3 steps to finding the best fulfillment and inventory agent
Owning an e-commerce business is something many people dream of doing, and these days, it’s a very reasonable dream. But, it can be challenging to find a China fulfillment and inventory agent that can source products for your e-commerce business without drastically cutting into your profitability. By doing a little extra research, you can ensure you’ll maintain great margins while getting the most out of your partnership. Finding the best e-commerce fulfillment services or top e-commerce fulfillment companies is as easy as following these three steps.
Step 1: Avoid dropshipping-centric fulfillment models that harm scalability
While some aspects of dropshipping can be extremely attractive, especially to e-commerce companies that are just starting out, dropshipping-centric fulfillment models can actually prevent your business from growing. Why? It’s because you’re relying on the supplier or manufacturer to keep your products in stock and ship them in a timely manner. If their supply chain is disrupted, there’s not much you can do about it because you don’t own the inventory.
Instead, look for an e-commerce fulfillment agent in China that handles the labor intensive parts of packaging and shipping while allowing you to own your inventory. This keeps you in control of your products and supply line. You can grow as fast as you want when you own your inventory. And by partnering with an e-commerce fulfillment agency, you still won’t have to store your inventory yourself.
Step 2: Ensure the fulfillment and inventory agent provides visibility into the entire process
As the retailer your customers are dealing with, you’ll bear the brunt of their dissatisfaction if your fulfillment and inventory agent doesn’t provide visibility into their process. You should be able to tell your customers where their products are at any given time so that you can ease their concerts and keep them in the loop. Without visibility into your fulfillment agent’s process, you’re in the dark. Maybe the product is on its way, but maybe it’s not.
Visibility also gives you insight into your inventory levels so you can order more products or determine which products aren’t doing well. You can prevent having that dreaded “out of stock” appear on your e-commerce site or you can offer an enticing sale on something that isn’t selling like you hoped it would. Visibility allows you to proactively manage your inventory to ensure you have a steady supply chain and stable cash flow.
Step 3: Find a fulfillment agent that can source quality products from reliable manufacturers
With dropshipping fulfillment, you’re generally restricted to products that already exist. It’s challenging to find products that are high quality and will sell well, especially when you’re relying on a fulfillment company in a different country. Look for a fulfillment agent that is able to source new products from reliable manufacturers so you can trust that your product will satisfy your customer. Without that trust, you’ll never be sure your customers will be happy with what they receive.
There are a lot of fulfillment agencies on the Internet that are vying for your business. Make sure the one you choose is going to help you grow your company by following the three steps here. That way, you’ll be set up for success right from the start.