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Enhancing Fulfillment Performance: The Power of Software, Service, and SLAs

Phuc Le
August 4, 2023

In today's fast-paced business world, efficient order fulfillment is crucial for maintaining customer satisfaction and staying competitive. Many businesses face the decision of whether to handle fulfillment in-house or outsource it to a specialized fulfillment service provider. To make an informed choice, it's essential to consider several critical factors.Choosing whether to use fulfillment services is a critical decision that can significantly impact your business's success. By carefully considering cost analysis, fulfillment expertise, and customer experience, businesses can make an informed choice that optimizes their fulfillment operations, enhances customer satisfaction, and sets the stage for sustainable growth and success in today's competitive marketplace. 



Using fulfillment services offers businesses a plethora of benefits, including cost efficiency, time optimization, scalability, global reach, improved customer satisfaction, and access to specialized expertise. By outsourcing fulfillment operations, businesses can focus on their core competencies, drive innovation, and seize growth opportunities, ultimately unlocking their full potential for success in today's competitive marketplace. The data-backed evidence supports the notion that fulfillment services are a strategic investment for businesses looking to streamline operations, improve customer experience, and thrive in a dynamic business environment.

1. Enhanced Cost Efficiency:

Utilizing fulfillment services can lead to significant cost savings for businesses. Businesses can leverage the established infrastructure and expertise of fulfillment providers. The shared resources and economies of scale allow fulfillment service providers to offer cost-effective solutions, including reduced shipping rates and bulk purchase discounts on packaging materials. This translates into a more streamlined fulfillment process and overall cost efficiency for businesses.

Utilizing fulfillment services can lead to significant cost savings for businesses. According to a study by the University of Southern California, outsourcing fulfillment can result in up to 40% lower operational costs compared to in-house fulfillment. (Source: USC Marshall School of Business). By leveraging the established infrastructure and expertise of fulfillment providers, businesses can avoid large upfront investments in warehouses, technology, and workforce. Additionally, fulfillment services often negotiate bulk shipping rates with carriers, passing on cost savings to businesses.

2. Time Optimization:

Time is a valuable asset in the fast-paced business landscape. Outsourcing fulfillment tasks to experts allows businesses to free up time that would otherwise be spent on tedious logistics and administrative activities. This time optimization enables businesses to focus on core competencies, strategic planning, and customer relationship management. With fulfillment services handling the intricacies of order processing, packaging, and shipping, businesses can allocate more time and energy to drive growth and innovation. Time is a valuable asset in the fast-paced business landscape. A study conducted by eMarketer found that businesses that outsource fulfillment tasks save an average of 120 hours per month on fulfillment-related activities. (Source: eMarketer)

Outsourcing fulfillment to experts allows businesses to focus on core competencies and strategic growth initiatives. Instead of dealing with the complexities of order processing and shipping, businesses can allocate more time to marketing, product development, and customer engagement, leading to improved business agility and accelerated growth.

3. Scalability and Flexibility:

Business demands can fluctuate based on seasonal trends, promotions, or unexpected spikes in orders. Fulfillment service providers offer scalability and flexibility, allowing businesses to adapt quickly to changing needs. During peak seasons, fulfillment services can ramp up operations to handle increased order volumes. Conversely, during slower periods, businesses can avoid overstaffing and resource wastage, aligning costs with actual demand.

Business demands can fluctuate based on seasonal trends, promotions, or unexpected spikes in orders. Fulfillment service providers offer scalability and flexibility to cater to these fluctuations. According to a survey by Invesp, 94% of businesses reported that outsourcing fulfillment provided them with the scalability needed to handle fluctuating order volumes effectively. (Source: Invesp)

During peak seasons, fulfillment services can quickly ramp up operations and staffing to accommodate increased order volumes. Conversely, during slower periods, businesses can avoid overstaffing and resource wastage, aligning costs with actual demand.

4. Global Reach and Market Expansion:

For businesses seeking to expand their reach into new markets, fulfillment services are an invaluable asset. Reputable fulfillment providers often have a well-established network of warehouses and shipping carriers that span the globe.By leveraging the global reach of fulfillment providers, businesses can tap into international markets without the burden of establishing physical operations in each location. This opens up new growth opportunities and allows businesses to cater to a wider customer base. According to a study by DHL, businesses using fulfillment services reported a 30% increase in international sales. (Source: DHL)

5. Improved Order Accuracy and Customer Satisfaction:

Fulfillment service providers are equipped with advanced technology and streamlined processes, which significantly reduce order processing errors. This leads to enhanced order accuracy and a seamless customer experience. When customers receive their orders promptly and error-free, it fosters higher levels of satisfaction and increases the likelihood of repeat business and positive word-of-mouth referrals. A report by Multichannel Merchant revealed that businesses using fulfillment services experienced a 50% reduction in order errors. (Source: Multichannel Merchant)

6. Expertise and Specialized Knowledge:

Fulfillment service providers are experts in logistics and supply chain management. A survey by McKinsey found that 83% of businesses reported that outsourcing fulfillment gave them access to specialized expertise. (Source: McKinsey)

Partnering with fulfillment services gives businesses access to industry-leading best practices, technology advancements, and supply chain optimization strategies. This enables businesses to enhance their fulfillment processes and ensure a seamless and efficient order fulfillment experience for their customers.


As companies strive to meet customer demands efficiently and exceed expectations, the integration of software, exceptional service, and well-defined Service Level Agreements (SLAs) emerges as the ultimate trifecta for enhancing fulfillment performance.

