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10 Best Small Business Fulfillment Companies In 2022

10 Best Small Business Fulfillment Companies In 2022

The e-commerce industry is experiencing the same surreal growth as the Indian economy as a whole. Small businesses fulfillment companies have arrived to help them flourish, as they have tended to be the slowest to adopt the growing trend of online ordering and fulfillment. Many of them lack the necessary finances and resources to make it big in this business. In this article, we take a look at the disadvantages small businesses may face, the benefits of small business fulfillment companies, and why it would make sense for them to partner with a fulfillment center for small businesses to be successful. Why Use Small Business Fulfillment Companies? You may wonder why small businesses (e.g., eCommerce startups) would want the hassle of working with a fulfillment companies in India. Wouldn’t it be a lot easier – and more efficient – in doing it themselves? The answer is easy: While self-fulfillment may appear cheaper and more hassle-free in the beginning, a small business quickly realizes the time, effort, resources, and expertise required in managing the logistics and distribution involved in a successful business. It quickly dawns upon them that they’re better off outsourcing this task to an expert. It saves money, brings best-in-class expertise, and saves real estate. Therefore, the benefits of small business fulfillment services are endless!  Some Leading Advantages of Fulfillment Centers for Small Businesses Inventory managementWarehouse outsourcingBenefit from 3PL economies-of-scaleBest in class technology, software systems & data analyticsReduced number of employeesOrder processingReturn-order processing [contactus_lilgoodness] But Why do Fulfillment Companies Reject Small Business Clients?  The barrier that new clients (e.g., eCommerce startups, D2Cs) face in finding a fulfillment center for small businesses is primarily related to order volume. Fulfillment is a high-volume business with low margins. And, unless clients promise a MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity), the fulfillment companies simply won’t find it profitable. Therefore, while the benefits are evident, small businesses must also carefully select the type of small business fulfillment companies to partner with. Weighing all the factors carefully in choosing the right fulfillment center for your businesses ensures a suitable match for both sides.  Are There Any Exceptions? The timing of tying up with a fulfillment center for small businesses is an important one. You may want to get off the ground first and then partner with one, or if you are entirely cash-crunched, you’d like to wait till you have sufficient funds. Also, outsourcing may be unfeasible for manufacturing firms that use a JIT (just-in-time) supply chain. However, these are more of an exception than the norm and in most cases, using small business fulfillment companies brings immense value to those businesses.  Significance of Small Business Fulfillment Services Small businesses, eCommerce startups, newly launched offline companies, and rapidly growing fledgling businesses are consumed with a host of frenetic daily business activities to manage their operations. And, when these companies are trying to achieve scale rapidly, such activities become greatly amplified.  Under such a scenario, a small business is much better off focusing its efforts on business growth and customer-satisfaction-related activities against spending the time and effort needed to execute the logistics and distribution function.  That’s not to say that the logistics process isn’t an essential part of managing the business – in fact, quite the contrary! In today’s times of global and borderless marketplaces, managing your delivery and logistics is an even more vital tool to achieve customer satisfaction. Often, a company’s differential advantage arises from this aspect. Therefore, all the more reason why the team is better off outsourcing this function to experts - like a fulfillment center for small businesses - is so that they can be reassured that it is in good hands.  How do Small Business Fulfillment Companies Deal with Minimum Order Requirements for Fulfillment Services? A fulfillment center for small businesses manages your inventory, processes, and dispatches your orders on your behalf.  Since they have several clients (online & offline), they need to know the order volumes they can expect from each platform to plan their operations, invest in resources, and create workforces accordingly.  As a result, they set limits, both minimum and maximum. This enables them to plan their resources and provide the best possible service to their clients. It also helps them calculate their critical internal metrics such as the number of vehicles, loaders, suppliers, storage space, MIS, full-time and part-time employees, drivers, slab-based pricing for various clients, etc. Read on to know more in detail about how order fulfillment services for small business here. Typically, small business fulfillment services use the following metrics to bracket clients: Minimum Monthly-Order-Quantity (MOQ), e.g., less than 500, 500-1000, 1000+Minimum Monthly-Order-Value (MOV)Minimum monthly-fulfillment fees. If your bill doesn’t hit the minimum (e.g., Rs.50,000), you would still be billed that amount.A minimum number of trucks/ pallets/ tonnage (etc.) is sent out every month.  New or growing businesses like eCommerce startups must carefully calculate their requirements while negotiating with a fulfillment center for small businesses. This helps them to get the best rates and service from 3PLs. Given below are essential metrics for small-business clients to consider while committing to MOQs: Forecasting demand: Start with demand forecasting, i.e., the recorded demand for your products. Provide for scale, cyclical demand, seasonality, competitors, etc.Calculate your break-even point: This requires a solid understanding of your business model, including: Number of units sold to make a profit that covers operating-costNumber of units sold to make a profitOther costs, e.g., inventory carrying costs, overheadsUse MOV (Minimum Order Value): If you sell a basket of products, you could commit to a monthly MOV to your small business fulfillment company, i.e., you may not meet the MOQ for each product, but if you achieve a combined MOV, they would still give you reasonable rates and service. Collaborate with other same-space players: Combining with other companies in your ecosystem that use similar supply-chain, raw materials, etc., will help you reduce your operating costs. This allows you to earn more profit, grow your business faster, etc.Leverage the new business angle: Explain to your small business fulfillment company that you are still setting up and testing market conditions, demand, etc. And after gauging the results, you would gradually increase the quantity. Often, small business fulfillment services will be agreeable. Benefits of Using a Fulfillment Center for Small Businesses 1. Rapid growth: Small-business owners and teams must rapidly focus on growing their businesses by logical extension of the section above. And, you certainly wouldn’t want this growth to be restrained due to poor fulfillment. Partnering with a 3PL with a vast range of resources ensures your fulfillment partner matches your speed and enhances it.  2. Seamless integration of eCommerce platforms: Instead of grappling with integrating various individual systems, you’re better off using an experienced 3PL to integrate all your eCommerce platforms for a unified, comprehensive solution. This setup is guaranteed to reduce cost and time.  3. 3PL discounted rates: Small business fulfillment companies serve numerous clients and operate at a tremendous scale. Therefore, they can command bulk discounts from shippers like UPS, BlueDart, & FedEx on rates and get better terms of service. Thus, when you use 3PLs, you can avail of these bulk-discount rates and facilities – despite not reaching that scale yourself.  4. Own warehouse not needed: Using a fulfillment center for small businesses means you don’t need to own and manage your warehouse. This is very expensive, but it also requires massive resources and adherence to stringent practices to be effective.  5. Ease of selling internationally: When you sell across borders, dealing with various tax regimes, travel zones, international laws, customs, duties, and documentation becomes a significant challenge. It is common knowledge that a significant bottleneck of expanding internationally is dealing with global fulfillment. Using an order fulfillment service for startups reduces that burden.  6. Leverage 3PL expertise: Experts are good at what they do. And small business fulfillment companies are experts in providing 3PL fulfillment services. So, it is in your interest to outsource all your inventory and fulfillment activities to them, leaving you to concentrate on your company's growth. Related Article: 3PL Warehousing Companies Top 10 Small Businesses Fulfillment Companies and Startups WareIQShopify Fulfillment NetworkRed Stag FulfillmentShipMonkeFulfillment ServiceShipBobFedEx FulfillmentWhitebox ShipheroSaltbox The following 3PLs have a reputation of being conducive to small businesses, can work without minimum order quantities or even with small amounts, and have received positive reviews from small-businesses owners. Source WareIQ Established in 2019, WareIQ, a Y-combinator backed startup, has rapidly grown to be the leading provider of full-stack eCommerce fulfilment services for some of the most reputed brands in India. WareIQ offers a full-stack platform for eCommerce companies to enable same-day delivery and next day delivery to customers – an Amazon Prime-like experience but accessible to everyone.  WareIQ has empowered brands to sell more, sell faster & sell everywhere due to: Access to WareIQ’s strong nationwide network of fulfilment centres, micro-fulfillment centers & urban dark stores near their customersAccess to all major national & hyperlocal last-mile couriers at discounted rates for making same/next day deliveries possibleEasy integration across multiple online platforms & marketplaces enhancing multi-channel sellingHorizontal marketplaces: Flipkart, Amazon etc.Vertical marketplaces: Nykaa, Myntra etc.D2C platforms: Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce etc.Social commerce platforms: BikayiAccess to a superior centralised tech platform for eCommerce operationsML-based prediction engine for efficient warehouse network design & smart inventory placementCentralised platform for core fulfilment & shipping operationsPost-shipping apps for delightful experience & zero to minimum supply chain leakages (Branded tracking page with smart marketing placements; Trigger-based updates & smart communication platform) WareIQ has customised offerings for merchants experiencing different order volumes as well as having different delivery speed expectations. WareIQ is probably one of the very few fulfilment tech companies in the world that have same-day delivery service for their customers under their product WareIQ RUSH. With world-class WMS functionalities, WareIQ handles the entire range of intricate operations in the eCommerce fulfilment process, ranging from Inbound Operations such as scanning and quality check, through 100% accurate Pick and Pack, to Inventory Management across all channels. WareIQ’s next day delivery and same-day delivery services are helping eCommerce businesses set new standards with respect to setting customer expectations and fulfilling them with high efficacy. At the same time, WareIQ customers realise significant cost savings and wider reach due to better negotiations with shipping partners, strategically placed warehouses (there are different types of warehouses for different requirements), economies of scale and scope in warehousing and data-driven decision making. WareIQ’s WMS, a centralised tech platform, helps to better manage undelivered orders by reducing NDR processing time by 12 hours – a multifunctional NDR dashboard helps to track and take immediate action for undelivered orders in real time, thereby reducing RTO by up to 10%. Automatic replenishment recommendations and easy purchase order creation capabilities on the WareIQ platform further empower eCommerce companies to leverage all possible ways of increasing their ROI. 300+ brands, such as The Man Company, Future Group, Kama Ayurveda and Wingreens Farms, have trusted WareIQ as a reliable partner in their growth journeys. No minimum order quantity requirements make it suitable even for eCommerce firms having low order quantities to take advantage of the latest trends such as next day delivery and same day delivery. The onboarding process is simple, convenient and less time consuming, while the pricing policy is clear and transparent. WareIQ also undertakes strict safety precautions at its warehouses and complete ownership of the operations, thereby minimising the risk exposure of WareIQ customers. Source Shopify Fulfillment Network It was launched in 2006 in Ottawa, Canada and was specifically targeted at small-business clients. It is an excellent option for small businesses but still provides ample space for clients to expand into enterprises. Its platform is utilised by over 1.7 million businesses in over 175 countries. Clients can ship fewer than 10 orders or exceed a 1000 orders, daily. It suggests locations for inventory storage. Locations are vetted by Shopify and facilitated by a panel of fulfillment services across Canada and the USA. They have flexible contracts and customized pricing. They offer a custom API to track order progress and insights. Some features offered by Shopify are: Mobile commerce ready: Online Shopify stores contain an in-built, mobile commerce shopping cart. Customers can shop from the seller's store digitally, through a smartphone or tablet. Automatic carrier shipping rates: Shipping rates can be received automatically through major shipping carriers like UPS, USPS, and FedEx. Flexible shipping rates: Shipping rates can be set up according to fixed-price, tiered pricing, weight-based, and location-based rates. Customer profiles: Sellers can get more information about their customers and their preferences. Their personal information such as contact info and order history can be found in one place. Digital products: Customers can order and download digital products right from the seller's online store. Red Stag Fulfillment Source It is conducive for small businesses and maintains numerous fulfillment centers. Hence, it offers quick delivery times and reduced costs. A 30-day trial is also offered. The company has tie-ups with market leaders like WooCommerce and Shopify. As per statistics, 100% of orders are shipped on time and to an accurate location. Typically, the MOQ is set at 200 orders per month, but fewer orders can be shipped. It works with Amazon Prime and ships internationally. Some features offered by Red Stag Fulfillment are: Warehousing: 3 existing warehouses in the US are available for inventory storage and 3 more warehouses are expected to be added to their fulfillment network in the near future. Order fulfillment: Red Stag's fulfillment process consists of specialized training, handling, packaging, and shipping deals and makes it a unique proposition for merchandise that requires special handling. Same-day fulfillment with quick cutoff times, and heavy-duty packaging are also available. Shipping: Red Stag partners with the biggest names in distribution - UPS, USPS, FedEx, Amazon, and OnTrac - most of which offer discounted rates. Integrations: Red Stag offers integrations with eCommerce shopping carts and seller marketplaces. Special services: Unique services offered by Red Stag include kitting, custom packaging, bundling, reverse logistics, international shipping, and more. Source Shipmonk It offers services to all eCommerce firms. Fees are based on monthly order volumes, and no MOQ is set. Inventory storage fees are fixed depending on the size and scale. Provide discounted rates from all leading shippers. Picking fees gradually reduce as your order pickups increase. In addition to Amazon Seller fulfillment, it also fulfills orders from non-conventional