To 3pluk or not to 3pluk - now that is the question.
Manyon-line retailers in the UK have experienced significant growth over the past12-24 months, successfully bucking the trend of increased costs and diminishedreturns seen on the high street.
Thesignificant growth enjoyed by many on-line retailers not only led to record breakingsales for their businesses, but also brought them a higher than expected numberof orders that had to be fulfilled, particularly in the run up to Christmas of 2012.
Now that Santa has hung up his boots for another year, many ecommerce retailers(e-tailers) are using this 'quiet time' as an opportunity to seriously evaluate their current ecommerce order fulfilment operations. What worked and whatdefinitely didn't? Where can the operation become more efficient? How can Ireduce costs and increase capacity?
If youtake care of your fulfilment in house (spare bedroom, garage, self storage,small warehouse or a 50,000 sq ft industrial unit) you may be asking yourselfif outsourcing is the right move for 2012? Can I save time and money and stillgrow the business efficiently?
If youhave already taken the bold step to outsource your ecommerce orderfulfilment - I prefer the term 'to 3pluk' you may be thinking theopposite, wondering if your business would be better off handling yourecommerce order fulfilment in house? After all, how difficult and expensive canit be?
You mayalso be thinking that your operation works fine as it is, but maybe if youcould outsource a small proportion of your ecommerce order fulfilment, it wouldfree up valuable time and resources needed to drive sales forward?
When itcomes to ecommerce order fulfilment, there is clearly no 'one size fits all'.What makes perfect sense for one business may choke or restrict another's growth.
But luckily, as a small to medium sized ecommerce professional, you are nimble anddynamic enough to quickly and cost effectively make an informed choice.
In mynext couple of short informative posts, I'll outline 3 different approaches to ecommerce Order Fulfilment, highlighting the pros and cons of each, arming you with enough information to make an informed decision about enhancing your e-commerce order fulfilment.