An order fulfillment service is also known as third party logistics service (3PL), who will take care of everything about the fulfillment process, including warehousing, picking, packing and shipping to your customers globally. An order fulfillment company helps to simplified and streamline the fulfillment process, while you just focus on selling. But how does it work?
You inventory is delivered to the fulfillment warehouse
The first step is to ask your suppliers to deliver goods to the warehouse of a fulfillment company. You would let the fulfillment company know all details of the order: from what products to expect, how much to expect, and even what condition those products should be in. Once an order fulfillment company receives the goods, they will verify the quality as well as quantity against the information you’ve provided. If and discrepancies happen, they will let you know in the first place.
Fulfillment company tags and stores your inventory
After check-in your inventory, they will add the product SKUs to their warehouse management software so that they can effectively track the location of the products and number of products in stock. If your products do not have SKU or barcodes yet, they will apply and generate them for you. When these steps are done, they will store your inventory and manage them by the warehouse management system(WMS). By the way, some order fulfillment company, like ChinaDivision, offers free warehousing for 90 days, you will not miss that.
Fulfillment software integrates with your shopping cart
With your inventory safely delivered to and stored by your fulfillment company, they’ re now ready to process customer orders. But to improve order processing efficiency and relay orders to a fulfillment company automatically, the best way is to integrate with your shopping cart. Many order fulfillment companies support seamless integration with shopping carts, such as Shopify fulfillment integration, BigCommerce fulfillment integration, WooCommerce fulfillment integration, eBay, Amazon and so on, so that orders can be downloaded automatically. Complete integration means your fulfillment company sees the order information as soon as you do.
Pick, pack and ship
When a fulfillment company receives orders successfully, it’s time to pick, pack and ship your orders. They offer kitting service to combine different products into one product kits to save you shipping cost, in case that your customer receives separate packages. They also provide custom packaging to help improve customer experience. Taking advantage of the good relationship with major shipping carriers, they can offer discounted shipping cost. By the way, if you need a professional China sourcing agent, ChinaDivision can also source products from China for you.
For returns handling, you have to establish a clear return policy for your customers and make sure it’s understood by your fulfillment partner. Products returned would go through careful inspection and be handled properly according to your returns criteria.
Outsourcing order fulfillment to a 3PL company allows online merchants to focus more on what they are good at, like selling, instead of being distracted by the tedious order fulfillment process. A fulfillment company also helps to cut down shipping cost and deliver a happy customer experience.