marketplaces like Groupon and Etsy. Some features offered by Shipmonk are: Multiple Warehouses: Shipmonk offers multiple warehouses, located all across the country. Free Integrations: Shipmonk has over 100 shopping cart and marketplace integrations, usually with free setup. Transparent Billing: Their billing process offers a precise breakdown of costs in the portal so customers can maximise on budgeting efficiency. Freight Management: A specialised engineer can help in case you need to import inventory by guiding you through the process of filing the correct documentation and coordinating freight. Returns Management: Shipping labels for customers can be created directly in your account and alerts are sounded when a return enters back into the warehouse. Source eFulfillment Service You don’t need any long-term contracts. There are no MOQ requirements or setup costs for initiation. The company offers competitive pricing and an efficient cross-docking facility, i.e., orders shipped out upon arrival, cutting out any holding or storage costs. It is a good option for crowd-funded firms to test the market fit for new products by shipping them to promoters and backers. Some features offered by eFulfillment Service are: Simple, affordable pricing: There are no setup fees, long-term contracts, minimum order requirements, hidden fees, or fine print. Friendly terms for e-commerce startups: They provide outsourced fulfillment that is specifically targeted at startups. Integration with global distributors: They have integrations with every big name in distribution services such as DHL, Fedex etc. Order Fulfillment technology: They offer things like custom tracking software and customisable alerts to keep customers updated about the fulfillment status of their order. Best-in-class security: Their secure technology infrastructure ensures that your data is kept safe and protected. Source ShipBob Ship Bob is popular with eCommerce firms and is used by more than 5,000 online businesses. There are no MOQ requirements and its pricing plans are simple and transparent. It offers a growth plan service that suits fledgling start-ups with less than 400 orders per month. There are zero onboarding charges, payment is as per usage and it implements a self-service model. It is useful for flash sales and is integrated with BigCommerce, Amazon and Shopify. It offers a global shipment network and claims an impressive on-time delivery and accuracy rate of 99+%. Some features offered by ShipBob are: Large fulfillment network: ShipBob has multiple warehouses and fulfillment centers that enable sellers to manage their inventory by keeping a certain amount of stock in multiple warehouses. Web-based platform: ShipBob’s web-based platform helps you to keep an eye on logistics, manage, edit, and customize orders, track real-time stock levels from any location, and receive notifications whenever inventory needs to be restocked. Guaranteed 2-day shipping: ShipBob offers a 95% plus 2 day shipping fulfillment plan, regardless of where the order has to be delivered. Omnifulfillment: ShipBob fulfills orders for both online and offline channels to help provide a consistent customer experience, regardless of where people buy your products. B2B fulfillment: With ShipBob, you can easily connect to retailers for EDI-automated wholesale and retail workflows, and print retailer-compliant packing slips. Source FedEx Fulfillment It is a fulfillment company that is attractive for small businesses due to its one-stop fulfillment. It is a reputed, credible brand that is now hugely popular with start-ups because of its comprehensive one-stop solution. There are no onboarding charges. Their services include fulfillment, inventory storage, shipping, and packing. Clients benefit from its scale (like receiving significant shipping discounts) since its 3PL business is tied with its parent company. They do have a MOQ of 400 orders, but many benefits are offered in return. Some features offered by FedEx Fulfillment are: Warehousing: FedEx consists of 13 warehouses in the US and 1 international fulfillment center, that are all connected to FedEx's comprehensive transportation network. Order fulfillment: Through automation and process streamlining, FedEx Fulfillment ensures a reduction in the number of people handling each order, which increases efficiency and reduces the scope of errors. Shipping: FedEx Fulfillment only supports FedEx shipping services, but the offers worldwide fulfillment in over 200 countries. Reverse logistics: FedEx Fulfillment is a just a tiny portion of all services offered by FedEx’s extensive logistics business, so users have access to all of FedEx’s other services, including industry-leading return management services. Integrations: Integrations are offered with Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, eBay, Walmart, Etsy, and a many more. Source Whitebox It is popular with sellers on Amazon as well as other B2C sellers. It offers several services to facilitate sellers operating on Amazon. It differentiates itself from it’s competitors since it offers marketing services in addition to order-fulfillment, making it convenient for clients. There is a flat monthly fee for using its platform which includes inventory storage, software, account handling, shipping, receiving, and processing. It does have a MOQ of 1,000 orders but has several success stories of small businesses that started with them and grew to become much larger firms. Some features offered by Whitebox are: eCommerce software: Whitebox uses its proprietary technology, Omnifi™ throughout the entire lifecycle of order fulfillment. This gives sellers access to insights and metrics about their customers and order fulfilment process. Marketplace management: Sellers can access tools to automate and simplify the management of online marketplaces, including review alerts, order tracking, reseller tracking and more. Warehouse and Inventory Management: Whitebox offers a flexible warehouse management system that gives brands valuable live insights into inventory. Optimised packaging and shipping: They offer recommendations about the best type of packaging for different types of products to help reduce damage and maintain a great customer experience. National and international coverage: Strategically located warehouses result in cost-effective shipping wherever the customer is located. Source Shiphero It has zero setup charges and offers two solutions – fulfillment and warehouse software. These are very helpful for eCommerce firms and start-ups. The order-fulfillment service is completely automated and runs across hundreds of company-owned warehouses. It is a very popular small business fulfillment company and is used by over 5,000 brands. Some features offered by Shiphero are: Order fulfillment: They smartly distribute and store your inventory across a country-wide network of warehouses, which offers faster delivery at a lower cost. Diverse Integrations: They are integrated with leading eCommerce, marketplace, shipping and robotics platforms. Mobile pick & pack: The order pickers are sent into the warehouse with mobile tech that makes picking faster and more efficient and cuts error rates by 99.99%. Rate Shopping: Using ShipHero’s real-time ship rate shopping enables you to save on postage. The cheapest carrier will always be suggested. Reporting: Built-in reporting features cover everything from COGS to Picker/Packer Efficiency to Replenishment. Custom reports are available as well. Source Saltbox It is a fulfillment company that is suitably designed for start-ups and small-business clients. There are no MOQ requirements. The company provides discounted shipping rates from leading shippers like FedEx, DHL, & UPS. It offers warehousing and workspaces, which is unique and helpful and is integrated with WooCommerce, Shopify and Etsy, among others. Some features offered by Saltbox are: Reduced transit time: They offer local drop-off which results in a reduction in both time taken to deliver the order and cost. Guaranteed inventory replenishment: They offer 24-hour guaranteed dock-to-stock on inventory Same-day fulfillment: They offer same-day shipping fulfillment for orders received by 3 PM Free packaging: They offer standard packaging at no additional cost. No penalty fees: There are no setup, onboarding or any other type of penalty fee that is applicable. Top 5 Factors to Consider While Selecting Your Small Business Fulfillment Company Firstly, select a small business fulfillment company that suits your business requirements. Just like players in any industry have their focus areas, so do 3PLs. Some are specialized, while others offer general logistics. Typically, 3PLs are classified into two categories:  General Purpose 3PL: Services range from transportation to storage. Generally handle cargo that doesn’t need any special care, packing, etc., and is fairly inexpensive.Niche-Specific 3PL: Serve specific markets and categories, e.g., eCommerce, certified 3PLs for special products, perishable goods, etc. Also, Consider the Following Points to Analyze which 3PL Suits Your Small Business Requirements Technology Only through modern technology like cloud storage, AI, ML, IoT, Data Analytics (etc.) can a 3PL provide you with real-time, transparent, and efficient services. Scalability While you still may be a small business, you would undoubtedly be looking to scale. Unless a 3PL has resources that can serve you as you expand, it isn’t the correct one for you. Financial Strength Select a financially stable 3PL since you will be dependent on them for an essential function of your business – you certainly don’t want customer packages held up because your 3PL is facing cash-flow issues or is going out of business! Industry Expertise This is a critical consideration. When a 3PL is experienced in your industry, they bring knowledge and experience. Since a small business is only just starting, this expertise is valuable.  Transparent Rate Structure While various 3PLs have their rates and tariff structure, you must select one whose tariff card is easy to calculate and understand. This is important for estimating your operating costs, breakeven points, and profitability. Typical cost-heads include storage, shipping, onboarding, order processing, etc.  Additionally, consider points like a 3PL’s management skills, warehouse locations and maintenance, work culture, and disaster preparedness. Finally, look for 3PLs that typically don’t ask small businesses to commit to long-term contracts or command hefty fees upfront. Limitations and Challenges in Dealing with Small Business Fulfillment Services Small businesses that partner with 3PLs may likely have to opt for those willing to work with small businesses in the first place. This could mean using a second-rung small business fulfillment company or accepting that the fulfillment center for small businesses will not immediately assign their best resources to you since you aren’t a cash cow for them (at least not immediately).  As a result, several challenges exist in the working relationship between small businesses and their small-business fulfillment company. Some areas of possible friction or inefficiency are mentioned below: 1. Limited warehouses and shipping locations: With increasing Ecommerce competition, delivering customer parcels at the earliest (and cheapest) is now a critical function. The location of your 3PLs fulfillment centers directly determines your delivery times. Unless your 3PL has an elaborate network of warehouses and fulfillment locations, both central and satellite, they will not be able to achieve optimized delivery times. 2. Complicated fulfillment systems: 3PLs use the latest and modern technologies to manage their logistics and distribution operations. These elaborate back-end platforms power their businesses and seamlessly integrate with clients’ MIS. However, given that such fulfillment systems are vast in their scope, a small business may find it overly complicated and difficult to understand or negotiate. Remember, small businesses like eCommerce sellers are still boot-strapping or only just finding their feet. Therefore, assigning precious resources to a task that is outsourced for its convenience in the first place is counter-productive. 3. Inefficient handling of order returns: Order returns are omnipresent in eCommerce – they will be a part of your daily operations. When you use a 3PL, your logistics are set up for order returns to reach their warehouse directly. However, suppose your 3PL isn’t set up to handle this efficiently and to the customer's satisfaction, including replacements, refunds, discounts on future orders, credit notes, restocking, returns to the manufacturer, etc., you will not only bleed profits but also create irate customers that will probably never return!  You May Read: Contract Logistics vs 3PL Logistics 4. Customer Service: It is much more difficult to retain a customer than get a new one. Unfortunately, eCommerce firms lose billions of dollars every year due to poor customer relations and processes handling. With new firms trying to sell to the same audience, you must provide good – if not excellent - customer service. 5. Stock-out problems: This occurs when an item isn’t available because demand is outstripping supply. Again, while this is never a pleasant situation, it is something that the supply-side will have to deal with forever – the solution is to minimize its occurrence and, therefore, mitigate its damage.  For that, suppliers and 3PLs need to understand historical order patterns across products, customer segments, high and low demand periods (etc.) and use this to predict future buying trends.  Conclusion: Should you use a Small Business Fulfillment Companies for Your Fulfillment Needs? The benefits of using a fulfillment center for small businesses like an eCommerce startup are evident. The trick, however, is for the small business to understand their business model and consumers comprehensively so that they can make well-calculated projections and commitments to the 3PL while entering into a contract and negotiating terms and conditions. This will benefit the 3PL by getting the best rates, but it will also help them plan and implement their small business fulfillment services in the best possible way. One such company that offers small business fulfillment services is WareIQ. WareIQ is a category-defining, best-in-class full-stack eCommerce fulfillment tech platform (with inbuilt inventory planning, order management & shipping system) for modern brands to accelerate online sales/ expedite revenue growth & profits with same/next day delivery. We not only help you reduce your logistic costs but also your delivery timelines – this could be the game-changer your business needs!  WareIQ offers a centralized tech platform for your entire eCommerce operations. ML-based prediction engine for efficient warehouse network design & smart inventory placementCentralized platform for core fulfillment & shipping operationsPost-shipping apps for a delightful experience & zero to minimum supply chain leakages [signup] Small Business Fulfillment Companies FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) Which are the 5 best fulfillment companies for small business?• WareIQ• Shopify Fulfillment Network• Red Stag Fulfillment• ShipMonk• eFulfillment Service Why is the right time to hire order fulfillment companies for small businesses?Each owner decides at a different time and often for different dominant reasons as every business is unique. Generally the need for a fulfillment company arrives when one’s ecommerce business is booming and they want to expand their capacity without adding warehouse space or personnel. Startups/small businesses should make sure if they have a running website, and their business is well-documented and has a regulated structure. What are the main factors to look for in the Best Fulfillment services for small businesses and startups?• Location of the warehouse• Fulfillment service software used• Affordability • Security management system • Order Damages and Insurance Which location is best for fulfillment options?Deciding on the location for fulfillment services is crucial and is a major task. For instance if your inventory is based out of the country then you should make sure that your warehouse choice is placed nearby your business center.

