Successful eCommerce businesses have one thing in common: excellent print on demand fulfillment services. You may have the best product on the planet. Your website is fantastic. And your sales funnel will easily guide your customers to the checkout. However, if your eCommerce fulfillment fails to run smoothly, your online business will be all splash and no cash. Print on demand fulfillment may not be the most exciting aspect of your online business. It is, however, a critical component of your success in online retail.
WHAT IS PRINT ON DEMAND FULFILLMENT?
Print on demand fulfillment refers to the entire process of having an order delivered to a customer after they place an order online. Receiving and storing inventory, processing orders, picking items, packing boxes, and transporting the items to the customer’s shipping destination is all part of the supply chain. Print on demand fulfillment services can be handled by a third-party fulfillment company, which typically charges based on weight, dimensions, volume, storage, or some combination of these factors. These services can be especially beneficial to ecommerce businesses that still need a physical location or storage facility.
WHAT’S INVOLVED IN THE PRINT ON DEMAND FULFILLMENT PROCESS?
1. Omnichannel Fulfillment Center Integration
When you think of a fulfillment warehouse, you may envision rows of shelves stacked high with products. However, at its core, every good ecommerce order fulfillment center is a technology firm. In addition, your eCommerce store should work in tandem with your fulfillment center. Orders should be routed directly to those who will pack and ship them. Furthermore, your print on demand service provider should integrate every platform you sell. They should develop a custom app to connect incoming orders for any sales channels that aren’t supported by the platform. Additionally, check that your fulfillment provider has a strong IT department and responsive support to help you quickly smooth out any glitches.
2. Receiving And Inventory Management
Pallets of your product are delivered to your fulfillment warehouse. The pallets are then added to inventory and placed on shelves, ready to fill your orders. As a result, your eCommerce fulfilment centre should put your stock into inventory within one to two days of receiving it. Additionally, you must be able to access your inventory management system. This real-time data is essential for keeping Goldilocks stock levels stable. Shrinkage should be kept to a minimum by your print on demand provider. These companies are liable for items lost or broken while on the shelves. You do not need to account for shrinkage when calculating ideal stock levels.
3. Order Fulfillment: Pick, Pack, And Ship
When an order arrives, your fulfillment warehouse will select the appropriate items to place in the box. A floor worker will package them properly, and your print on demand service provider will ship them to your customer. It is the process of picking, packing, and shipping. Shipping to your customers is quick with fulfillment warehouses that are centrally located. It is also critical that the 3PL provider process your orders quickly. Otherwise, you will lose the advantage of the faster shipping time. Accuracy is critical, and mistakes in order picking and packing can cost you, customers.
4. Returns Processing: Reverse Logistics
It is impossible to avoid eCommerce returns. Returns are important to eCommerce shoppers, which can be a significant factor in driving your sales. Returns management is an important aspect of eCommerce fulfillment. The faster your fulfillment provider processes returns, the sooner your customer will receive a refund. Efficient returns also get your stock back on the shelf and ready to sell, so find a warehouse that will restock returns within one to two days. Allow your 3PL provider to handle customer service for returns so you can concentrate on increasing sales. Check that your print on demand fulfillment provider can assist you in evaluating returns and processing orders for discounted goods.
COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT PRINT ON DEMAND SERVICES
Myth 1: I need a fulfillment center near my home.
Your fulfillment center should be located near your customers. Instead of selecting a fulfillment center location based on its proximity to you, it’s best to use data and let the analysis guide your decision. This information includes shipping destination zip codes from your order history, shipping zones to which your orders are being shipped, your average shipping cost by zone, and your average transit time. Knowing these things can help you understand how to optimize for faster deliveries and lower shipping costs by using fulfillment centers in strategic locations for your ecommerce business.
Myth 2: A rural order fulfillment center will save me money.
While a fulfillment center in the middle of nowhere may appear the cheapest option, you may pay more in shipping costs over time because orders must travel farther to reach where your customers live — in big cities. The more you use urban fulfillment centers, the more money you may save. It also helps you meet consumer expectations and gain loyal customers, making it even more important to always provide fast, low-cost shipping.
Myth 3: Warehousing and ecommerce fulfillment centers are the same things.
While warehousing is a component of ecommerce fulfillment, fulfillment centers are designed to turn inventory over quickly rather than to store it for long periods. A traditional warehouse, storage unit, or on-demand warehousing solution may be best if you need space to hold many products that won’t sell for a while. If your products sell quickly, a fulfillment center can store and ship them quickly. Fulfillment companies charge a separate storage fee for each item, which is more expensive than a storage-only facility and can quickly add up if your products are sitting around.
Myth 4: Fulfilling eCommerce orders myself is less expensive.
It is sometimes, but not always. When you are just starting your ecommerce business or have a low order volume, handling ecommerce fulfillment yourself will save you money. You should be able to pack boxes and run to the post office while still having time to work on other tasks. If your ecommerce business is large, compare shipping costs from a single fulfillment center to using a 3PL with multiple fulfillment centers, which can significantly reduce average shipping costs and deliver to more customers faster.
MOVE FORWARD WITH YOUR FULFILLMENT SERVICES PARTNER
Outsourced print on demand fulfillment services makes sense for companies with large goals, fluctuating sales, and insufficient time to handle things in-house. Your company’s print on demand fulfillment process is crucial to its success. Remember, numerous ways exist to improve your current fulfillment process to provide an exceptional customer experience.
Choosing the right fulfillment partner for your ecommerce store could mean the difference between success and failure. Find out how a top ecommerce fulfillment company like Fulfillplex can provide your customers with the best shipment tracking and visibility if you want to turbocharge your fulfillment process. Contact us now.