Everything You Need to Know about eFulfillment 

 eFulfillment refers to how businesses respond to customer orders. It has a tremendous impact on customer satisfaction and sales generation.  

What is eFulfillment? 

eFulfillment, short for e-commerce fulfillment, is a process that describes all the steps involved in fulfilling customer orders on e-commerce websites. It involves everything from the point of sales inquiry to the checkout process, order management system, pick-up, and eventual delivery of the product to the customer.  

There are two types of eFulfillment solutions–in-house fulfillment and third-party fulfillment. In-house fulfillment involves executing the fulfillment process internally. This solution can be very tasking since it requires you to invest in software, warehouse space, and an in-house team of workers. On the other hand, third-party fulfillment allows you to leave the completion of the fulfillment process in the hands of a third-party logistics company (3PL). Outsourcing fulfillment simplifies the entire process and gives you more time to focus on promoting and growing your brand.  

What is involved in the eFulfillment process?  

The eFulfillment process has numerous stages that begin way before the customer places an order on the e-commerce platform. These stages include: 

  • Receiving inventory/stock: Receiving stock from suppliers is the first step in the eFulfillment process. It involves taking stock, inspecting the inventory to ensure that the expected number was received and the product quality is up to par, labeling, and updating the inventory system. 
  • Storing inventory: After sorting and labeling the stock, the next step is to move them into short or long-term storage facilities. The short-term facilities are used to hold items briefly to fulfill existing orders, while long-term facilities hold items for longer, so a business will always have the items in stock should a customer make an unexpected order. 
  • Processing orders: When a customer places an order, the business sends the order details (such as item specifications and quantity) to an order management system. The management system begins processing the order by first confirming the items are in stock and then creating a packing slip that includes the product details, which the picking team uses in selecting the required products.  
  • Picking: Once a customer order has been processed, a picking team or automated warehouse robots use the packing slip to select the specific items that were ordered. The packing slip contains specific details, including the products’ SKUs, quantity, colors, sizes, and location in the warehouse.  
  • Packaging: Packaging involves protectively covering the products in preparation for shipping. This process also involves weighing the items and including the receiver’s address or other delivery details on the package.  
  • Shipping: Shipping is the process of transporting the packaged customer orders to their destinations. The orders can be shipped directly to the customers’ addresses or consolidated with other customer orders to maximize space and fuel resources. With an efficient tracking system, customers or business owners can monitor the movement of the orders, so they know when to expect delivery.  
  • Processing returns: Returns processing is a crucial part of the eFulfillment process. The ability to return unsatisfactory products easily is a chief determining factor in influencing buyer decisions. Processing return orders involves receiving the unwanted items, sorting our refund, checking the returned items for damages, and sorting them accordingly.  

eFulfillment providers (3PLs) 

eFulfillment providers, also known as third-party logistics (3PL) companies, are companies that specialize in fulfilling customer orders for e-commerce businesses. They offer the full range of services involved in the eFulfillment process, from receiving and storing inventory to shipping and processing returns.  

How eFulfillment providers can help your small business 

eFulfillment providers take the pressure of the fulfillment process off the shoulders of your small business. By handling all the procedures involved in the fulfillment of customer orders, these 3PLs allow you to direct your time and resources into building your business and promoting your brand.  

Increased efficiency  

Outsourcing eFufilllment boosts your business’ efficiency by keeping you organized and streamlining your operations. eFulfillment providers take care of inventory and warehousing, packing, shopping, and returns, leaving you more time to handle other aspects of your business. 3PLs also deliver a better fulfillment experience to your customers that may be unachievable for an in-house fulfillment center.  

Lower costs 

Third-party logistics companies save you money in several ways. 3PLs spare you the cost of having to build and equip your in-house fulfillment center. They also help cut down your shipping costs using their multi-warehouse system. Since 3PLs often have warehouses situated all over the country, they already store the goods close to your customers, so you won’t have to spend as much as you would if you were shopping from just one warehouse.  

For shipping, use GoShip  

GoShip is an online marketplace that partners with over 45,000 freight carriers that help small businesses transport their Less Than Truckload (LTL) and Full Truckload (FTL) shipments. Our self-service platform allows you to compare shipping rates from domestic carriers and book shipping services without needing a broker.  

Try our online quotation tool to find the best offers around you and connect with several certified carriers.

Get an Instant Free Quote Today!