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Ecwid Ecommerce Glossary


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What is fulfillment?

The process of filling a customer’s order is referred to as fulfillment. While catalog businesses and larger companies are generally capable of fulfilling customers’ orders, ecommerce firms and smaller enterprises frequently delegate this service to specialists in the field.

Fulfillment is the process of delivering items purchased by consumers through the mail. It’s usually associated with ecommerce since any firm selling goods directly to customers over the internet must handle fulfillment. You’ll need a solution for promptly filling and shipping your orders once your website is up and running — and you’re receiving a lot of purchases ​​— you need a means to promptly fulfill and ship those orders. Entrepreneurs have the choice of outsourcing the fulfillment and distribution process or doing it themselves.

Here’s an overview of the steps involved in the order fulfillment process:

  • Receiving inventory shipments
  • Inventory storage
  • Order processing
  • Shipping
  • Returns processing

In-house order fulfillment

In an in-house order fulfillment approach, a firm utilizes its own employees to manage fulfillment operations. All elements of the fulfillment process are handled by workers, including storage and shipment on-site at a company-controlled location.

In-house fulfillment is best for established firms that want to have complete control over the entire process. Some home-based businesses begin with in-house fulfillment as a low-cost alternative, particularly if their order volumes are small. As they outgrow their initial location, many expand to outsourced or hybrid fulfillment models.

Outsourced order fulfillment

When a company outsources fulfillment, it means the shipping, storage, and order processing are handled by a third-party logistics or order fulfillment business. Because companies do not have enough storage space or employees, this solution is attractive.

In this scenario, the third-party employees perform the whole fulfillment process from beginning to end, including receiving goods from manufacturers to deliver orders to the ultimate consumer. The third-party maintains inventory in a warehouse that it controls, so businesses that outsource fulfillment do not need to build their own warehouses.

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