1. Unleashing The Potential Of Software Solutions - Wms & Oms

Unleashing The Potential Of Software Solutions - Wms & Oms

In the fast-paced and competitive business landscape, the efficient management of order fulfillment is essential for success. Fulfillment software solutions, particularly Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) and Omni-Channel Management Systems, have emerged as powerful tools to optimize and streamline fulfillment operations. In this post, we will explore the potential of these two software solutions and how they unleash a new realm of possibilities for businesses.

1.1. Warehouse Management System (WMS): Streamlining Warehouse Operations

A Warehouse Management System (WMS) is a sophisticated software solution designed to optimize warehouse operations and improve inventory management. By leveraging the potential of WMS, businesses can unlock the following benefits:

  • Real-Time Inventory Visibility: WMS provides a real-time view of inventory levels, locations, and movement trends. This visibility empowers businesses to make informed decisions, ensuring optimal stock levels and reducing the risk of stockouts or overstock situations. According to a survey by Statista, 43% of supply chain professionals cited real-time inventory visibility as a top priority in their logistics strategies. (Source: Statista)
  • Order Picking Optimization: WMS utilizes advanced algorithms to optimize order picking processes, reducing travel time and increasing overall picking efficiency. This results in faster order fulfillment, improved accuracy, and enhanced customer satisfaction. A study conducted by the Material Handling Institute (MHI) found that businesses using WMS experienced an average of 20% improvement in order picking accuracy and efficiency. (Source: MHI)
  • Inventory Tracking and Traceability: WMS enables businesses to track inventory from receipt to shipment, ensuring complete traceability and accountability. This capability is particularly valuable for industries with strict regulatory requirements or those dealing with perishable or high-value items. 
  • Labor Efficiency: By automating and streamlining various warehouse tasks, WMS increases labor efficiency and reduces manual errors. This, in turn, minimizes operational costs and frees up valuable human resources for more strategic endeavors. According to a survey by Zebra Technologies, companies that have implemented a WMS reported a 22% reduction in labor costs and a 26% increase in productivity. (Source: Zebra Technologies)

1.2. Omni-Channel Management System: Seamlessly Integrating Sales Channels

As businesses expand their reach across multiple sales channels, managing order fulfillment efficiently becomes increasingly complex. An Omni-Channel Management System brings together all sales channels under one centralized platform, unleashing the following advantages:

  • Centralized Order Processing: With an Omni-Channel Management System, businesses can manage orders from various sources, such as e-commerce websites, marketplaces, and physical stores, in a single unified dashboard. This streamlines order processing and eliminates the need for manual data entry. A study by Forrester found that companies with centralized order management saw a 61% increase in order fulfillment accuracy and a 38% reduction in order cycle times. (Source: Forrester)
  • Inventory Synchronization: Omni-Channel Management Systems ensure that inventory levels are synchronized across all sales channels in real-time. This prevents overselling, reduces the risk of stockouts, and enhances the overall customer experience. According to a report by NRF and Microsoft, 86% of retailers believe that inventory accuracy across all channels is essential to their success. (Source: NRF and Microsoft)
  • Consistent Customer Experience: By providing a seamless shopping experience across all channels, businesses can deliver a consistent brand message and customer service. This fosters brand loyalty and increases customer retention rates. According to Salesforce, 76% of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations across channels. (Source: Salesforce)
  • Data-Driven Insights: Omni-Channel Management Systems generate valuable insights into sales performance, customer behavior, and channel profitability. Businesses can use this data to optimize marketing strategies, identify high-performing channels, and focus resources where they yield the highest returns.  A study by Deloitte revealed that companies using omni-channel analytics were 23 times more likely to acquire customers, six times more likely to retain them, and 19 times more likely to achieve profitability. (Source: Deloitte)

Fulfillment software solutions, such as Warehouse Management Systems and Omni-Channel Management Systems, unlock the potential for businesses to achieve operational excellence and deliver exceptional customer experiences. Leveraging the capabilities of WMS streamlines warehouse operations, enhances inventory management, and increases labor efficiency.

On the other hand, adopting an Omni-Channel Management System enables businesses to seamlessly manage multiple sales channels, synchronize inventory, and deliver a consistent shopping experience. Together, these fulfillment software solutions propel businesses towards greater success in a rapidly evolving marketplace, where efficient order fulfillment and superior customer service are critical differentiators.

2. Elevating Fulfillment Excellence through Exceptional Service

Omni-Channel Management System: Seamlessly Integrating Sales Channels

In the fast-paced and customer-centric world of commerce, fulfillment excellence is a critical differentiator for businesses seeking to stand out from the competition. One of the key drivers of fulfillment excellence is delivering exceptional service throughout the entire order fulfillment process. In this post, we will explore how exceptional service elevates fulfillment excellence and drives customer satisfaction and loyalty.

  • Personalized Customer Support:

Exceptional service begins with personalized customer support that is responsive, empathetic, and tailored to individual needs. Businesses that prioritize customer interactions and go the extra mile to address inquiries and concerns promptly and professionally create a positive impression. According to a study by HubSpot, 93% of customers are more likely to make repeat purchases from companies with excellent customer service. (Source: HubSpot)

  • Transparent Order Communication:

Keeping customers informed about their order status and any potential delays is paramount. Transparent communication throughout the fulfillment process builds trust and reduces customer anxiety. A survey by Narvar found that 80% of customers are more likely to purchase from a brand that provides proactive updates during the shipping process. (Source: Narvar)

  • Fast and Accurate Order Processing:

Timely order processing and accurate order fulfillment are fundamental to exceptional service. Customers appreciate businesses that can deliver on their promises promptly. A study by Salesforce reported that 64% of consumers expect companies to respond to and interact with them in real-time. (Source: Salesforce) Streamlined order processing not only enhances customer satisfaction but also reduces the likelihood of order errors and returns.

