Warehouses and Fulfillment Services
Fulfillment services have fundamentally changed the way eCommerce works. Not so long ago the idea of an aspiring merchant selling products online conjured a visions of a garage filled to the brim with inventory, stacks of cardboard boxes and a very busy printer, all waiting to send the entrepreneur on yet another trip to the post office as each sale came through. Fortunately for the seller, this is no longer the case thanks to eCommerce fulfillment services. In short, warehousing fulfillment services store a sellers product inventory at a shipping warehouse and then ship the products out to the customer. Not only does this solve the storage space problem, and the trips to the post office, they provide far more efficient shipping service than would be possible by an individual, and allow the business to grow on a massive scale. Doing things the old fashioned way might work for selling one or two items a day, but for hundreds of orders hundreds of products you need your business needs a fulfillment service.
WFS and FBA
The big marketplaces are well aware of these benefits and offer the services themselves. Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) and Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS) are directly integrated into the market platforms. By using these programs you can provide your customers with the full quality experience of Amazon and Walmart. What this means is Prime/Free 2 day shipping, international shipping, tracking, higher visibility listings, and most importantly trust. When a customer sees a product is fulfilled by Amazon or Walmart they can be confident in the purchase. They know they are not counting on a seller to get the item to their door, the respected, dependable company is taking on the responsibility. If there is a problem with the order, the customer can reach out directly to Amazon or Walmart support. This confidence leads customers to choose your product over another.
There are also 3rd Party Fulfillment services like Deliverr, which offer the advantages to seller and customer without tying their products to a specific marketplace. Deliverr provides its users with free 2 Day shipping for sales on eBay, Facebook, Instagram, Wish, Shopify, Google Marketplace, and Walmart. It also has some great integrations with advertising by offering customers free next day delivery on on Shopify, Google and Facebook ads at no cost to the seller. Deliverr is great choice for up and coming eCommerce sellers because it is faster and easier to get started on than applying and qualifying for FBA and WFS, while still offering a competitive service with over 50 warehouse locations across the United States. In May they were acquired by Shopify for 2.1 billion dollars, setting the stage to massively ramp-up growth and provide even higher quality service.