Fulfillment for online shops - what matters

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The fact that more and more people are shopping via the Internet is an ongoing trend. But more and more online shop operators are opting to outsource some or all of the processes involved in processing customer orders and orders to one fulfillment service provider - after all, the demands of buyers are rising as the volume of business grows. But what do you have to pay attention to when placing an order and how do shop operators know which provider is the right one?

Define your requirements

Especially for operators of an online shop Fulfillment is interesting, your special interest lies in having both satisfied and happy customers. Because buying on the Internet is also a bit like in real life: It's not just the look of the shop that counts, the product itself or its price for a nice shopping experience - many more things have to be right: Does the delivery reach the customer in the shortest possible time? If the recipient unpacks the parcel, will he find the right goods in it? If so, how was the product packaged? If necessary, are returns quick and uncomplicated?

You have to master these challenges if you want to have returning customers - or if you just want a fulfillment service provider to take care of all this for you. However, there is good fulfillment - especially in theE-Commerce area - not off the peg. This means that as an online shop operator you must know your own requirements as well as those of your customers ** precisely if the service provider is to fulfil them when they are commissioned to do so.

So ask yourself in advance - or have the answer to the following questions ready:

  • Which goods are involved?
  • Where do I need support?
  • What do I attach particular importance to?

Everything must fit

Only after you have clearly defined your requirements and goals does the fulfillment service provider know exactly whether it can meet them - even with a view to legal aspects - and if so, which measures he has to initiate, which support and additional services are required in order to offer your customers the best possible shopping experience. And: From all the key data, the final price for the **individually tailored fulfillment package results.

Factors that are included in the pricing are, for example, costs for:

  • Warehousing (price per m³) and warehouse logistics
  • online shop connection
  • Picking
  • packaging
  • Packaging (for shipping or individual gift packaging)
  • Individualization of your products
  • Shipping/delivery (depending on offered shipping method or package weight)
  • Payment and receivables management
  • returns management

These points are of course only an example extract and illustrate the range of services that a fulfillment service provider can provide for you. And just as your goods and products have to fit your company, the fulfillment provider also has to meet your requirements. This includes the topic of shop software, especially in the area of e-commerce. The ideal service provider supports you here with suitable interfaces without having to make major changes to your shop system.

You should also make sure that the fulfillment provider also meets your requirements in terms of payment management and can map your desired payment methods for the end customer webshop. Some shop operators also rely completely on outsourcing for receivables management or debt collection - with good reason, because many costs as well as time and personnel resources can be saved, but also payment defaults can be prevented.

Fulfillment is a matter of trust

Is your future fulfillment partner also competent in the area Logistics and what are the processes like? This does not only mean those before and during shipment to the end customer. The question arises as to how your goods will reach the fulfillment service provider's warehouse. If they have their own fleet of trucks, ideally you don't have to deliver your products yourself. An important point here is the packaging - if necessary also by hand. You decide how and with what your goods are to be packed, for example in blister packs or shrink wrapped.


Fulfillment covers an enormous range, even if there are goods that less suitable for fulfillment. Whether and how all these tasks can be completed can vary from provider to provider. But in addition to all the different possibilities with which a specialized outsourcing company can support you, fulfillment is also a matter of trust. Thanks to his experience in this area, your service provider should be able to handle your goods as if they were his own - and not regard fulfillment as a blunt sequence of processes, but rather handle each individual step with 100% care. Hence our good advice: Make your own impression. Get to know the fulfillment provider and the company personally, take a look at the Processes.

Mike Schubert und Raimund Bergler

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