Small businesses can sometimes feel overwhelmed by the complexities of inventory management and the associated logistics costs when preparing and shipping orders to customers.
Fortunately, these days certain marketplaces offer fulfilment services which allow sellers and brands to outsource a significant part of their inventory management and relieve the burden of these tasks.
Outsourcing order fulfilment has many advantages. Find out what they are and how the Lengow platform can help you manage your order fulfilment promptly, easily and successfully.
Marketplace fulfilment services aim to manage all or part of a seller’s or manufacturer’s supply chain, from stocking products to shipping them to the end customer, including order management and returns. The marketplace will stock your products in its warehouses and distribution centres across the country, and prepare, pack and ship them.
This fulfilment service benefits sellers in several ways:
If you outsource your order management and shipping, your brand can focus on its own priority activities and on continuously improving its offer. You will gain access to an international logistics network which will enable you to develop your business globally and conquer new customers. All of this while saving on your logistics costs and reducing your capital costs.
Fulfilment can also prove to be environmentally friendly, by offering pooling solutions. Small businesses rarely deliver several parcels to the same place on the same day. Instead, they have no choice but to send their delivery drivers to a town or district for a sole product. By contrast, the most successful marketplaces frequently deliver many products at a time to the same area. This reduces the number of carriers and trips and therefore the negative impacts of shipping. So the environmental aspects of this service are not to be underestimated.
Because of their many advantages, thousands or perhaps even millions of businesses have been won over by fulfilment services. According to a recent report by Grand View Research, the global fulfilment market reached 77 billion dollars in 2020 and is expected to grow by 10% every year during the next decade.
If your company wants to launch on one or more marketplaces with a fulfilment service, merchandise managed by each sales channel must be clearly identified so that orders can be automated and managed consistently. A platform such as Lengow can provide invaluable help with this aspect.
Our platform is compatible with four different marketplaces, customised and capable of distinguishing between standard orders generated through your own online sales service and fulfilment orders generated and managed by third-party services. Lengow is compatible with the following services: Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), Zalando Fulfillment Solutions (ZFS), Cdiscount Fulfillment and Mano Fulfillment (by ManoMano).
Amazon is a major player in the fulfilment sector, due to the strength of its marketplace, but also because of its head start in this domain, with the launch of its FBA logistics service in 2006 in the USA and a few years later in Europe. Cdiscount, the number two e-commerce website in France, launched its fulfilment service in 2014. Whilst Zalando and ManoMano ventured into this market in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
Each of these marketplaces has a specific function in order management, which entails clearly defining the relevant products for these services by attributing product data which enables their identification. This is vital both for the marketplace, to better manage your merchandise, and for your company, so that you can manage all your orders seamlessly.
This is where the Lengow platform comes in, attributing a special status to fulfilment orders so that you can process them separately depending on your needs and expectations. These orders are easily identifiable on the Lengow platform, and all useful information can be accessed by your back office, via plugins or our automation and data synchronisation API.
With our user-friendly interface, your business can manage all its data from our centralised platform, and you can automate certain tasks, such as removing an item from a marketplace.
Image: Tiger Lily de Pexels
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