  • Hassle-Free Returns and Exchanges:

Handling returns and exchanges with efficiency and empathy is a crucial aspect of exceptional service. A customer-friendly returns policy and a hassle-free process can turn a potentially negative experience into a positive one, fostering customer loyalty. According to UPS, 73% of customers are likely to continue doing business with a company if they have a positive returns experience. (Source: UPS)

  • Proactive Problem Solving:

Anticipating and addressing potential issues before they become problems is a hallmark of exceptional service. Proactively identifying and resolving fulfillment challenges, such as inventory discrepancies or shipping delays, demonstrates a commitment to customer satisfaction. According to a study by Help Scout, 82% of customers reported that they have stopped doing business with a company due to poor customer service. (Source: Help Scout)

  • Going Above and Beyond Expectations:

Exceeding customer expectations leaves a lasting impression and creates brand advocates. Businesses that go above and beyond in terms of service, whether through surprise gifts, handwritten notes, or personalized packaging, create a memorable experience that customers are likely to share with others. According to a study by Bain & Company, customers who have a positive emotional experience are more than twice as likely to recommend a company. (Source: Bain & Company)

Exceptional service is the linchpin of fulfillment excellence. By providing personalized customer support, transparent communication, efficient order processing, hassle-free returns, proactive problem-solving, and going above and beyond expectations, businesses can elevate their fulfillment operations and create a loyal customer base. In today's competitive landscape, fulfillment excellence through exceptional service is not only a competitive advantage but also a pathway to sustainable business growth and success.

3. Harnessing the Strength of Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

Harnessing the Strength of Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

In the world of business, where customer expectations are continually rising, Service Level Agreements (SLAs) have emerged as a powerful tool for ensuring exceptional service delivery. SLAs are contractual commitments that define the level of service a customer can expect from a service provider. By harnessing the strength of SLAs, businesses can enhance customer satisfaction, build trust, and elevate their overall performance. In this post, we will explore the benefits and strategies for effectively utilizing SLAs to drive success.

  • Setting Clear Expectations:

SLAs serve as a roadmap for both the service provider and the customer, clearly outlining the agreed-upon performance metrics and standards. By setting clear expectations, businesses can avoid misunderstandings and ensure alignment between service providers and customers. A study by Aberdeen Group found that organizations with well-defined SLAs experienced a 91% customer retention rate. (Source: Aberdeen Group)

  • Driving Accountability:

SLAs hold both parties accountable for their commitments. For service providers, SLAs act as a performance benchmark, driving them to deliver on their promises consistently. On the other hand, customers are assured of receiving the level of service they have contracted for. The accountability fostered by SLAs encourages proactive problem-solving and the continuous improvement of services.

  • Improving Customer Satisfaction:

When SLAs are well-crafted and adhered to, they lead to improved customer satisfaction. The reliability and consistency of service fostered by SLAs instill confidence in customers and strengthen their loyalty to the brand. A study by Zendesk found that businesses with SLAs in place had a 71% higher customer satisfaction rate compared to those without SLAs. (Source: Zendesk)

  • Enhancing Communication:

SLAs facilitate open and transparent communication between service providers and customers. Regular performance reviews and SLA reporting help identify areas for improvement and prompt discussions on service enhancements. By fostering two-way communication, businesses can gain valuable feedback and insights to refine their offerings.

  • Crisis Management and Risk Mitigation:

SLAs serve as a contingency plan during unexpected crises or service disruptions. By defining procedures for handling emergencies, businesses can mitigate risks and minimize the impact on customers. A well-defined SLA can also outline the steps for compensation or resolution in case of service failures, reassuring customers and preserving brand reputation.

  • Empowering Negotiations and Partnerships:

SLAs are not one-size-fits-all; they are customizable to meet the unique needs of different customers. During negotiations, SLAs can be tailored to strike a balance between customer expectations and service provider capabilities. SLAs also foster strong partnerships, as they create a mutual understanding of priorities and objectives.


Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are a powerful tool that empowers businesses to deliver exceptional service, improve customer satisfaction, and build long-lasting relationships. By setting clear expectations, driving accountability, enhancing communication, and preparing for crises, businesses can harness the strength of SLAs to achieve fulfillment excellence and set themselves apart in today's competitive market. Through effective utilization of SLAs, businesses can not only meet customer expectations but also exceed them, propelling their growth and success in a customer-centric business environment.


More Insights

September 14, 2023

Key Ecommerce Fulfillment Process Strategies for 2023

Ecommerce fulfillment is the process by which customers receive the products they've paid for. It represents one of the final and most critical stages in the sales process, and a poorly executed fulfillment strategy can lead to customer dissatisfaction and loss.  In the past, offering free shipping was often sufficient to gain a competitive edge in fulfillment strategy. However, customer expectations have significantly evolved, and free shipping alone no longer suffices. Today, when customers shop online, they prioritize two primary factors: cost and estimated delivery time, with the latter influencing the purchasing decision of 68% of customers. A robust ecommerce fulfillment process is essential for meeting these heightened expectations. By reducing the time spent on order picking, packing, and addressing delays, businesses can expedite the delivery of customer orders from their warehouses.


WHAT DOES ECOMMERCE FULFILLMENT ENTAIL? Ecommerce fulfillment is the comprehensive procedure encompassing the receipt, processing, and successful delivery of customer orders. It encompasses various key tasks, such as managing inventory, picking and packaging products, and coordinating shipment or delivery arrangements. The ultimate aim of ecommerce fulfillment is to ensure prompt and accurate processing of orders, allowing businesses to consistently meet customer expectations and deliver a seamless purchasing experience. The primary objective is to guarantee the precise and punctual delivery of products to customers while simultaneously minimizing errors and operational costs. Although this process can be carried out manually, most retailers opt for the efficiency and accuracy offered by ecommerce fulfillment software or engage third-party logistics (3PL) providers to automate and streamline their ecommerce fulfillment operations. Ecommerce fulfillment can occur in different locations, depending on the nature and scale of the business. In the case of large enterprises, this process typically unfolds within a dedicated warehouse or distribution center, where workers diligently select the necessary products to fulfill each order and meticulously package them for shipping. For businesses that combine brick-and-mortar stores with an online presence, the fulfillment of orders may take place either within the physical store itself or through the utilization of a 3PL service, allowing for flexibility in meeting customer demands efficiently.


