For a small ecommerce business, it can sometimes be a challenge keeping up with all the services that have become standard within the industry. Nowhere is this more apparent than in ecommerce fulfilment. For the very smallest ecommerce businesses, there is a certain charm to managing everything in-house, and customers buying from the very smallest sites understand this.
However, growth in ecommerce means expanding inventory and eventually it means outsourcing fulfilment to a third-party company. Shipping and Handling of Texas, an Amazon Fulfill by Merchant and ecommerce fulfilment service, note that this is one of the clearest indications that it’s time for a company to expand its operations – when order fulfilment simply needs to take a step up.
Nevertheless, once you enter this arena, you tap into a customer base that simply expects things like next-day, or even same-day, delivery. Companies like Amazon and eBay are responsible for this. Every customer who regularly buys things online will have used these services and, if you want to show that you’re no longer in the minor leagues, offering this yourself is often essential.
A definite challenge arises here though. Your company may have grown to the point where you can afford third-party fulfilment, but sometimes it can be difficult to stand out in order fulfilment.
One way to fix this problem is to funnel funds and resources into order fulfilment to ensure it is the best it can be. Another way though is to take something of a sideways approach and to offer a fulfillment service that makes you stand out.
Another important thing to consider is this: when your company is small and handling fulfilment in house, there is the personal touch, the brand consistency, and the DIY charm. Once you expand to third-party fulfilment, this goes. You might have more customers now, but it is suddenly difficult to stand out, especially if your company isn’t quite successful enough yet to offer the type of top-rate order fulfilment which the Amazons and eBays of this world can. The way around this problem is to be innovative.
Top Home Delivery Innovations
But how do you do this? Well, you can be original and come up with something yourself. Nevertheless, you can also look at the most impressive home delivery innovations around right now for inspiration. These are also still fresh enough that if you can offer them then you are likely to impress.
You might think that drone delivery isn’t practical for mid-sized ecommerce companies but, if you scale it down and offer it only in a few cases, it could amount to only the cost of a small fleet of drones. There is a novelty to this that will help you stand out.
Storage pods are delivery-accepting devices that remove the need to wait at home for deliveries. They can be operated remotely and opened to accept deliveries. The customer then opens them to receive the deliveries when they get home. Your company might not be able to actually offer this technology, but you can make your company compatible with it as an added option. This will not cost you anything.
Many third-party ecommerce fulfilment services do offer this as an added service. It is a means of retaining that personal touch your company had back when you handled fulfilment in-house. You can add the customer’s name in fancy lettering, an optional message, and so on. This isn’t too expensive and looks great.
Being innovative with delivery is a terrific way to impress your customers, which could lead to the success needed to do even more impressive things in future.