The selection of a suitable e-commerce fulfilment agency can be somewhat daunting for those retail entrepreneurs who have just started their journey. It can be intimidating for new starters to hear words such as SKU, logistics and supply chain without yet knowing their true meaning. That said, they have to sail out of the jargon-ridden vagueness and find a partner who can manage their fulfilment processes and help them develop their e-commerce businesses despite order capability gaps.
Choosing the right fulfilment partner is important to allow entrepreneurs to focus on their business, but it will almost certainly feel overwhelming. It is crucial to find someone to outsource to who shares the same values as you and has the best resources to make your business thrive.
When Should I Outsource My E-Commerce to a Fulfilment Agency?
The time to outsource to a fulfilment company is when you are packing boxes, not running your business, or have too little storage space, whether that is with your current fulfilment partner or working from home.
Orders from 150-200 a month move the classification of your business from a ‘start-up’ to a ‘scale-up’ business. This can make it difficult for you to focus on growing it, as you are spending too much time doing the job that could be outsourced to a third-party logistics (3PL) warehouse or fulfilment centre instead. At this point, it is important to outsource. It is vital to your business that the foundations of your fulfilment are done right so that you have more time to focus on your key skill sets.
While it is important to outsource if you feel you have too much on your plate, you should also outsource when your KPIs are far from great. Issues below may be indicative of the time you need to hire a dedicated shipping & fulfilment company:
- Your customers are dissatisfied with how you deliver goods.
- Your e-commerce business is losing its online ratings.
- You have reached the point of no return with packaging, warehousing and shipping costs.
- You are struggling with different delivery methods you thought you could handle on your own.
- Your performance has started affecting your cart abandonment and conversion rates.
The resources of a dedicated shipping & fulfilment company allow it to seal the holes in your logistics and supply chain system. This can have a far-reaching impact on your business and your customer satisfaction level. Whether you have 150-200 orders per month or are overloaded with more beyond that point, a 3PL company knows how to utilise and allocate its resources to:
- Take care of the processes that seem to be getting out of hand
- Store as many goods as needed before they are despatched or if they are returned
- Improve packaging efficiency
- Help you stay true to your words with delivery processes, such as one-day delivery
- Meet the fulfilment requirements of the marketplaces your store is integrated with
How Expensive Is It to Outsource Your E-Commerce Fulfilment?
Outsourcing your fulfilment to fulfilment solutions such as Minatus is actually a lot more cost-effective than having to run your own warehouse where you would be paying the wages of pickers, packers, management, human resources and the cost of renting your space. If you outsource to a company such as Minatus, all you have to pay for is the receipt, order processing and delivery fees and m2 of storage used.
The factors that impact the price of getting your goods to a UK centre for fulfilment are as follows:
- Types of goods (heavy, outsize, hazardous, etc.)
- Delivery times (next-day delivery, three-day delivery, etc.)
- Destination (UK, Europe or the rest of the world)
- Carrier selections
When using outsourced fulfilment solutions, you are guided through the exact costs before sending your goods for fulfilment. Your 3PL partner shares a quote for storage, handling, packing and other fees before getting busy with your items so that you can budget for those in advance.
How Does E-Commerce Fulfilment Work?
First, you should integrate your web store with marketplaces or place manual orders. Your goods then arrive at the warehouse, are checked and put into stock. Inventory will then be updated at your online store, showing you what is available for sale.
Your orders will automatically feed to the warehouse, be picked, packed and shipped with tracking updated to your web store. Most online stores then notify their customers that goods have been despatched, with a carrier name and a link to the tracking system.
Some logistics and fulfilment agencies enact this process better than others. The factors of a successful fulfilment partnership are:
- The people and technology used
- The smoothness and robustness of order receipt, shipping and other processes
And that is what Minatus can deliver. The people who work for Minatus are part of your team and are always there at the end of the phone or an email to help you with any queries you might have about your stock.
Why Choose Minatus for My E-Commerce Fulfilment
You may want to choose a company like Minatus to do your e-commerce fulfilment if you value a personal relationship, a named person who you know and who is familiar specifically with your business and people you know you can trust and rely on for support. Minatus will always support your values. As a company, we deliver in a way that compliments your brand and principles.
Minatus knows what it is like to walk in your shoes. We are small enough to give you a family-run personal service whilst large enough to provide all the resources you need for a successful, smooth operation. This includes a complete e-commerce business fulfilment service for UK’s leading marketplaces, a seller-focused partnership and international expertise for handling orders for your non-UK customers.
The Minatus shipping & fulfilment company is reliable and will be there to support you and your business for years to come with care and understanding.
For more information, please visit our dedicated blog: Why Choose Minatus to Do My E-Commerce Fulfilment?