Bobbie Ttooulis, Group Marketing Director, GFS, takes a look at the pros and cons of In-House Fulfilment vs Working with a Fulfilment Partner:
Starting your own ecommerce business is fun and exciting, but as the owner of a small business, you may find yourself doing it all – from product development, customer liaison, all the way to fulfilling and shipping your orders.
When you’re doing it all, how can you achieve your ambition to grow and diversify your business to reach new markets and customers?
Fulfilment centres take the pressure off small businesses by picking, packing, and sending parcels out. And when the fulfilment partner is the right fit, you can trust that all of it is handled while you focus on more strategic aspects of your business.
So how does working with a fulfilment partner really differ from managing fulfilment in-house?
Finding orders, packaging them up and getting them sent is a timely process for a small business. Often it’s left to the business owner to take multiple trips to the post office to get all the orders out. Whilst you want your business to grow, more orders mean more pressure on you as you try to fulfil them as quickly as possible. Delays can mean unhappy customers and can affect your opportunities to gain loyal customers or benefit from word of mouth.
Working with a fulfilment partner means that all your stock is safely stored, and when orders come in, you can trust that they will be quickly and efficiently sent out — meaning happy customers and repeat business!
Unfortunately, an unavoidable part of eCommerce is returns. Even with the best of intentions, there will be some customers who will change their mind or feel the product isn’t quite right once they see it. Managing returns can be a headache, as you deal with customer questions, wait for the return, assess the condition of the item to see whether it can be resold, to then get it restocked and back on your website for resale if possible.
With a fulfilment centre, you can completely stay away from the hassle of returns management! They can sort the return, assess whether it can be resold and get it back onto shelves faster and with much less hassle!
When you are managing parcel volumes yourself, the simplest “headache-free” route is to have one type of delivery option. Working with multiple carriers requires more time as you manage different contracts, multiple integrations and the different delivery options available to you, and not to forget, multiple drop-offs or pick-ups. But having different delivery options is essential as customers have been known to abandon their baskets when there’s a lack of delivery options from the retailer.
A fulfilment centre often already has contracts with multiple carriers and can easily ship using different delivery options. With an easier integration on your website, you should be able to give your customers different delivery options, increasing sales and making customers happy.
Managing and Storing Stock
On top of everything else you have to do, keeping an eye on your stock levels and ensuring you are regularly ordering the right amount of products or materials is just another thing to keep track of!
Working with a fulfilment centre means everything is safely stored at the warehouse, and you get access to a stock management system to keep an eye on what’s going in and out, and what you may need to re-order!
Open Day at GFS Fulfilment
GFS Fulfilment’s state-of-the-art technology and tailor-made pick and pack services means you can find a solution that is bespoke to you and your business, no matter how detailed or complex. With over 50 years of experience, your stock is in safe hands with GFS.
Want to see how it all works? Join us for the GFS Fulfilment Open Day to witness what a stress-free fulfilment partnership can do for your business.
Along with a complete tour of our fulfilment facility, meet some of GFS’ customers who run businesses of a scale similar to yours and get an understanding of how partnering with GFS Fulfilment gave them the confidence to grow their business, reach newer markets and create happy customers.
Get complete event details and Book Your Spot right away.
Thursday, 9 February
11am to 2pm incl. lunch
GFS, Horizon West, Canal View Rd, Newbury RG14 5XF
Looking for more answers? Contact us here.