Whether you are a large national retailer or a targeted and focused e-commerce company, the consumer experience is absolutely critical. In today's competitive environment, the expectations of the end user or consumer are evolving every day. According to internetretailer.com, e-commerce is predicted to grow by 13% in 2013 to an astonishing $262 billion in U.S. sales. At this pace, many organizations will have to adapt by outsourcing some or all of their fulfillment services. While many consumers are not involved or aware of the importance of fulfillment centers, their expectations of quality and accuracy of the end product are unquestionably factors in their future decisions. In an effort to separate from their competitors, many organizations are starting to offer perks, such as free shipping or same- day delivery. These aggressive offerings are certainly testing the strength and infrastructure of the supply chains and fulfillment centers across the nation.
The old statement of "You only have one chance to make a good first impression" may never be more applicable than in the order fulfillment business. Because they are the last touch in the order process, fulfillment centers play a vital role in the perception of the company inside the mind of the consumer. It only takes one bad experience to outweigh the 10 positive experiences a customer has had with a particular brand. When considering these factors, one can undoubtedly realize the importance of outsourcing its' fulfillment services to a qualified and experienced organization.
There are several ways that an online retailer can use order fulfillment to your advantage. It can be argued that the most important element in choosing the appropriate fulfillment center is how the relationship will impact your brand. Although important, this element is often overlooked when companies outsource their fulfillment services.
Most companies view order fulfillment centers as a back end necessity in the ordering process. Instead of this viewpoint, companies should regard their fulfillment centers as an opportunity to capitalize on positive branding and awareness. The quality and accuracy of an experienced fulfillment center can amplify the overall perception of a company's brand. Additional elements or services provided by a fulfillment center, like customized packaging, can also go a long way in the overall branding of a company. For example, when a customer receives an item in the mail, how has the presentation or packaging impacted their experience? Is it memorable? The answers to these questions can play a crucial role in helping a company's product stand out. The right fulfillment center can definitely help in delivering the product, but it also can be the true determining factor in the consumer's overall experience and impression of a company's brand.
As the demands and expectations grow in the e-commerce world, choosing the proper fulfillment center becomes more critical and necessary. When searching for the ideal fulfillment center, there are many qualities and services to seek in the search.
At Barrett Distribution, we know how important it is to choose the right fulfillment center. As a result, we have put together a resource for companies to use as a quick reference. We understand that choosing a fulfillment partner can be a very overwhelming endeavor. This resource can help guide a company in taking the first steps towards outsourcing their fulfillment needs with the appropriate partner.