It’s a nice problem to have: your e-commerce website is blowing up with sales, and you’re having trouble keeping up with demand. For example, you’re struggling to maintain optimal inventory levels, orders that used to hours to ship from your (or a third party) warehouse are starting to take days and weeks, and customers are starting to complain about getting the wrong order — or sometimes not getting their order at all.
Wisely, you recognize that it’s time to partner with an order fulfillment company to get the software you need to automate workflows, generate inventory and supply chain visibility, optimize customer experience, and drive sales and profitability. However, choosing the right company can be challenging; especially since at first glance, many of them look the same and make similar promises.
To help you make a smart, safe and successful choice, here are 4 questions to help you choose the right e-commerce order fulfillment company — and steer clear of the wrong ones:
- Do you specialize in e-commerce order fulfilment technology?
Obviously, the only answer you can accept to this critical question is “yes”. What’s more, specialization is not something that you learn in school or that happens overnight. If the company you’re evaluating hasn’t been operating for at least a decade, then cross them off your list.
- Do you offer multiple services?
Obviously, you need e-commerce fulfilment services — but there’s a very good chance that you need additional solutions as well, such as marketing logistics, warehousing, distribution, and the list goes on. The company you partner with should offer a full range of services. Even if you don’t need them right now, you’ll likely need them in the future, and you want to be able to leverage the relationship to your advantage.
- What is your commitment to security?
Nothing will destroy your reputation faster than a security breach. The partner you choose should have world-class security features integrated into their technologies and platforms.
- What happens if there are problems or issues down the road?
You need to know that if you have questions or issues — no matter how small — that you can pick up the phone or send an email, and a dedicated Account Manager who is readily familiar with your platform and needs will be ready, willing and able to help. The last thing you want is to get placed in a queue when you need answers and information ASAP.
The Bottom Line
If your e-commerce business needs to get to the next level, or if you’re launching a startup and want to ensure that you head in the right direction from day one, then use the tips above to choose the right e-commerce order fulfilment partner. Your success depends on it — and in the long-run, so does your survival!