May 28, 2022

8 Best Small Business Order Fulfillment Companies in 2022

8 Best Small Business Order Fulfillment Companies in 2022

When starting a small business and scaling up based on customer orders, every business owner needs to think about having them stored and shipped. While it's exciting when a sale is made, questions about where the products will be stored and how they would be transported to customers are pressing.  With the rapid digitization and the COVID-19 pandemic, the eCommerce business has been thriving more than ever. Small businesses have had a chance to scale up during this time, but order fulfillment is a crucial part of making a business successful. It may be confusing to those starting out or even when small businesses need to optimize their order fulfillment and logistics processes. In this blog, we will talk about everything small businesses would want to know about order fulfillment in 2022 and the list of top 8 small business order fulfillment companies. What is Small Business Order Fulfillment? Small Business Order fulfillment comes into play after the customer has placed an order with the small business. This process involves storing the products, packaging them and shipping them to customers. There are many ways small businesses can manage order fulfillment. They can choose in-house management, partner with fulfillment partners, drop-ship their orders or even use a combination of different methods. The four major milestones of the order fulfillment process are: 1. Creating the order when the sale is made 2. Invoicing the customer for the order 3. Picking, packaging and preparing the shipment 4. Delivering the order to the customer's doorstep Order fulfillment involves receiving inbound wholesale shipments, sorting stock, and shelving inventory for efficient picking and packaging are all steps in the order fulfillment process. The products are then picked, tested for quality and accuracy, packed, and labelled for shipment as orders come in. Returns management (also known as reverse logistics) is often thought of as an extension of the fulfillment process. When a small business decides to do order fulfillment in-house, all stages of the process — storage, packing, and shipping need to be completed by them. They can also partner with a 3PL fulfillment company to handle the process or even employ drop shipping, with the rest of the processes handled in-house. [contactus_uth] Challenges in Small Business Order Fulfillment Startups and SMEs face setbacks in the order fulfillment process that can affect success and operational efficiency. Creating an order fulfillment system has become challenging, as the business grows and begins attracting customers from all over the globe. Not having a streamlined order fulfillment process can have a negative impact on customer delight and revenue. This in turn damaged the business reputation. Some of the small business order fulfillment changes are: Demand Planning To have the right inventory stock, demand planning is important. Having the ability to predict the demand of the products based on customer buying habits is key to ensuring that businesses have a clear understanding of what to stock and what to hold back on.  Inventory Control Maintaining a positive customer experience is important for SMEs and startups to flourish. Poor inventory management has a negative influence on everything from profitability to customer satisfaction, and it frequently leads to increased fulfillment costs and dead inventory stock. Small businesses usually struggle with effective inventory control to know exactly what they have, how much they have, and where it is. Supply Chain Having a good supply chain network is important for an effective order fulfillment process. Small businesses find it challenging to build ways to control each of the risks, reducing order fulfillment issues caused by unanticipated events. Multichannel Small businesses find it taxing to regularly ship the proper package, on time, and undamaged to the appropriate destination. Taking orders across various channels can make things even more complicated, with all the steps involved in the order fulfillment process. Due to a lack of real-time inventory control, eCommerce orders may be fulfilled at the expense of in-store product availability, or merchandise on the shelf vs in a shopping cart may be unaccounted for. Transport and Logistics Increasing transportation costs continue to have an impact on order fulfillment for small businesses, ultimately raising consumer prices. It is a challenge for SMEs and startups to achieve dispatch deadlines, resource management and ensure how client orders are prioritised. Strategies to Improve the Order Fulfillment Process for Small Businesses • Create a statistical forecast by analyzing sales trends, buying history and customer engagement to help make informed decisions for future demand planning. • Collaborate with customers, distributors and logistical partners to understand the demand vs. supply anticipation.  • Analyse demands across channels to determine which platform allows for the most sales. • Improve demand forecasting with the help of predictive ordering software solutions to stay equipped for unforeseen demand spikes • Maintain clear stock visibility for overcoming small business order fulfillment issues like backorders, delays, and dissatisfied consumers. • Use the first-in, first-out (FIFO) approach to sell products that were produced first. Have a system in place to add new products and items from the back to push older items for sale to the front. • Identify low-turn stocks by evaluating products that weren't sold over the last 12 months. Have sales to have them sold and do not stock them until there is increased customer demand. • Audit stocks to ensure that inventory matches the predicted demand forecast • Leverage cloud-based inventory management systems with real-time analytics to ensure that there are surplus or out-of-stock items. • Track stock levels and prioritize the most expensive products first • Partner with proper suppliers to have a cohesive, collaborative supply chain. • Identify potential supply chain risks to evaluate all possibilities and their likelihood of occurring. What Are The Benefits of Using Order Fulfillment Services for Small Businesses? No matter how big or small the business is, an order fulfillment service helps in keeping track of complete fulfillment status; will keep track of physical goods inventory and manage the end-to-end process of getting the order to the customer.  Order fulfillment firms frequently provide the following services: • Warehousing • Picking & packing • Shipping • Kitting  • Logistics • Cross-docking • International shipping Some of the key benefits of using small business order fulfillment services are: • Maintaining inventory remotely by retaining stocks in the service provider's warehouses. These warehouses can be accessed on-demand or on a long-term basis at any preferred location, for a smooth order fulfillment experience for the customer.  • Ensuring faster order delivery by reducing the distance between the product's source and the customer's location. Small businesses can easily utilize eCommerce warehouse fulfillment technologies provided by the service partner to store stock items in locations with the highest volume of orders. • Enhancing customer experience by invoking a positive response from customers on a quick and seamless delivery process. By providing a pleasant customer experience, small businesses can increase brand loyalty and drive recurring sales. • Leveraging technology to make delivery services seamless. Small business order fulfillment services use advanced technologies like AI and machine learning to enhance the accuracy of product sequencing, order fulfillment, product tracking and return order processing. Real-time updates on orders and track of stock and orders can also be easily achieved. • Focusing on product sales and revenue generation. By allowing service partners to look into the order fulfillment process, small businesses can prioritize critical functionalities such as marketing, product design, product diversification, and so on, resulting in improved sales. Latest Small Business Order Fulfillment Trends [2022] Small businesses can navigate the order fulfillment challenges in 2022 as a result of the quick change to omnichannel retail and free and fast delivery. It is important to consider the latest trends in order fulfillment services for small businesses to gain a competitive advantage in the market. The latest small business order fulfillment trends include: Extensive Supplier Network  The COVID-19 pandemic brought in a plethora of order delivery issues, with small businesses having the highest impact. With the demand outstripping supply, there were substantial worker and transportation shortages, with small businesses being unable to service diverse markets, and warehouse spaces not being able to keep up with shifting needs. This brought in the importance of having a diverse supplier network and contingency measures in place to reduce or eliminate delivery failures. Predictive Customer Journey The pandemic changed the purchasing behaviour of customers. With the major shift in digitization, consumers became more vocal about their desires and needs from businesses in recent years. This is why the customer journey and the ability to predict buyer decisions gained importance. By tailoring online platforms and processes, small businesses can make it easier for customers to buy things and monitor them from the shopping cart to the doorstep. This includes clear communication with customers through sending out automatic notifications when an order is shipped, as well as providing useful product selection advice. Hence, order fulfillment services for small businesses have identified this emerging need and integrated such customer-engagement features into their tech platforms. Real-time Tracking Customers have now grown accustomed to receiving real-time product availability and fulfillment information. With the availability of unique RFID data, eCommerce retailers can track inventories and instantly alert customers as the purchased item goes through the small business order fulfillment process. Hybrid Order Fulfillment There are now several delivery choices available when ordering products online. Before the pandemic, services like BOPIS (Buy Online Pick-Up In-Store) and curbside pickup were nearly unheard of. Having hybrid order fulfillment options relieves some of the strain on traditional supply networks and procedures. However, these order fulfillment services for small business solutions will necessitate the usage of a single inventory system so that retailers may fulfill online purchases using their on-site inventories. Automation Automation is in high demand, in the logistics business, as a solution to address complex supply chains and labour constraints. According to a recent study conducted by ARC Advisory Group, 79 per cent of respondents said they were "likely" or "very likely" to invest in automation in the next 1-3 years. Now, small business order fulfillment companies are working towards adopting a variety of automation options, including automated picking systems and robotic forklifts. When and How to Choose Order Fulfillment Services for Small Business? When a small enterprise begins to grow and order volume increases, outsourced order fulfillment services for small business can provide significant benefits in terms of product management, shipping costs, delivery speed, customised shipping services, and more. When choosing small business order fulfillment services, some of the factors that small business owners and operations managers should consider are: Shipping Speed: The faster the customer receives the order, the more they come back for recurring purchases. With Amazon Prime having options like same-day and two-day delivery timelines, it’s important for small businesses to have an order fulfillment service with quick shipping and delivery.Fulfillment Service Costs: Although an initial investment is required when collaborating with an order fulfillment partner, be sure there are no hidden fees for long-term storage because the products are in high demand. Also, because of the amount they transport, negotiate with them for better carrier pricing.Fulfillment Warehouse locations: The closer the fulfilment warehouses are to the customer base, the quicker the order fulfillment will be. Make sure that when choosing order fulfillment partners, they one ones with an extensive warehouse location network for shorter delivery distance and time.Order Fulfillment Service Features: An order fulfillment software with easy-to-use features and those providing clear order visibility, responsive dashboards, easy inventory management etc. are important so that businesses can focus more on sales and marketing than on figuring out inventory levels and organize their order fulfilment.Process Transparency and Order Visibility: Real-time order visibility and complete process transparency in any delays etc. are crucial to have while building a business and trying to improve customer satisfaction. It’s important that there are easy tracking and order management features provided by the order fulfillment partner.Packaging Options: Depending on the goods being transported, the fulfillment centre of the chosen service provider should be able to give packaging choices. Having a variety of packing solutions will also help to prevent product damage. In addition to packaging, the use of the appropriate insulation material, such as corrugated paper, bubble wrap, or air pillows, can ensure that products reach their destination securely.Returns Management: Orders will be returned at times, and the fulfillment provider should collaborate with the business owner on returns management to help decrease or eliminate them, if possible, through better-advanced logistics. It's critical to be able to recognise clients who are frequent returners in order to reduce order returns and increase their trust in the products they buy. The Best Order Fulfillment Services for Small Businesses Compared WareIQ Source Established in 2019, WareIQ, a Y-combinator backed startup, has rapidly grown to be the leading provider of full-stack eCommerce order fulfillment tech solutions for some of the most reputed brands in India. WareIQ offers a full-stack platform for eCommerce companies to enable same day delivery and next day delivery to customers – an Amazon Prime-like experience but accessible to everyone. WareIQ has empowered brands to sell more, sell faster & sell everywhere due to: Access to WareIQ’s strong nationwide network of fulfilment centres & urban dark stores near their customersAccess to all major national & hyperlocal last mile couriers at discounted rates for making same/next day deliveries possibleEasy integration across multiple online platforms & marketplacesHorizontal marketplaces: Flipkart, Amazon etc.Vertical marketplaces: Nykaa, Myntra etc.D2C platforms: Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce etc.Social commerce platforms: BikayiAccess to a superior centralised tech platform for eCommerce operationsML-based prediction engine for efficient warehouse network design & smart inventory placementCentralised platform for core fulfillment & shipping operationsPost-shipping apps for delightful experience & zero to minimum supply chain leakages (Branded tracking page with smart marketing placements; Trigger-based updates & smart communication platform) WareIQ has customised offerings for merchants experiencing different order volumes as well as having different delivery speed expectations. WareIQ is probably one of the very few fulfillment tech companies in the world that have same day delivery offering for their customers under their product “WareIQ RUSH”. With world-class WMS functionalities, WareIQ handles the entire range of intricate operations in the eCommerce fulfillment process, ranging from Inbound Operations such as scanning and quality check, through 100% accurate Pick and Pack , to Inventory Management across all channels. WareIQ’s next day delivery and same day delivery services are helping eCommerce businesses set new standards with respect to setting customer expectations and fulfilling them with high efficacy. At the same time, WareIQ customers realise significant cost savings and wider reach due to better negotiations with shipping aggregators, strategically placed warehouses, economies of scale and scope in warehousing and data-driven decision making. WareIQ’s WMS, a centralised tech platform, is its core offering, with the following functionalities: Shipping Management Integration to all major national couriers and same-day courier partners through WareIQ platform with discounted ratesGeneration of bulk shipping labels & invoices in a few clicksOffering a branded tracking page and sending auto-alerts to inform customers of their shipment statusReduction in RTO % (Return to origin) by automating cases of failed delivery attempts (NDRs) by the shipping partnerPreemption of COD frauds through integrated AI engine flagging risky ordersOrders managementTracking of orders across the channels Filtering of orders by statusSearching for specific ordersA quick timeline view of where the order is in the fulfillment process (e.g. when an order is picked, packed, or shipped)Shipping-related information (e.g., weights, dimensions, or carrier service) A quick snapshot of any orders that require actionSyncing WareIQ’s out-of-the-box integrations with sales channels to eliminate manual importing of data and trigger all the necessary notifications to the end-customersInventory managementTracking of inventory levels across multiple locations & sales channels – the website and marketplacesUsing WareIQ platform to distribute inventory to multiple locations optimizing for speed & cost/orderSetting reminders to proactively replenish inventory, bundle products for promotions, make inventory transfer requests, and much moreWarehouse managementManaging multiple warehouses and offline stores on WareIQ platform100% inventory accuracy ​​​with scan-based operationsAutomated reconciliation tool helps to keep track of returns and unsettled invoicesIntegrations with all major ERP & Accounting systemsFulfilled By Amazon and Prime StatusAssured tag on Flipkart without physically dedicating inventory to them The central platform helps to better manage undelivered orders by reducing NDR processing time by 12 hours – a multifunctional NDR dashboard helps to track and take immediate action for undelivered orders in real-time, thereby reducing RTO by up to 10%. Automatic replenishment recommendations and easy purchase order creation capabilities on the WareIQ platform further empower eCommerce companies to leverage all possible ways of increasing their ROI. 300+ brands, such as The Man Company, Future Group, Kama Ayurveda and Wingreens Farms, have trusted WareIQ as a reliable partner in their growth journeys. No minimum order quantity requirements make it suitable even for eCommerce firms having low order quantities to take advantage of the latest trends such as next day delivery and same day delivery. The onboarding process is simple, convenient and less time consuming, while the pricing policy is clear and transparent. WareIQ also undertakes strict safety precautions at its warehouses and complete ownership of the operations, thereby minimising the risk exposure of WareIQ customers. Delhivery Source Delhivery is a key player in the Indian small business order fulfillment sector. They have 71 fulfillment centres around the country, with a total storage and processing space of over 6 million square feet. All the major demand channels and courier partners are integrated with their own warehouse management system. It's built to support efficient multi-tenant, multi-location warehousing, allowing businesses to extend operations across India rapidly and flexibly with no fixed expenses. By combining warehousing services and freight solutions, Delhivery can provide small businesses with integrated distribution solutions. This allows Delhivery to better serve its customers with quick and cost-effective offline delivery. Their services include: Same-day/Next-day DeliveryTime-defined/Slot-based DeliveryPerson Specific/Address Specific DeliveryReturns ManagementProduct Replacement/Exchange ServicesLarge/Oversize Order DeliveryHigh-value Product DeliveryHAZMAT/Dangerous Goods DeliveryReal-time Monitoring and ControlConsignee Address ValidationFraud DetectionFlexible Payment on Delivery NimbusPost Source NimbusPost is an intuitive, multi-channel distribution company. It offers a logistics automation CRM that assists customers in automating and simplifying important processes that are involved in the daily operations of a business. It provides cost-effective and transparent pricing and gives clients the option of partnering with the top 7 courier partners in the country. Prominent partners include Bluedart, FedEx, Xpressbees, EKart, Shadowfax etc. Some of the solutions provided by NimbusPost are: Fraud Detection and Order Filtering AI ToolsPlug & Play Technology Centered IntegrationsSmart Automation of Shipping ProcessesCloud-Based Customer Care FacilitiesFast Cash-on-Delivery Remittance and SupportCheaper Pricing Compared to Other Companies Whitebox Source It is popular with sellers on Amazon as well as other B2C sellers. It offers several services to facilitate sellers operating on Amazon. It differentiates itself from it’s competitors since it offers marketing services in addition to order-fulfillment, making it convenient for clients. There is a flat monthly fee for using its platform which includes inventory storage, software, account handling, shipping, receiving, and processing. It does have a MOQ of 1,000 orders but has several success stories of small businesses that started with them and grew to become much larger firms. Some services offered by Whitebox include: Omnichannel Order Fulfillment Retail DropshippingDTC (Direct to Customer) eCommerceMarketplace PreparationAmazon Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP) Integration Warehousing FacilitiesOptimized Packaging and Shipping iThink Logistics Source iThink Logistics helps small business owners by providing features to automate operations like billing, labelling, and listing. This helps reduce RTO and save shipping expenses in addition to providing safe cargo facilities and a committed support team. There are additional alternatives that iThink provides such as same-day delivery, which is a value-added extension to its small business order fulfillment services. High level customisation of pricing is something that has allowed iThink to create a niche loyal customer base. The extensive features provided by iThink Logistics are: Automated reattemptMultifunctional dashboardAuto-Generated ReportsAI-Driven recommendation engineSame day pickupLive NDR UpdateRTOReal-Time TrackingEarly issue detectionReverse order NDRReverse pickup (DTO)Net Promoter scoreWhite Label Tracking PageAccurate date calculationCustomized tracking pageAutomated billing reconciliation systemFaster Weight discrepancy resolutionRate CalculatorPostpaid PaymentEasy credit transferFaster COD remittanceEmail and SMS notifications ShipBob Source ShipBob delivers high-quality small business order fulfillment services with the level of flexibility desired by many small businesses. It has no order minimums and has a Growth Plan that is excellent for startups looking to rapidly grow their business and order volumes over the next few years. ShipBob has the greatest network of domestic and foreign fulfillment centres on its list, allowing it to deliver high-level distribution capabilities for small businesses across the globe. Some of the features that ShipBob has included are: Zero monthly minimum or maximum ordersAffordable pricingB2B fulfillment with EDI complianceItemized billing format for transparencyFDA-certified climate control and handling99.95% accuracy rateFBA prep services ShipMonk Source ShipMonk's features and capabilities are comparable to those of the industry's best direct-to-consumer fulfillment firms. Its platform is designed specifically to provide order fulfillment services for small businesses, with the scalability required to support expansion as these enterprises grow (with regard to increase in order volumes and geographical territories). The disadvantage of Shipmonk is that they require a minimum of $250 in pick and pack expenses and do not provide batch fulfillment services. Key features include: Amazon Seller-Fulfilled Prime eligibilityOnline billing portal0.01% error rateState of the art warehouse automationRobust customization & branding optionsTax benefits and cost reductions for volume importersTakes a photo of packed orders before they’re shipped FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) Source FBA gives vendors more access to Amazon's over 150 million Prime users thanks to its automatic Prime designation. Amazon merchants should consider Fulfillment by Amazon since it handles all customer inquiries, manages returns and refunds, and automates order fulfillment, all of which saves time. Amazon has set new standards in small business order fulfillment with same day delivery and next day delivery services. However, FBA's pricing and procedures are more convoluted than those of many other fulfillment warehouses, especially when not selling little or light-weight items, so sellers have to research thoroughly to avoid paying excessive fees. Their key features are: No order minimumsComes with automatic Prime designation on Amazon listingsAmazon handles all customer inquiries, refunds, and returnsCan be used to fulfil non-Amazon orders (part of Amazon's Multi-Channel Fulfillment offerings)Uses inventory pooling that groups identical products from different sellers Conclusion Having a third-party order fulfillment and logistics company can aid development while freeing up time and space for small businesses to focus on other key parts of the business. To provide customers with the fast delivery and flawless delivery experience that they demand, we recommend small businesses to partner with a full-stack order fulfillment firm like WareIQ, which is experienced and resourceful and can provide the greatest logistical experience in the eCommerce sector. Being the fulfillment company that has been the preferred choice of 300+ eCommerce brands including numerous small businesses along with reputed brands (such as Future Group, Piramal Group etc.), WareIQ provides you with the right flexibility in small business order fulfillment with respect to order size and pricing. Moreover, WareIQ has been constantly working on incorporating feedback from customers and strengthening the focal points in the fulfillment chain to provide you with a consistent improvement in customer satisfaction. We help you not only to reduce your logistic costs but also your delivery timelines – this could be the game-changer for your business needs!  [signup] Small Business Order Fulfillment FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) What are the main steps involved in the process of order fulfillment?• Receiving inventory shipments• Inventory storage• Order processing• Shipping of products• Manage Returns What is the cycle of order fulfillment?The time it takes for a client to get a product or service after placing an order is measured by the Order Fulfillment Cycle Time. As a result, it gives information about internal efficiency and supply chain performance. In short,Order fulfillment Cycle= Source Cycle Time + Make Cycle Time + Delivery Cycle Time Does WareIQ offer order fulfillment services for small businesses?Yes! Various SMBs, D2C brands have in fact also started their business & have trusted WareIQ as a reliable partner in their growth journeys from a small to medium business. Which companies specialize in small business order fulfillment?• WareIQ• Delhivery• NimbusPost• Whitebox• iThink Logistics• ShipBob• ShipMonk• FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon)

May 28, 2022

WooCommerce Marketplace Integration with WMS: How to Enable & Fulfill WooCommerce Order Fulfillment with WareIQ in 10 Easy Steps?

WooCommerce Marketplace Integration with WMS: How to Enable & Fulfill WooCommerce Order Fulfillment with WareIQ in 10 Easy Steps?