WHY IS ECOMMERCE FULFILLMENT IMPORTANT? Mastering the art of order fulfillment holds significant value for any ecommerce brand, yielding a range of compelling benefits:
  • Customer Satisfaction: Timely and accurate order fulfillment is central to ensuring customer satisfaction. When customers receive their orders promptly and in the expected condition, it enhances their overall shopping experience, fostering trust and loyalty. Studies show that 86% of consumers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. A seamless order fulfillment process contributes significantly to this experience, leading to higher CSAT scores and increased customer loyalty.
  • Business Reputation: Efficient order fulfillment contributes to a positive business reputation. A reputation for reliability and consistency in delivering orders can attract more customers and encourage repeat business. According to BrightLocal, 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses. Efficient order fulfillment results in positive reviews and high ratings, which can attract more customers. A one-star increase in Yelp rating can boost revenue by 5-9%.
  • Competitive Advantage: In a competitive market, effective order fulfillment can be a key differentiator. Brands that excel in this regard can outperform competitors by providing better service and meeting customer expectations. Research by Deloitte found that companies with excellent order fulfillment outperform their peers, showing 2.3 times faster growth in market share. Furthermore, it's five times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one.
  • Cost Efficiency: Streamlined order fulfillment processes can lead to cost savings. This includes optimizing inventory management, reducing errors, and negotiating favorable shipping rates with carriers, which can ultimately improve your bottom line. A study by Aberdeen Group found that top-performing companies spend 66% less on order fulfillment as a percentage of revenue. Optimizing fulfillment processes can lead to a lower CPO and improved profitability.
  • Scalability: As your business grows, the ability to scale your order fulfillment operations becomes crucial. Efficient fulfillment processes enable you to handle increasing order volumes without compromising on quality or delivery times.  Successful order fulfillment processes enable businesses to handle increasing order volumes. For example, Amazon's annual revenue growth has been closely tied to its ability to scale order fulfillment operations efficiently.
  • Brand Loyalty: Consistent, reliable order fulfillment can lead to long-term brand loyalty. Satisfied customers are more likely to return for future purchases and recommend your brand to others. According to a Harvard Business Review study, increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can boost profits by 25-95%. Brands with exceptional order fulfillment often enjoy higher CLV due to repeat business and referrals.
  • Operational Efficiency: An organized order fulfillment process can enhance overall operational efficiency. It minimizes bottlenecks, reduces the time and labor required for order processing, and allows you to focus on other aspects of business growth and development. Faster order processing results in higher operational efficiency. Reducing order processing time by 10% can lead to a 2% reduction in operational costs, according to research by McKinsey & Company.


THE KEY ELEMENTS OF EFFECTIVE ECOMMERCE FULFILLMENT A well-structured order fulfillment process is integral to the success of ecommerce businesses. Businesses that optimize their processes can enhance customer satisfaction, reduce costs, and drive growth in a competitive marketplace.
1. Inventory Management and Supplier Relations:
Efficient order fulfillment begins with robust inventory management. Maintaining optimal inventory levels, often referred to as just-in-time inventory, can significantly reduce holding costs and improve cash flow. According to the National Retail Federation, carrying excess inventory can cost businesses up to 25% annually.
2. Customer Order Placement and Ecommerce Trends:
The convenience of online shopping has led to significant growth in ecommerce sales. It's crucial to offer user-friendly online stores and mobile apps to facilitate customer orders. Ecommerce sales reached over $4 trillion globally in 2020, and this number is expected to continue growing.
3. Order Reception and Automation:
Streamlining order reception through automation, such as order management systems, can reduce human error and enhance order accuracy. McKinsey & Company reports that automation in order processing can lead to a 50% reduction in processing times.
4. Picking and Packing Efficiency:
Efficient picking and packing processes reduce labor costs and minimize errors. Warehouse management systems and barcode technology can help optimize this stage. The Aberdeen Group found that companies with optimized picking and packing processes achieved an order accuracy rate of 99.9%.
5. Shipping and Customer Expectations:
Fast and reliable shipping is a critical factor in customer satisfaction. Meeting delivery expectations is essential to retain and attract customers. According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, 75% of consumers consider free shipping as important when making online purchase decisions.
6. Returns Processing and Customer Experience:
An easy and efficient returns process is crucial for customer satisfaction. Simplifying returns can help retain customers. A survey by Narvar found that 95% of consumers would shop again with a retailer that offered an easy returns process.
7. Technology Integration and Data Analytics:
Integrating technology solutions like order management systems and data analytics tools can help businesses continuously improve their order fulfillment processes. Businesses that leverage data analytics are five times more likely to make decisions faster, according to a survey by McKinsey & Company.


