How to find the best eCommerce fulfillment service for your online store

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How to find the best eCommerce fulfillment service for your online store

ECommerce fulfillment isn’t one-size-fits-all. There are a number of factors to consider when you choose a 3PL provider. Choosing a fulfillment center that has great service isn’t enough. You need a partner that specializes in shipping the kinds of products you sell and is located close to your customers.

Fulfillment center

There’s an old saying that only three things matter in real estate: location, location, location. The same is true of e-fulfillment services.

Your home base for your business may be tucked into a remote corner of the country, but your inventory should be centrally located. Ideally, you should be able to ship to most consumers within two business days.

“Shipping times of seven days or more may be acceptable for boutique or niche eCommerce companies. If you’re selling on one of the big platforms, such as Amazon or eBay or competing with those platforms, however, fast delivery is a must.” See our article on Choosing the Location of Your Fulfillment Warehouse for more information.

When you aim for national distribution, one warehouse location is probably not going to be enough. You’ll need two or more fulfillment centers to get close to your customers. Try a bicoastal eCommerce fulfillment strategy with centrally-placed fulfillment centers. This can get your orders delivered to most of the contiguous 48 states in two days or less.

The other benefit of well-placed fulfillment centers is lower shipping costs. Most carriers calculate shipping based on zones. The farther an order has to travel, the more zones it crosses and the more expensive it is to ship.

The other benefit of well-placed fulfillment centers is lower shipping costs. Most carriers calculate shipping based on zones. The farther an order has to travel, the more zones it crosses and the more expensive it is to ship.

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