Now that the need for your product is identified, your Shopify store is created, your marketing campaign is set up, you are bouncing off the walls to receive your first order(s)! But, have you made up your mind about fulfillment? If you’re still wavering between different scenarios, here’s a comprehensive overview to guide you through Shopify fulfillment options!
Drop-shipping is an order fulfillment process and/or business model allowing entrepreneurs to sell directly their products to the customer without stocking the items beforehand.
The sooner a product gets ordered, the retailer buys the item from a third party which will be shipped directly to the customer. Ultimately, the supplier takes care of stocking, packing, and delivering your products.
Warehouse-free: when dropshipping, you don’t have to store your goods nor pay for recurrent monthly warehousing fees.
Since the products you order from your customers are already stored at your supplier’s distribution center, you don’t have to worry about inventory management. Suppliers are the first and final accountable to store and dispatch the orders to customers!
Accessible and Hassle-Free: A dropshipping business is accessible to everyone everywhere and can be run from anywhere as long as you have access to the internet.
Lack of Control: your operations heavily rely upon your supplier and customer. Your job is to match the needs of your customers and bridge the gap between supply and demand
Scattered Orders: Since dropshipping allows entrepreneurs to try different products in the market, it is more difficult for them to keep a close eye on orders that are all over the space. As much as dropshipping is a goldmine that is full of opportunities, it is also a source of
High Competition: Dropshipping has become the new trend. A report by Torch Bankz shows that “dropshipping is the fulfillment model of nearly 33% of online stores which is higher than the 27% of dropshipping fulfillment previously recorded” and that “66% of online shoppers will buy from your competition if they offer more shipping options.”
As its name suggests, in-house or DIY fulfillment entails that the retailer is him/herself the one handling the shopify order fulfillment process from order placement to delivery. In other words, you manage orders, store, pack, ship, and return your products.
Custom Packages: Packaging reflects the first impression that the product gives before being tested. When fulfilling under your roof, you can create your own packages
More Control: Closely managing fulfillment means being up-to-date and figuring out whatever this process throws at you.
Inaccurate Inventory Management: Stock management is a side hassle to e-commerce business owners. Especially if it’s done manually, this task only makes things worse. Chances that human error takes place are very high when it comes to in-house inventory management; resulting in incorrect reporting; thus unreliable data.
Poor Priority Management: Fulfillment requires too much time and effort on behalf of retailers when done domestically. Such distraction prevents you from looking outside the box and optimizing your shopify order fulfillment.
Outsourced fulfillment calls for the intervention of logistics providers or 3PL partners that handle all of or part of your fulfillment. Third-party order fulfillment providers offer:
End-to-End Technology: Logistics providers have deployed solutions to facilitate fulfillment and help retailers track orders regardless of the quantity
Centralized Management Everything is automated. You have the opportunity now to manage orders’ fulfillment in few clicks while having real-time assistance.
Shopify Warehousing: Multiwarehousing network has become 2021’s hot topic in the retail industry. Retailers no longer look for random warehouses, instead, they are targeting distribution centers that are strategically spread across the globe, with exclusive offers and flexible costs.
Less Control: for some retailers being directly involved in fulfillment is a must. If partially taken out of their checklist, it can become a source of frustration to coordinate between different stakeholders involved in the process.
No Custom-made Packaging: Logistics providers ensure pick-and-pack services with an important accuracy rate but don’t necessarily provide tailor-made packaging. In fact, customized packages accumulate waste which explains why certain 3PLs do not ensure this service.
The US and Canada-based e-commerce businesses now have the ability to benefit from Shopify Fulfillment Network. The SFN allows Shopify retailers to store, pack and ship their products the sooner orders are placed. In order to be eligible for this service, you must fulfill the following criteria :
Now that you have an overview of Shopify fulfillment network, it is important to be aware of fulfillment costs and the way you need to present them to your customers.
Shipping rates do not only concern retailers but do also matter to customers, as they directly influence the decision-making process; which is why Shopify users have the following options:
Free Delivery: you can integrate the shipping rate with your product final price, thus being able to market your product differently; e.g.: you can offer free delivery starting from orders costing 99$
Real-time Cost: you can use the exact fulfillment cost as imposed on you by your shopify 3PL partner if you are an e-commerce newbie to avoid any discrepancy in your profits margin.
Flat rate delivery: you can fix a delivery rate based on the weight, quantity, or shipping destination of your product.
There is a lot to keep in mind when it comes to fulfillment, especially that the aforementioned options depend on your aspirations, business model, and needs.
Make sure you request a demo of whatever solution you’ll be integrating into your Shopify ecommerce to avoid any inadequacies and to guarantee that it perfectly meets your expectations.