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Delivering the Goods

Your Web site gets tons of orders, but how do you fill them? Don't go it alone--outsourcing makes fulfillment and distribution simpler and more efficient.

This story appears in the March 1999 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

A truly effective e-commerce site is more than just a catalog and shopping cart that allow customers to choose products and purchase them using a credit card. Among other features, e-commerce sites should have the ability to seamlessly integrate with an inventory or warehouse system to perform fulfillment functions. These systems allow products to be shipped automatically to customers without a lot of hassle--or even the use of paper.

The best systems also have automated shipping and tracking capabilities so you can let customers know when a product will be delivered to them. Some systems are even capable of automatically sending customers e-mail messages regarding delivery schedules.

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