We live in a time of now — people want their products and services delivered to them in the fastest and most efficient way.
This desire for the convenience of now is directly correlated to the rise of eCommerce — and its impact on the habits and behaviours of the modern-day shopper.
However, this also puts pressure on eCommerce businesses to fulfill and ship orders at scale to accommodate the ever-increasing demand.
This is why having a solid e-fulfillment strategy in place will be one of the driving forces for your long-term Walmart Canada Marketplace store’s growth and success.
Simply put, it is the process of storing inventory, packaging products, and then shipping them over to customers — while maintaining an unforgettable customer experience.
Typically, such a job is allocated to in-house systems or outsourced to a third-party logistics (3PL) shipping and fulfillment partner.
The process starts the second an order is placed between a buyer and a seller, and a transaction is finalized.
Outlined below is a surface level overview of what sort of cogs turn inside the e-fulfilment machine.
It goes in this order:
You need to get your hands on the actual product before you can start selling. If you’re selling in-house this means the inventory should be somewhere close by. If you’re reselling, then it means having a system in place to quickly send out the necessary products to your customers.
Knowing your numbers is key.
How much of this product is left? Are the items stored correctly? Are they protected from damage or external weather?
Storage, or warehousing, is a crucial element in keeping your eCommerce business organized, transparent, and protected.
3. Order Processing
Once the order is received, and the item is available, the next step is to ship it.
This step involves packaging the order using the appropriate packaging, securing it for safe transportation, and printing an accurate shipping label to deliver the product quickly and hassle-free to your waiting customers. This is a crucial step in your fulfillment process as one incorrect information on your label can trigger shipping adjustment costs. Read more about shipping adjustments here.
4. Return Management
Sometimes things happen, and orders need to be returned.
Ensuring a proper return strategy is in place to accommodate those rare cases will be key in maintaining customer satisfaction with your brand.
Having read the above-mentioned process, you can see that the steps required to fulfill an order, once it’s been placed, are complex and nuanced.
However, by partnering with a 3PL, you can expect to save time and money on the following:
…and many other logistical elements that go into shipping and fulfillment.
These benefits are crucial for the long-term growth of your business, as every business, once big enough, will require a proper e-fulfillment strategy to keep scaling and not fall off once demand begins increasing.
At the beginning of your business, self-fulfillment is the only option that makes sense. You won’t be handling a ton of orders and probably won’t have the capital in place to afford outsourcing to 3PLs or marketplace providers.
However, t’s time to think about scaling your business once the orders begin rolling in, and before the volume grows to a point where managing inventory, packing orders, and individually shipping them becomes too much to handle This is in addition to dealing with customer inquiries, lost packages, returns, and anything else that might come your way.
Of course, as mentioned in the above process, you can independently scale your operations to match demand, but there are some hidden fees and nuances that must be taken into consideration. Nuances such as:
That last point is the most important one.
If you’re stuck continuously working in your business, you will never get the chance to grow it. Rather, by focusing on working for your business, you can invest in saving yourself time, which will allow you to evolve and grow the business while not worrying as much about the day-to-day logistics.
This is especially true if you diversify your business model and sell on various marketplaces, such as Walmart Canada Marketplace. With over 100 million active shoppers on the platform, you can expect to receive a lot of traffic to your product(s) quickly. If you have all the pieces in place, you can expect to significantly increase your audience base and subsequently, the volume of people viewing your business.
At which point, it can become very difficult to manage the shipping and fulfillment process for every single order, and this only becomes more challenging if you are listed on multiple marketplaces at once.
With the growth of your business comes the responsibility to spend more time doing the tedious logistics tasks. I’m sure you would rather have more time to work on your marketing and brand strategy to further promote your business, branch out to a broader audience, and generate more revenue.
Since Walmart Canada Marketplace is a giant in the online retailer space, a real competing alternative to Amazon, you can leverage this incredible platform to its full potential for your business. Check out eShipper’s ultimate guide on how to sell on Walmart Canada Marketplace to get started.
Choosing the right partner is never easy, especially with the plethora of options in today's market.
However, there are certain questions that you should ask yourself when researching:
These questions will provide you the foundation for helping you determine the right e-fulfillment partner for your eCommerce business.
The key to your eCommerce business's long-term growth lies in how well you are prepared to scale your operations while maintaining unforgettable customer experience and satisfaction..
Having a solid e-fulfillment strategy in place will allow you to focus on that aspect. At the same time, simultaneously keep the cogs turning so not a single day goes by that your business isn't fully operational and making you money.
eShipper is a complete end-to-end shipping and fulfillment service for Canadian businesses of any size. We offer courier, LTL and freight shipping, warehousing, pick & pack services, and technology to enhance a customer’s brand and scale their growth. eShipper integrates with major online stores and marketplaces to create a faster and more seamless shipping experience and enables businesses to manage all their orders in one place. For more information, please visit www.eshipper.com or follow us on LinkedIn, FacebookM, and Instagram.