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Third-party fulfilment: How it benefits ecommerce brands in unimaginable ways
Order fulfilment

Third-party fulfilment: How it benefits ecommerce brands in unimaginable ways

Versha Kamwal
June 25, 2022
7
mins read

The Indian ecommerce industry is experiencing an upward growth trajectory.  According to IBEF, the Indian ecommerce sector is expected to reach US$ 111.40 billion by 2025 and is projected to surpass the US to become the world’s second-largest ecommerce market by 2034.

Furthermore, ecommerce is catering to the needs of 10x more customers than before. Not just this, customer expectations have also changed and become much more dynamic with the expansion of ecommerce.

The convenience of ultra-fast order delivery and superior customer experience has become every online shopper’s absolute favourite.

To meet such high expectations, ecommerce brands are in dire need of a robust system in place to keep their supply chain agile.

In this blog, you will learn what is third-party fulfilment, fulfilment methods available to ecommerce brands with their pros and cons, and the benefits of third-party

fulfilment.

What is third-party fulfilment?

Third-party fulfilment refers to the outsourcing of ecommerce order fulfilment and logistics processes to a third-party company, i.e. 3PL (third-party logistics) provider. These operations include ecommerce warehouse management, inventory management, order processing, shipping orders, and managing returns.

Moreover, 3PL providers allow ecommerce brands to automate shipping and fulfilment with powerful tools, technology and infrastructure.

Third-party fulfilment vs other fulfilment options

Third-party fulfilment vs other fulfilment options

The benefits of using a third-party fulfilment service

Your fulfilment process can either drive you forward or hold you back. For that, it is essential to consider outsourcing fulfilment to (3PL) provider and reap the following benefits:

1. Pre-built and custom integrations

Third-party fulfilment providers like Eshopbox have pre-built integrations with shopping carts, marketplaces, ERP, accounting software, and analytical tools. Usually, ecommerce brand struggle while integrating with these applications as they are time-consuming and troublesome. Fortunately, with Eshopbox’s 2-step integrations, ecommerce brands can connect with these applications instantly without any hassle.

2. Technology

Instead of investing in advanced technology to keep the supply chain agile, third-party fulfilment providers enable ecommerce brands to take advantage of their next-gen technology. This helps them to automate entire ecommerce operations including order fulfilment, returns, inventory management, and more.

3. A distributed network of fulfilment warehouses

Third-party fulfilment providers like Eshopbox have a distributed network of fulfilment centres across India. For instance, Eshopbox’s fulfilment centres are located in Mumbai, Haryana, Kolkata, Banglore, Delhi, and Hyderabad. Such multi-location warehousing allows ecommerce brands to gain a geographic footprint across India—enabling them to achieve lightning-fast shipping speed and attain higher ranks in search results of marketplaces.

Furthermore, a tech-enabled 3PL like Eshopbox also enables ecommerce brands to

  • Plan their ideal inventory distribution by analysing historical data with no manual effort, input or calculation.
  • Traverse all the fulfilment centres and gives real-time insights into inventory location and volume.

4. Inventory management

Ecommerce brands can track and monitor their inventory accurately and efficiently with third-party fulfilment providers like Eshopbox. Apart from having full visibility of your inventory levels across all sales channels through a unified view, 3PLs like Eshopbox also help you:

  • Sync your inventory across all sales channels every 5 minutes to relay accurate inventory levels in real-time and prevent overselling
  • Maintain optimum inventory levels to avoid under-stocking and overstocking
  • Restock inventory to prevent stockouts by ensuring timely replenishment
  • In case of a return, ensures quick turnarounds and add inventory back to your active inventory

5. Warehouse management

Third-party fulfilment providers like Eshopbox offer efficient warehouse management to ecommerce brands. 3PLs adhere to standard operating procedures (SOPs)  for every warehouse operation and help them rise above common warehouse management problems.

Moreover, things can go wrong even in the best warehouses—but third-party fulfilment providers are always prepared for it. For instance, ‍Eshopbox's fulfilment centres are equipped with state-of-the-art devices and gadgets to provide the highest level of security. These include, security cameras, bio-metrics, key-cards, metal detectors, multiple sources of power backup, fire extinguishers and other safety equipment.

6. Streamlined order management

A small mistake or error in order management has the potential to collapse the entire workflow of a fulfilment process. Fortunately, third-party fulfilment providers like Eshopbox can automatically consolidate orders from multiple sales channels into a unified view. This allows ecommerce brands to have a real-time view of the entire order processing operations, such as the status of all the orders.

7. Freedom to use the same inventory across sales channels

Third-party fulfilment partners like Eshopbox have a multichannel solution that can help ecommerce brands to unify their fulfilment process. For instance, when you store your inventory at Eshopbox’s fulfilment centres, you have the flexibility of using the same inventory pool across multiple sales channels, unlike FBA. For instance, ecommerce brands can use their shopify inventory on marketplaces as well.

