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 more than getting the order to the customer late, after it is needed.
- Compliance: It is necessary for retailers to know how to handle the different carriers available for each of their different store locations. 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.