Ecommerce businesses of all sizes use Shopify as their main ecommerce platform because it offers a multitude of plugins and services including payment management, shipping support and customer engagement tools. It is the most widely used online ecommerce store platform to date on account of its no-code setup and customizable options. Even name-brand companies like Magic Spoon, maude, Sunwink, and Therabody include it as a main part of their ecommerce tech stack.
While a Shopify storefront is simple to set up, there are complex aspects of it. Order fulfillment and inventory management are two areas that require technical integrations for order processing to be accurate and timely. Connecting your Shopify store with your fulfillment process can be challenging, but here are the factors you want to consider ensuring it runs smoothly.
Fulfillment Services That Work Best with Shopify
If you’ve been doing in-house fulfillment with a Shopify storefront it may seem too daunting to keep using Shopify but switch your fulfillment method. It’s a complex process, but it has been done. It’s easy to outsource fulfillment as a Shopify seller if you work with a quality fulfillment provider, well-versed in connection with the platform.
Your first thoughts may be of inventory management, returns processing, and order fulfillment support. Those are all important, but where you want to start is with technological integration.
Some 3PLs have built-in Shopify plug-ins that allow sellers to seamlessly keep their Shopify page the same but change where orders flow and get processed. This is the ideal scenario. Ask your prospective 3PL about the other brands they support through Shopify—be sure to do your due diligence and get some candid opinions from those other companies.
You’ll want to make sure the integration API enables you to see real-time inventory information that corresponds to the warehouse but also to the Shopify interface. There may be times that you don’t want to reflect true inventory on your Shopify page and the integration software needs to allow this capability. Only then will you eliminate potential errors like selling out of a product.
How to Set Up Your Order Fulfillment Flow to Maximum Customer Experience
Order fulfillment is complex and requires many steps and the coordination of many departments. Here are some key operational checks to ensure you get orders processed timely and accurately.
- Track every detail of your order fulfillment process to find inefficiencies and adjust accordingly.
- Schedule inventory reports to be sent to your email everyday so you have an easy reminder to check in on inventory levels.
- Make time regularly with your team to review outstanding orders or special projects to keep them flowing without delay.
- Implement distributed inventory. This means getting your products into multiple fulfillment centers so that when orders come in orders are fulfilled as close to the customers as possible to ensure faster shipping.
- Set up reverse logistics so that your operations team isn’t scrambling when a return comes in.
- Set up a clear, simple return policy. Many customers now expect the ability to return products easily.
- Create realistic delivery times for your customers. Everyone wants to know when products will arrive, start by proactively letting customers know the expected delivery window before they purchase.
- Give customers the ability to track their shipment. Shopify makes it simple to set up automated email notifications for every step of the product journey.
How Dropshipping Works with Shopify Orders
Dropshipping is a cost-efficient fulfillment method where the supplier is responsible for storing, packing, and shipping all products.
Many Shopify merchants choose dropshipping because they can sell products in bulk to the retailer and have them shipped by the supplier, which creates a big inbound cash flow and relieves the merchant from deadstock or unsold products.
When a customer orders products from your store, the supplier is notified and ships the product to their doorstep. The merchant may even see higher profit margins because inventory storage is not part of the overall cost.
No matter what type of fulfillment partner you choose or which fulfillment method, always send test orders before making anything live. You want to iron out all of the details before you get customers involved to keep them happy and coming back for more.
If you are a Shopify seller seeking fulfillment support, reach out to DCL Logistics for a quote. We integrate many high-growth brands into our fulfillment flow from the Shopify platform. We have a robust Shopify app on the Shopify App Marketplace. We’ve got your fulfillment needs met.