If you’re like most online businesses, you’ve probably seen significant changes in the shipping industry during 2020. COVID-19 issues have even the largest partners, like Amazon, setting strict shipping rules for non-essential products, while establishments like the U.S. Post Office struggle with limited resources to meet current shipping demands.
New ecommerce businesses can work around some of these challenges by keeping their order fulfillment largely in house, and carefully planning ahead. But it’s never too early to start thinking about more complex logistics, and online companies working to grow need the right solutions now more than ever! Sherpack is glad to help, and offers fulfillment services specifically designed for ambitious ecommerce companies – that still need to keep careful track of costs. Here’s what your business should know.
Enabling Your Ecommerce Logistics
Let’s first focus on what exactly we mean by e-commerce logistics. Normal logistics refers to getting your products into the hands of your customers, and the specific ways that works: How is inventory stocked? How are products pulled from inventory? What sort of shipping do your products need? How are those products packaged and labeled? Where do they go to be loaded onto trucks or trains, and how do you know they are shipped to the right location? Plus, one of the most important questions of all – how do you ensure that products are delivered to buyers on time, by the date that you promised?
Ecommerce logistics is all of those details too, plus working with an online ordering system. This brings certain advantages – it’s easier to automate some logistics processes online, like inventory management. However, it also comes with its own challenges, like finding vendors that are compatible with the online systems you are using.
Third-party fulfillment centers like Sherpack work to make ecommerce logistics easier by handling the answers to all those questions we listed above. We handle inventory management services to make sure inventory numbers are always up to date. We provide warehousing, storage, and security for a variety of products, depending on their environmental needs. And we manage the fulfillment itself, making sure the right products are packed and shipped to the right locations with trustworthy carriers that deliver on time.
Sherpack’s Modern Logistics Chain
The basics of ecommerce logistics are fine, but there’s a twist: An online business’s logistics needs are always evolving. New products require different approaches, and more customers mean a growing business has to scale up all its fulfillment services. When that scaling can’t be done in house anymore, that’s where a third-party fulfillment service can step in and work with the business to find exactly what solutions they need. As things change, the fulfillment service can offer additional services so the company can continue to focus on its core values.
The problem is that some fulfillment services come with hidden strings attached – as we’ve seen with Amazon cutting down on what they deem as non-essential orders, while still requiring companies to operate by their packaging and shipping rules. At Sherpack, we do things differently: Our focus is on what your products need, and how we can meet your business where you are right now. To help with that, we offer a variety of logistics services for ecommerce, including:
- Finding the best packaging solutions for your goals: Let’s talk about packaging! Sherpack can help you find the right packaging practices depending on what you want. If costs are key, we can help you find packaging that saves the most money. We can also offer advice on how packaging affects your brand, and if branded packaging could lead to more business for your company.
- Integrating with your shopping cart system: Sherpack integrates easily with common shopping cart platforms, including Shopify, Woocommerce, Big Commerce, Magento, and Shipstation. With our compatibility, you don’t have to worry about automation not working or alerts not going through properly.
- Providing a client portal for smaller businesses: Sherpack also offers a client portal for smaller businesses that don’t have an ERP (enterprise resource planning) system of their own set up quite yet, and need a way to consistently track order data from start to finish. Rather than string together limited tools to get this data, our portal can provide it all in one central location.
- Offering flexible shipping transit times: We are happy to talk about transit and what your customers expect, too. We’ll help you examine 2-day rates vs. USPS (3 to 5 day, usually) rates, and the pros and cons involved in making your choice. We also offer first class shipping if you want to include that as an option, and we can provide solutions for more unique situations too, like storing and fast shipping for consumable goods.
- Making returns easier: When a customer initiates a return, Sherpack immediately goes into action, creating the necessary labels and dealing with quality control, return requirements, and other details so that your team can focus on what matters.
How to Find the Right Fulfillment Partner for Your Specific Online Needs
In summary, it’s important to find the right fulfillment partner based on where your ecommerce business is, and where you want to be in the coming months. That also means you need data to work with, which is why Sherpack provides a monthly report on shipping and savings. This makes it easier for company decision-makers to stay updated on the state of logistics and how it compares to their current goals or budgets.
We’re also happy to discuss other personalized solutions depending on your unique company. For example, if your online business encourages people to build their own kits, bundle products together, or buy subscription boxes, then we can find packaging and shipping options that work for these particular types of orders. Contact us to learn more: We’re happy to discuss the specific order requirements for your ecommerce site, and how our fulfillment services can make managing your site easier – even when the unexpected happens.