For online sellers and eCommerce businesses, fulfillment is a crucial task and a big responsibility. It’s how you deliver to customers the products that they ordered. But it’s not just a matter of simple delivery. The actual receipt of the product delivered to the customer is but the last part in a chain of processes that starts with product order, checkout, product payment and processing, packaging, storage, inventory, shipping and delivery. You may actually be able to do all that with a few items ordered from your store. However, when several orders come fast and simultaneously, you have a logistical nightmare in your hands. Not to mention the times when customers return, exchange or refund products, or query you for customer support, then you’d certainly need some help. That’s when order fulfillment service comes in.
Providers of order fulfillment services are companies or vendors that fulfill orders for other companies such as online merchants, eCommerce or even physical stores that do not own warehouses or distribution facilities. They specialize in handling all the tasks and processes mentioned earlier so you don’t have to do all the heavy duty stuff and simply concentrate on selling. For most online merchants, it is with order fulfillment services that they are able to move, store, and deliver products to their customers as well as grow their business.
In this article, we’ll take a look at Symphony Commerce, one of the popular order fulfillment service providers in the market. We’ll also check out some Symphony Commerce alternatives to widen your options if you’re searching for this type of service. But first, we’ll go over key features of order fulfillment services so that when decision time comes, you can choose one that matches your requirements.
No two order fulfillment services are the same. Some may offer more discounts, have more extensive network of global fulfillment centers and distribution facilities, or may have more affordable cost, or lesser fees and charges. There are points to remember when determining an order fulfillment service: Can they quickly process orders and payment? Can they accurately verify customer information? Can they ship/deliver products on time? To facilitate these, order fulfillment companies usually have the following tools, functions and features:
Symphony Commerce bills itself as one complete system. It is a ready-to-go commerce platform built to facilitate multi-channel commerce from “store to door.” Symphony enables you to open and manage multiple-channel stores on unified platform, connect orders and inventory, undertake rapid fulfillment, and deliver fully branded packages. The service allows clients to create high-impact, branded storefronts with responsive designs for any device, and optimized one-page checkout process. You get real-time order status and complete visibility and control as order flows from purchase through fulfillment. Symphony boasts of certified warehouses where you can manage inventory across multiple physical locations, and maintain real-time communication between platform and warehouse system to ensure orders are always flowing and your data is up to date.
Among the highlights of Symphony Commerce’s service include:
Symphony Commerce’s order fulfillment services have steadily grown in popularity especially among branded fashion and consumer goods on the strength of its automated ordering and speedy delivery of products both in and outside the U.S. It is however but one of the many leading services you can choose from. Below you can find other Symphony Commerce alternatives that are equally full-featured and popular among online merchants.
Fulfillment by Amazon is a leading order fulfillment services provider backed up by the world’s e-retail giant Amazon. Also known as FBA, it allows small item seller, multi-channel sellers, and existing Amazon sellers to avail of the service, harnessing Amazon’s top notch logistics and extensive global network of over 140 warehouses. FBA can handle product processing and shipment, manage payments and refunds, and provide round the clock customer service. FBA affords you several advantages such as quick processing, speedy delivery and shipping times, climate controlled warehouse facilities, renowned refunds and returns policy, and world-class customer service support. FBA integrates with all popular eCommerce and shopping cart platforms and works with dozens of third-party apps, giving your business much needed operational flexibility. The biggest benefit you can gain is the boost in your reputation as well as wider market reach when you tap into the infrastructure of Amazon, one of the world’s foremost brands.
Some of the many strengths of FBA include:
FedEx Fulfillment is a new player in the market launched only in early 2017. The second of our three Symphony Commerce alternatives is a subsidiary of FedEx Corporation; hence you can be assured of its well established logistics and transportation network for your fulfillment requirements. The service aims to help small and medium sized businesses fulfill orders from various online channels through its integrated supply chain system of warehousing, packaging, fulfillment, transportation, and reverse logistics. Online merchants can use the service to integrate selling channels and manage inventory while having full visibility of their items during storage, in transit, and upon delivery. Furthermore, FedEx Fulfillment offers same day fulfillment cut-off times, and 2-day ground shipping to most US locations. It is noted for its returns and reverse logistics process with its solid transportation and infrastructure system.
FedExFulfillment offers the following benefits:
Shipwire rounds up our Symphony Commerce alternatives. The service uses enterprise-grade warehouse management system for its storage facilities in the US, Europe, China, Australia and Asia. With the system Shipwire implements, you can be assured of the safety and security of your stored products, including those that need special handling and shipping procedures. Shipwire also utilizes an intelligent shipping platform to efficiently determine the best shipping couriers, shipping and delivery routes, as well as packaging options to help lower shipping and fulfillment costs. The platform is cloud-based, enabling online businesses to run logistics operations anywhere through their own warehouses or Shipwire’s facilities, or both. You can undertake on-demand and custom order fulfillment solutions for B2C and B2B commerce, and link product supply to retail demand via drop shipping or connecting to major retail channels. You can also scale and personalize shipping solutions to match your logistical needs.
Some key features of Shipwire include:
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