You probably already know that your customers are pretty savvy buyers and use a variety of devices and services to find your products.
What you may not know, though, is that you don’t have to spend a lot of energy, effort and money to keep those customers happy when you have just one set of inventory for all the product fulfillment options you offer. That’s where multi-channel fulfillment services come in.
If your order fulfillment process is really messy behind the scenes, it’s time to look into your options – multi-channel fulfillment services may provide a quick and easy way to simply the whole process:
What is Multi-Channel Fulfillment?
Multi-channel fulfillment can mean several different things, but at the end of the day, it’s all about giving the customer lots of different ways to order, access or pay for your products. It also means being able to fulfill order from a single pool of inventory, reducing warehousing and 3PL costs considerably.
Instead of your eBay store having to pull from its own inventory that’s separate from your Amazon inventory, multi-channel fulfillment gives you the tools to monitor stock for both channels at the same time. When eBay’s out of stock, so is Amazon, and so forth. It makes a lot of sense for business owners who use a 3PL to do their packaging and warehousing and want to meet customers in many different venues.
How Does Multi-Channel Fulfillment Work?
When a customer places an order at one of your locations, be it online or off, the items they chose are removed from inventory across the board. It’s just that simple. Everything is stored in a single warehouse, no matter where it’s going to be sold. Your warehouse workers then pick, pack and ship according to the directions for the channel and your customer receives their item right on time – nothing could be easier.
Multi-channel fulfillment works amazingly well for eCommerce, but can also be applied to retail locations with web stores or that want to offer shipping and pickup options through their personalized app. No matter how products are purchased, they come from a central warehouse so the customer doesn’t have to jump through a lot of hoops to get what they wanted.
This type of fulfillment keeps inventories simple, since you don’t have to count products stored in a variety of places, makes reordering popular items a breeze and helps skinny up your budget by removing superfluous workers and storage bills. After all, why maintain multiple warehouses or contracts when you can do everything within the same facility?
Multi-channel fulfillment services have changed the way we do business online and off, and the efficiency they bring is only going to be more critical as we move deeper into the Internet Age. Shoppers want their products as quickly as possible, so give them the best service possible with multi-channel fulfillment.