There are a lot of instances that Shopify store owners don't prioritize these apps over Shopify Conversion Apps and Marketing Apps as the marketing funnel is a critical area to focus on - however, Shopify Fulfillment apps are just as important since not only do they assist the marketing funnel as well as they are integral to the customer experience. These apps are not just a Post Office app, but they cover anything from "Back in stock", to estimated Shipping costs as well as keeping up with your order fulfillment. An eCommerce platform such as Shopify has a very large portfolio of fulfillment apps.
Fulfillment Apps - what are the categories
While most folks will think of order fulfillment, there is definitely more to just that category. These Shopify apps are centered around inventory management, and how your online store experiences incoming stock from your supply chain and order processing to your customers.
Order fulfillment: Tracking orders is an important addition to the Shopify Admin status such as Tracktor Order Tracking or Order Fulfillment Guru which gives visibility of the operations to bring your orders to the shipper. It is more than pick-pack-ship, it is the transparency of the execution and traceability of the items - highlighting incomplete orders, time to ship, and time to customer's door. Metrics (KPIs) give you the ability to understand your overall cost of operations (order fulfillment process), and how to improve upon them.
Back in Stock: As part of the sales funnel, when customers are out shopping they might want to sign-up for items that are out of stock and look to be alerted when they are back. This eCommerce solution is very desirable for items that are popular and are very cost-competitive. It plays into customer loyalty and places your brand being customer-centric. Social Networks can point to your popular product, and as long as your supply chain can keep delivering frequently, social media posts can keep informing everyone on the next deliveries. Customer interactions take place, word of mouth spread the word, and your order volume keeps your fulfillment center busy.
Marketplace integrations: If you are connecting over to Etsy or another marketplace, you will find the Apps that will take order data from these platforms back over to your Shopify store. There are apps like MultiChannel Importer for example that will perform this function, so as to keep your inventory and orders in check.
Application/Platform specific Shipping updates: There is Amazon FBA or Trackipal Sync PayPal Tracking which are platform-specific integrations to relay shipping information back and forth so that your fulfillment service is kept up to date.
Product Bundles: This is another sales funnel category that links your promotional bundles to your fulfillment - by default Shopify doesn't do bundles, so if you were to employ some social media marketing promotion, you could execute a price competitive bundle and support it in the fulfillment center.
Dropshipping: This is a big category, many eCommerce stores enjoy this business model, it reduces inventory costs and shipping costs - making your store more cost-competitive, and it is very suitable for any commodity including raw materials. Supply chain managers receive the orders, and with appropriate labeling, the orders get processed and shipped out.
MultiStore Sync: This comes in handy for Shopify Plus store owners, when keeping stock tracking in check between several stores. Much like the integrations sub-category above, keeping your inventory count precise allows for leaner inventory management, keeping cash flow in good shape.
Low-stock alerts: When you need to set trigger points to re-order inventory from your suppliers, this Shopify App type delivers a great customer experience by not running out. This does mean that you have to manage your inventory and know of the lead times it takes to receive stock back into your warehouse and have it processed onto the shelves.
ERP Integrations: The likes of Veeqo or Brightpearl integrations are under this category of Fulfillment Apps, where your Enterprise resource Planning can pull data from your Shopify Store, and bring it to your ERP. This also works well with your customer experience strategy when it comes to an omnichannel implementation with all the various marketplaces.
While customers might only perceive inventory from a shopping cart view of availability, Shopify fulfillment has many angles to the customer experience (part of your cx strategy). There are over 900+ Shopify Fulfillment Apps in the Shopify App store, it is a top category to ensure your Shopify store considers its features.
As mentioned above, Shopify Fulfillment is a core component of your Shopify store's operation and ties into the customer experience on out-of-stock components, and they assist in the re-ordering process. Keeping your store running and operating with fewer interruptions makes financial sense, and keeps your profitability line stable. If you have any questions on these Shopify Apps, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org