6 TIPS FOR ENHANCING YOUR ORDER FULFILLMENT PROCESS Now that we've explored the inner workings of the order fulfillment process, let's delve into strategies to streamline your operations and expedite product delivery to your valued customers.
1. Optimize Inventory Management
In the world of order fulfillment, speed reigns supreme. The quicker you can place a product in your customer's hands, the happier they'll be. Enhance your process by localizing inventory. Shopify simplifies order management through our user-friendly platform, seamlessly integrating with retail locations for swiffer fulfillment options.
2. Thoroughly Verify Products Before Shipping
Imagine the frustration of receiving a package containing the wrong item. Not only does it disappoint the customer, but it also leads to return shipping and replacement delays. Time is of the essence in such situations. Implement an order-picking strategy to minimize the risk of sending incorrect items to customers. This foolproof approach ensures that inventory aligns accurately with customer orders.
3. Foster Strong Relationships with Shipping Partners
Shipping carriers significantly influence the speed of product delivery. Cultivate relationships with your carriers to unlock preferential pricing and gain a higher position on their priority list when addressing customer service matters. This could involve:
  • Accurate shipping volume estimates: Many carriers base their pricing on shipping volumes, so notify them in advance if you anticipate a surge in orders.
  • Proactive communication: Hold regular meetings with your carriers to explore ways to streamline the process, such as early order drop-offs.
  • Acknowledge their successes: Recognizing their efforts and efficiency can go a long way in nurturing these partnerships.
4. Leverage Data for Informed Decisions
Shaunak Amin, co-founder and CEO of SnackMagic, attests to the power of data in identifying slow-moving inventory: "Through this effort, we've improved inventory turnover rate, refined demand forecasting, and optimized safety-stock quantities." A top-off strategy has proven effective for our bustling warehouse, explains Shaunak. "Our receiving team checks in new inventory at the start of their shift, providing a clear picture of available items for restocking. However, to maintain higher inventory levels for order pickers, we wait until the end of their shift to replenish." Ankur Goyal, head of growth at Coterie, emphasizes, "Efficient order fulfillment is essential for fulfilling our clients' product subscriptions."
5. Embrace Automation Wherever Feasible
Human errors can have detrimental effects on every aspect of the fulfillment process, from misinterpreting packing slips to mismanaging order priorities, jeopardizing the overall customer experience when order fulfillment accuracy falters. Elliott Davidson, an ecommerce consultant at Parcel Master, highlights the pitfalls of manual order processing for small businesses, stating, "Far too often, I've witnessed smaller businesses manually transmitting daily order lists, increasing the risk of errors and demanding extensive time and resources." The optimal solution is to harness ecommerce automation through integrations, ensuring that data flows seamlessly to your fulfillment provider without manual intervention. Here are some intelligent ways to automate your order fulfillment process:
  • Employ fulfillment software to route orders to the nearest fulfillment center based on customer locations.
  • Utilize barcode scanners to swiftly locate inventory within a busy warehouse for order picking.
  • Provide customers with order tracking links, granting them access to real-time tracking information, including the package's current location and estimated delivery time.
6. Foster Transparency with Customers
Regrettably, occasional hiccups can still occur in the order fulfillment process, and not all of them may be within your control. However, this doesn't absolve you of responsibility. According to our survey, 45% of shoppers actively seek out businesses that transparently display anticipated delivery times. That's why nearly half of all brands are investing not only in their delivery practices but also in being forthright about their delivery commitments. To put this principle into action, consider this scenario: You've promised two-day delivery to your U.S. customers, but a delay in receiving inventory disrupts your order fulfillment process. Instead of meeting the two-day commitment, you'll deliver in four days. To minimize the impact on customer satisfaction, promptly notify the customer of the delay, offer a sincere apology, and provide a brief explanation for the late delivery. This level of transparency goes a long way in maintaining trust and goodwill with your customers, even in challenging situations.  
September 14, 2023
Phuc Le
Content Writer at Amilo
September 14, 2023

Strategies for Cost-Efficient Ecommerce Fulfillment

Every year in the United States, over 20 billion packages are delivered, equating to a staggering 50 million packages per day. Within this massive logistics landscape, businesses invest nearly $200 billion annually to transport orders to their customers. This substantial market share, however, is just one facet of a company's overall fulfillment expenditures. In the realm of your ecommerce business, shipping and fulfillment constitute a significant portion of your expenses. With consumer expectations centered around swift delivery, ensuring your products are promptly packaged and delivered can incur considerable costs. As a vigilant business owner, comprehending these expenses and implementing strategies to minimize them is paramount for sustaining a thriving and financially sound operation.


WHAT ARE FULFILLMENT AND 3PL COSTS? Fulfillment costs encompass the expenses associated with efficiently processing and delivering customer orders. These expenses can fluctuate based on the complexity of the fulfillment process, order volume, and the range of services required. Key components of fulfillment costs include warehousing expenditures for storing products before shipment, labor costs for employees handling tasks like picking and packing, expenses related to packaging materials such as boxes and labels, the cost of shipping items to customers, fees tied to returns processing, and investments in technology to streamline operations. Third-Party Logistics (3PL) costs pertain to the financial outlays incurred when outsourcing certain or all aspects of logistics and supply chain management to a specialized provider. Businesses frequently collaborate with 3PL providers to enhance supply chain efficiency and reduce expenses. Typical elements of 3PL costs consist of service fees for specific logistics functions like warehousing, storage fees based on factors like space and duration, charges for order processing and transportation services, expenses related to technology integration, value-added services such as custom packaging, and fees associated with customs clearance for international shipping.
  • Considerations and Decision-Making:
The specific costs associated with both fulfillment and 3PL services can vary considerably based on factors such as the intricacy of the supply chain, the scale of operations, geographic scope, and customization requirements. When deciding whether to manage fulfillment in-house or partner with a 3PL provider, businesses must carefully evaluate these costs. The choice between in-house fulfillment and 3PL partnership can have a profound impact on overall logistics efficiency and the profitability of operations. Proper cost analysis and strategic decision-making are vital to maintaining a cost-effective and streamlined fulfillment process.


