As a result, the term eCommerce fulfilment has become extremely important in this context. An extensive chain of processes connects everything from the time a consumer likes a product and buys it online to when it is delivered to their doorstep. Multiple elements contribute to the seamless bandwidth of such various processes and stages. These elements are critical throughout the eCommerce fulfilment process.
Before learning and understanding the most commonly used eCommerce fulfilment terminologies, it’s essential to understand what eCommerce fulfilment is.
When defining eCommerce fulfilment, it is possible to do so in just a few words. It is defined as the part of an eCommerce operation responsible for getting the purchased product to the customer. Several activities take place during the eCommerce fulfilment process, including loading the product onto fulfilment centre shelves.
eCommerce businesses can outsource part or all of their logistics processes to third-party logistics or 3PL providers such as StoreFresh. Warehousing, distribution, and order fulfilment services are the most common activities here. Only a few third-party logistics companies such as ours specialise in transportation and warehousing services, as well as integrated operations. These types of activities can be customised to meet the specific needs of the customers.
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An e-commerce fulfilment centre in India is a central location where an eCommerce business’s order fulfilment and inventory management activities are handled. All of the actions that occur inside StoreFresh, from receiving inventory to shipping it to end customers, occur there.
Activities such as receiving items, temporarily storing inventory, and redistributing goods are common facility activities of a distribution centre based on consumer orders. Warehouses and e-commerce distribution centres in Eastern India are two terms that are often used interchangeably. A warehouse and a distribution centre such as StoreFresh, on the other hand, are not the same thing. A warehouse is used to store goods or inventory for a more extended period. In contrast, a distribution centre is more focused on holding inventory for a shorter period, resulting in faster goods turnover.
Dropshipping can be defined as a process in which the manufacturer fulfils orders directly rather than the seller. The seller will receive orders from their clients and then forward them to the manufacturer for fulfilment. Manufacturers now produce and manufacture goods in dropshipping.
Inventory management encompasses a wide range of activities, including inventory level management, sales, and delivery tracking, and inventory level management, which ensures that adequate stock is available at all times. Managing raw materials, their components, and finished products are some of the most common aspects of inventory management. It is also responsible for warehousing and the processing of such items.
Self-fulfilment occurs when an eCommerce merchant or seller handles each step of an internal order fulfilment process without the assistance of a third-party logistics provider. It’s ubiquitous in the eCommerce industry, especially among those just getting started managing inventory and packing orders in their respective workplaces or homes.
A barcode is a machine-readable form of data that represents information that aids in the faster identification of products. The information stored in a barcode relates to the specific purchase order. It is capable of identifying the order as well as assisting in the retrieval of various other data. Customer names, cartons, shipping methods, and delivery addresses are examples of such information. Return documents and purchase orders, for example, have barcodes that retrieve precise record information from the server.
SKU stands for Stock Keeping Unit and refers to a unique number associated with a specific type of inventory in an eCommerce business. It’s usually used internally to keep track of a company’s inventory. SKUs are unique alphanumeric codes that provide information about the most important aspects of a product, such as colour, style, price, size, brand, etc.
A warehouse management system (WMS) is commonly used in warehouses to control and automate warehouse operations. WMS is an effective tool in the eCommerce fulfilment process, from increasing the efficiency of warehousing operations to managing a variety of other multifunctional activities. Organising, day-to-day planning, staffing, controlling, and directing how the available resources must be used to move inventory inside a warehouse are all activities. The Warehouse Management System also allows employees to monitor the storage and movement of goods in a warehouse.
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A legal service agreement, also known as a contract, is a contract that a fulfilment service provider provides. It’s a contract that tells the business owner how incoming orders will be handled, how items will be shipped, and the roles and responsibilities of the stakeholders involved in the company’s overall management.
FIFO, or first-in-first-out, is a warehousing method in which the items received first at a warehouse are also the first to leave the facility. The concept of FIFO is simple: the things that arrive first at the warehouse are the ones that will be held for the longest time.
As time passes, the items become closer to their expiration dates. Business owners often think about moving up the SKUs of similar things in their inventory. This is done specifically to allow the items to be sold before they expire or become perishable.
Storage fees have a phonetic meaning that is similar to the literal sense. Storage fees are away for a business owner to charge a fee for storing inventory in a fulfilment centre or warehouse.
Cross-docking is a logistics process when goods are delivered from a supplier or a manufacturing unit to the final customer. The process usually occurs in a terminal or distribution docking station with the smallest amount of storage space. The inbound dock is located at the end of a cross-dock and is where the products are received. It is then transferred to the outbound dock, which is the next segment. Furthermore, the materials are inspected and sorted according to their intended destinations.
Thus, these are a few of the most commonly used eCommerce fulfilment terminologies. Each term mentioned here is an essential part of the entire process and ties it all together in a continuous stream of events every day. As a 3PL logistics and e-commerce distribution company StoreFresh wants everyone to understand more of these concepts. As a result, it will become easier to relate to the growth of the industry for customers and e-commerce organizations easily.