What to Look For When Choosing a Fulfilment Partner to Process your eCommerce Orders?
When it comes to the time when your business can no longer fulfil their orders in-house, and you are looking to choose a fulfilment partner, there are several factors you should consider first.
A Fulfilment house is a third-party firm that handle your product’s picking, packing and distribution side of your business. Fulfilment houses will receive your stock from your supplier, store the stock in their warehouse and then pick, pack, and send off your products whenever an order is processed. Fulfilment houses, like UK Fulfilment, also offer customer services and the processing of returns.
5 Factors you Should Look for when Choosing a Fulfilment Partner?
It may not be the most important factor in the list, but the location of the warehouse is something that you should consider when choosing a fulfilment partner. Using a fulfilment house which is centrally located and close to main transport links such as motorways and airports will allow your products to get shipped and delivered faster.
If you run an eCommerce business either on your website or use a website hosting platform like Shopify, Wix or Squarespace, it is integral that your store’s orders integrate with a third-party Fulfilment partner’s order and distribution software. Fulfilment partners, such as UK Fulfilment, allow you to integrate your sales channels, be it a website like Shopify, or a marketplace like Amazon and eBay, with their software - StoreFeeder, which takes & handles your product’s listings, orders, inventory, stock, and shipping from one place. Allowing you to run your business smoothly and with complete visibility.
If a fulfilment house offers a great service, it is more than likely to have testimonials on their website from clients or reviews on trusted sites like Trust Pilot. This should allow you to see how other companies value their service.
4. Costs & Fees
a. Set-Up Fees
Most fulfilment houses charge set-up fees, because the process can be both labour and time costly, however fulfilment houses like UK Fulfilment charge no fees for account set-up.
b. Storage & Warehousing
When it comes to storage fees these usually charged by how much room your stock takes up in the fulfilment houses’ warehouse and vary on how it is charged for - from the number of pallet spaces to per cubic feet or metre. Storage costs do vary from fulfilment house to fulfilment house so make sure to look at these costs and try to not store more of your stock than is required in a warehouse at any time. Using UK Fulfilment as a fulfilment partner you will benefit from lower storage costs, allowing you to keep profit margins high.
c. Picking & Packing / Order Processing
The order processing fees or picking and packing fees usually are charged as a standard cost for each of your business’s eCommerce orders, including an added fee for additional items packaged, but these will usually be charged at a reduced rate.
When obtaining a quote from a potential fulfilment partner you will usually be asked for your average number of monthly orders; if you have a high volume of monthly orders, you will get reduced rates on your picking and packing and obviously if your monthly orders are on the lower side, you may see higher order processing rates.
Using a fulfilment partner like UK Fulfilment you will be able to obtain low picking and packing costs. Alongside offering flexibility in picking and packing costs if your monthly orders fluctuate in volumes from month to month (ie larger sales months at holiday periods could allow you to obtain lower picking packing rates and vice versa).
d. Goods-In and Return Costs
Goods-in fees will also apply to most fulfilment houses, but these will be a relatively low cost to cover the unloading and unpacking of your products and are usually charged either by box,SKU or by pallet.
Other fees can include return fees, as fulfilment houses handle everything on the customer facing side of your business from returns to replacements to refunds. Be sure to find out what each company charges when a customer returns a product.
e. Minimum Fees
Minimum fees will also usually be put in place when partnering with a fulfilment house, this is usually to ensure that your business meets their minimum order requirements so that they won’t be running at a loss on your business’s fulfilment. However, these will be low, but you will need to make sure that your average monthly orders will exceed a fulfilment houses minimum fees or you will face costs for orders your business is not receiving.
If you are looking for a low-cost fulfilment house to partner with for your warehousing, picking , packing and shipment of your products, enquire and request a quote from UK Fulfilment here, to receive a free quote for fulfilment of your eCommerce orders.