  Understanding your fulfillment costs is pivotal in optimizing your e-commerce business. There are three effective methods for calculating these costs, each shedding light on different aspects of your financial performance, ultimately helping you make informed decisions and trim unnecessary expenses.
1. Cost per Order (CPO):
CPO is the go-to metric for assessing the average fulfillment cost for each order. By calculating CPO, you can ensure that the pricing of your products covers all related expenses. To determine CPO, divide your total order expenses by the number of orders you received during a specific period. CPO = Total Order Expenses / Orders Received Suppose SuperGoods had total order expenses of $5,000 in a given month, and during that same month, they received 500 orders. To calculate CPO, they would divide the total order expenses by the number of orders: CPO = $5,000 / 500 orders = $10 per order So, the average fulfillment cost per order for SuperGoods is $10.
2. Cost per Box (CPB):
For businesses that frequently ship multiple boxes within a single order, CPB provides a more granular perspective on fulfillment spending. To compute CPB, divide the total order expenses by the number of boxes you dispatched. CPB = Total Order Expenses / Boxes Sent A DEEP DIVE INTO ECOMMERCE FULFILLMENT COST ANALYSIS Now, let's say that out of those 500 orders, SuperGoods shipped a total of 700 boxes (some orders contained multiple boxes due to the nature of their products). If their total order expenses remain $5,000, they can calculate CPB as follows: CPB = $5,000 / 700 boxes = $7.14 per box This means that, on average, it costs SuperGoods approximately $7.14 to fulfill each box in their orders.
3. Cost as a Percentage of Sales:
This metric helps gauge the proportion of your revenue allocated to order fulfillment. It is particularly valuable for benchmarking against competitors and evaluating your industry standing. Keep in mind that this percentage can fluctuate based on factors like business size and sales performance over a specific duration. To calculate cost as a percentage of sales, divide your total fulfillment costs by your net sales, then multiply the result by 100. Cost as a Percentage of Sales = (Total Fulfillment Costs / Net Sales) x 100 In the same month, SuperGoods generated $20,000 in net sales. To find out what percentage of their sales revenue goes towards fulfillment costs, they can use the following formula: Cost as a Percentage of Sales = ($5,000 / $20,000) x 100 = 25% So, SuperGoods' fulfillment costs account for 25% of their total net sales for that month. Utilizing these calculation methods empowers you to gain insights into your fulfillment costs, enabling more effective cost management. Regularly reviewing and optimizing your fulfillment processes based on these metrics can contribute significantly to the financial health and competitiveness of your e-commerce venture.


Critical factors that substantially influence fulfillment costs. Restocking and managing returns incur expenses that can significantly impact a business's overall fulfillment expenditures. On average, returns cost businesses between 20% to 65% of the item's cost, including restocking, processing, and potential resale at a discount. This represents a substantial portion of fulfillment expenses, highlighting the importance of efficient returns management. Customer service is closely tied to returns. A study by Microsoft found that 56% of consumers worldwide have stopped doing business with a company because of poor customer service. Inefficient returns processes or unsatisfactory customer service interactions during returns can lead to increased costs as returns become more complex and resource-intensive. Therefore, investing in quality customer service practices can help prevent costly returns and ensure smoother, cost-effective fulfillment operations. Shipping costs constitute a significant portion of overall fulfillment expenses. Offering various shipping options or prioritizing expedited deliveries can escalate these costs. According to Statista, the global average cost of shipping a 2 kg package domestically in 2020 was approximately $9.59. Negotiating directly with carriers or collaborating with a 3PL provider can help businesses optimize shipping costs. For instance, working with a 3PL can result in an average transportation cost reduction of 15% to 20%, according to a study by Armstrong & Associates.
2. Product size and weight:
A pivotal role in determining fulfillment costs. Larger and heavier products require more storage space in warehouses, contributing to increased warehousing expenses. Additionally, shipping costs are directly impacted by the size and weight of products. The larger and heavier the items, the higher the shipping expenses. To mitigate these costs, businesses should consider efficient inventory management practices and strategic product selection based on size and weight. This approach can lead to cost savings and enhanced fulfillment efficiency, as demonstrated by case studies from companies like Amazon and Walmart, which have optimized their product offerings to reduce fulfillment expenses.


1. Software Compatibility:
When considering a 3PL provider, prioritize compatibility with your existing software systems, including Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) and Order Management Systems (OMS). Many 3PLs offer integration with various software tools, such as CRM and inventory management systems, as well as dedicated WMS and OMS platforms. Ensure that the chosen 3PL employs software and systems capable of seamlessly integrating with your WMS and OMS, enabling efficient order processing, inventory management, and real-time tracking. Integration of software systems is a common practice, with 85% of supply chain executives surveyed in a report by Accenture stating that integrating their WMS and Omni-Channel Management Systems (OMS) led to improved overall efficiency.
2. Geographical Advantage:
Opt for a strategically located 3PL provider that aligns with your customer base. Choosing a 3PL close to your target audience can result in reduced shipping costs and quicker delivery times, enhancing overall customer satisfaction. Moreover, ensure that the 3PL's distribution centers are equipped with advanced WMS to manage inventory efficiently and OMS for streamlined order processing. A study by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) found that transportation costs can vary significantly depending on the location. Proximity to major customer hubs can indeed reduce these costs.
3. Industry Expertise:
Recognize that different 3PLs cater to varying industries. While selecting a 3PL, assess their expertise in your specific field. For example, if your business specializes in boutique cosmetics, partnering with a 3PL experienced in cold chain logistics for frozen foods may not be the most suitable choice. Industry-specific knowledge can lead to improved service quality, efficient WMS and OMS utilization, and potential cost efficiencies. Specific industry expertise can significantly impact cost savings and efficiency. For example, a report by Logistics Management found that companies that partner with 3PLs experienced a 6% cost reduction on average, primarily due to industry specialization.
4. Negotiating Power:
3PLs operate within contractual agreements with carriers and shipping companies. Prioritize fulfillment providers with established relationships in the industry, as they can negotiate favorable rates for shipping and transportation, including volume-based discounts. These negotiations can significantly contribute to cost optimization and efficient WMS and OMS utilization, making it a crucial factor in your decision-making process. An example of the impact of negotiation is evident in a case study by the Journal of Business Logistics, which showcased how a company was able to reduce transportation costs by 12% through negotiations with carriers.  
September 14, 2023
Phuc Le
Content Writer at Amilo
September 14, 2023

