What Is Efulfillment? And Why Is It Important In Ecommerce?

Ecommerce fulfillment, or efulfillment is a term that you will see in just about anywhere these days. With online buying becoming a trend in Covid-19, the demand for efulfillment has likewise seen a surge too. People expect their goods to be delivered on time and efficiently, and efulfillment does exactly this. Efulfillment is the integration of technology and warehouse processes to deliver goods to a customer in the most timely manner possible, and they’re mostly provided by third-party logistics (3PL).

Many SMEs and large corporations alike have outsourced their logistics to fulfillment centers today. But the question is, why? And how does it benefit them? Let’s take a look at the impact that efulfillment brings to the fold.

Storage services

Although both warehouse and fulfillment centers fill a specific niche and are distinct from one another, many efulfillment services tend to lump the two together. This is because most businesses tend to prefer a 2-in-1 approach to save themselves the additional cost of having to seek both warehouse and fulfillment centers separately. Efulfillment centers that provide both services are a boon to businesses, as it saves them the need to store and manage their own inventory. 

In turn, this eliminates the fear of over or understocking, because most 3PLs will handle your inventory levels, whereas you are only required to send stocks over as per the request. Consequently, this creates a favorable condition for dropshipping, whose premise is basically no storage needed. 

It alleviates the need to pack, manage and ship your own shipment

Inventory management and storing stocks are two things, having to pack them and attempting to allocate the necessary space for them to sit in until they’re ready to be shipped off is another. When the business gets overwhelming, you may sometimes find yourself wishing that you didn’t take it upon yourself to do everything. If you do feel that way about your shipments, perhaps it’s time to consider outsourcing fulfillment.

Plus, if you’re managing your own shipments, this likely means you’ll be running your own warehouse too, which means further work and many more hidden costs. And last but not least, you’ll be forced to liaise with shipping carriers on your own to get your shipments delivered. Efulfillment centers help you with all the above.

Competitive edge

Here’s a scenario. Say you’re currently looking at 2 ecommerce stores that are selling the same item. Store A is selling your item at $17 with a delivery time of 5-7 days, meanwhile Store B is selling it at $20 with a shipment time of 1-2 days. Which one would you go for? Even if Store B is selling the item at a slightly higher price, it would be a no brainer to opt for a cheaper price with a longer delivery time. 

Large names like Amazon know that all too well, and offer quicker delivery times with slightly expensive prices being the tradeoff. Yet, this has never stopped Amazon from being at the top of the ecommerce pyramid. Put simply, time is everything and people are willing to pay for that.

Outsourcing fulfillment will give you the same competitive edge and sway more customers in your favor. 

Geographic advantage

One beneficial thing about outsourcing fulfillment is it allows you to ship to various regions. This can be achieved by utilizing 3PLs with fulfillment centers scattered throughout regions, which allows you to ship beyond country. By splitting your inventory among several warehouses scattered in different regions means you can easily ship your products to your customers through these regional fulfillment centers, which means lower shipping costs and reduced time in-transit too.

Reduced risk management

Having a 3PL manage your fulfillment means they bear part of the risks involved during fulfillments, and it takes some pressure off your business. With experts handling part of your business, you may even leverage on a 3PL’s expertise to prevent your lesser competent employees from committing mistakes that can be detrimental to the business and reduce the risk of mismanagement. 

Key Takeaways

Efulfillment centers are a great way to alleviate pressure from businesses who require a helping hand in sorting and managing their inventory. By outsourcing your fulfillment to 3PLs, you are essentially freeing yourself from the menial tasks, which allows you to focus on more pressing matters such as driving business growth.

With a a total of 13 fulfillment hubs and centre across Malaysia, Hisuperpanda provides seamless order fulfillment for small and larger brands. With our proven multichannel fulfillment solutions, you can reach more customers, enhance service levels, and cut costs!

To learn more about our e-fulfillment services, visit our website today!