Business

Ecommerce fulfilment for startups: everything you need to know

ecommerce for startups
When starting up your ecommerce business there are many things you need to consider and think about. What’s your USP? What will your branding look like? How are you going to get your products to your customers? There are some services you can use that will help this process, such as a 3PL. But what exactly IS a 3PL I hear you ask! We’re here to help, this article is a beginners guide to ecommerce fulfilment for startups.

Sometimes startups decide to complete their own packaging and fulfilment but this can be an extremely time consuming task that can quickly become impossible as your business becomes more and more successful. This is often particularly the case with ecommerce startups. So, when it comes to outsourcing your fulfilment as an ecommerce startup, what are the benefits? Why should you do it? And what does it actually entail?

What does it actually mean to outsource your fulfilment?

Outsourcing your fulfilment means you have a third party who provides space for your stock and helps deliver your items from A to B, basically. It means that you are provided with expert advice and help about stocking and delivering your items. Fulfilment companies can help with inventory, tracking, reporting, packaging and more. 

And what is a 3PL?

A 3PL (third party logistics) is a solution for any business that needs to outsource various services such as warehousing, picking and packing, packaging, reporting, reverse logistics, shipment tracking, inventory management and more. An experienced 3PL provider will have a thorough knowledge of all of these services and will be able to support your startup ecommerce business. Plus provide you the much needed flexibility and scalability you might require, leaving you the time to focus on other areas of your business.

What are the benefits of outsourcing your fulfilment as an ecommerce startup?

One of the most obvious and important benefits is that it frees up time for you to focus on other parts of your business. When you’re starting up your business you don’t want to have to worry about making sure every single order gets to your each and every customer on time! By outsourcing these concerns, you still have control and full knowledge about the process but it allows you to focus your energy on other important parts of your business. 

You also have the benefit of receiving advice from experts. If you’re starting up an ecommerce business, you’re likely to be an expert in that industry, just like fulfilment companies are in their business. It means that your fulfilment process will be a lot more efficient.

With an ecommerce startup you’re unlikely to have a physical space for your products. This can make it difficult to grow because you will need somewhere to store new stock etc. hiring a premise for this will quickly get expensive and may not be worth it in the long run. 

When you outsource your fulfilment, you are responsible for hiring less staff. At the start of any business, it can be difficult to manage the number of staff you might need. Outsourcing your fulfilment can remove some of that stress. 

In the same realm, it also saves you money. Not only does time equal money, but hiring a premise on your own can get very expensive, particularly as an ecommerce startup where your orders and stock might fluctuate or may be hard to predict.

What should you look for when outsourcing your fulfilment?

It’s important to have a good relationship with your fulfilment company because they will be in charge of an important part of your business. Look for somebody who you can trust to deliver your goods safely from A to B and that understands your business. Flexibility may be really important if you’re starting a seasonal business, for example, so it’s important to look for a fulfilment company who can offer what you need. 

In terms of ecommerce, it is important to look for a company that understands the potential growth and potential for your startup. When making your enquiries you might want to find out about other businesses the fulfilment company has helped and whether this sounds similar to your venture.
Here are Complete Packaging we offer a comprehensive range of fulfilment services, you can find out more about our fulfilment service here. If you’d like to call us for a chat to discuss your requirements please do! We’d be happy to talk to you and find out if we can help you and your business. Find out about some of our case studies here.

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