Fulfillment Strategies for Building Customer Loyalty

In the ever-evolving world of e-commerce, building and maintaining customer loyalty is essential for long-term success. Beyond acquiring new customers, the key to sustainable growth lies in nurturing existing relationships to transform buyers into loyal brand advocates. Central to achieving this goal is the efficient and reliable fulfillment of orders. This article explores the critical role of customer loyalty in the realm of e-commerce and emphasizes its close connection with seamless order fulfillment. It outlines five robust strategies designed to strengthen customer loyalty through optimized order fulfillment. In the ever-changing landscape of online retail, the cultivation of customer loyalty stands as a crucial pillar for sustained prosperity. This endeavor transcends the mere attraction of customers; instead, it revolves around the cultivation of ongoing relationships and the transformation of buyers into enthusiastic brand advocates. At the heart of this pursuit lies the efficient execution of order fulfillment. This article delves into the significance of customer loyalty in the context of e-commerce, highlighting its intricate ties to flawless order processing. It elucidates five powerful strategies aimed at enhancing customer loyalty through meticulous order fulfillment practices.


THE IMPORTANCE OF CUSTOMER LOYALTY'S EFFECT ON ECOMMERCE SELLERS. In the fast-paced world of e-commerce, building and maintaining customer loyalty has emerged as a pivotal factor for sustained success. Beyond the initial acquisition of customers, fostering lasting relationships is the key to creating brand advocates. At the heart of this endeavor lies efficient order fulfillment and exceptional customer experiences. In this post, we will delve into the profound significance of customer loyalty within the e-commerce industry and explore why it is crucial for businesses operating in this digital realm.
1. Repeat Business and Increased Sales
Customer loyalty in e-commerce translates directly into repeat business. When customers trust and value your brand, they are more likely to return for future purchases. Data from the Harvard Business Review reveals that increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can lead to an increase in profits of 25% to 95%. This remarkable correlation between customer loyalty and revenue growth underscores the financial impact of retaining loyal e-commerce customers. Furthermore, a study by Bain & Company found that repeat customers spend, on average, 67% more than new customers.
2. Positive Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Loyal customers often become your brand's most passionate advocates. They are more likely to share positive experiences with friends, family, and on social media. Word-of-mouth marketing is a powerful force in the e-commerce industry, with recommendations from trusted sources carrying significant weight. Happy customers not only come back for more but also refer new customers to your business, which can lead to organic growth.  Data-driven research by Ogilvy indicates that word-of-mouth marketing can generate twice the sales of paid advertising. Loyal customers, acting as brand advocates, become a powerful marketing force that significantly impacts e-commerce success. 
3. Enhanced Customer Lifetime Value
Customer lifetime value (CLV) is a critical metric for e-commerce businesses. It represents the total revenue a business can expect from a single customer throughout their engagement with the brand. Data analytics firm RJMetrics conducted research that revealed that loyal customers spend 67% more per order than new customers. This increased spending by loyal customers over time significantly contributes to the overall CLV for e-commerce businesses. Focusing on customer loyalty becomes a strategic approach to increasing CLV and, consequently, overall profitability.
4. Competitive Advantage
In a highly competitive e-commerce landscape, customer loyalty can set your brand apart from the competition. When customers consistently choose your brand over others, it solidifies your position in the market. This competitive advantage not only helps in retaining your existing customer base but also attracts new customers who are drawn to the reputation of trust and reliability your brand has built.
5. Data-Driven Insights
Loyal customers often provide valuable feedback and insights into your products, services, and overall customer experience. By actively engaging with this customer segment, e-commerce businesses can gather valuable data and feedback to enhance their offerings and address pain points. This data-driven approach can lead to improvements in product development, marketing strategies, and customer service, ultimately benefiting the bottom line.