WooCommerce is a plugin that seamlessly integrates with websites that run on Wordpress’s platform, thus enabling users to transform them into an efficient online marketplace in just a few simple steps. Launched in 2011, WooCommerce attained global success among aspiring eCommerce retailers who needed a cost-effective and relatively easy means of selling their products online and who maybe weren’t ready to partner with existing eCommerce giants such as Amazon or eBay in order to preserve their own brand identity and to be able to direct traffic towards their own website, rather than a 3rd party one. Research shows that over 99% of all eCommerce websites that use WordPress as a primary platform have utilized the WooCommerce plugin to sell their products online and 3PL fulfillment companies to fulfill WooCommerce orders. The company currently has over 27 million downloads and installations and with the imminent acceleration of eCommerce as a selling medium, its popularity is only set to increase. How Can You Fulfill WooCommerce Orders? WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that enables users to turn their existing website into an eCommerce marketplace. Unlike dedicated eCommerce platforms like Amazon and Flipkart, WooCommerce doesn’t offer any first-part fulfillment services. Rather, they encourage their users to partner with a 3PL fulfillment company, such as WareIQ, who will take care of all their fulfillment requirements such as inventory management, picking and packing of their products, distribution to the customer, and reverse logistics, in the event that it is needed. Users need to balance out their requirements with budgetary constraints to effectively fulfill WooCommerce orders. [contactus_gynoveda] Benefits for Retailers who Use 3PL Fulfillment Companies for WooCommerce Order Fulfillment Process Cheaper and More Efficient Shipping Ultra-fast shipping is an important requirement in the modern eCommerce landscape with most nig players providing same-day and next-day deliveries. Fortunately for users seeking to fulfill WooCommerce orders, 3PL eCommerce companies offer some of the fastest and most competitively-priced shipping in the business which results in an enhanced delivery experience for their customers, without worrying about ecommerce logistics, transportation delays, and other errors that could occur. Customised Packaging Partnering with a 3PL fulfillment company to fulfill WooCommerce orders gives users access to extremely customisable packaging. Rather than being required to conform to the rigid requirements of conventional eCommerce platforms, 3PL companies provide a wide range of materials, designs, themes, and options so that users can choose exactly what they want and can make sure that their brand is front and center when a customer opens their delivered package. Inventory Management 3PL companies help to make inventory management more simple and efficient through the wide adoption of Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) which are highly advanced software solutions that also aid in automating a significant portion of warehouse processes. This helps to mitigate any manual errors or delays and syncs your inventory count across multiple fulfillment centers and selling platforms in one place. Intelligently Located Fulfillment Centers 3PL companies usually have a vastly-dispersed network of warehouses and fulfillment centers across the country which enables users to choose to store inventory in the most ideally located ones, next to customer and transportation hubs. Additionally, paying for storage is often cheaper, with no minimum requirements and chargeability on a per-item basis, which would help companies fulfill WooCommerce orders at a cheaper rate. Flexible Operational Structure By opting for a 3PL company to fulfill WooCommerce orders, users can take advantage of all the freedom and flexibility that comes with it. These companies are not bound by the rigidity and regulations that 1st-party fulfillment services are constrained by. Users can give their inputs in terms of the handling of processes, which services they want to opt for, negotiate better deals, and customize their packaging and order-tracking services to highlight their brand image as much as possible. Order Management Users who fulfill WooCommerce orders through 3PL companies get the benefit of being able to utilise state-of-the-art order management software solutions that consolidate past, present, and future order data from multiple platforms, in one place, in addition to providing the means to manage these orders accurately. Multi-Channel Integration 3PL fulfillment companies, unlike 1st-party fulfillment services offered directly by eCommerce selling platforms, offer seamless integration with multiple other platforms so users do not have to put all their eggs in one basket. Users who need to fulfill WooCommerce orders, in addition to the orders of multiple other platforms, are able to manage inventory levels and incoming orders in a master dashboard through highly-advanced software. This means that you do not need to relegate yourself to selling on one website or only target a specific customer base and it opens up multiple options for opportunistic sellers. Cost-Effective Pricing When users are required to partner with a 1st-party fulfillment service, they often find themselves in monopolistic conditions where the eCommerce platform can call the shots and increase or add new prices on a dime, without being liable to justify these increases. Conversely, when users opt to fulfill WooCommerce orders through 3PL logistics partners, they are instantly exposed to cheaper and more transparent pricing because there are multiple companies in the same space, with all of them pining to offer the most competitive services and prices possible. This means that users can take advantage of this stiff competition and opt for the service that best fits their requirements and their financial capabilities. WooCommerce Marketplace Integration: 10 Easy Steps to Integrate WareIQ to Fulfill WooCommerce Orders in 2022 Aspiring eCommerce retailers can choose to offload all their fulfillment requirements to WareIQ, which will grant them access to facilities such as a nationwide network of fulfillment centers and warehouses, choice of courier partners and shipping aggregators, and the ability to integrate with WareIQ’s custom WMS with WooCommerce and a host of other eCommerce selling platforms to be able to consolidate all your orders and inventory management requirements in one centralized location. Sellers can integrate WareIQ with WooCommerce in just 10 easy steps for WooCommerce Order Fulfillment: Step 1: Logging In The seller can sign up at https://wareiq.com/contact-us/ & integrate WareIQ with WooCommerce for managing end-to-end fulfillment of eCommerce their business. The seller gets the user ID & password from WareIQ’s customer onboarding team to log into WareIQ’s WMS portal. Step 2: Access to WMS Dashboard Once the seller logs in, the seller gets access to the WMS dashboard with an option to set up the account. Step 3: Navigating the Dashboard Click on the three dots in the top right corner of WareIQ’s WMS dashboard. Step 4: Accessing Account Settings Click on “Account Settings”. Step 5: Adding Company Address The “Company Information” would have already been added to the portal by WareIQ’s customer onboarding team. Click on “Address”. Step 6: Adding Channels Fill up the “BILLING ADDRESS” and “DISPATCH ADDRESS” and click on “Add Channels”. Step 7: Adding WooCommerce as an Integration The seller can view all the online marketplaces & website builders with which WareIQ’s WMS can be integrated. The platforms already integrated will appear at the top like the “Shopify” logo. Scroll over “ADD NEW INTEGRATIONS” & choose the WooCommerce logo under “Select Website Builder”. You may like: How to Sell on Shopify Step 8: Adding Credentials A screen pops up to fill channel details for WooCommerce for connecting adding WooCommerce channel with WareIQ’s WMS Step 9: Getting the Store URL and Other Information Follow the steps below to get the Store URL and fill out the other required fields to add WooCommerce channel: #1: Open Your WooCommerce Account to Get the Store URL  Once you sign in with your WooCommerce account, check the URL. “wareiq.com/wp-admin/” is the store URL here. #2: Go to the WooCommerce Page & Scroll to “Advanced” Check the left navigation bar & click on WooCommerce which has been added as a plugin. Click on the “Advanced” button which is highlighted in the red box below. #3: Follow the Steps Below to Get the API Secret & API Key Click on the “REST API” once you have landed on the Advanced Section. Click on “Add Key” if it hasn’t been added. Mention “WareIQ” under Description & select Read/Write under Permissions & click on the “Generate API key” button. Once you generate API key, you get a message at the top - “API Key generated successfully. Make sure to copy your new keys now as the secret key will be hidden once you leave this page.” Step 10: Final Step for Integrating WareIQ with WooCommerce Copy the consumer key & consumer secret & update in the popup & click on Add Channel to integrate WooCommerce online store with WareIQ’s WMS. If you enable “Create Products Automatically”, then all the products listed in your WooCommerce online store automatically get listed in the Master SKU list. The process to integrate WareIQ with WooCommerce is now complete. The seller can start storing inventory for fulfilling orders from WareIQ’s fulfillment centers. Why should Merchants choose WareIQ to Fulfill WooCommerce Orders? There are a variety of factors that make partnering with WareIQ to fulfill orders with Woocommerce a smart decision. We provide a flawless and simplified experience to integrate WareIQ with WooCommerce, post which users can take advantage of our robust network of fulfillment services to ensure their customers get the best quality delivery around the clock. A few facilities that we provide are listed below: Start-to-Finish SaaS Delivery Service We provide full-stack fulfillment services with integrated order management, inventory planning and a shipping system that is sure to handle any and every fulfillment need that is required by your company. Standardized Warehouse Processes We provide seamless and efficient warehouse operations through our ownership of warehouse SLAs by internal WareIQ fulfillment leads in different regions, resulting in a significantly reduced amount of delays and errors. Streamlining of Distribution Processes Users can take advantage of our shipping engine which was built in-house, to be able to partner with the biggest and best nationwide and hyperlocal courier services that offer ultra-fast same-day and next-day delivery at significantly reduced shipping prices compared to other companies. Enhanced Customer Satisfaction We give our users access to our group of specialists who can offer their extensive services in the implementation of supply chain operations and planning that are superior to what SMBs can afford. [signup] Fulfill WooCommerce Orders FAQs How can retailers install the WooCommerce plugin on WordPress & fulfill Woocommerce orders?The WooCommerce plugin works in a similar way to other WordPress plugins where users can just install it and add it to their WordPress website. Does WooCommerce offer its own fulfillment services?No. WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that enables retailers to turn their own websites into eCommerce selling platforms so users need to rely on 3PL fulfillment companies to fulfill WooCommerce orders. Is there a limit on the number of products WooCommerce can handle?Even though WooCommerce is a plugin and not a full-fledged website, users won't encounter any problems with listing an unlimited amount of products if they optimize the speed of their website, page loading time and database queries. Can you continue to sell on other platforms if you integrate WareIQ with WooCommerce for Woocommerce order fulfillment?Yes, WareIQ offers integrations with most online selling platforms so you can continue to operate selling accounts on multiple channels. What fulfillment services does WareIQ offer?WareIQ offers the entire suite of fulfillment services from storage and inventory management to delivering orders and managing reverse logistics.

May 27, 2022

Shipping Date & Delivery Date: Definitions, 4 Key Differences & 7 Important Factors Affecting These Dates in 2022

Shipping Date & Delivery Date: Definitions, 4 Key Differences & 7 Important Factors Affecting These Dates in 2022

After order confirmation, an eCommerce platform's customers lookout for one critical piece of information: when will they receive their package? And that depends on when the order is shipped which is officially referred to as the shipping date. However, the date of shipping is not the same as the date of order placed or the estimated delivery date. Let's understand how. What is a Shipping Date? As the name suggests, the shipping date is when an eCommerce company hands over an order to the carrier for delivery to the customer, which is the day that the shipment leaves the warehouse. The transit time is calculated from the date of shipping. For instance, if the shipment takes two days to reach the customer and leaves the eCommerce company's warehouse on the present day, it then becomes the shipping date. The next important tracking date is the estimated delivery date. [contactus_uth] What is a Delivery Date? The estimated delivery date is the day that the order reaches the end customer. Providing this information is crucial because most customers confirm the order only when they agree with the estimated delivery date. If an online retailer takes more than the desired time to deliver a shipment, the customers often abandon the cart. And if they are okay with the estimated delivery date, they check for status updates frequently. 6 Important Terms Related to Shipping Date & Estimated Delivery Date Every discussion on shipping dates and estimated delivery dates contains a few unique terms. Below is a list of the most common ones: Order Date It is the date on which a customer confirms an order on an eCommerce website. It could be a pre-paid or COD order. This date triggers the retail logistics process for the shipment. It is when the product usually gets picked up by the seller. Most companies push for same-day pickup. But timelines can change if the customer places the order late at night or at some other odd hour. However, an order date could be different from the shipping date. Many companies don't ship on public holidays or have shipping cut-off times. People can view the shipping notifications in their track your order section. Invoice Creation Date It is the date on which an invoice is generated. Invoices are documents containing critical information about the purchase that enables the online retailer to receive their payment. Invoices generally include the following details: Ordered products and their costsTotal amount due, including taxesSeller and customer's informationPayment information, including the method of the transactionDelivery details Estimated shipping date This is the expected date that the order will leave the warehouse or fulfillment center and the shipping process gets initiated. It depends on: Time of order placement: If the customer confirms an order at 11 pm instead of 11 am, it can add a whole day for the pickup.Shipping cut-offs: Every company has their shipping cut-offs, which usually fall late in the evening and maybe over weekends and public holidays. An order cannot be pushed out of the seller's warehouse if placed after the shipping cut-off. Some companies display their shipping cut-off timings on the checkout page. Statements like "Orders placed after 6 pm IST will be shipped the next day." condition the customer on when they can expect to receive the order. Other factors: Many factors like public and bank holidays and strikes often cause a transport stall and affect the estimated date. You May Like: These Shipping companies in India offer the best in market services. Estimated Delivery Date Estimate delivery date refers to the expected timeline for delivery. The estimated delivery date is the date on which customer can expect to receive their order. The checkout counter displays this date and deeply affects the customers’ reaction to the delivery process. Longer estimated delivery dates often lead to cart abandonment. This date gets depicted as a window between two dates such as June 1-3rd. Like the date of shipping, the estimated delivery date depends on various factors. The time of order confirmation and elements such as public holidays or national strikes affect the delivery. Moreover, since the carrier takes charge of delivery, their performance affects the distribution timelines. Any lag in their transportation cycle can push the estimated delivery date even further. Shipping Speed It is not the velocity, but the time it takes for a carrier to deliver the order to the customer. It describes a couple of things: The time duration for delivery such as 3-5 business daysThe shipping method such as express or standard delivery The shipping speed is also affected by carrier performance and environmental influences, including political and economic scenarios. For international shipments, the regulations affect the shipping speed. For example, if the consignment gets stuck in customs for days, the shipping speed reduces, and delivery timelines expand. Plus, many customers agree to pay more to enhance the shipping speed. There are certain sellers and platforms providing free shipping options too. Return date When a customer is unhappy with the product, they place a request to return it to the seller within a set timeframe, which is also known as Return to Origin (RTO). The carrier collects the shipment from the customer and returns it to the eCommerce company's warehouse or directly to the seller. The return date is the day on which the specified items return to the origin. It is different from the return window, which is the timeframe given to customers to place the return request. For instance, products with a 30-days return policy are eligible for return to the seller within 30 days of delivery to the customer. You May Like: Reverse logistics Companies in India offering faster returns. 7 Important Factors Affecting Shipping Dates in 2022 Shipping Dates are timeframes that can be affected by a variety of external influences. Here's a list of factors that impact its calculation: Lead Time It is the time between order placement and the shipping date. It depends on the type of product ordered. Lead or production times for products that are ready to be delivered are shorter than those that need manufacturing or assembly before shipping. Backorders, inventory shortages, or issues in procuring raw materials for a large number of orders affect the readiness of the final product and hence the date of shipping. Shipping Cut-Offs Also called cut-off fulfillment timelines, shipping cut-offs also include inventory procurement or manufacturing timelines for every order placed before shipping. It can specify the time of day or the actual dates. For instance, production for orders placed on December 25th will resume on January 2nd. Manpower Availability There are various steps involved before the order is ready for shipping. The absence or inadequacy of the workforce leads to delays in order processing which also affects it. Transit Time The time spent in transit affects the shipping date. It depends on the carrier, their performance, the shipping mode (express or standard), mode of transport, and the destination. Natural Disturbances Sudden weather changes can disrupt transportation causing the shipment to sit idle in the warehouse. For example, heavy rainfalls cause significant traffic jams, and heat or cold waves can cause health issues among delivery personnel. Ultimately, these disturbances can lead to delayed shipping dates. Regulations When inventory needs to be procured from another state or country, the domestic and international regulatory authorities influence the rolling out of the shipment from the seller's location. And if the load needs to go through layers of regulatory procedures before reaching the customer, the shipping date needs to be preponed to ensure timely delivery. For example, if a shipper needs to expedite a shipment that needs to leave India and reach the customer in the US ten days later, the seller will have to keep some buffer to successfully clear international customs which affects the shipping date. Political and Economic Scenarios This scenario at either the origin, destination, or both can affect the shipping date. Moreover, any local or public holidays, people protesting on roads, and union strikes affect the distribution and ecommerce shipping timeline. For instance, if the destination faces disruption due to political activity, order shipping from the warehouse will have to be stalled, thus delaying the date of shipping. Which Factors Should be Considered While Calculating the Estimated Delivery Date? The estimated delivery date depends on the following factors: Origin and Destination: The further away from the destination, the longer it takes to get the shipment to the customer's doorstep.Route Condition: For instance, if an order needs to reach a tier 4 town from Mumbai, the estimated delivery date depends on the number of tolls and road conditions.Product Details: Large quantities take more time to deliver. Plus, inventory procurement from afar leads to delayed timelines.Average Transit Time: The transit duration for previous similar orders fulfilled by logistics companies should be calculated to get a better idea of the estimated delivery date.Estimated Shipping Date: Delivery depends on when the order gets shipped from the warehouse. Any delay there snowballs into delayed delivery to the end customer. It also means the ESD has an impact on the delivery date.Shipping Mode: Express and standard modes offer different delivery timelines. The option selected by the customer decides how fast the delivery will occur. 4 Differences Between Estimated Shipment Date and Estimated Delivery Date [table id=19 /] Conclusion Estimates run businesses. And estimated shipping and delivery dates decide how well companies can serve their customers. So these two figures are a yardstick to measure a business's performance. They ascertain the success rate of an enterprise. So it is beneficial for a business to have an accurate idea of shipping dates and delivery timelines. This can be done with a 3PL company like WareIQ. Not only do we provide services across the entire range of fulfillment requirements, but we also help businesses provide better and more accurate shipping services to their customers by being a shipping aggregator and by having state-of-the-art software solutions that help businesses estimate shipping and delivery dates accurately. [signup] Shipping Date FAQs Do shipping dates need to be communicated to the customer?A company can choose to inform the customer when their order is shipped. It triggers a sense of excitement for the customer and gains brownie points for the company. It also alerts customers when they need to ready themselves for receiving the order. It must be followed by order tracking details. Can the date of shipping be changed?A company can change the shipping date due to the factors affecting its timelines such as lead time, cut-offs, the employees’ availability, weather and political and economic disturbances. Besides, shipping dates are rarely changed based on a customer's request. Is the Shipping Date the same as the date on the invoice?No. The date mentioned on the invoice is the day it is printed. The shipping date is mentioned on the invoice as the order shipping date. How can WareIQ help you accurately estimate shipping and delivery dates?WareIQ has partnered with multiple shipping companies to be able to provide the fastest, most cost-effective and most efficient distribution services that are available. We will always choose the shipping aggregator that is currently available and who can provide the fastest shipping services from the warehouse to the customer. We can analyse the prior data of the shipping company, along with similar orders to similar locations and get an accurate shipping date and estimated delivery date.

