When it comes to order fulfillment and customer service, most multichannel marketers keep it in-house. Just 20 percent use an outside service for fulfillment, according to Multichannel Merchant's Outlook 2010 Survey on Operations, and only 4 percent of respondents that don't are considering it.
About the same percentage of survey respondents (22 percent) use an outside provider for call center services, while 14 percent are considering it.
But expect to see more companies turning to third-party providers in the near future. Many companies realize that their core competencies are in marketing and merchandising, and not operations. Any lack of internal expertise or experience in this area can be supplemented through outsourcing.
Cost is probably an even bigger factor: Fulfillment costs are continuing to rise.
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