Review sites have become ubiquitous across industries in today’s digital environment. Looking for the best hotel? Check out TripAdvisor. How about a great general contractor for your home renovation? AngiesList is here to help.
There is a reason these types of sites have become so popular, even in the B2B realm. We inherently trust the opinions of both our experts and peers, even if we’ve never heard of them before. In fact, 88% of consumers now trust online reviews from complete strangers as much as personal recommendations from their most trusted friends.
Not surprisingly, then, a number of review sites have popped up in the fulfillment sector as well. Google best fulfillment companies, and you’ll be inundated with blog posts, articles, and reviews about businesses that purport to offer the best possible service for your needs.
But here’s the thing: they’re all different. In fact, that’s the first of 3 reasons you have to dig past review sites in finding your ideal fulfillment company.
1) There is No Such Thing as The Best in Fulfillment
The fulfillment industry is far from homogenous. Every provider specializes in a wide range of different capabilities. The goal in finding your ideal partner is not to find one that does everything right, but finding a company that helps you accomplish your unique business goals.
Some companies try the one-size-fits-all approach. The problem: they usually fail. Depending on your warehousing and fulfillment needs, as well as the type of goods you sell, you may need very specialized vendors that may not show up in one of the countless ‘top 5’ lists you’ll find online.
In the end, nobody is perfect. Trying to find the ideal fulfillment company is akin to finding the proverbial needle in a haystack. Instead of trying to go with an all-around solution, it’s crucial to do research beyond review sites to match your needs with the vendor’s capabilities.
2) Capabilities (and Preferences) Change Over Time
In addition, don’t underestimate the static nature of review sites. When conducting the above Google search, you’ll notice articles and reviews that are in some cases almost 10 years old. Unless you assume that in those ten years, everything has stayed the same, this should be a red flag.
No business stays the same over time. Capabilities evolve, companies grow, and the environment changes. The possibilities made possible by digital and mobile technology today would have seemed impossible in the fulfillment industry just a decade ago. Blindly trusting review sites means hoping that nothing has changed, versus doing your own research to determine today’s capabilities.
3) Consider the Reasons Behind the ‘Ranking’ Companies
Finally, it’s difficult to discuss this subject without bringing up the elephant in the room: often, there is a reason most review sites tend to list the same three to five fulfillment companies at the top. In fact, there’s two: herd mentality and back payments.
Not even experts in the industry can reliably rank all fulfillment companies based on a set of comprehensive metrics. That means two things: they either follow and copy the rankings of other review sites (creating a self-fulfilling prophecy), or they use other means of determining their rankings.
Too often, those other means consist of back payments. If you want to get your fulfillment company ranked highly, pay the reviewers. That means the companies atop these lists tend to be the highest bidders, not the best at helping you solve your business needs.
Given these three reasons, it’s paramount to go beyond review sites in finding a fulfillment company that can truly help move your business forward. Do your own research, and make sure to find a partner whose capabilities actually matches your needs. For more information about how we can help you in that regard, contact us.