The best way to reach customers today is to make it possible for people to order from your business online. People are love quick and easy shopping they can do from their phones or computers. Doing this can save them from the hassle of traveling to stores, and it can ensure that they get the products they want. No one wants to drive far to a store only to find that what they want isn’t in stock. But while the advantages of providing online ordering are clear, the ways that your business carries this out can vary. Learn about different order fulfillment strategies to take advantage of in this post.
Direct-to-consumer fulfillment is a strategy you can use when you operate solely through e-commerce. You send out products from a warehouse facility to the addresses of customers who have made orders through your website. The direct-to-consumer model is popular because it cuts down the costs that a business would need to spend on storefront maintenance.
Drop-shipping is a different order fulfillment strategy you can take advantage of to simplify the processes involved with running your business. In this model, you don’t actually handle the goods that you sell. Rather, you partner with a supplier from whom you buy products to fulfill customer orders. After buying the items, the supplier will ship them out to the customers’ addresses themselves. The burden of managing logistical matters doesn’t rest on you. This makes drop-shipping a strong option for entrepreneurs who are just starting out or testing the market demand for a specific product.
Businesses with brick-and-mortar locations and webstores typically separate inventory based on where a customer goes. If a customer orders online, they must wait for that item to reach them from a warehouse. If they go to a store, they can only choose from what’s available at that store. In contrast, omnichannel fulfillment consolidates all inventory into a unified system. If a customer is closer to a store than a warehouse, you could ship the customer’s order from that store to reduce the transit time. Omnichannel fulfillment also gives people options. They could choose to have an order delivered to them or opt for an in-store pickup. Pulling this off can be tricky, so you should know common omnichannel mistakes and how to avoid them as you adopt this fulfillment strategy.