As you consider your eCommerce fulfilment options, keep in mind that there are plenty of different types of logistics services to choose from. From full service to drop-shipping to specialized package design and mailing, the logistics world has no shortage of options when it comes to getting your products from warehouse to customer.
In this article, we’ll cover the main options of logistics services available and what eCommerce fulfilment warehouses like Prestige Logistics Group offer, so you can make an informed decision about how to proceed with your e-commerce strategy.
1) Onshore and nearshore
Onshore solutions are often located in a company’s home country, while nearshore refers to countries or regions that are close enough to home (i.e., within a one-time zone) and typically have lower operating costs than their more distant counterparts.
Companies tend to favour onshore/nearshore solutions when they need ongoing support from their vendors and partners—for example, setting up products and services, handling maintenance issues, or responding quickly if there’s an issue with a particular order.
2) Vendor-managed inventory
With vendor-managed inventory, you’re essentially renting shelf space at a big-box store. The store takes ownership of your inventory and manages it on their end, restocking as necessary.
It’s generally preferable to drop shipping—but if you want to grow beyond a single location, VMI is also an option. If you use VMI, make sure that you can get accurate reports about what sells (and what doesn’t) so that you can adjust accordingly.
It doesn’t matter if you are only selling products on eBay or Amazon, you should consider drop shipping to offer a wide range of products without getting stuck with inventory. With drop shipping, there is little risk involved.
You find suppliers who will ship directly to your customers and deal with orders as they come in. You are essentially acting as a middleman instead of a store owner yourself. This is great news because you can focus on sales and marketing while still making money from other people’s sales!
4) Mixed models
These are a mixture of top-down and bottom-up approaches. In other words, we employ strategic planning at an overview level to determine our primary objectives but then let individual processes dictate their strategies within those overarching goals.
For example, if we want to expand into international markets, our overall plan would dictate that we create a cross-functional operations team responsible for coordinating our global expansion efforts. This team would be responsible for deciding how best to expand given our resources and long-term strategic goals.
5) Inventory as service
Instead of warehousing goods and then shipping them to customers, why not pick, pack and ship orders as they come in? It may sound like a radical move, but companies that have tried it say they save money while offering high levels of customer service.
This business model doesn’t work well with highly perishable goods or high-ticket items. The convenience also works better when there is a good amount of volume in terms of orders from each client.
6) International fulfilment centres
Instead of shipping directly to an international customer, you can ship to a fulfilment centre in that country and have them handle the shipping. It is cheaper than actually setting up shop overseas, but it might not be available in every country.
If you are in the UK and are searching for a fulfilment centre, look no further than Prestige Logistics Group. With live time tracking and visibility, they provide rapid and accurate e-commerce fulfilment.