If you are serious about your e-commerce or offline gift vending business, and are planning to expand your reach from a few neighboring cities to the whole state or nation you will have to think about setting up an effective order fulfillment process. Basically, to survive in the Internet commerce of today you will need your gift orders to be processed, packed and shipped to the addressee in the most swift manner possible.
There are companies that specialize in order fulfillment and are servicing businesses in almost any industry. Gift companies usually use companies with extensive experience in the promotional products or promotional items industry, because these 2 are most closely related to the personalized or customized gifts. These are the companies you will need to consider when going forward with your e-commerce expansion. The offerings may vary and you should make sure you pick the right order fulfillment company that meets your specific goals.
Here are some things you may want to consider when choosing a fulfillment company for your gift business:
- Processing Time. You will surly want your fulfillment company to offer fast turnaround on your orders. Learn about the company’s order processing policy before you decide to work with them.
- Ordering method. Among the most common ordering methods are: 1. Sending individual orders to the fulfillment company 2. Entering individual orders through an online form 3. Sending a spreadsheet with orders each day. An ideal order entry method would be the one combining multiple options.
- Location. Make sure your order fulfillment company is located close to your most active clientele. This will determine your shipping time and expenses.
- Size. There are big fulfillment companies that work with multinational customers and are processing hundreds and thousands of orders each day. These are generally very reliable though the rates with this type of companies are usually high and the process they use may be not applicable to your business model. Mid-sized and small fulfillment companies may offer a more flexible process and rates though they are more prone to glitches.
- Communication.Communication is an important part of any business and you should make sure the company you intend to work with is available via phone and email. You will need to be able to get in touch with the fulfillment company to make corrections to customer’s shipping address or cancel or modify an order.
- Costs. After you have a short-list of gift order fulfillment companies that meet your needs check and compare their costs.
Your ideal gift order fulfillment company is the one that lets you forget the headache of order processing. It integrates well into your business process and makes you feel you are members of one team.