When selling physical products through an own website / online shop or Amazon or other marketplaces, many companies have upgraded to optimize their own appearance. By creating high-quality product images, new product texts or a better website performance. However, an important factor is often disregarded here. The shipment to the customer. Only after sending the article the customer holds the product in his hand and can physically get an impression of the purchase.
Fulfillment includes the following services:
- order picking
- payment processing
- returns management
The Gabler Business Encyclopedia defines the term fulfillment as follows:
The entire order processing in e-commerce. It includes storage, picking, transport, delivery and, in some cases, payment for the goods as well as after-sales service and the processing of returns. It begins immediately after the order has been placed. In addition to the tasks mentioned above, the fulfillment process can also include the maintenance of the shop and the merchandise management system.
Many online merchants rely on external fulfillment service providers to take over the fulfillment process. In the area of e-commerce, the term e-fulfillment is also used to describe this process. The transfer of fulfillment activities to a service provider can mean significant relief for many smaller online merchants. Using a data interface to the fulfillment center, processes can be initiated automatically and the entire process runs independently of day-to-day business for the online shop operator.
Some providers have an “all-round worry-free” package that already includes accounting and returns processing. This automates many work processes and makes the structure of the company more lean. By using a larger fulfillment provider, merchants usually also benefit from lower shipping rates, because the total quantity of parcels sent by the fulfillment service provider is significantly greater than for a single merchant. This gives the service provider better conditions from the delivery companies.