Moreover, ecommerce brands can still maintain the prime badge on Amazon. This means ecommerce brands can increase their sell-through rate by relaying their inventory to Amazon, Shopify and other sales channels simultaneously.

8. Efficient picking and packing

Picking and packing are among the most important processes in order fulfilment that also causes some of the biggest problems. Luckily, with a third-party fulfilment partner, you can optimise the picking and packing process to ensure incredible order accuracy. 3PLs usually follow Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to make picking and packing process as efficient as possible. Moreover, 3PLs reduce common human errors by leveraging power technology, such as barcode scanners, conveyor belts, intelligent robots, and more.

9. Strong shipping network

Ecommerce shipping is a challenging aspect for most ecommerce businesses. So, it's essential to create an effective shipping strategy that ensures seamless order fulfilment and keeps a check on costs. Third-party fulfilment partners like Eshopbox can help ecommerce brands ensure the same by giving them access to a strong shipping network.

  • Eshopbox leverages a powerful shipping network so that ecommerce brands can reach customers across 29,000+ pin codes in India while saving 45% on shipping costs.
  • Eshopbox has strong tie-ups with multiple courier companies, enabling ecommerce brands to take advantage of negotiated rates and bulk delivery discounts.

10. Customer experience

Satisfying customers is the ultimate goal of all businesses. If you want to delight your customers, you must focus on the customer experience. Third-party fulfilment providers like Eshopbox give access to self-service customer portal that allows ecommerce brands to create an Amazon-like experience. The customer portal helps them to:

11. Adjustment to changes in order volume

Ecommerce brands can severely be harmed by sudden influxes or dips in order volume as they might not be prepared to manage the order fluctuation efficiently. Fortunately, third-party fulfilment partners’ scalable storage and expertise can help ecommerce brands to manage variability in sales effectively. For instance, Eshopbox re-allocates fulfilment resources according to the current order volume to manage the demand fluctuations of an ecommerce brand.

12. Seller privileges on marketplaces

When ecommerce brands partner up with a tech-enabled third-party fulfilment partner like Eshopbox, they are optimised for Amazon Prime and close to winning the Amazon buy box. Similarly, Eshopbox enables ecommerce brands to get an F-assured badge. Let’s see how:

  • Eshopbox takes care of the stringent fulfilment metrics criteria of Amazon and Flipkart.
  • Eshopbox ensures one-day delivery by storing inventory across its zonal fulfilment centres.
  • These seller privileges will help ecommerce brands to build the trust of customers to ensure higher sales.

13. Advanced reporting and insights

Tech-enabled third-party fulfilment partners like Eshopbox can give ecommerce brands access to powerful reporting tools. This allows ecommerce brands to gain visibility into their performance and make informed decisions. For instance, Eshopbox’s actionable dashboard allows ecommerce brands to leverage analytics, periodic reports and key metrics to find out their sales velocity, return rate and many more ecommerce metrics. Moreover, if you have a large number of data (e.g. orders), then you can use smart rules to filter them and make the list easier to manage.

14. Returns management

A third-party fulfilment provider like Eshopbox can enable ecommerce brands to manage returns efficiently by helping them to:

  • Ensure a fast and simple process for initiating a return
  • Align return shipping of the product and conduct a quality check on returned products
  • Make sure that the returned product is restocked in the available inventory and is re-sellable quickly
  • Turn refunds into exchanges with easy one-click exchanges

15. Cost-efficiency

Third-party fulfilment providers help ecommerce brands to attain higher efficiency throughout the order fulfilment process, resulting in greater savings. However, there is a long-prevailing myth that partnering up with 3PLs is a costly affair but according to facts, 3PLs help ecommerce brands to save more money down the lane.

16. Seamless reconciliation across sales channels

Tech-enabled third-party fulfilment providers like Eshopbox enable ecommerce brands to keep track of their payments and fees with automated reconciliation across multiple sales channels. These include Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Tata Cliq, Shopify and more. Such automated reconciliation helps brands to monitor and track the fees charged to them and the payment received from the various service providers. Thus, allowing them to identify:

  • Payment is received for which orders
  • Payment is awaited for which orders
  • Fees are overcharged for which orders according to provisional fees
  • Payment is due for which orders

Bottom line

Order fulfilment is one of the most important processes that determines the success of an ecommerce brand. Having a sound strategy in place can help you succeed in this highly competitive ecommerce landscape where customer expectations rise day by day. By considering the unique requirements of your business, you can choose a fulfilment method for your business. Moreover, to get closer to success, you can consider partnering up with a third-party service provider whose expertise lies in ecommerce fulfilment services.

Connect with our fulfilment expert today.

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