A fulfilment centre is a fast-paced environment filled with people processing, packaging and shipping orders to end consumers. It is a third-party logistics (3PL) provider that handles the order fulfillment process for an online seller, freeing them up to focus on their business. While many ecommerce brands have their own warehouses to store inventory and handle their warehousing and order fulfillment, others outsource this vital work to fulfilment centers.
From Click to Doorstep: How Fulfillment Centers Are Revolutionizing E-Commerce
These facilities often offer more flexibility than traditional warehouses, as they can accommodate a much higher volume of inventory to be shipped out at any given time. They can also serve as a short-term storage solution, enabling sellers to turn over their inventory quickly. Fulfillment centres may also serve as a gateway for small businesses to tap into the infrastructure of big players like Amazon, which runs its own fulfilment centers to help small sellers grow their brands.
When a seller partners with a fulfillment center, they typically place their inventory in their facilities and integrate their online stores with their fulfillment providers’ systems to automatically trigger fulfillment requests when an order is placed. This makes it easy for the brand to keep the fulfillment pipeline moving consistently as they scale their sales, while avoiding wasting money on staffing and payroll taxes.
When shopping around for a fulfillment partner, look for one with a strong track record and the right fit for your business. You should trust the company you choose with a significant chunk of your customer experience, so consistent communication and full integration of systems is essential. Fulfillment centers should also provide a range of reporting and analytics on how their services perform, including levels of customer satisfaction and top-returning items.