Order fulfillment is the critical factor of any eCommerce business. It is important to choose the right order fulfillment model to ensure that orders roll in and deliveries are made on time.
There are numerous order fulfillment models to choose from for your business; each has its unique value. It would be best if you chose based on factors like products, order volume, etc. Below are the three most common methods; Let’s take a look and decide which one is best for your business.
In-house order fulfillment
Also known as self-fulfillment, the in-house order fulfillment model happens when retailers complete every step of the process internally, without the help of a drop shipper or 3PL provider.
This method is standard for retailers new to the business, who start to manage inventory and pack orders right in their homes.
Advantages of in-house order fulfillment:
- You have 100% control of inventory, pick, pack, and ship process
- Low shipping cost since you do all the work
Disadvantages of in-house order fulfillment:
- Time-consuming – it typically takes up lots of time that could be used to acquire customers, develop products, and launch marketing strategies.
Third-party order fulfillment
Retailers usually use this method when they run out of inventory storage space and don’t want to waste time packing and shipping orders. By relying on 3PL to take over, you would have more time to promote your brand. 3PL would complete all the work for you, including receiving inventory, picking, packing, shipping orders, and dealing with return items.
Some of the top 3PL order fulfillment services with long-standing reputations are ShipBob, Red Stag, and DHL. Each 3PL is different and has its unique benefits that would vary depending on your requirements, such as custom packaging, temperature control, and more.
Advantages of 3PL order fulfillment:
- Cost-saving since there is no need to invest in the warehouse or staff to pick and pack orders.
- 3PL can deal better discounts with UPS/FedEx
Disadvantages of 3PL order fulfillment:
- They are the one who controls the quality of orders, so if they mess up, you will be the one to hear complaints from customers
Dropshipping order fulfillment
The method means that the manufacturer would produce, store, and ship the inventory. When customers place orders online, the charges would be forwarded to the manufacturer. Then, the manufacturer would ship products directly to customers. If you use this method, your customers might have to wait for their orders to be shipped from across the world.
Furthermore, you wouldn’t have complete control over inventory and order fulfillment.
Advantages of dropshipping:
- Dropshipping is convenient since it provides products and shipping services so that you can focus on other important tasks.
- You only have to pay for inventory therefore you can avoid expenses like warehousing, which makes this affordable
Disadvantages of dropshipping:
- No support for custom products
- No control over the process – if there is a miscommunication or product mishap from your customers, they wouldn’t want to hear that it was out of your control
Order fulfillment in the POS system
There are two options when you fulfill an order – manually or automatically. During the payment process, the ‘Auto fulfillment’ button will appear, and if you click on it, the order will be considered ‘Fulfilled’; if not, you will have to go back to mark it as fulfilled later.
Many POS systems support order fulfillment features, such as ConnectPOS – a feature-rich and robust POS system with cutting-edge technology for every business.
Fast and affordable shipping options are what customers look for when shopping online. Without the proper order fulfillment process, your business wouldn’t be able to deliver, ultimately losing the brand’s reputation and customers. To find more articles about technology like this one, visit ConnectPOS and check out our blogs.