Small businesses can face many unique challenges when they opt to allow ordering of their inventory. Keeping pace with orders is critical to appease current customers and attract new customers. Utilizing a warehouse fulfillment service can be the right choice for small businesses.
Manage Overhead Costs
It's easy to strain your budget with overhead costs, especially for startup businesses. Most small businesses that sell products online may start with storing inventory in their home and doing the packing and shipping from their home. As your business grows, you will need more space for inventory and may be able to hire team members to help with fulfillment and other necessary business functions. This is where problems begin to occur because finding a suitable building and location for fulfillment will likely be expensive. Instead of trying to develop a strategy to warehouse your inventory while keeping costs reasonable, it may be more cost-effective to send your inventory to a warehouse for fulfillment and allow them to handle the details.
Meet Shipping Expectations
It is difficult for a small business to compete with major retailers in terms of inventory, price, and efficiency. Improving at least one of these variables will appease your current customers while attracting new ones. Small businesses often tell customers to expect shipping delays because orders may take longer than what they would expect with a larger business. When you use warehouse fulfillment, the order goes straight to the warehouse for fulfillment. This can mean customers will have their orders shipped the same day or the next business day. Another advantage of warehouse fulfillment is that some providers have a wider network of warehouses. This can decrease transit time once the order has shipped, without the need for customers to pay for expensive, faster shipping. A fulfillment service with multiple warehouses means when orders come in, they are directed to the warehouse closer to the customer.
Add A Special Touch
Many people enjoy shopping with small businesses because they often add a personal touch to each order. This can mean custom packaging or including candy or samples with the order. With more time available, you can strategize ways to make customers feel special when they open their packages. Most warehouse fulfillment services allow you to incorporate special packaging with your orders. This is a tremendous time-saver since adding special touches often increases processing times. When you are able to ship orders fast and offer small touches that make customers feel appreciated, it gets you closer to competing with big businesses.
Warehouse fulfillment services are an important tool that is can be used by small businesses. With the time and money saved by delegating the shipping to someone else, it is easier for you to spend more time interacting with customers.