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April 25, 2014 | Fulfillment/Shipping | Jim Agger

Should you outsource ecommerce fulfillment?

As more wineries start to sell wine online and cater to a wider geographical range, it can put a strain on logistical operations. Wine shipping can be challenging and costly because of the vast distances product needs to travel while maintaining a certain temperature. For these reasons, it may be beneficial to outsource ecommerce fulfillment for your direct-to-consumer sales. 

As online wine sales claim a larger portion of your revenue, costs and speed of shipping should be a major consideration for your business. In particular, wineries that cater to a large customer base on the East Coast need to find a way to deliver the same quality and pace of fulfillment to those clients. Because of the various shipping zones across the country, it can cost your business more to ship wine to other regions. Even if you maintain high numbers of DTC sales, these expenses can cut into your profits, according to Small Business Trends. Wineries also need to worry about how they will process returns while delivering an excellent level of customer service. It can be challenging to juggle all these issues, which means outsourcing may be the best way to grow your online wine store.

How to select a third-party fulfillment partner
Outsourcing can be beneficial because you can save overhead costs by not needing to lease and operate a wine warehouse. Fulfillment vendors ship high enough volumes to qualify for discounts from UPS and FedEx, and they can often reach more distant customers in a reduced period of time. Before making any decisions about changes to shipping wine, you should identify what you hope to accomplish by outsourcing, Multichannel Merchant stated. Are you trying to deliver parcels to customers in different regions more quickly? Do you want to lower operational costs? All businesses are different, and you need to ensure a third-party partner can help you meet your objectives. 

A good fulfillment partner will collaborate with you to reach business goals and collaborate with you to ensure customers are receiving the best service possible. For example, a vendor can help you provide customers with tracking numbers. Online shoppers increasingly want access to this information. Many retailers offer customers visibility into the shipment process, and consumers are starting to expect this from other online stores. You can consider creating a page on your website where customers can easily check estimated arrival times, based on information from your fulfillment partner, Small Business Trends said.

One of the most important considerations when deciding to outsource wine shipping is the impact it will have on customer experience. Many consumers won't shop from a business again if their orders are delayed or inaccurate - or worse, both. An excellent fulfillment partner will ensure all orders are accurate, cost-effective and reach consumers as quickly and as conveniently as possible. If customers have a great experience when they buy wine online, they are more likely to be loyal to your brand. 

Comments

ecommerce fulfillment's Gravatar
 
ecommerce fulfillment
@ Sep 10, 2014 at 12:50 AM
by a third party which will then ship them to a fulfillment company to box and ship each individual customer order. Does anyone know of any fulfillment...

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