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Biggest eCommerce Self-Fulfillment Mistakes

By:
Rakuten Super Logistics
July 14, 2020

In-house order fulfillment is a popular choice for eCommerce business owners. For many online retailers just starting out, the number of orders they process may not be enough to use an outsourced shipping partner. As a result, self-fulfillment is the best decision. Although DIYing may sound like a great idea, shipping mistakes are even more prevalent using this type of business model. Here are the most common mistakes retailers make.

Slow Shipments

Managing your own packing and shipping can result in extended shipping times. The average customer expects their orders to arrive within a few days. However, some online retailers using an in-house model cannot make that deadline. Large increases in orders during holiday sales can also lead to these slow shipping times and impatient customers.

Order Mistakes

As with any do-it-yourself model, you need to take human error into account. Retailers using a self-fulfillment method are responsible for picking and packing every order that comes in. When multiple orders come in at once, it’s easy to overlook details and create a catastrophic “Oh Ship!” moment by shipping the right orders to the wrong customers.

Overpaying on Supplies

Using an in-house fulfillment method can limit online retailers’ ability to use modern technology regularly seen in logistics warehouses. You could be spending more money than needed. In addition to paying for utilities, marketing, and merchandise, you are likely to over-purchase supplies, overpay for shipping, and go over budget for product replacements and returns. One of the many benefits of using an outsourced shipping partner is the access to discounts that self fulfillers typically can’t receive.

Lack of Inventory Management

Poor inventory management is a notorious problem for many eCommerce business owners handling shipping and fulfillment in-house. Without trained staff or technology to keep track of all of your products, you can easily mislabel merchandise, forget to restock items, experience backorders, and even send out damaged products to customers. Having a professional shipping partner can help ensure all your merchandise is organized and easily accessible.

Incorrect Product Descriptions

When customers make purchases from a website, they expect to receive the item they see online. One common mistake for eCommerce businesses is providing incorrect product details. Product specifications, weight and size, shipping and handling fees, and delivery times are included in these details. Even the slightest error can result in dissatisfied customers, negative reviews, and increased shopping cart abandonment. A professional order management system can help eliminate these errors and provide exceptional customer service to all your shoppers.

Limited Storage Space

As customer demand grows, in-house methods are not always prepared to handle the amount of new inventory or keep up with incoming orders. Many eCommerce retailers start shipping out of their homes or small storage spaces. Although it may be convenient, these spaces do not always have enough space to support growing inventory. As a result, retailers become overwhelmed by orders and can have boxes spilling out from every corner of their homes. That’s when the worst “Oh Ship!” moments occur - lost packages, late shipments, mislabeled boxes. Working with a shipping company that has the capacity to grow with your business is the best solution to avoiding these shipping and fulfillment fiascos.

Endless mistakes can be common for many retailers using in-house fulfillment and shipping methods. Recruiting a 3PL like Rakuten Super Logistics can help eliminate even the largest “Oh Ship!” moments and significantly scale your business. With access to multiple fulfillment centers, 100% order accuracy, and return and inventory management, Rakuten Super Logistics is the leader in outsourced eCommerce shipping and order fulfillment.

Get a quote today and see how Rakuten Super Logistics can help your business.


Rakuten Super Logistics (RSL) is the leader in eCommerce order fulfillment services and freight brokerage. RSL offers national fulfillment services and a network of 15 US fulfillment centers located in Anaheim (CA), Atlanta (GA), Austin (TX), Chicago (IL), Denver (CO), Houston (TX), Las Vegas (NV), Miami (FL), Olean (NY), Reno (NV), Salt Lake City (UT), and Scranton (PA). Their state-of-the-art technology allows for integration with popular shopping cart platforms and online marketplaces including Amazon, Big Commerce, Channel Advisor, eBay, Magento, ShipStation, Shopify, Volusion, Walmart Marketplace, and WooCommerce. RSL offers modern fulfillment solutions for leading eCommerce retailers focused on reducing shipping costs, improving order accuracy, decreasing shipping times, and increasing customer satisfaction.