1. Swift and Precise Order Processing
The initial sprint of order fulfillment, characterized by swiftness and precision, sets the tone for the entire customer journey. The rhythm of modern commerce demands that orders be processed swiftly, traversing the digital pathways to reach customers’ doorsteps with unparalleled efficiency. But swiftness alone is insufficient; accuracy is the compass that guides these swift currents. Each order dispatched with precision is a testament to your commitment to fulfilling promises. As the journey unfolds, the memory of promptness and correctness becomes a seed germinating loyalty. Efficiency in order processing is a cornerstone of exceptional customer service. In modern e-commerce, customers value quick and accurate processing of their orders. According to a study by Deloitte, 96% of consumers consider order accuracy an essential aspect of their shopping experience. Furthermore, inefficient order processing can be costly. The Aberdeen Group found that companies with efficient order management processes achieve an 87% customer retention rate, compared to 76% for companies with less efficient processes.
2. Transparent Tracking and Open Communication
In the world of customer-business relationships, effective communication stands as the linchpin for fostering trust. It's essential to keep customers informed about the progress of their orders, as this simple act can have a profound impact on their overall experience. Providing real-time tracking updates and proactively communicating about any potential delays or modifications to their orders can significantly enhance the customer journey. Moreover, these transparent practices play a pivotal role in solidifying the bedrock of trust upon which your brand reputation is built. To bolster this transparency, consider implementing a robust tracking system that empowers customers to monitor their shipments' progress in real-time. A recent survey by Narvar reveals that an impressive 77% of consumers now expect real-time updates regarding their order status. Nevertheless, authentic transparency goes beyond mere tracking. Don't hesitate to engage in open and honest conversations with customers when unexpected delays or other issues arise. This level of candidness not only garners their respect but also reinforces their confidence in your unwavering commitment to their satisfaction. In fact, according to a Zendesk survey, a staggering 90% of consumers believe that transparency with customers is more crucial than ever before.
3. Tailored Personal Service
In the vast digital landscape, where transactions sometimes feel impersonal, infusing a personalized touch into your service can make all the difference. Treating customers as unique individuals rather than faceless entities contributes to a sense of genuine connection. Various strategies can be employed to achieve this, from incorporating personalized packaging to including handwritten notes expressing appreciation for their business. These seemingly small gestures possess the remarkable ability to forge emotional connections that resonate deeply with customers.  In the modern e-commerce ecosystem, data plays a pivotal role in delivering personalized experiences. By analyzing data from previous purchases, you can offer tailored product recommendations that cater to customers’ preferences. Going beyond product recommendations, consider sending personalized thank-you notes or emails as tokens of gratitude for their ongoing support. According to a report by Segment, 71% of consumers feel frustrated when their shopping experience is impersonal. These seemingly minor touches collectively establish a lasting bond and bolster customer retention. Furthermore, personalized service can significantly impact revenue. Epsilon found that 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences.
4. Exceptional Customer Support
The journey of customer support is ongoing, extending far beyond the point of purchase. Providing responsive and empathetic assistance is integral to addressing concerns, resolving issues promptly, and delivering effective solutions. Remarkable post-purchase support can transform initially dissatisfied customers into your most ardent advocates. Investing in a well-trained and responsive customer support team is paramount. Whether it’s through live chat, email correspondence, or phone interactions, ensuring that you’re readily available to assist customers with any questions or challenges speaks volumes about your commitment to their experience. Delivering support in a timely and efficient manner reinforces the notion that you’re invested in their journey beyond the sale itself. According to a survey by HubSpot Research, 90% of customers rate an "immediate" response as important or very important when they have a customer service question. Furthermore, exceptional customer support can lead to repeat business. Bain & Company found that customers who have a great experience with a brand's customer service are four times more likely to make another purchase from that brand.
5. Loyalty Programs and Tempting Incentives
Acknowledging and rewarding customer loyalty is a strategy that reaps enduring benefits. The implementation of loyalty programs, along with exclusive discounts and enticing special offers tailored for returning customers, serves multiple purposes. These incentives serve as catalysts for repeat purchases and convey a sense of appreciation and recognition to your customer base. Loyalty programs can take various forms, from straightforward point-based systems to multi-tiered memberships with escalating rewards. Providing such programs fosters a loyalty ecosystem that encourages customers to choose your brand over competitors consistently. This creates an aura of exclusivity and belonging, wherein customers feel valued as community members who appreciate their dedication. A study by Bond Brand Loyalty found that 73% of consumers are more likely to recommend brands with good loyalty programs. Moreover, these programs can have a substantial impact on revenue. According to, companies that implement customer loyalty programs experience a revenue increase of up to 11%.


THE TRANSFORMATIVE ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY IN EFFICIENT FULFILLMENT Efficient order fulfillment is a critical factor that can make or break a business. To meet the ever-increasing demands of customers for swift and accurate deliveries, technology plays a pivotal role. In this article, we will explore how Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) and Omni-Channel Management Systems (OMS) are revolutionizing the world of order fulfillment.

1. Warehouse Management Systems (WMS): Streamlining Operations for Precision

Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) are the backbone of efficient fulfillment centers. They are software applications specifically designed to optimize and automate various warehouse operations. Here's how WMS impacts fulfillment:
  • Inventory Management: WMS provides real-time visibility into inventory levels, ensuring that you always know what's in stock. This minimizes the risk of overselling or stockouts, leading to higher customer satisfaction.
  • Order Picking and Packing: WMS optimizes the picking process by creating efficient pick paths and suggesting batch picks. This reduces the time it takes to pick orders, improving order accuracy and speeding up fulfillment.
  • Shipping and Tracking: With WMS, shipping labels can be generated automatically, and carrier rates can be compared to choose the most cost-effective shipping method. Customers receive tracking information, enhancing transparency and reducing support inquiries.
2. Omni-Channel Management Systems (OMS): Seamlessly Connecting All Sales Channels
In today's omnichannel retail landscape, customers expect a seamless shopping experience across various platforms, from websites to mobile apps and physical stores. OMS acts as a central hub that connects and manages these channels:
  • Inventory Visibility: OMS provides a single view of inventory across all sales channels. This prevents overselling and ensures that customers can purchase products, whether they are in a physical store or browsing your website.
  • Order Routing: When an order is placed, OMS determines the optimal fulfillment location, whether it's a warehouse, store, or dropship supplier. This reduces shipping costs and speeds up delivery times.
  • Unified Customer Data: OMS collects and consolidates customer data from all channels. This allows for personalized marketing, improved customer support, and a deeper understanding of customer behavior.
  • Returns Management: Handling returns can be complex, especially in omnichannel retail. OMS streamlines the returns process, ensuring that returned items are efficiently reintegrated into inventory or disposed of as necessary.
One of the key advantages of both WMS and OMS is their ability to collect and analyze data. By tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) such as order processing times, order accuracy, and inventory turnover rates, businesses can continuously optimize their fulfillment processes. This data-driven approach leads to cost savings, increased efficiency, and higher customer satisfaction.  
September 14, 2023
Phuc Le
Content Writer at Amilo

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