When you first start up your E-commerce business, it’s normal to do most things yourself. After all, you’re seeing how things go, therefore it would be a bold move to outsource from the get-go. However, as businesses start to grow, the time that is spent on areas such as fulfilment and marketing can rocket. What used to take you just a few hours each week has now turned into a full-time job in itself. Not only does this leave you with less time to focus on your business, but it’s inefficient and usually more costly. We’re guessing if you’ve come across this blog, you’re considering outsourcing your fulfilment services? If you’re thinking about it, take a look at some of the signs below to see if you’re ready to outsource your fulfilment.
- You’re spending too much time on it
- You want to grow your business
- Your shipping costs are too high
- You want to expand into international markets
- You’re looking to cut costs in the business
- There’s a lack of internal skill and/or resource
- You want to improve your customer experience
- You don’t have enough storage space
- You have seasonal peaks in demand
1. You’re spending too much time on fulfilment
The first sign that may suggest you’re ready to outsource your fulfilment is if you think you may be spending too much on it. From keeping track of your orders and returns, to preparing and packing orders – not to mention the time spent in lengthy queues at the post office. All this time soon adds up, leaving you with less time to work on your business. Outsourcing the process means that you can hand over the entirety of this process, leaving you with more time to spend on what you enjoy about running your business.
2. You’re looking to grow your business
Sign number two, you’re looking to grow your business. What comes with business growth? An increase in online sales! Think about how much time you’re already spending on fulfilling orders at the minute, and how much time that’ll take once you have an increase in sales. You’ll also still be expected to uphold your high-quality levels of customer service. All of this whilst finding the time to grow your business further. By outsourcing your E-commerce fulfilment, we’ll handle the entire process for you, leaving you with plenty of time to work on growing your business and improving your website to get more orders.
3. Your shipping costs are too high
If you’re handling your fulfilment process in house, that includes the shipping of all your products. You’d be surprised at how quickly the costs add up; storage, packaging, labels, postage and tracking. It can get pretty pricey quite quickly, and that’s without adding any extras in there! You can significantly reduce your shipping costs when you outsource the process, as fulfilment partners like ourselves benefit from reduced rates; meaning you can save some serious cash!
4. You want to expand internationally
So the time has come when you want to expand your business internationally – amazing! However, expanding into international markets comes higher shipping costs. There are also a whole host of different laws and regulations that you need to follow to avoid fines and other penalties. A specialist fulfilment company like ourselves will ensure that all international laws are adhered to, and in a cost-effective way – so you don’t need to worry about this. Instead, you can focus your time on securing the orders within your new market.
5. You’re looking to cut costs in the business
Perhaps you’re looking at where you can cut costs within your business. Whether that’s to operate more efficiently, to invest in new people or technology or to grow your business in other areas. You can easily cut costs by taking in-house fulfilment out of the equation. You will no longer need to spend on wages, shipping and storage; that’s what we’re for. This allows you to free up some cash, and inject it into different areas of your business.
6. Lack of internal skill or resource
When you’re running a start-up, you learn a lot. You’re your own sales director, finance director, head of marketing and fulfilment manager in one. But as your business grows, you get more and more orders and less and less time, it can be difficult to juggle everything. You might have found that you lack the skill, or resource to handle this efficiently and effectively. If nothing is done about this, it can lead to more mistakes being made and a slower order turnaround time; leading to unhappy customers and negative brand perception. To alleviate these worries and leave you with more time to work on what you’re best at in your business, you can outsource to an experienced fulfilment provider.
7. You want to improve your customer experience
As we’ve mentioned above, as a business grows there is a lot of pressure to get orders correct and delivered to customers in a timely manner. We live in a time when users are used to next day delivery being offered as standard, slow delivery times could be the difference between users choosing you and one of your competitors. If you’re doing this alone, or with a small team it can be difficult to offer this service, whilst still keeping everything else going.
Another factor to consider is that an increase in orders often comes with an increase in returns to deal with, it’s important that the returns process is as simple as possible for users. In fact, as many as 67% of shoppers check the returns page before making a purchase; so if yours isn’t user friendly you could be in trouble. Many fulfilment service partners like ourselves handle the entirety of the returns process for you. Should your customers wish to return their orders, we will visually inspect the item, update your inventory or scrap the item, depending on your choice.
8. You don’t have enough storage space
Whether you’re getting more orders, or expanding your product line the issue is the same, you need more storage space. Unless you want to be filling your home with stock, or renting expensive warehouse space, it might be beneficial to look at outsourcing your warehouse and storage to a fulfilment partner. We have large warehouses to accommodate for your low or high amounts of stock; leaving you with one less thing to stress about.
9. You have seasonal peaks in demand
If you sell seasonal products or go through fluctuations in terms of supply and demand, you’ll understand how tricky it can be to manage orders and storage. At certain times in the year, you’ll be receiving a much higher quantity of orders than others, meaning you’ll need more resource and storage capacity, both of which come with a high cost. If you’re looking to handle this in house, hiring temporary workers or paying overtime can be costly – not to mention the price of storage! Instead, by outsourcing your fulfilment, you’ll only pay for what you need, when you need it. This means that when you’re going through a busy period we can pick up the orders, and ensure there is no compromise on delivery times or people receiving the correct orders.
Do any of these signs sound familiar? If so, it might be time to look at outsourcing your fulfilment process. We offer a trial period, letting you try UK Fulfillment Service for free to see if we are the right partner for you.