, GLF takes pride in offering unmatched reliability, personalized customer service and transparent pricing. While we deliver fast, we always take the time to learn the unique needs of your business so that we can proactively support your goals and create personalized solutions that sync with your existing processes. Ready to grow? Contact our team of e-commerce fulfillment experts today.

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