The growth in ecommerce has changed the fulfillment business. As Nathan Rucker, Director of Strategic Accounts at ProShip explains, “Retailers are now fulfilling directly to customers, getting packages to them as fast as possible. This is a growing business, with double-digit sales increases expected for the majority of large ecommerce retail fulfillment companies in the U.S. over the next few years.”
Common fulfillment challenges that retailers face include:
- Inventory: Retailers need to have a true understanding of the inventory they have, so that when they say a product is available to sell to a customer it truly is available.
- Support: Retailers need to be able to provide support 24/7 and understand the requirements and processes for shipping cross border.
- Speed: In the past, shipping was handled in a handful of distribution centers. Now it has extended out to all stores in addition to distribution centers. This requires extremely high-performing technology to enable fast output. Nothing can ruin a sales experience as much as getting the order to the customer after it is needed.
- Compliance: It is necessary for retailsers to know how to handle the different carriers available at the different stores. For example, if a retailer has stores in Paris, Los Angeles and Chicago, the carriers are going to be different in each of these locations.