Considering ecommerce fulfilment in the run-up to Christmas

By Dan Wilson September 12, 2017 - 5:23 pm

As we approach the peak period of online sales leading up to Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and all the other big selling days of the year, it’s well worth pondering and planning how best to cope with what can be a very busy period for many ecommerce sellers and online retailers.

And one type of offering out there that can be particularly helpful at this time of year could be a fulfilment service. Amazon merchants will be familiar with Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) but there are many others out there. Fulfilment services will hold, pick and pack and despatch your products on your behalf for a fee. You can find some suggestions in the Tamebay Guide.

Here are some things to consider and do feel to free your own perspectives in the comments below.

It’s not all or nothing.

Don’t think in terms of having to put everything you sell into fulfilment. You can judge whether it’s popular fast moving lines that you want to put in there or your slower long tail SKUs. Fulfilment can be very flexible.

Fulfilment for seasonal flexibility

Many services can be entirely flexible to your business needs. You don’t need to make taking on fulfilment a permanent development. Rather it can also be a useful short term fix to cope with increased demand at this time of year. So when considering the costs, put them into perspective by considering what it might cost you to increase capacity in terms of staff and facilities temporarily.

It’s a good way to test-drive growth

If you’re expanding your product lines or developing your business into other verticals, fulfilment can take some of the risk out of expansion. If you want to try new avenues, fulfilment can give you extra capacity quickly, so you can test and learn, without many of the risks. Once you’ve tested the concept you can judge, say, whether you need larger premises with the knowledge that your products do sell.

You don’t have to be huge

You may have dismissed fulfilment in the past because you consider yourself to be too small a concern to be of interest to fulfilment companies. And yes, whilst most will have a minimum level of weekly despatches they need, that level may not be as enormous as you imagine. Have a conversation.

Make sure they understand marketplace standards

The biggest concern for any marketplace seller, when it comes to engaging a fulfilment company is the worry that they won’t do the job as well as you do and you will be at the mercy of the marketplace standards police for slow despatch. A great number of the companies out there are entirely familiar with the rigours of the rules so make sure you choose one that understands.

Do you already use such aservice? Have you found it useful?

  • 9 months ago

    Best quote from the whole article “Have a conversation.”
    We would never turn a client down because they thought they were too small. From little acorns etc etc.

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