May 27, 2022

What is Physical Distribution in Supply Chain Management? A Detailed Guide in 2022 

What is Physical Distribution in Supply Chain Management? A Detailed Guide in 2022 

The Covid-19 pandemic has largely shifted the purchasing behavior of consumers from offline to online. The Indian online retail market is growing at a very fast pace and is expected to reach approximately $1.2 trillion (95 lakh crore). As an eCommerce seller, you need to grab this opportunity and establish your business by utilizing the required business tactics. Getting listed on multiple channels and receiving orders are not the only things you should do when it comes to the long run. To not only be in the game but also win, you need to make your end customers happy. That is possible with the perfect placement of your product from the very first impression by the buyer to delivering it to them as they expect. To achieve recognition from your customers, you must take care of fulfillment services and all of its processes which involve processing orders, controlling inventory, eCommerce warehousing, and eCommerce shipping. All of these factors fall under physical distribution in supply chain management. This has been the primary focus of most eCommerce brands in recent years. To ensure you as a seller are handling the physical distribution of goods properly and what the available options are to become more productive, you can read further. What is Physical Distribution? Physical distribution is the movement of finished goods and products from a company's distribution center, using its eCommerce fulfillment network, to the end-user. It includes warehousing, inventory control, order processing, retail fulfillment, and shipping, among other eCommerce supply chain tasks. Customer satisfaction is directly affected by the physical distribution of goods and the capacity to get a product to a consumer rapidly and affordably. Business owners can ensure sustained success in a continuously changing, competitive global market by keeping items in handy places and developing dependable means of moving those items. [contactus_gynoveda] What are the Components of Physical Distribution? Processing Orders During the physical distribution of goods in huge quantities, a uniform system for handling and executing orders should be established. The time period to process orders must be reasonable. Any delay in order execution causes resentment and may result in economic loss. The customer always expects guaranteed delivery within a certain time frame. The degree of customer service is shown in the speed by which orders are fulfilled. Even a small improvement in customer service can result in a 15 to 25%  gain in revenue. In marketing, order serving time can also be used as a USP. Controlling Inventory  Inventory control is always a crucial part of the order fulfillment process. Physical distribution channel management, including the amount, location, handling, and transportation of physical inventory, plays a distinctive role. Inventory consists of all the items stored in warehouses that are waiting to be sold. Production activity (purchasing activity) and customer orders are linked via inventory (sales activity). As the customer service level approaches 100%, inventory costs rise at a faster rate. The inventory cost and the level of customer service must be correlated and balanced. All that has to be maintained with a proper inventory report. To meet client demand, you need to have a well-balanced range of products for sale. Stockouts and missed sales can result from having an insufficient inventory. Too much inventory entails a lot of money upfront, poor turnover, and greater inventory operating costs. Inventory control's major goal is to ensure minimal capital investment and inventory variations, as well as rapid order execution in response to client demand. You May Also Read: How does multiple channel inventory management work? Warehousing The act of storing and conserving commodities is known as warehousing. It can balance supply over time. Nowadays, micro fulfillment centers are located around markets rather than the supply-chain network. Under one roof, a fulfillment center can handle orders and deliver goods directly to customers where better and faster customer service can be initiated, resulting in a cheaper cost of distribution. Efficient distribution systems can cut delivery and storage times by half. The focus should be on selling rather than the store. Many businesses are moving away from storage facilities and toward fulfillment centers. For material handling, data processing, and inventory control, fulfillment centers employ cutting-edge technology. The services provided by fulfillment companies are directed by a wholesaler through direct fulfillment or drop shipping fulfillment. Here the wholesaler act as a merchant intermediary and a distribution/fulfillment center could be considered as an inventory of a shop nearby the delivery area. Handling Material Modern warehouses have automated material handling equipment instead of relying on labour. The cost of physical distribution has been dramatically reduced because of new packaging, containerization, and palletization techniques. We now have access to machinery such as conveyor systems and forklift trucks. In Western countries, material handling is almost entirely automated. Standard-size containers for packing and transporting items can be stored on pallets or small platforms and then moved by mechanical means. Automated physical distribution of goods and protective packaging enhance customer service, reduce distribution costs and accelerate order fulfillment. Shipping Physical Distribution consists of all the steps that ultimately lead to this final step that is responsible for getting orders to the buyer. The process of shipping is a network of activities that consist of storage at multiple sites coupled with a series of transport linkages during the distribution process. These multiple modes of transport can be through road, rail, water, air, etc. It is a very complex activity in which orders are divided into batches and groups and then forwarded to the person responsible for the order to be delivered. This complexity is usually handled by logistics companies. The different transportation methods of physical distribution are listed below: Road Transport: Trucking is the preferred shipping option for most businesses across the world. Trucks, which generally transport manufactured goods rather than bulky commodities, provide faster, more frequent, and cost-effective distribution to more locations across the country than any other logistical alternative. Trucks are very useful for short-distance shipments and they can carry both large and small cargo with relatively fast and consistent service. Intermodal Transport: Intermodal shipping arrangements, which combine rail and truck transportation for specified stages of the journey, are frequently used by a small business for fulfillment. This combination generally results in cheaper overall expenses than single-mode transportation. Air Transport: Enterprises often use air freight for the transportation of valuable or perishable goods due to comparatively high transportation costs. Reduced inventory-holding expenses and increased sales that may accompany speedier customer service can occasionally balance the high cost of air freight. Courier Shipments: The delivery of shipping containers, parcels, or high-value mail as discrete shipments is known as package or parcel delivery. Most postal systems, express mail services, and private courier businesses offer courier shipment services or eCommerce courier services. Water Transport: Shipping containers are routinely used to transport products via sea. Importers and exporters in the country and around the world use ocean freight as their primary form of transportation. You can check the best shipping companies for your business here. What are the Objectives of Physical Distribution? Utilizes Time and Place Physical distribution contributes to the efficient utilization of time and resources. Transportation and warehousing are used to accomplish this. The transportation system creates place utility by delivering items to the exact location where they are needed. Storing products and releasing them when needed utilizes time. Reduces Costs of Distribution Physical distribution costs make up a significant portion of the product's cost. If these costs are managed in a systematic manner, production costs can be reduced. Transportation schedules and routes, warehousing location and operation, material handling, order processing, and other cost-cutting measures can all be simply implemented. Enables Market Expansion Mega investments in the form of a strong promotional campaign may prove worthless if the physical distribution channel continues to fall behind the market expansion. Firms will be in a great position to take full advantage of market expansion with prior planning for the launch of multiple warehouses, adding new distribution points, and extending the capacity of existing distribution points, as needed. Maintains Market Share The market is highly saturated. In a climate of fierce competition, firms expect to increase market share, while maintaining current market share would be a primary success. This is carried out with the use of proper eCommerce logistics systems. Logistics must be closely monitored by businesses. Companies should detect distribution flaws and take quick corrective action. Stabilises Pricing Physical distribution contributes to price stability. Buyers anticipate pricing constancy over time. The effective utilization of transportation and warehousing infrastructure can aid in matching demand with supply, ensuring price stability. Offers Better Consumer Experiences By using a physical distribution channel, consumer service is made more efficient by making products available in the correct quantity at the right time and in the right location, i.e. when a client needs them. 6 Factors That Affect Physical Distribution in 2022 Every manufacturer must figure out how to get their goods to the end-user. In today's economy, a variety of distribution channels are accessible. A producer needs to keep the following points in mind while choosing one or more distribution channels to ensure smooth operation and lowers logistics costs. Transportation Distribution is always dependent on the supply chain and its efficiency. There are many factors to consider to enable faster delivery in a country like India, where customers are scattered across the country. Product Size Product size is a matter of concern when it comes to cost-cutting and delivering on time. A heavy item cannot be delivered quickly and easily without prior planning. It needs more manpower, warehouse space, and larger vehicles which directly affect the cost of delivery. In a similar way, smaller and more perishable products also require their own precautions such as proper storage facilities, extra care, etc. Product Durability These days, food delivery applications are claiming to deliver orders in just 10 minutes. This is because food is a perishable product. Sellers need to identify the perishability of their products and plan physical distribution processes accordingly. Delivery Preferences Customers often have preferences for the delivery of their product such as the location, time, etc. It is the responsibility of the retailer to ensure that these preferences are respected to achieve a positive delivery experience for the customer. Suggested Read: What is retail logistics? Delivery Partner Reachability It is nearly impossible to deliver across the country and make it smooth. A seller can partner with different logistics companies in different locations based upon their area specializations, better workforce, good manager, etc. So here, a seller needs to be smart and choose the best order eCommerce fulfillment company for specific areas. The delivery partner should also be easily contactable by the customer in case of any query, instruction relays or emergencies. Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) To perform complex supply chain tasks, handing hundreds-thousands of orders, moving thousands of miles in multiple vehicles, successfully delivering the product and minimizing the cost to do it is not an easy task for a retailer and consists of multiple variables. To make this more simple and efficient, a business needs high-tech software like Warehouse Management Systems (WMS). It also gives them tracking and transport abilities. Conclusion: Why Should You Outsource Physical Distribution to WareIQ? Physical distribution is a series of complex tasks and if even one of them goes slightly wrong, it can have a drastic impact on the entire supply chain. Businesses not only need to figure out the best way to accomplish this but also in the most cost-effective way possible, which takes away precious time and activity that could be spent on trying to grow the business. 3PL fulfillment companies such as WareIQ can take away some of that burden by enabling you to offload the entire process of physical distribution. Some features that may entice you are listed below: Cost-Effective With so many delivery options and an endless amount of envelopes, bubble wrap, double-walled boxes and tape needed to keep your items safe in transit, distribution is more complicated than you think, which is why outsourcing can save you a lot of money, not just on the physical costs but also on the costs to your reputation. Trusting WareIQ to handle and deliver your goods will provide you with a competitive advantage and keep your partners satisfied since you'll benefit from our years of experience and deep industry knowledge. Without costly overheads and adaptability to individual needs, WareIQ provides you with a single location for your material to be stored, managed, developed, and provided. Because of the high amount of parcels shipped each year, WareIQ has wholesale accounts with more than 20 dependable couriers, airmail and freight partners, allowing you to save up to 50% on your distribution costs when compared to other suppliers. Flexible & Efficient Outsourcing gives you more flexibility, which is important if your firm is seasonal or has peaks and valleys. Inventory levels and delivery requirements can fluctuate from month to month as your company expands. WareIQ empowers you to adapt to required changes and continues to provide a professional and reliable service with more productivity to your business. We are dedicated to our role and create solutions that add value to your business as well as your brand image. You can manage your stock remotely and view historical statistics for each order using our online system. It also gives you accurate stock data so you can avoid wasting money and make better judgments about printing and distribution during each marketing season. Focus on Core Operations Preparing to send something overseas takes time that you and your team could spend elsewhere. Few people outside the distribution industry are aware of the constantly changing customs restrictions and complexities of international and local distribution. This is also not common advice given by large courier firms; nevertheless, WareIQ has an experienced team that is available to advise, educate and support you. It's much easier to outsource your distribution than to do it yourself. You can completely concentrate on your core business and you will never have to worry about fulfillment again. Suggested Read: Retail Distribution With WareIQ [signup] Physical Distribution FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) What is physical distribution management?The movement of finished items from a company's distribution and fulfillment network to the end-user is referred to as physical distribution. Physical distribution in eCommerce includes warehousing, inventory control, order processing, retail fulfillment and shipping, among other eCommerce supply chain tasks. Why is physical distribution important?A company's physical distribution function provides the location and time dimensions that contribute to a fundamental aspect of the marketing mix. Transportation and warehousing are the two most important aspects of physical distribution that help in faster deliveries for a better customer experience at affordable prices. What is the objective of physical distribution?Physical distribution's main goals are to get the appropriate items to the right client at the right time and place. In other words, while efficiency and quality service are important goals of physical distribution, they may compete with one another. How can WareIQ help with your physical distribution requirements?WareIQ offers services for the whole range of fulfillment requirements including all the processes that physical distribution comprises such as storage, shipping, order fulfillment, and customer satisfaction.

May 26, 2022

What Are Shipping Labels & How to Create them? A Guide for Fulfillment in 2022

What Are Shipping Labels & How to Create them? A Guide for Fulfillment in 2022

The shipping labels that appear on packages don’t get as much attention as they should. They contain crucial information about the shipment such as details about the product, where it needs to be shipped and the price of the order. If a package happens to leave the ecommerce warehouse without a label, the order will not be legit and the customer may not accept it. While most people may not be aware of the crucial role of shipping labels, it does not diminish their significance. So what exactly are shipping labels? Let us take a deeper dive. What are Shipping Labels? Shipping Labels are a shipment’s identification card or stamp. They contain critical information about the product and enable it to be transported from the manufacturer to the distributor and eventually, the end customer. It is vital to understand how shipping labels work. They usually contain most of the following data but differ from shipper to shipper: Contents of the packageOrigin and destinationSender and receiver’s information, including contact detailsWeight and dimensionsID or a reference number unique to the shipmentCarrier informationAny specialised inspections conducted to test the fitness and safety level of the productTraceable barcodeShipping mode, e.g., express or standard deliveryPayment status: paid, unpaid, or partially paidMaxiCode, which is like a QR Code. It provides all the necessary data and can be read by a machine in any direction.Customer care numberContact details in case it needs to be returned A shipping label is a proof of supply chain automation. With a shipping label stuck to a package, customers can get all information with just a scan. These labels are non-reusable. No shipping label can be pasted on a new shipment after delivery of the previous one. [contactus_lilgoodness] There are many printers available in the market for printing shipping labels. Let us take a look. Types of Shipping Label Printers Presently, 3PL shipping or logistics partners offer to print shipping labels. Moreover, the manufacturer or the distributor can use a downloadable label template, create their own labels and start printing. Although shipping labels can be printed on a regular printer, it takes more time as each label needs to be cut from the paper to be pasted on the package. One of the reasons why companies use specialised printers to print labels is to save time. The most prominent printers for making shipping labels are:  Inkjet and Laser Printers These are a good option if a moderate number of labels need to be printed every month. However, they can be costly due to the ink price, which is often bought depending on usage. Moreover, labels printed through these machines need an extra layer of protection. For instance, the ink can get smudged when exposed to water. Furthermore, if they are placed inside a protective covering, the barcodes and MaxiCodes can become unreadable by machines. Therefore, shipping labels printed through these devices require alot more effort and consideration for external factors. Thermal Printers Although thermal printers demand more initial investment, they save the cost of ink or protective coverings. Only the label rolls need to be bought and replaced. Since they use heat to embed the print, there is no risk of smudging. They produce long-lasting labels. Thermal printers are an excellent investment if the company deals with many shipments per month. There are various brands available in the market. Some of the top brands and models are mentioned below: Rollo Label PrinterDYMO Label PrinterMUNBYN Thermal Label PrinterAOBIO X4 Shipping Label PrinterArkscan 2054A Label PrinterMFLABEL Thermal Label PrinterJiose Thermal Label PrinterK Corner Shipping Label PrinterBrother QL800 Label Printer 4 Best Shipping Labels Practices to Consider in 2022 Printing correct shipping labels is essential. Any missing information can delay, delegitimize or stop the distribution of the package. Here are some of the best practices that companies should follow for printing shipping labels: Placement Shipping labels must be pasted on the topmost surface for parcels that must be kept upright and have the ‘This Way Up’ instruction printed or pasted on the box. For all other packages, it needs to be stuck on an easily visible area like the top or side of the box. The label must be stuck flat on the surface without bends or creases. They must be placed after the package has been thoroughly wrapped. Moreover, they must be of an apt size that does not spill outside the box or where the print is too small for reading. Their size and quality affect their functioning. Protection In the monsoon season or in areas with high humidity, the label must be covered with plastic or tape. Some shippers use plastic wallets to slide the label in. It remains temporarily sealed and can be pulled out for reading. While this practice was initially used only for international shipping to include necessary documents for customs, many shipping aggregators have started using it in domestic logistics. In an everyday scenario, shipping labels must be stapled or pasted well to ensure that they do not fall off en route. Waybills One cannot predict what damage might occur to a shipping label. Hence, it is essential to have a backup. Moreover, the packing slips and waybills are copies of the shipping label or a document containing the same crucial shipment information. It goes inside the package or the plastic wallet stuck to the outside. Waybills contain the same information as the shipping label, including the sender’s and receiver’s information, package content, order ID, and customer service number. Special Instructions A shipping label is the window into the details of a package. It must include any special directives for handling the shipment safely and correctly to avoid damage. The shippers should print instructions such as: Correct instructions for placing the package, e.g. 'This Way Up' labelsWarnings for fragile contentWarnings for temperature or time-sensitive contentWarnings for flammable productsLabels for confidential contentInstructions such as untouchable by hand such as for products containing dry ice Creating Shipping Labels Things like label and font size, order information, location of the label and quality of paper used for printing make a huge difference. A company can get shipping labels created from two sources: Ask their logistics partner to generate the label for a few ordersHire an aggregator for label printing Most 3PL shipping partners take the onus of printing the company’s shipping labels. However, if a business does not have such an association, they can manually print the labels for their shipments. Here are a few tools: Carrier Websites: Websites like DHL, UPS, Amazon FBA, FedEx, and eBay shipping allow users to create shipping labels on their websites. This comes in handy if the shipment volume per month is low. Besides importing all the shipment data into the website each time, the shipping company must manually update the customer on order tracking details.  Shipping Label Software Solutions: Solutions like Linnworks, Loftware NiceLabel,  Loftware Spectrum, MarkMagic, Maestro Label Designer can help print shipping labels for a larger monthly shipment volume. Shipping Tools: They help online retailers automate the entire shipping process, including generating shipping labels. Once integrated with the eCommerce website, they automatically retrieve order details and help create the label. Companies use such tools when handling a large number of shipments per month. Manual Writing: Shipping labels can also be handwritten on paper and stuck to the package or written directly on a small box, mostly for private and domestic shipments. As a result, most companies do not use this method to avoid any risk of damage to the label. Conclusion: How are Shipping Labels Important for eCommerce Orders? A shipment without a label is like a person travelling without a ticket or a passport. But there are three specific reasons why shipping labels are needed for eCommerce industry operations. Smooth Information Flow A shipping label contains all information that the transporters and customers need to know for a smooth package delivery to its final destination. Any discrepancy or absence of such information will halt the package in the middle of the supply chain. Enhances Efficacy Supply chain productivity depends on the accurate and timely flow of information. Shipping labels are the messengers that carry data from the warehouse to the end customer via distributors. Their presence ensures that the supply chain functions properly. A package without a shipping label can get lost in transit or delayed, thus leading to unmet customer expectations. Maintains Brand Image Shiny and clearly printed shipping labels create an excellent impression for the onlooker. Of course, labels can get dirty and damaged in transit. But the top-notch quality of shipping labels polishes the brand image for the end customer. If you need a shipping label provider for your business, in addition to a host of other fulfillment requirements, consider partnering with WareIQ. WareIQ is one of India’s leading and fastest-growing full-stack eCommerce fulfillment companies that offer a variety of services from same-day and next-day delivery, shipping badges and RTO Shield, to state of the art technological solutions such as our custom WMS and our intuitive, well-designed app store. We can take care of your brand’s entire fulfillment requirements and ensure that you and your customers get the best order fulfillment in the country and have a hassle-free experience and raise satisfaction levels to new heights. You May Like: Branded Shipping in eCommerce [signup] Shipping Labels FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) Can retailers generate shipping labels for free?Shipping labels can be created for free, but the company needs to pay for its postage. Can anyone print shipping labels at home?Yes, anyone with a recommended label printer and the right quality paper can print suitable shipping labels. Can shipping labels be handwritten?Yes, it can be handwritten. However, the bar code or the MaxiCode still needs to be printed and pasted on the shipment. It is also worth noting that it might impact the impression customers have of your business as most people are accustomed to printed shipping labels. What are prepaid shipping labels?Companies include prepaid shipping labels in packages to facilitate the return of products. Moreover, some non-profit organisations provide prepaid shipping labels to help people send over items for donation via courier. Is hiring a 3PL for shipping labels a good idea?Definitely yes! You have to pay them for shipping and then a 3PL company ensures your orders are labeled and shipped properly. Outsourcing can infact help you reduce your shipping costs also. Can WareIQ provide solutions for shipping labels?Not only can WareIQ provide shipping label solutions for your business, we also provide a choice of more than 20 of the top shipping companies in the nation to partner with, to ensure that your customers receive the highest quality delivery experience.

