As your home business starts to expand, a fulfillment center can be a great partner. A center can store your products and get them out to customers so that your focus can remain on growing the company. However, there are many companies that offer fulfillment services; how can you determine which fulfillment center is suitable for you? Here's what to look for.
Fast Delivery Times
Now that major retailers are offering same-day and two-day shipping, your customers will expect fast delivery times. Any fulfillment center you use will need to be able to ship your products in a timely manner. This will often depend on the location of the center itself, but you may also be able to find a fulfillment center that provides different shipping options to customers.
All centers will do the basics, so you should be seeking fulfillment partners that allow you to customize your experience. For example, look for centers that allow you to use branded packaging; your packages will stand out to customers. You might also seek out fulfillment centers that can assemble kits from multiple products or other special services.
A fulfillment center should also be able to receive product returns. Ask different centers how they process returns; work with centers that will check for damage and avoid restocking damaged items. You might also seek centers that use comprehensive software that will flag certain customers for repeated returns.
Good Customer Service and Communication
Because you're in a different location from the fulfillment center, good communication and service are essential. A good fulfillment partner will alert you immediately when there are problems with shipments or when products are running low. Ask centers how often they'll reach out to you. Ask whether you'll have access to their platform so you can check details for yourself. You might even contact different centers to see which provide the best customer service over the phone.
Opportunity for Future Growth
Your company could take off in a way you don't expect. For that reason, you should make sure any fulfillment center you use will be able to handle future growth. How big are their warehouses? How many orders can they process per day? Ensure that they can fulfill today's orders as well as tomorrow's.
With a robust fulfillment center processing and shipping your products, your business can run in a more professional manner. Explore different centers and take time to investigate which will be the best partner for you.