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How to test the waters in Shopify with outsourced fulfillment

No Shopify seller is too small to start with Deliverr. However, we understand that you may be a little nervous about starting your own Shopify store or outsourcing your fulfillment for the first time.

To make it easier, we’ve put together this guide on how to start small and test the waters in Shopify, to figure out whether outsourced fulfillment is right for you and your business.

Back to basics: What does an outsourced fulfillment provider like Deliverr do?

Outsourced fulfillment is when you hire a third party to manage part or all of your order fulfillment process.

The third-party, known as an outsourced fulfillment provider, manages tasks such as storing inventory, packaging items, and shipping orders to customers.

There are many benefits of adopting an outsourced fulfillment strategy for your business, regardless of how big or small your eCommerce store is, including:

  • Lower shipping costs: Access preferred rates on shipping and packaging
  • Streamline operating costs: Remove the costs of long-term warehouse leases and staff
  • Faster shipping: Benefit from the tried and true logistics that get items delivered quickly
  • Geographical reach: Use multiple warehouse locations to provide fast shipping across the country
  • Effectiveness: Use your time and skills for tasks that have a greater impact on your bottom line

In fact, you could argue that these benefits of outsourced fulfillment are more pertinent for smaller companies, where costs, time, and space is tight.

How to start with outsourced fulfillment

Another benefit of outsourced fulfillment is that you can start small and test the benefits by outsourcing only a few units of Shopify stock.

If this sounds attractive to your business, then here’s how you can test the waters with Shopify using Deliverr.

Tip: If you decide to outsource your Shopify fulfillment to Deliverr, you can also use Deliverr to hold inventory and fulfill orders from Walmart, Wish, and other marketplaces – so you don’t have to worry about inventory getting stuck in one channel that isn’t making sales.

1. Create your account

Create a free account on Deliverr by signing up with your email, password, and phone number. Follow the on-screen instructions for finding and connecting your Shopify store.

Note: Our direct Shopify integration is the most straightforward route for Shopify-only merchants, but you can also use Deliverr for your other sales channels by using a listing tool integration.

2. Choose your products

We recommend testing a fulfillment partnership with a few fast-moving items on your Shopify store. This allows you to see whether a provider can meet high product demand while maintaining 2-day delivery speeds.

Take a look at which products you have that stand to see the highest lift when adding 2-day delivery, such as essentials or other timely products. By adding these, you get to see whether fast tags can improve  conversions on an already-popular product even further.

If you’d prefer to send in one of your secondary items that doesn’t move as fast, we can fulfill that too, as long as it’s not an item on our restricted list.

3. Send your products

Before sending your products to Deliverr, you need to let us know what you’re sending and ensure that all items are correctly packaged.

  1. Log into your Deliverr seller portal
  2. From the Inbounds tab, select Create New
  3. Begin typing to find and select the relevant SKUs
  4. Select whether you’re packaging your products individually or by case
  5. Confirm the barcode that will be attached to your products. You can use a UPC or FNSKU or, alternately, generate a Deliverr DSKU.

Note that you must send at least four cases if you’re using case configuration in your shipment, and at least five units for individual units.

Deliverr will create a shipping plan that distributes your inventory across our fulfillment network.

For each shipment:

  1. Select how you’re going to ship your items to Deliverr. You can use Deliverr’s rates, individual boxes on personal rates, or pallets on personal rates.
  2. Then select whether you’re sending one or multiple SKUs per box.

4. Set up Shopify

Once Deliverr has received your products, you must configure Shopify to send relevant orders to Deliverr.

  1. Log into Shopify and navigate to the relevant product from the Products screen
  2. Under Inventory, select Deliverr tracks this variant’s inventory
  3. Click Save.

If you haven’t already, please turn on auto-fulfillment in Shopify by:

  1. Going to Settings > Checkout > Order Processing.
  2. Under After an order has been placed, select Automatically fulfill the order’s line items and click Save.

Read more and get the latest updates to this process here.

5. Run a test order

Your fast fulfillment via Deliverr is now live. If you want to check on it, you can run a test in Shopify by purchasing an item as a customer would.

Log into Deliverr and locate the order to check that it has been correctly received from Shopify. From here, you can test the full process by allowing Deliverr to fulfill the order. Alternatively, cancel the order from the order details page on Deliverr. Note that you must do this within two hours of the order being placed.

If you choose to cancel the order, make sure you cancel it in Shopify too.

To cancel an order in Shopify, find the order on the Orders page and click More Actions > Cancel Order > Reason for Cancellation > Cancel Order. A full refund will be issued automatically.

Outsourcing your fulfillment can take some getting used to. Give yourself some time to become confident in the process by letting Deliverr fulfill your orders, seeing how it goes, and tracking the results.

6. Activate fast tags

Once you become more confident with the process of outsourced fulfillment, you can advance to the next stage by activating fast shipping tags on your Shopify store.

To activate fast shipping tags on Shopify, go to the Fast Tags section on Deliverr and select Shopify Free 2-Day Delivery Get Started

Follow the on-screen instruction for installing the Deliverr Shopify App, activating $5 store credit for late deliveries, and deciding whether you want to place your fast shipping badges on Shopify or if you want Deliverr to do it for you.

Confirm your selections and activate your badges by clicking Turn on Badges

7. Analyze the results

A crucial part of testing the waters with outsourced fulfillment is analyzing the results. Particularly, you should seek feedback from:

Internal employees

Speak to your employees (or yourself) to discover how they find the process and how much time is saved.

Customers

Speak to customers who have had their orders delivered via third-party fulfillment and ask them for feedback on matters such as delivery speed, item packaging, and clarity of shipping speeds.

Data

Analyze your order and fulfillment data to see if there has been an increase in order volume or value because of enhanced shipping speeds.

8. Evaluate listing life

Depending on how long your test lasts, it may be necessary to evaluate listing life for the products you’re sending via a third-party fulfillment.

Listing life refers to how long a listing stays relevant due to seasonal demand, product trends, or current competition. If a listing is underperforming compared to previous months, you need to either optimize the listing to increase conversions or test out a new SKU. This ensures that you are actively testing the benefits and capacity of outsourced fulfillment.

9. Expand to fulfill more products

If you’re happy with your test and want to expand outsourced fulfillment to other products in your Shopify store, simply repeat steps 3 and 4. If you’re happy to continue as you are and outsource only your best sellers, then keep on.

The important thing is that you and your customers are happy. Know that you’re never too small or too big to use Deliverr.

Using outsourced fulfillment to try out Shopify

Getting started on a completely new sales channel can be daunting, especially if you’re more used to marketplaces than having your own website. However, it’s also rewarding, can help you diversify your income streams, and doesn’t have to be so hard. Outsource the most intimidating aspects, such as storage and fulfillment, and monitor your results. You may find a happy surprise!

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