May 25, 2022

How to Sell on Flipkart: Step by Step Beginner’s Guide to Become a Flipkart Seller in 2022

How to Sell on Flipkart: Step by Step Beginner’s Guide to Become a Flipkart Seller in 2022

Flipkart is one of the largest eCommerce selling platforms in India and its growth has only accelerated in the past few years, with the onset of the pandemic. Flipkart now has a commanding 31% share of the Indian eCommerce market, on par with its largest rival, Amazon. Many online retailers seek to sell on Flipkart so that they can grow their business and expand their customer base. There are many other advantages and other things to consider when opting to sell on Flipkart. Let's dive in deeper to get a better understanding. You can check out our blog on how to integrate WareIQ's WMS with a Flipkart seller accounnt and how to fulfill Flipkart orders. Why Should You Choose to Become a Flipkart Seller? Adapting to Ever-Changing Industry Trends Choosing to sell on Flipkart comes with the advantage of having information on current and future trends in the market so that retailers can stay on top of them and take advantage by having special promotions, forecasting demand accordingly, and highlighting newer or relevant products etc. This enables sellers to hop on the bandwagon and not get left behind for failing to adapt. Reduced Marketing Budget One of the few drawbacks of becoming a Flipkart seller is that you have to compete with a vast number of other businesses, that either has similar products or similar pricing. But you need not fret because Flipkart provides you with the ability to tap into its vast pool of marketing professionals and photographers to come up with suitable strategies to promote your products and make them look as appealing as possible. You can also get advice on advertising and promotions which will help to make your products more visible. All this can be done in-house which means that you do not need to pay high fees to an external agent. Existing Fulfillment Infrastructure When you sell on Flipkart, you can fulfill orders in one of 2 ways - Flipkart Fulfillment or Self Ship Fulfillment. You can either choose to take advantage of Flipkart’s existing D2C fulfillment infrastructure, which comprises a nationwide network of warehouses and fulfillment centers, road, rail and air transportation facilities, reverse logistics services, 10,000+ delivery partners and much more. Conversely, you can also opt for Self Ship Fulfillment to fulfill orders on your own, while abiding by Flipkmart’s rules and regulations, or you can opt to partner with a 3PL fulfillment company and utilize all their services and technologies to fulfill Flipkart orders.  Minimal Set-up Expenses  Compared to conventional businesses that have to invest in renting out a building or commercial space, invest in lighting, air conditioning, interior decorations, customer seating areas and much more, being able to sell on Flipkart means that you do not have to direct your funding towards any of these tangible requirements. Instead, all you need to do is pay a nominal fee to become a Flipkart seller, sign up and sell your products. You can use the large amount of money you save on important core aspects of your business such as research and development, conducting market research and running advertising campaigns. Nationwide Network of Customers and Fulfillment Centers One of the biggest advantages of becoming a Flipkart seller is that you instantly get access to Flipkart’s 1 million-plus users as potential customers. This will instantly boost your sales volumes and skyrocket the growth of your business. Additionally, when you sell on Flipkart, you get access to Flipkart’s India-wide network of warehouses and fulfillment centers so that you can store inventory closer to areas of high demand or near major shipping hubs to ensure that your customers receive their orders on time and have a positive ordering, delivery and post-ship experience. You can also read our blogs on how to sell on Mytra, sell on Amazon and sell on Shopify to get a better understanding of other online platforms. [contactus_lilgoodness] 5 Simple Steps to Start to Sell on Flipkart in 2022 Step 1: Registering on Flipkart In order to sell on Flipkart, you first need to sign up with a new Flipkart account or log in to an existing Flipkart account which can be done on the Flipkart Seller Homepage. Once this is done, you will be required to add information about yourself, your business and the type of products you’d be opting to sell on Flipkart. A few of the required details are listed below: NameEmail addressPhone numberPickup address/business addressCategories of products the business is interested in selling through FlipkartBusiness registration documentsTax registration documents Step 2: Registering Your Business After the initial registration has been completed, you are required to register your business. For the sake of convenience, it is best to register your business as either a Private Limited Company (PLC) or a Limited Liability Company (LLC) as both types of business have access to certain facilities and protections that other types of companies do not such as liability protection, easy transferability, easy scalability, ability to be a separate legal entity and much more. The following documents are needed to register each: Identity Proof Private Limited Company Certificate of Incorporation of Private Limited Company (Copy)Memorandum of Association (Copy)PAN Card of the Company Limited Liability Company Partnership registration or LLP Incorporation CertificatePartnership deedPower of Attorney granted to a Partner or an Employee of the LLP or Partnership firm to transact business on its behalfOfficial document identifying Partners and the person holding the Power of Attorney with their photographs (Any 1)PAN Card of the LLP or Partnership Firm Address Proof Private Limited Company Company's Fixed Line Telephone billElectricity bill of the CompanyLease or Rental Agreement of the Company Limited Liability Company Official valid document for address confirmation of the Partners and the persons holding the Power of Attorney (Any 1)Telephone bill of Company or Partner’sElectricity bill Company or Partner’sLease or Rental AgreementLease or License Agreement Step 3: Entering your GST and Bank Account Information You will need to enter your bank account details and billing information so that Flipkart can transfer your consolidated revenue for every order. You will also need to enter the below details: GSTIN/TIN NumberPAN cardActive Bank accountAddress Proof & canceled cheque for KYC Step 4: Listing Your Products After all the required information has been added, you can officially start to sell on Flipkart. You will have to add a detailed description of your business and list out your products with a descriptive paragraph, pictures, and detailed information about its dimensions, pricing, and features, which you can do from the Flipkart Seller Dashboard. Step 5: Post-Setup Process When a customer makes a purchase, an order automatically gets generated with all the relevant information. You can then accept the order and choose whether you want to fulfill the order through Flipkart, on your own, or through a 3PL logistics partner. The necessary commission fees are then deducted and the remaining balance will be transferred to your bank account. Alternatively You May Like: How to sell on snapdeal 8 Top Strategies to Get the Most Out of Selling on Flipkart Strive to Improve the Performance Score of Your Flipkart Account ‍When you sell on Flipkart, you are graded on the performance of your products and services. Flipkart has an account performance matrix that is separated into 3 levels - Gold, Silver, and Bronze, where retailers are eligible for rewards that vary based on their performance. There are 4 main metrics that Flipkart measures performance on - sales, average product ratings, service quality, and regional utilisation. If your performance is up to the mark, you can achieve Flkipkart Gold Seller status, which will legitimize your business in the eyes of potential customers. Provide Ultra-Fast Delivery ‍Consumers are now accustomed to next-day, same-day, and even 10-minute delivery in some cases. You need to make sure that you provide fast delivery services otherwise you risk losing customers to competitors that provide these services. You also need to make sure that customers’ orders are delivered according to the estimated date and time otherwise a situation could arise where they are not available to pick up the order and this will lead to a negative interaction with your business. ‍Maintain Suitable Levels of Inventory ‍When you sell on Flipkart, you need to make sure to have a proper inventory management strategy in place to be able to understand the demand levels of each product and avoid high ending inventory levels, which seasons get you the most customers and forecast inventory demand for future and to be able to stock inventory appropriately. You need to maintain just the right amount of inventory to be able to fulfill orders because if your inventory levels are too high, your products may expire or become irrelevant and if your inventory levels are too low, you could risk having out-of-stock situations and not being able to fulfill orders which result in both a loss of revenue and customers having a negative impression of your business. Suggested Read: How to handle out-of-stock situations? Provide Detailed Descriptions in Every Product Listing Your product listings are the main portion of your page that customers will pay the most attention to. You need to be sure that each listing has a well-written and clear-cut description to help customers make an informed decision. A few important points to implement are listed below: Title: The title needs to have important keywords related to the products and the segment so that it gets more visibility and can be recommended to people who are searching for similar products.Description: You need to provide a detailed description of the product, features, dimensions, and price.Images: You need to multiple add high-quality images to your listing to showcase every possible angle of the product and also alternate between images of the product in a still setting and in its ideal use-case scenario Abide by Flipkart’s Rules and Regulations ‍When you choose to sell on Flipkart, you need to make sure that you follow all the rules and regulations that are put in place by Flipkart to avoid penalisations. Flipkart’s policies are designed to provide the best possible experience to customers and also maintain its own reputation. If you put in an effort to have similar standards for your business, it will increase customer retention and trust, thus increasing revenue. It’s a win-win. ‍Utilise Premium Packaging Materials The packaging experience plays a significant role in enhancing the overall customer experience. Customers are bound to appreciate the effort of a well-thought-out, well-packaged product as opposed to one that has been shabbily thrown together. Branded shipping will help customers resonate with your brand and will help you stand out from a sea of other competitors in the same space. Take Part in Spike Sales Sales are a surefire way to gain the attention of shoppers, especially in India, where people are always on the lookout for the best possible deals. Flipkart hosts multiple “Spike Sales” that you can choose to participate in, where they have promotions on different categories of products. Be a part of the hype and it’ll definitely pay dividends. ‍ ‍Run Ad Campaigns for Listed Products Running ad campaigns is an assured way of generating more sales and hype around your products. These ads will automatically direct customers toward your listing and will also be recommended to people that are searching for similar products. We have listed the steps to run ad campaigns below: Go to the seller dashboard and press the “advertising” button.Choose your preferred campaign strategy.Choose the product you want to run ads for.The chosen items will now appear as “Featured Products” on Flipkart.The ad will now be visible to customers who are browsing the site and they can choose to click on it and order if they want to. Sell on Flipkart: Pros and Cons Pros for Retailers who Sell on Flipkart Increase in Potential Customers When retailers sell on Flipkart, they gain access to 1 million active users which could become a pool of potential customers for your business. Your products would also get increased visibility on search engines like Google due to the fact that Flipkart is one of the largest eCommerce selling platforms in the country. Mitigation of Errors and Delays Retailers who sell on Flipkart can make use of the company’s vast network of fulfillment services, ranging from warehousing and retail fulfillment services to shipping aggregation, ultra-fast delivery, and reverse logistics. Many of these services make use of the highest-end technology available and are able to mitigate any manual errors or delays before they even happen. Most small and mid-sized businesses would not have access to such resources on their own. Increased Trust in the Company  Becoming a seller on Flipkart enables retailers to take advantage of the overwhelmingly positive image that customers have of the company. Since Flipkart and other eCommerce selling platforms standardize most of their processes, there is very little chance of customers receiving a bad experience and on the off chance that they do, Flipkart’s incredible customer support will diffuse the tension. Customers will come to associate this same level of efficiency and perfection with your brand as well.  Enhanced Customer Care Facilities As mentioned in the point above, retailers who sell on  Flipkart can utilize their highly-capable 24/7 customer support to assist customers with any query or issue that they might face. Customer support is a valuable asset in providing a seamless overall experience and customers often appreciate good communication and transparency in dealing with issues. Cons for Retailers who Sell on Flipkart Increased Levels of Competition Not only do retailers who sell on Flipkart have to deal with competition in their local area but also in different parts of the country. There are a vast number of sellers who would be operating with a similar business model, and sell similar products at a similar price, with all of them scrambling to attain as many customers as possible. It can be difficult for businesses to differentiate themselves from this sea of competition, especially in the eyes of consumers, who just want the best products at the cheapest possible prices. Delays in Receiving Payments Retailers need to offer multiple forms of payment in order to compete. In the case of online payments, it could take multiple days for payments to reflect in the seller’s account which could lead to increased levels of confusion. Even after payments come in, it first goes to Flipkart, who deducts their commission and other charges before finally transferring the remaining amount to the seller. This means that sellers only receive their payment after 7 to 14 days which is a long duration of time. Reduced Profit Margins  In order to sell on Flipkart, retailers need to pay a certain subscription charge. As mentioned above, payments are only made to retailers after Flipkart deducts their share, which reduces the profit margins per order. These charges can take a significant toll on small to mid-sized businesses that have not properly accounted for them. Larger Spotlight on the Product Instead of the Brand  Since there are a vast amount of competitors and rival products available on Flipkart, customers often associate sellers with their products rather than their brand. This can have a negative impact because successful brands such as Flipkart and Google, have a definitive brand image in the eyes of their customers. It can be difficult for up and coming brands to achieve that same status while having to compete with look-alike products and other brands. Conclusion Many retailers strive to sell on Flipkart. While there are certainly a large number of benefits associated with this, there are also disadvantages and expenses that sellers will have to account for while making this decision. If you want to achieve stellar levels of growth and expansion, while still having some flexibility to make your own decisions and not get completely immersed in Flipkart’s ecosystem, consider partnering with a 3PL fulfillment company such as WareIQ to take care of all your order fulfillment requirements. This will enable you to offer quality, hassle-free fulfillment to your customers while being able to focus on increasing sales and enhancing your products. WareIQ is one of India’s leading and fastest-growing full-stack eCommerce fulfillment companies that offer a variety of services from same-day and next-day delivery, shipping badges, and RTO Shield, to state of the art technological solutions such as our custom WMS and our intuitive, well-designed wareiq app store. We can take care of your brand’s entire fulfillment requirements and ensure that you and your customers get the best order fulfillment in the country and have a hassle-free experience and raise satisfaction levels to new heights. [signup] Sell on Flipkart FAQs Can retailers cancel orders on Flipkart?If an order is cancelled after the RTD is checked, the software automatically cancels the order if the order is not picked up after 3 attempts. Because the order has not been delivered to the customer, it is considered a cancellation from the retailer by Flipkart. Does Flipkart charge a fixed fee?The fixed fee is a minute deductable charge of 2% that is made by Flipkart for every confirmed sale, which refers to orders that have been successfully delivered to the buyer. Is it easy to sell on Flipkart?Flipkart has a relatively simple listing process compared to other eCommerce selling platforms. However, you are required to list at least 10 products to sell on Flipkart. Can your Flipkart seller account be integrated with WareIQ’s WMS?Users can seamlessly integrate their Flipkart seller accounts with WareIQ's WMS. This comes with multiple benefits such as being able to track orders and manage inventory of multiple selling platforms in one place. Can you use 3PL fulfillment companies to fulfill Flipkart orders?Yes, Flipkart allows its users to offload their fulfillment requirements to 3PL fulfillment companies under Self Ship Fulfillment.

