Most retailers are product or marketing experts. You’ll know your market inside out. You’ll know the one end of a battery from another or what the coming fashion trends are. You might even have an inside track on what the top-selling products for this Christmas are. What might give you less satisfaction is the printing off of address labels, the packing for labels and the working out of the most expeditious or cost-effect delivery options. Those sort of mundane tasks are exactly the type that Tim Ferris wrote in his best-selling book ‘The 4-Hour Work Week‘ should be outsourced.
The industrial revolution was the catalyst for industrial growth. The mechanicalisation of production processes and the division of labour made countless industries hugely profitable. You would no-longer have one person making furniture from start to finish. You would get people specialising in certain steps of the production process. The internet economy has been another revolution. At first website owners had to do everything. They would create their websites on Geocities or learn the fundamentals of HTML. They’d learn how to market their websites as well as how to write content and how to excel at customer service. Many of today’s successful online retailers started with a small team who rolled up their sleeves and did the unglamorous jobs such as packing orders. Today the internet economy has evolved into many specialisms. You have dedicated internet marketers focused on SEO, you’ll have some only doing Adwords and yet others looking at conversion rate optimisation and social media. And now with the advent of fully integrated ecommerce fulfilment houses you can effectively put your life on autopilot.
Spend a couple of months coming up with a business idea, choosing an ecommerce platform, purchasing the stock adding content to the site and hooking up to our API and then you can just spend a bit of time marketing and keeping your content up-to-date and you could be having a ‘light-touch’ business in no time at all.
The conventional way to manage fulfilment is for you to print off orders, print off address labels, pick the order, work out which box to put it in (you will probably have to build the box too), add a packing slip and then work out which courier is the most cost-effective.
You’re now in the 2010’s. There’s no need for such inefficiency. Get all of your stock shipped into a bespoke and expertly-run fulfilment centre such as Cloud Fulfilment, where you only pay for the space and services used is the way it should be done.
We have dedicated systems that manage your inbound and outbound stock. We have technology to automatically assign the most efficient delivery boxes, packets or bags. We have infrastructure to accurately pick your orders and a dashboard that lets you manage, monitor and direct the whole system – remotely from wherever you are.
You’re probably wondering how this all works. It’s incredibly simple. We have an API (a bits of code that lets your website backed talk to our systems) which puts the wheels of fulfilment into motion whenever you get an order – whenever that may be.
We’ll give you a hand with this so don’t worry. Essentially when you set up your shipping rates and policies, when an order is completed our technology will be passed the order details: delivery address, products to ship and delivery service level. We will then take that information and fulfil the order for you.
You can receive notifications when the order is made, when it is picked & packed, when it has been shipped and when delivery has been made. You can tweak those notifications according to your requirements. But the crux of Cloud Fulfilment is allowing you to concentrate on the parts of your business you either find most profitable or most enjoyable. We’ll do the less glamorous parts of getting your products to your customers.