When does a small business need eCommerce fulfilment?

Put simply, eCommerce fulfilment is the process of getting the stock you sell online to the customers that have ordered it. Many businesses outsource their fulfilment because it often saves time, money and resources. 

Small businesses should consider eCommerce fulfilment services when they are looking to scale up and grow their business. If a business is looking to stay small, the chances are that fulfilment can probably be covered in-house. However, if a business is growing from small to large at a fast rate, it is wise to employ the services of an eCommerce fulfilment specialist. 

What is the difference between eCommerce and fulfilment?

Alone, fulfilment is the process of preparing and delivering a customer’s order. eCommerce fulfilment combines this step into a much wider process, from order placement right through to delivery and returns. eCommerce fulfilment services cover every step of the process from the initial placement of an order to the final stage.

When should I outsource fulfilment?

There are several signs to be looked out for when it comes to knowing whether to outsource your eCommerce fulfilment. These include:

  • Slipping delivery standards
  • Difficulty in keeping up with the volume of orders 
  • Costs that are too high to make a profit
  • Rapid business expansion
  • Difficulty in offering free, fast shipping

Essentially, you will know when it feels right to outsource your fulfilment. You will probably feel like your control is slipping from your hands and your orders are getting a little too much to manage. 

What are consolidated warehouses?

Consolidation warehousing is a form of warehousing that involves the combining of a large volume of small shipments from various suppliers in the same geographical area. The process of combining these shipments results in a more efficient process of more economical and larger shipping loads that are based in the same area. 

Making use of a consolidation warehouse can improve supply chain performance and efficiency at the same time as reducing overall costs. It helps both business performance as well as customer satisfaction and the protection of the environment. 

What is a bonded warehouse? 

A bonded warehouse is a technical term for a warehouse that stores goods that are not yet paid for. Bonded warehouses are sometimes called customs warehouses. Essentially, imported goods that are intended for export can be stored in the UK (or another country) without actually entering the UK market.

When products are in bonded warehouses, businesses don’t have to pay VAT or import duty, so they are essentially duty-free spaces.