May 24, 2022

10 Best WMS Softwares (Warehouse Management System Softwares) for eCommerce Fulfillment in India in 2022

10 Best WMS Softwares (Warehouse Management System Softwares) for eCommerce Fulfillment in India in 2022

Have you ever thought about the complexity that a selling platform like Amazon, Flipkart, eBay etc. faces while selling products? Billions of items, millions of buyers, and thousands of variety of warehouses, employees, and machines. Because of the sheer scale, it is extremely difficult to manually manage all these processes. This is where WMS software can play a big part in increasing efficiency and mitigating errors. In the last 4 to 5 years, WMS software has emerged as a multitasking tool for industries. You may know about the Internet of Things (IoT) which has made eCommerce warehousing and inventory relatively easy to manage. If you are an online seller that is willing to sell across multiple channels for growing your business in the virtual internet market, you need to choose WMS software to run things smoothly. What is a WMS Software? Warehouse Management System (WMS) is a new era software solution used by eCommerce businesses to manage their entire inventory and supply chain fulfillment operations from the distribution centers to the store shelf/warehouse. When the inventory levels and workload are higher than what can be handled manually with spreadsheets, WMS solutions are employed by enterprises to meet the unique customer demand requirements of their supply chain and distribution channel. It assists warehouses and fulfillment centers in planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling by utilizing the available resources to move and store materials into, within, and out of a warehouse. It also aids employees in the movement and storage of materials in and around the warehouses. WMS software is used to keep track of warehouse activities from the moment products are delivered to the moment they leave. Inventory management, picking processes, and auditing are among these operations. The solution aids in the reduction of lengthy paperwork involved as well as the reduction of human errors caused by storage processes and manual picking. As a result, you will save time, which will increase staff productivity, and efficiency and lower operational expenses. [contactus_lilgoodness] What are the Features of WMS Solutions? Inventory Management and Analysis Many of the top WMS solutions include capabilities that enable businesses to gather data from warehouse operations. Companies benefit greatly from real-time tracking, especially when it comes to inventory management. This allows you to check your inventory levels in real-time, so you'll always know whether you're running out of anything or have too much stock in hand. Other tools may filter data for KPI analysis, emphasizing areas where improvements are needed. Workflow management software determines what is happening in a warehouse and where attention is required. Collecting high-quality data assists decision-makers in determining whether or not to make changes to important business processes, as well as in planning for the future. Tracking and Forecasting This feature helps to increase customer satisfaction. A buyer before placing an order, checks the serviceability of their location and when it will be delivered. After placing an order, they get an estimated time of arrival (ETA) and can keep track of their order shipment. Sellers also track the order and can identify and correct any delays that crop up. Order and Fulfillment Management One of the primary WMS software functions is order and fulfillment services process optimization. WMS solutions help to improve order management by regulating the movement of a product through your warehouse. Users can utilize reorder features to automatically order components or products that need to be replenished on a regular basis. Some WMS solutions give users access to carrier networks, which can help them expedite branded shipping. Warehouse managers can eliminate time-consuming human input chores as automation integration becomes more common. Incorporating robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning into WMS systems can significantly improve efficiency and speed. Picking robots can locate and move things without requiring workers to run back and forth between product and shipping regions. Transportation Management Though transportation management can be considered a different category in and of itself, WMS software frequently includes transport management system (TMS) functions. As an integral aspect of supply chain management, TMS software can directly affect and improve warehouse management. If you require transport management facilities, consider seeking a WMS software that includes it. Labor Management WMS solutions aid warehouse managers in monitoring worker performance through the use of key performance indicators. With this approach, workers who are doing poorly, as well as those who are performing amicably, can be readily identified. Warehouse Management System Software consisting of labor management can help identify your employees, keep track of their schedules, and assign duties to them. Employees can clock in and out using simple pins or fingerprints that keep track of their log-in and log-out time. What Businesses Would Be Best Suited for WMS Software? WMS software is enabled with several facilities and gets updated and becomes smarter day by day. It is used in many industries to make their tasks easier and automated. These days, every company is using it according to their business size and complications. It can be customized for various types and sizes of businesses. Some industries use WMS solutions on a very high scale to efficiently run warehouse management processes. Some of them are listed below: Manufacturing Manufacturing industries have complicated warehouse requirements which makes WMS software an important tool for them. They deal in several types of products, materials and packages of varying sizes, volumes, rates, etc. Also, these items have different manufacturing timelines which needs to be segregated into pre-existing goods and newly created goods, and WMS solutions help to ease the process. Wholesale Distribution WMS software helps wholesalers to manage their complex supply chain and maximize accuracy. It allows them to utilize inventory space with exact quality deployment, fulfill orders faster, and manage multiple warehouses, combining cross-docking and advance picking features. Consumer Goods and Retail You can observe that these days, there are multiple grocery stores that have a daily shortage of inventory and have hundreds/thousands of orders to fulfill across one city or in multiple cities. This complex management, if handled by humans, will increase time usage and have higher chances of inaccuracy. WMS solutions make it simple, and smooth and utilize resources at their highest level of efficiency. Third-Party(3PL) Logistics Companies Warehousing is a crucial operational function for a 3PL because its business is to manage the eCommerce logistics and orders of its partners. As a result, a 3PL always uses advanced WMS solutions. Most WMS suppliers provide packages tailored to the complicated structure of a 3PL warehouse, which must keep a multitude of items, owners, vendors, and order systems, distinct and working. As they are in the business of eCommerce fulfillment, they use technology according to their partners’ needs, work models, and functionality by giving them personalized service. The 3PL can deliver reports and metrics of their sales, orders, inventory, etc, using WMS software. Customers can also manage data by generating customer-specific dashboards. Hospitals and Health Care This industry does not have a large inventory or a huge number of orders to fulfill although there are several factors like special storage conditions, a limited shelf life, requirement for 100% accuracy, ulta-fast delivery etc. and if any mistakes occur, it could result in the loss of lives. Here a single piece/item can affect the reputation of a seller, manufacturer and any person related to it. What are the Benefits of WMS Solutions? Optimizes Space and Lowers Operating Expenses Warehouse Management System Software utilizes the floor space and reduces the amount of empty space. Through technology, it optimizes the area and the dimensions of products that are kept there. It keeps track of every item’s entry and exit and the actual space left in the warehouse. Material rotation can also be aided by WMS solutions, whether through First-In, First-Out (FIFO), Last-In, First-Out (LIFO), or First-Expired, First-Out (FEFO) procedures. The WMS software can assist with any rotation rule that is desired. LIFO allows for the most efficient utilization of space and mobility. Product quality can be maintained by using FIFO or FEFO to keep products from expiring in the warehouse. Increases Visibility of Inventory  Warehouse Management Software enables sellers to have an exact count and check inventory levels. It shows in real time, the product count, colour, size, holding period, etc. Features in WMS software to calculate the MOQ and EOQ can help sellers to predict when they will be short of inventory so that they can reorder again with the minimum inventory cost. Increases the Effectiveness of Labor A big or a small business should always take care of the utilization of its resources in the best possible way. The WMS software helps you gauge the potential of your workforce, keep them involved in the right direction and evaluate them on a day-to-today basis and throughout working hours.  Optimizes the Supply Chain The WMS software can suggest the nearest warehouse to either the manufacturing unit or areas of high demand if a seller is using multiple warehouses. It optimizes and tells the seller about cross shipments to reduce logistics cost and timing. This helps in segregating the product batch right from picking and packing to the last mile delivery option. A better supply chain will give a more personalized touch to the buyer at the same time. Auditing of Internal Automation You as a businessman always need to keep auditing your business and also compare it with others or yourself in different periods. Due to lack of time and resources, you may do it once in a while but with WMS solutions, you can easily do a holistic audit of your business regardless if it is tangible or intangible. 10 Best WMS Softwares for eCommerce in India WareIQUnicommerceIncreffNetSuite WMS (Oracle)Fishbowl Inventory3PL Warehouse ManagerVin eRetail WMS (Vinculum)QuickBooks Commerce (formerly TradeGecko)SAPTECSYS WMS WareIQ Source WareIQ empowers eCommerce businesses with fulfillment centers near customers and tools to maintain control over inventory, orders, and pre & post fulfillment, in a single platform. It is led by experts that are experienced in working with eCommerce giants. It provides insights on the right network design & inventory placement to improve inventory returns and increase regional fulfillment share.  WareIQ’s WMS software offers a 360-degree Analytics Engine for Business Growth. Data shows that brands that partnered with WareIQ surged tenfold annually in terms of order volume growth. It has been possible because of smart inventory planning with high-end technology using AI, ML, and IoT. With the extended version of WMS software, sellers can manage high-volume warehouse operations with integrated complex supply chain logistics and keep eye on all the warehouse KPIs. It also helps in their warehousing and distribution processes, delivering high levels of efficiency, control, and visibility. Key Features of WareIQ: Easy integration across multiple online platforms & marketplacesML-based prediction engine for efficient warehouse network design & smart inventory placementCentralised platform for core fulfillment & shipping operationsBranded TrackingRTO ShieldBest Courier Partners to Optimize LogisticsCustomer FeedbackShipping BadgesScan-based GRN to assure 100% accuracy Sign Up Now with WareIQ to accelerate the sales of your eCommerce business.  Unicommerce Source Unicommerce's advanced WMS software recognizes the dynamism necessary in a warehouse solution, whereas conventional warehouse management software merely handles the stock location and stock level of commodities in a warehouse. Unicommerce helps you: Centralize the critical functions that are required in omnichannel retail situationsMaintain healthy stock levels and ensures location-allocation in numerous warehouse sitesManage 6000+ warehousesAutomate purchase management while tracking and routing shipments. Increff Source Increff is a simple and efficient web-based multi-channel order fulfillment and WMS software. It’s WMS solutions provides a single view of inventory across all marketplaces and seamless management of orders. Increff provides the following services: Handles manpowerEasy OperationsBuilt for scale100% scan based with unpaid principal balance integration for complete trackingMulti-system integrationSingle window for end-to-end operations NetSuite WMS (Oracle) Source Industry-leading methods such as mobile RF barcode scanning, specified strategies for storing items, job management, last mile delivery management, return authorization receipts and inventory cycle count plans are all part of the NetSuite WMS software solution. If you rely on spreadsheets to manage hundreds of SKUs across numerous sites, warehouse management may soon become a laborious, messy, and wasteful operation. A few features are listed below: NetSuite WMS eliminates manual processesIt helps you to minimize logistics costsRuns warehouses more efficientlyMeets customer expectations Fishbowl Inventory Source ​​When you order new products, Fishbowl’s WMS immediately generates a Purchase Order and bills it to QuickBooks. A few features are listed below: Ability to scan things into your warehouse with a wireless mobile deviceEnables you to store them in their designated location in your warehouseAllows you to create several work orders and bills of materials for complex jobsEnables you to choose things from your shelf, pack them and ship them to the customer when a sales order is received.After the transaction, Fishbowl sends an invoice to QuickBooks, which is updated with all the financial information. 3PL Warehouse Manager Source 3PL Warehouse Manager’s entire staff is dedicated to developing supply chain WMS software based on the best practices of 3rd party logistics, with over a decade of experience working with top-performing 3PL facilities. One of the most popular cloud-based WMS solutions, 3PL Warehouse Manager makes it simple for warehouses to manage inventory, automate regular processes and provide total visibility to their clients. Some features are: The WMS system swiftly transforms paper-based 3PLs into service leadersAllows operations to be done more efficientlyIs trusted by over 1,500 3PL warehouses to help them build their businesses. Vin eRetail WMS (Vinculum) Source Vin eRetail delivers a one-stop solution to all of your marketplace listing-related difficulties through its WMS software. It allows users to digitally upload catalogs i.e helping in catalog management for numerous marketplaces by providing import templates tailored to each portal's needs. Its provides the following services: Category-specific templates for uploading all product-related information to a single siteUser-friendly; helps users to view each item and its details and chooses which marketplaces to list the item onPrepareation to upload templates particular to each marketplace QuickBooks Commerce (formerly TradeGecko) Source It is a powerful eCommerce platform for multiple channels and wholesale businesses specializing in B2B sales models. It offers: Multiple inventory control and tracking featuresSeamless integration with Amazon, Shopify, Magento, ShipStation, WooCommerce, etc.Forecasts demand and generates purchase ordersCustomer insights, forecasting and reportsMultiple catalogs options and price lists with individual discount options SAP Source SAP has a flexible WMS software where a seller can manage a high volume of goods and run agile operations with digitized and accelerated warehouse processes. Its key features are: On-premise and cloud deployments   Comprehensive WMS solutionsFully integrated quality, production and track-to-trace processesReal-time control of warehouse automation equipment TECSYS WMS Source Tecsys is a global supply chain solutions provider. It is growing with industry-leading services and tools to achieve operational greatness. It was incorporated in 1983 with its headquarters in Montreal, Canada. It has 600+ customers. It features a cloud-based system, the best system for medium and large organizations. It’s WMS software has received the Technology Innovation Leadership Award. Some of its features are: The streamlined inbound and outbound flow of InventoryWarehouse resource optimizationOpen and flexible automation connectorseasy deployment and onboardingcontrol in transportation management Conclusion: Why is WareIQ’s WMS the best WMS Software for eCommerce Fulfillment? After getting in-depth knowledge about WMS software and its functionality, you as a seller are at the point to choose your partner for warehouse management to get all the benefits and services and achieve growth in your business.  It not only reduces the need for resources but also utilizes them to keep their performance on track, guiding them to work accurately. For such tasks, WareIQ has user-friendly Warehouse Management Software. Its WMS is customized and created for eCommerce businesses so that they can perform all warehouse-related tasks in a single location which reduces complexity. WareIQ acts as an aggregator for all businesses of all sizes and provides multiple benefits to its partners. Apart from the mandatory benefits that come under WMS software, it provides extra real-time features to their customers that help them in growing their business. A few of the unique benefits are: A single platform for multi-channel sales fulfillmentSmart picking and packaging servicesRTO Shield to reduce RTO expensesSmart MOQ & EOQ calculators for smart warehouses and multiple warehousesSmart inventory management WareIQ is one of India’s leading and fastest-growing full-stack eCommerce fulfillment companies that offers a variety best fulfillment services from same-day and next-day delivery, shipping badges, RTO Shield, state-of-the-art technological solutions such as our custom WMS and our intuitive, well-designed app store. We can take care of your brand's entire fulfillment requirements and ensure that you and your customers get the best order fulfillment in the country and have a hassle-free experience and raise satisfaction levels to new heights. [signup] WMS Software FAQs What are the key functions of a WMS?It manages inventory from the moment it enters the warehouse, through storage and delivery to the final consumer. WMS eliminates manual errors and manages stock control by maintaining inventory data transparency. What is a WMS Solution?WMS is a software solution that provides visibility into a company's full inventory while also managing supply-chain fulfillment operations from the warehouse to the store shelf. What are the main benefits of WMS?By monitoring work processes at multiple levels, raising productivity and increasing asset utilization, the WMS will improve a company's operational efficiency for both labor and physical space. Inventory control is aided by WMS automation, which enhances accuracy, output, and speed. Which software is best for warehouse management?Top 10 Best Warehouse Management Software Systems (WMS) In 2022WareIQUnicommerceIncreffNetSuite WMS - OracleFishbowl Inventory​​3PL Warehouse ManagerVin ERetail WMS - VinculumQuickBooks Commerce (formerly TradeGecko)SAPTECSYS WMS What are the different types of WMS systems?Standalone systems, ERP modules, cloud-based systems, and supply-chain modules are the most popular forms of WMS. They all have different benefits for different warehouse needs.

May 24, 2022

Sell on Shopify: A Step-by-Step Beginner’s Guide to Become a Shopify Seller in 2022

Sell on Shopify: A Step-by-Step Beginner’s Guide to Become a Shopify Seller in 2022

