Online shopping has become a part of people's lives, from groceries to electronics to apparel, people purchase everything online. Consequently, the Indian ecommerce retail industry is growing exponentially; according to Statista, it is expected to reach $73 billion by 2022.
With the growth of the ecommerce sector, customer expectations in India have also undergone a change. Customers now expect a lot from ecommerce brands, including 2-day shipping, customised packages, real-time order tracking, active post-purchase communication and more. As a result, online brands must keep up with these standards to drive ecommerce sales and build loyalty.
However, ensuring cost-effectiveness and efficiency while delivering a superior customer experience (CX) can be challenging for ecommerce brands.
You must be wondering how to overcome the above-mentioned problem and ensure profitability for 2023. Ecommerce brands can find the right balance by leveraging ecommerce fulfilment services.
In this blog, you will learn what are ecommerce fulfilment services and the benefits of a logistics services provider to carry out these essential services.
Ecommerce fulfilment services refer to all the operations that facilitate the process of order fulfilment, i.e. receiving, processing and delivering online orders.
Let’s have a brief look at the processes involved in ecommerce fulfilment services:
1. Ecommerce warehousing
Inventory is stored in ecommerce warehouses till an order is received. Products are stored safely and in an organised manner to facilitate streamlined order processing when they are placed.
2. Inventory management
Inventory management is the process of receiving, storing and tracking inventory levels across the logistics chain. Inventory Management Systems (IMS) automate processes to reduce human errors and prevent situations like stock-outs through replenishment reminders.
3. Order management
Once you receive an order from a customer, the next step is to pick the product from its designated shelves in the ecommerce warehouse and pack it properly. The packed order is then marked ready to ship.
4. Ecommerce shipping
Ecommerce shipping refers to the process of delivering orders from an ecommerce warehouse or fulfilment centre to the customer’s location. You can partner with multiple courier partners to ensure cheap and fast delivery of orders.
5. Returns management
If a customer initiates a return for a product, ecommerce sellers have to pick the product from the customer and then asses its quality and restock or refurbish it, if possible. If managed effectively, returns can be a revenue driver for your ecommerce brand.
Outsourcing fulfilment services to 3PL providers like Eshopbox has multiple advantages for ecommerce brands; let's take a deep dive into them.
Selling on multiple sales channels is a great strategy to drive ecommerce sales and profits, as it helps you connect with as many customers as possible. However, managing inventory, orders and returns across multiple sales channels can be difficult. Partnering with a tech-enabled 3PL can save you trouble.
For instance, Eshopbox has pre-built integrations with multiple sales channels that you can connect with in just a few clicks.
An IMS (Inventory Management System) is a combination of hardware and software technology that helps keeps track of inventory levels across various stages of the order fulfilment process— from warehouse shelves to orders out for delivery and even returns. A robust IMS saves time and money, streamlines order fulfilment and has multiple other benefits.
Tech-enabled 3PLs like Eshopbox split inventory across multiple state-of-the-art fulfilment centres to enable you to gain a geographic footprint across India. Moreover, by storing inventory closer to customers, ecommerce sellers can reduce transit times and ensure lightning-fast shipping, an expectation of 42% of customers.
Customer Experience (CX) is crucial for ecommerce brands as it has quite the potential to increase customer loyalty and drive repeat purchases by delighting them. You can enhance CX through branded shipping, active post-purchase communication, and adding personalised touches to the shipping process.
Here's how Eshopbox alleviates customer experience to help you boost ecommerce sales:
According to research, 42% of customers are willing to pay more for an enhanced customer experience.
Improper management of returns can be unprofitable for ecommerce sellers. Moreover, a stressful returns process annoys customers and can hinder future sales. The good news is that returns management with Eshopbox can be a revenue driver for your ecommerce brand; let's see how:
3PLs utilise technology to reduce human intervention in ecommerce operations and, as an extension, reduce the scope for human errors. Robust technology has several benefits, such as saving time and reducing costs.
For instance, Eshopbox uses technology like conveyer belts and RFID tags to quicken the shipping process and ensure an exceptionally high order accuracy rate. In addition, a 3PL service provider like Eshopbox follows a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and automated workflows to streamline order processing and optimise shipping.
Ecommerce metrics and reporting tools can help ecommerce sellers make data-driven decisions for your ecommerce business. Tech-enabled 3PLs like Eshopbox provide ecommerce sellers with data and insights to determine sales velocity, return rate and more to take profitable business decisions.
Efficient order fulfilment is the backbone of a profitable ecommerce business. While order fulfilment methods such as in-house fulfilment and dropshipping seem attractive, they come with a plethora of challenges which hamper an ecommerce brand's growth in the long run. Partnering with robust ecommerce fulfilment services like Eshopbox helps you overcome order fulfilment challenges like a pro.