Guest article: This article is a contribution from our partner Alaiko on the topic of fulfilment in e-commerce and the associated interface to Myos.
When an online shop grows, it encounters numerous hurdles. As the range of products and services and the customer base develop, the demands of the target group also increase and the customer experience is now compared with the competition. Shipping, tracking and returns are expected to be fast and reliable, with large companies setting the standard in e-commerce.
Growth goes hand in hand with the need for new capacities, more time and greater effort. However, it should not only be based on creating new resources. Rather, it is important to pursue sustainable growth as a goal. Investing in professional fulfilment is an investment in your customers' satisfaction and long-term growth.
First of all, it is important to define what fulfilment means. Fulfilment is order processing - and begins with the acceptance of an order. In e-commerce, the online shop takes care of accepting an order automatically. Everything that comes after that can be taken over by a fulfilment provider.
This means, for example, picking, packing, shipping, warehousing, and returns management.
More and more companies are turning to working with an experienced fulfilment provider at an early stage, as they quickly lack the resources and know-how to efficiently handle the order load in their own warehouse themselves. Orders are thus fulfilled faster and cheaper and the online shop can position itself more competitively and internationally thanks to the fulfilment partner.
However, not every fulfilment provider is the same. As processes in fulfilment become increasingly complex, promoting growth can only work if more than just a logistics solution is offered. Support and optimisation are core components that distinguish a good fulfilment partner from others. It is important not only to choose the right solution for every step of the logistics chain for you as an online retailer from the start, but that all information from orders, warehouse, shipping, and returns converge. The bundled data can then be made available to the online shop, resulting in new potential for increasing efficiency.
Alaiko combines all fulfilment processes in one digital platform. Thanks to the combination of shop-, ERP-, warehouse management system and logisticians in the platform, data analysis is feasible and creates an overview and plannability despite high complexity. Today, as many as 30% of global online retailers do not use their e-commerce data. Yet the potential for cost savings, time savings, and higher customer satisfaction is immense. Through monitoring customer buying behaviour over time and collecting data, demand can be forecast more reliably and production, inventory, and sales planning can be adjusted specifically for product categories. If all data is better integrated into order and returns portals, overselling can be prevented at the same time and customer feedback on product, packaging, delivery, etc. can be implemented congruently.
In addition to data analysis, a fulfilment company also supports the growth of its customers through transparency and control options. For this, the current stock level should be tracked in real time and replenished accordingly. Proactive communication, for example with notifications that remind you to reorder a certain number of items, increases the possibility of intervening in the logistics processes yourself. It should also be possible to manage orders at any time in the platform and, for example, to change and correct addresses or other details after the order has been placed. The same applies to returns. Triggering the refund of the order amount with a click means saving important capacities.
The possibility of transparently following logistics processes and being able to intervene as needed opens up new perspectives on workflows, target groups and the potential of your own company. A fulfilment provider who has your growth as a goal is at your side as a consultant. Together with you, your supply chain will be analysed to show you which processes can be optimised.
The growth support of a good fulfilment partner can even go beyond the logistics offering. With Alaiko, interfaces and integrations are available that reduce manual effort and provide the right tools for business optimisation. Together with selected partners, services can be offered directly via the platform to support customers in their daily business.
For example, the connection to Myos' financing service. With Myos as a partner for product-based financing, retailers can quickly and easily access more working capital and place larger orders. All this with digital processing, completely without personal guarantees, and with flexible repayments. The interface between Alaiko and Myos is used to digitally control access to dealers' stock. Myos can thus easily control the stocks deposited as collateral and release orders accordingly, simply and flexibly after loan repayment. This form of order purchase finance ("Pay & Release") is unique in e-commerce and allows merchants new opportunities for growth financing in combination with a fulfilment provider - completely transparent and uncomplicated.