Shopify Inc. is an eCommerce company and an online selling platform that is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada. Its platform enables users to take advantage of a vast online marketplace by setting up an online store to sell on Shopify. More than 1.7 million businesses worldwide have opted to sell their products on Shopify which has made it one of the largest eCommerce companies in the world. A unique aspect of Shopify is that they not only offer a selling platform for online business but also for offline business, a market that few other big eCommerce players have opted to enter. In this blog, we will take a look at how retailers can sell on Shopify, how they can become a Shopify seller, the pros and cons of using Shopify’s platform and much more.  Why Should You Choose to Sell on Shopify? Fast and Simple Setup Process Setting up an account on Shopify is extremely seamless and user-friendly, especially for people who don’t have much technical knowledge and experience. The biggest advantage is that even though the platform is feature-packed, it still has a decluttered and intuitive user interface. There are also multiple guides and tutorials on Shopify’s website that makes solving queries even simpler. Mitigates the Need for Technical Knowledge Shopify is designed to work well for normal people who maybe had a killer business idea or product and seek to sell on Shopify but may not have any technical knowledge. Every software feature is created in-house as well as all website hosting activities. This makes the platform faster, more efficient and secure. Additionally, software updates are pushed by Shopify themselves so you can throw any need for learning complex technical processes out the window. There are no learning curves involved. Enhanced Security and Reliability Retailers who want to become a Shopify seller can reassure themselves and their customers with the extreme level of security and reliability that is offered by Shopify. eCommerce businesses deal in heaps of ultra-sensitive information such as contact details and credit card numbers and it always pays off to not have to worry about the security of personal information. Shopify takes care of all website and server-related maintenance as well as constantly pushing software updates and security patches to ensure that the network and users’ information is always safe and secure, issuing SSEL certificates for data encryption and PCI compliance to secure credit card information. Round the Clock Customer Care Facilities When retailers sell on Shopify, their customers also gain access to 24/7 customer support to take care of any query or issue that might arise. Customers can choose their contact preferences ranging from phone calls, emails and online chats to community forums and the Shopify Help Center to make sure that their needs are always met and at their convenience. Choice of Applications at Users’ Fingertips Not only does Shopify offer a web experience that is tailored to desktops, mobiles and tablets, it also offers a range of customization and applications that users can download with the click of a button. There are more than 160 themes users can choose from to give their page a unique look as well as applications for the addition of different functionalities such as wishlists, reviews, loyalty programs, analytics, marketing apps, integration with social media and much more. You can also read our blogs on how to sell on Amazon, Myntra and Flipkart to get more information about similar services. 6 Simple Steps to Start to Sell on Shopify Step 1: Registering Your Shopify Account The initial step in order to sell on Shopify and become a shopify seller is to register an account. You will need to fill out information such as your name and contact information. If you choose the “free 14-day trial” option, you won’t need a credit card to sign in. Doing this will enable you to play around with the different settings and options before committing to it permanently. The free trial ends after 14 days post which you will need to select a purchase plan. You will then need to enter your store name. You will get the below error message if the store name you want already exists. The store name will be your main domain name but it can be changed anytime. After the details of your Shopify store have been added, you will be asked if you are an existing seller. If you are, you will need to mention your current revenue. Post answering these, you will be prompted to answer other questions. You can skip this portion but responding appropriately will enable Shopify to give you better recommendations.  Whether you answer the questions or not, you will then be prompted to enter your business address. Once you finish creating your store, you will be redirected to the main admin panel. You can now sell on Shopify. You can now choose between 3 options: Add a productCustomize a themeAdd a domain *Insert Screenshot*  Step 2: Setting Up Your Domain A primary domain is assigned to you by Shopify. The default format is domainname.myshopify.com but you can always choose a different domain or connect an existing domain. Every seller can only have 1 primary domain. Step 3: Choosing a Theme Your theme is what customers will see when they click on your store, which can be customised according to your preferences. Therefore, choosing an attractive theme that fits your brand image is very important. You can either customise your own theme or choose an existing theme from  Shopify’s theme store. Step 4: Listing Products After creating your store, the next step is to list your products - the main reason for setting up an account in the first place. This is generally the step that takes the most time but it's worth it if you want customers to see your products in all their glory. Go to your admin panel and select “products”. This is where you can list new products and see your existing inventory. You can add a product in 3 ways: Manually: You will have to enter all the information about your product such as the description, features and dimensions, in addition to adding photos. Importing via CSV File: If you want to upload a huge amount of inventory, you can do this by importing a CSV file that gets added to Shopify in bulk.  Identifying on Oberlo: You can connect your account to Oberlo to sync your inventory with Shopify. You May Like: Alternatives to Oberlo Step 5: App Installation You can download apps to enhance the functionality of different aspects of your business to enable faster growth and expansion. There are more than 2600 apps, out of which some are free and some are paid apps. You can choose the ones that fit your requirements. Step 6: Marketing Your Company Marketing is important to make your product visible to as many people, especially your target audience, as you can. An optimised marketing strategy will be able to drive customers to your store and assist in convincing them to make a purchase. You are now ready to sell on Shopify and boost the sales of your business. 8 Strategies to Sell on Shopify Integrate with an Email Marketing System Email marketing is a really efficient and cost-effective way to promote your products. If you sell on Shopify, you can implement email marketing campaigns through various dedicated platforms such as Mailchimp to generate leads and stir interest in your products. These platforms give you the ability to customise your emails with various themes, stickers and designs to make them stand out from the sea of generic promotional emails that customers receive on a daily basis. You can also schedule automatic emails and have different templates for each campaign. Strive Towards Retaining Customers If you sell on Shopify and want to sell your products, scouting for new customers is often more expensive and cumbersome than focusing on retaining existing customers. You can retain customers by putting in effort into minor details such as providing premium branded packaging, order tracking updates and stellar customer support. Research shows that just a 5% gain in customer retention can lead to a 75% gain in profits. So give your customers the same importance post-sale to achieve an enhanced customer experience and gain their trust and loyalty so they will think of you and your brand if they ever have similar requirements.  Implement Cross-Selling Strategies Cross-selling is a means of focusing on the creation of a more robust network of revenue streams from a single order. To do this, you can offer extended warranties, suggest complementary products and offer discounts if a minimum purchase amount is reached. These tactics convince customers that they are getting a better deal so they are willing to spend more money. Utilise SEO Techniques Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an age-old marketing technique that focuses on increasing the rank of various web pages on search engines such as Google and Yahoo. This is done through adjusting content according to SEO guidelines, adding relevant keywords and using backlinks to and from other pages so that your page ranks as close to the top of search results for those particular keywords as possible. This not only makes your pages more visible and increases traffic but also legitimizes your page in the eyes of potential customers. Write Attractive Product Descriptions While listing products to sell on Shopify, you need to add suitable and well-written descriptions of your products to convince customers that they need them in their lives. You can describe what it is, its use case scenarios, provide clear and accurate measurements of its dimensions, colour and size and what the aim was when creating it. This paired with high-resolution pictures of the product is a recipe for success. Utilise Coupon Marketing Strategies Coupons are another way to increase the hype and visibility of your products by making consumers feel that they are getting a steal of a deal. A consumer might not think of purchasing a product but if they see a coupon code that says 20% off, it’ll instantly make them reconsider because they are associating it with more value for their hard-earned money. They might even end up buying more items to capitalize on all the discounts they are receiving through coupons. Sell on Different Channels Retailers should never relegate themselves to selling on only one platform if they want to be successful. If you choose sell on multiple channels such as Shopify, Amazon, Flipkart and eBay, among others, you open your business to up to every customer that uses these platforms and may require what you are offering. Many customers also faithfully stick to one platform and if you are not visible to them on that platform, you have instantly lost an opportunity to make a sale. Keep your options open and sell on as many platforms as you can. Choose an eCommerce Fulfillment Company for Shopify Fulfillment as well to fulfill Amazon orders, fulfill Flipkart orders etc. Offer Upsizing Options on Orders Upsizing is a form of offering a better and more expensive version of a product that sellers have already shown interest in. For example, if a seller is browsing for an iPhone 12 and they see an iPhone 13 in the recommendations for not that much extra, they instantly start contemplating buying the better version because they can now compare the features and price with a single tap. This paired with discounts or coupons can instantly increase the volume and prices of each order. Of course, you need to upsize according to each customer and make sure that the product is not too out of their budget. Conclusion Opting to sell on Shopify is a goal for many eCommerce retailers and for good reason. It has a simple setup process and an easy to use interface that provides users with multiple features and benefits. However, it is easy to get caught up in trying to make your online shop as exclusive as possible by purchasing high-end themes and plugins and before you know it, the costs have skyrocketed and that is before Shopify takes a cut of each order you make. In order to get the best of both worlds, we suggest partnering with a 3PL company like WareIQ to enhance your Shopify selling experience, without breaking the bank. WareIQ is one of India’s leading and fastest-growing full-stack eCommerce fulfillment companies that offer a variety of services from same-day and next-day delivery, shipping badges and RTO Shield, to state of the art technological solutions such as our custom WMS and our intuitive, well-designed app store. Our custom WMS offers seamless integrations with more than 20 online selling platforms including Snapdeal, Amazon, Flipkart, and much more. We can take care of your brand’s entire retail fulfillment requirements and ensure that you and your customers get the best order fulfillment in the country and have a hassle-free experience and raise satisfaction levels to new heights. Over 300 of the fastest-growing eCommerce brands such as The Man Company, Future Group, Kama Ayurveda and Wingreens Farms, already trust WareIQ with the fulfillment services of their companies, so they can focus entirely on core aspects of their businesses such as sales, marketing and R&D. You can also reap all these amazing benefits while stepping up your eCommerce game. We are tailored to every kind of business and offer the most competitive prices in the industry.  Sign Up Now with WareIQ to take advantage of our superior fulfillment tech platform & accelerate the growth of your online business. Sell on Shopify Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Does Shopify take a portion of your revenue?Shopify does take a commission on each sale which is between 2.4% to 2.9% considering what plan you have chosen. If you use an external payment processing method, this reduces to between 0.5% to 2%. How much does it cost to sell on Shopify and become a Shopify seller?Shopify offers a free 14-day period which users don;t need to pay for. Once the plan runs its duration, users can choose between 1 of 3 available pricing plans. What items does Shopify not allow on its platform?if your products are smoking-related, you won't be able to sell on Shopify. The company y has a strict policy against the sale of cigarettes, tobacco, e-juices, e-cigarettes and any other smoking devices such as vaporizers and pipes. Can your Shopify account be integrated with WareIQ's WMS?Shopify can be integrated with WareIQ's WMS in a few simple steps. This enables users to consolidate their Shopify order and inventory level data with other selling platforms so that it can all be managed from one place. Can you use 3PL fulfillment companies to fulfill Shopify orders?Yes, Shopify allows users to partner with 3PL fulfillment companies like WareIQ to take care of their fulfillment requirements.

May 24, 2022

What is Ending Inventory for an eCommerce Business & How to Calculate it? 3 Easy Methods to Calculate Closing Inventory.

What is Ending Inventory for an eCommerce Business & How to Calculate it? 3 Easy Methods to Calculate Closing Inventory.

Every retail business, be it eCommerce, SMEs, or those following a multi-channel approach, need to have a clear idea of closing inventory. The ending inventory of the sellable stock in the warehouse is vital for businesses to have visibility of sales, understand the value of the inventory, changes to be made in forecasting and stock levels, etc.  The closing inventory is a crucial metric for better inventory forecasting, understanding what items should be stocked more, which items don't get as many sales, and how the business needs to reassess strategies to remain profitable.  What is Ending Inventory? At the end of an accounting period, the ending inventory is the stock value of finished products in sellable condition. The closing inventory includes mentioned assets on the balance sheet. Taking note of the closing inventory is necessary for accurately calculating taxes and estimating the total business value.  Closing inventory calculates the total value of the good, not the inventory volume or number of units available.  What is the Need to Calculate Ending Inventory? Calculating ending inventory is important to identify what products are fast selling and need greater importance and which items take a longer time to sell. By understanding which products take longer to be sold, businesses can improve their forecasting and production strategies and decide if their production or sourcing volumes need to be shortened or lengthened accordingly. Visibility on closing inventory is important to: Match Recorded Inventory with Actual Stock Levels This provides insight into any stock discrepancies between the recorded and physical inventory in the warehouse/fulfilment centers and matches it with the sales made. If the physical inventory is less than what is recorded, it is known as 'inventory shrinkage'. The cause for this discrepancy could be accounting errors, theft, or various other concerns. Know the Revenue Being Generated Calculating the business's net income becomes easier with the starting inventory and ending inventory. This can also help provide clarity on the pricing strategy. Suppose the recorded inventory and physical inventory prices don't match up, it can indicate that the sold items are not profitable as the initial purchase or production will be more expensive than the sale price. You can see how to calculate average revenue here. Improve Forecasting and Inventory Management When you calculate the ending inventory, it considers the starting inventory during the beginning of the accounting period. This, of course, is a cycle. Having the closing inventory details paints a clear picture of which items sell better than others, the ideal volume of items in the inventory, and how soon items need to be replenished. This also improves the forecasting capabilities for future inventories, discounts etc.  The Formula for Ending Inventory Calculation using Ending Inventory Formula It is important to calculate the closing inventory correctly to keep taxes and accounting in check. For every new accounting period, the starting inventory is calculated from the closing inventory of the previous period. This makes it even more crucial to have the right data to achieve better inventory management. Having accurate calculations also ensures no unexpected shortage or shrinkage in the physical inventory compared to the recorded inventory.  The ending inventory calculation formula is: Ending inventory (EI) = [beginning inventory + net purchases] - cost of goods sold (COGS) Here's what each term means: Beginning inventory is the closing inventory from the last accounting period.Net purchases include all items that have been additionally bought and added to the inventory.Cost of goods are the total costs involved in sourcing, procuring, manufacturing and getting the finished product ready for sale Various variables come into play. We arrive at different values based on the calculation method when ending inventory is calculated. Note that only the estimated value of the inventory changes as the units in hand is constant. You will find these 3 methods for ending inventory calculation. 3 Different Methods of Closing Inventory Calculation With Examples A physical inventory count is the easiest approach for ending inventory calculation. However, doing a physical check may not be feasible, especially if you have a huge volume of inventory to track. There are a few different ways to calculate the closing inventory. Because there are various methods for calculating EI, it's advisable to stay with one every year to minimise discrepancies in subsequent reports. Let's see the different ways to calculate closing inventory: Last in First Out (LIFO) This method of inventory calculation considers that the most recent stocks were sold first. The older stocks become part of the closing inventory and the newest inventory is noted as the COGS.  For example, you purchased 100 books at Rs.5 per unit, making beginning inventory (100x5=500). When the books needed to be replenished after sales, the per-unit price increased to Rs. 7. During the accounting period, let's assume that 125 books were sold.  In this method, your cost of purchasing the latest inventory was higher than the older stock. So, COGS will be (100x7=700), which is the cost of purchasing the replenishment stocks + (25x5 =125) which will be the additional 25 units you sold from the old stock. This comes up to Rs.825 After using the ending inventory formula is; EI= Rs.500 (beginning inventory) + Rs.700 (net purchases) – Rs.875 (COGS) The value comes up to Rs.325. First in First Out (FIFO) This second tracking method calculates by assuming that the oldest inventory gets sold first. So, the older stocks become part of COGS, and the newest inventory is added as ending inventory.  For example, you purchased 100 books at Rs.5 per unit. During replenishment, the per-unit price increased to Rs. 7. During the accounting period, let's assume that 125 books were sold.  So, COGS will be (100x5=500), which is the cost of purchasing the replenishment stocks + (25x7 =175) which will be the additional 25 units you sold from the new stock. This comes up to Rs.675. After using the ending inventory formula; EI = Rs.500 (beginning inventory) + Rs.700 (net purchases) – Rs.675 (COGS) The value comes up to Rs.525. Weighted Average Cost (WAC) This calculation method takes COGS as an average of the cost of inventory purchased during the accounting period and divides it by the total units in hand. For WAC, all inventory units are assigned the same value.  For example, you purchased 100 books at Rs.5 per unit. During replenishment of the next 100 books, the per-unit price increased to Rs. 7. During the accounting period, let's assume that 125 books were sold.  For WAC, the total cost of both orders will be added (500+700=1200) and will be divided by the total number of units in hand (200). This gets the price per SKU as (1200/200) which is Rs. 6.  So, COGS will be (125x6=Rs. 750), the cost of the weighted average of a single SKU x the total units sold. After using the ending inventory formula; EI = Rs.500 (beginning inventory) + Rs.700 (net purchases) – Rs.750 (COGS) The value comes up to Rs.450. Conclusion: How Do 3PL Fulfillment Companies Help Manage Closing Inventory for eCommerce Businesses? Understanding and calculating ending inventory are critical to your company's success. However, the process might be complicated, which is where technology-enabled 3PL eCommerce logistics companies can help. When the time comes to file business taxes, having the correct inventory management solution will save you a lot of time and trouble. Some of the benefits of having a 3PL fulfilment company to manage order fulfilment include: Managing inventory levels, order data, and billing Flexible scaling based on seasonality, order velocity, and other factorsEasy to view dashboards for orders, shipping, and returnsReduced shipping and return label creationShorter delivery timeframes and lower freight costsSeamless integration and collation of data from warehouses, customers' warehouses, and retail outletsReal-time tracking to identify delivery mishaps and promptly fix problemsCustomer engagement post-sales to encourage loyalty and repeat purchases With a fulfillment company like WareIQ, there's no need to invest in a separate WMS, shipping aggregators, inventory management, or tracking tools. WareIQ offers end-to-end fulfillment services by combining network, technology, and knowledge. The full-stack platform allows eCommerce firms to provide same-day and next-day delivery to their consumers, comparable to Amazon Prime, but for everyone.  With a centralised platform for core fulfillment and shipping operations and post-shipping apps, WareIQ manages the entire range of complex operations in the eCommerce fulfillment process, such as inbound functions like scanning and quality checks, 100% accurate Pick and Pack, and inventory management across all channels, for a delightful experience and zero to minimal supply chain leakages. Next-day and same-day delivery services help businesses set new standards for setting and meeting customer expectations. Due to enhanced negotiations with shipping partners, strategically positioned warehouses, warehousing economies of scale and scope, and data-driven decision-making, WareIQ customers benefit from significant cost reductions and a wider reach. WareIQ has established itself as a dependable partner for more than 300 reputable eCommerce firms across the country, including Kama Ayurveda, Future Group, Piramal Group, Wingreens Farms, and many others, with a robust nationwide network of fulfillment centers and urban dark stores close to ending customers and subsidised access to all major national and hyperlocal last-mile couriers.  A machine learning-based prediction engine is used for optimal warehouse network architecture and innovative inventory allocation.  On a single platform, all fulfillment and shipping procedures are centralised. For a pleasant experience and fewer supply chain breaches, the post-shipping features of WareIQ are beneficial. Sign Up Now with WareIQ today to take advantage of our excellent fulfillment technology platform and grow your online business. Ending inventory FAQs What all costs should be included when calculating ending inventory?The value of products available for sale at the end of an accounting period is the ending inventory which is the starting inventory + net purchases less the cost of goods sold. When calculating the net purchases, deduct any return costs and discounts before calculating the final value. How can a 3PL company like WareIQ help manage your closing inventory?WareIQ utilises an efficient WMS that aids in inventory management and is able to forecast demand levels and the supply levels needed to keep up with that demand. This helps retailers stabilize their inventory levels to mitigate losses from ending inventory. Is ending inventory and closing stock the same?Yes, the ending inventory and closing stock calculate the same value, the value of saleable goods at hand at the end of an accounting period. How can ending inventory be interpreted?A rising trend in ending inventory balances over time may suggest that some inventory is becoming obsolete, as the amount should remain relatively constant as a percentage of sales. A falling trend in the ending inventory balance, on the other hand, may suggest that a company's production capacity is insufficient to meet customer demand.

May 23, 2022