Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo can turn a new idea into an international success. Selling a high volume of orders may seem great at first – until you have to actually fulfill them. This determines the continued success of the product and solidifies your first impression. Before you set yourself up for a logistical nightmare, check out these order fulfillment tips for crowdfunding orders.
Before we dive into the order fulfillment tips, we need to emphasize the importance of having a fulfillment plan. Order fulfillment involves the picking, packing and shipment of your orders. After a product goes from the manufacturer to the warehouse, it must go through order fulfillment to get to your final customer.
If the fulfillment is delayed, mismanaged, or careless, the customer will have a negative impression from the start. Think about a server at a restaurant. If food arrives late or incorrect, diners blame the server. There may have been an issue with the kitchen or with the food itself, but that doesn't matter. The server takes the bulk of the blame. If you have issues with your order fulfillment, your customers will blame you, not the logistics company. That's why you need to work with the right people from the start.
You can set up your order fulfillment however you like, but the easiest option is to work with a warehouse that provides all those services for you. If one company handles the picking, packing, labeling, and shipping, the entire process is streamlined. Once you start delegating those tasks to different companies, your costs and risks go up. As you compare third party logistics providers, look for ones with extensive experience in order fulfillment. Ask about their specific experience with crowdfunding orders, and see if they have any order fulfillment tips you think are relevant to you. If everything fits well, you can start a contract and create a plan for when your orders finally go out.
It is difficult to predict sales for a crowdfunding order because the market has not been tested yet. You cannot tell how viral a product will be or how well received it will be online. Thus you need scalable order fulfillment services that can adapt to your needs. If your sales are not high, you need an affordable fulfillment plan for small purchases. If your sales are high, you need a company that can handle the hype. When discussing your order fulfillment services, make sure they can be adjusted as needed.
Create a plan for your order fulfillment well in advance. This will ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible. Since crowdfunding orders are unpredictable, it's important to communicate changes with your order fulfillment company as soon as they happen. For instance, if you decide to work with a different manufacturer to meet your demands, the warehouse will need to know where your products will arrive from. If you have a larger inventory than expected, they need time to allocate for that. Maintain a clear line of communication every step of the way.
For more order fulfillment tips or to learn about our warehouses in Maryland, contact Overflo at 1-800-626-0616.
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