A complex logistics process begins when a customer clicks the submit button for an online order. ECommerce fulfillment involves receiving the order from the online store. The item must be picked from a warehouse. Inventory, accounting and tracking information is updated. Finally, the item is shipped to the end customer.
The average eCommerce company without an established warehouse or partner can handle this logistics process on their own up to a certain point. As a company grows and orders increase, the time and resources required to manage these orders grows as well. When managing inventory and fulfillment becomes too much for online retailers to handle, they often turn to eCommerce fulfillment providers or 3PLs.
Larger eCommerce companies who already have their own warehouse or partner can benefit greatly by connecting their warehouse operations to online marketplaces and shopping carts. Having shipments, inventory, buying and selling integrated with the online face of a company creates new efficiencies which save time and money.