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Scaling your e-commerce business using hybrid fulfillment

junaid33 profile image junaid33 Originally published at openship.org ・2 min read

Exponential growth

E-commerce is growing faster than many ever thought. More and more people are launching websites and creating Amazon seller accounts.

Why wouldn’t they? It has the lowest barrier of entry of any business you can start. You can get up and running in a few days. You don’t need a warehouse and you don’t necessarily even need inventory.

Some sellers will start by holding inventory and some will start by dropshipping. But how can a seller really gain an advantage in such a saturated market that more people are entering every minute? The answer is hybrid fulfillment. Hybrid fulfillment (or multi channel fulfillment) is fulfilling your orders using different channels. Your supplier, 3PL, any fulfillment provider are considered channels.

Let’s say you are dropshipping some products and shipping other products yourself.

Let’s say you are holding and shipping all of your inventory but decide to dropship 1 item to see if it’s worth buying in bulk.

Let’s say you want to sell your items in new geographical areas like the UK or Australia which will need their own supplier or warehouse.

Hybrid fulfillment

All of these are examples hybrid fulfillment. It helps you increase your catalog size, expand to new places, and in the end, get more orders and scale.

You're wondering why all e-commerce businesses don't do this. The problem is that managing multiple fulfillment channels is not simple. The elite e-commerce brands and companies use expensive ERP systems like SAP to achieve this or build their own custom backend. They also have a team of dedicated engineers to maintain and update the system as they scale.

We sought out to bring the benefits of hybrid fulfillment to small and medium e-commerce businesses. That’s where Openship comes in.

Openship

Openship’s humble beginnings were that of Zapier and Google Sheets which is how we handled hybrid fulfillment early on. It eventually grew into a full-fledged hybrid fulfillment platform where any supplier and fulfillment system could be connected and switched between seamlessly.

Internally, it helped us expand into new markets, grow our catalog size, and launch new stores in weeks, not months.

After years of hard work, Openship 1.0 is finally here. Use us to scale your e-commerce business and never be locked into a supplier or fulfillment system.

Be sure to check out the website, documentation, and demo. Let us know if you have any feedback.

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