Key points:

  • Ineffective fulfillment can quickly snowball into delivery delays, unhappy backers, and rapidly increasing unwanted extra costs
  • An effective fulfillment process is a crucial part of a successful campaign, helping you meet backer reward expectations
  • Easyship can help you find the best value fulfillment provider in just a few clicks. Compare over 250 carriers around the world and create a scalable delivery experience your backers love

Are you worried about crowdfunding fulfillment? This article breaks down the top 10 things that can go wrong for crowdfunding fulfillment. Explore how to avoid them and learn how to create an effective fulfillment process that meets backer's expectations, while keeping costs down.

1. Choosing the Wrong CF Fulfillment Provider

Selecting the right crowdfunding fulfillment services can be critical for the success of an eCommerce business. Choosing the wrong provider can result in your crowdfunding project wasting precious time and money, creating the following challenges:

  • Delayed delivery
  • Inaccurate inventory management
  • Poor customer service

There are some common mistakes that can potentially lead to choosing the wrong crowdfunding order fulfillment provider. Two key factors to consider with every approach are what type of specific shipping features your product requires and avoiding focusing on the lowest cost. Instead, consider an approach where you extract as much value from your shipping solution.

When researching which Crowdfunding fulfillment provider will be right for your launch, identify your shipping goals and what you expect from them. You can evaluate your options based on factors like experience delivering similar products, use of modern technology, and communication practices.

2. Poor Inventory Management

Effective inventory management can be essential in creating a successful order fulfillment process and help avoid delays, stockouts and unnecessary returns. Common mistakes in managing inventory can include overstocking, underestimating demand, and avoiding automation tools.

Without a well-organized warehouse, your picking, packing and shipping costs can quickly creep up, especially if it is hard to quickly locate items. implementing an inventory management system can help you avoid order fulfillment issues, no matter the order volume.

3. Manufacturing Delays

Manufacturing delays can impact your entire supply chain. No matter if you have the fastest shipping option available, successful crowdfunding campaign fulfillment can rely heavily on meeting strict timelines. If the manufacturing stage of your Kickstarter or IndieGoGo campaign is pushed back multiple business days, or even weeks, then your fulfillment stage can be pushed back.

Unless your team handles every aspect of the supply chain, from sourcing raw materials to manufacturing, then supply chain disruptions can potentially impact your fulfillment process. To protect the customer experience, manage expectations from the outset and factor in possible manufacturing delays.

4. Quality Control Issues

Quality control issues can also lead to fulfillment delays and even dissatisfied backers. If you have a large number of orders to fulfill, then quality control can become a serious issue and potentially become a serious cost. While your manufacturer may have quality controls in place, they may differ from your needs.

To avoid these issues, start with an approved sample to check if it will meet your requirements. If possible, ideally a preproduction inspection will allow you to evaluate the factory or retailer. However, if this is not possible, you can communicate with your supplier over the following inspection objectives:

  • Clear break down of production schedules
  • Potential problems that could impact product quality or project timing
  • Checking your requirements can be met
  • Confirmation of product components and materials quality

5. Unfulfilled Backer Expectations

Unrealistic backer expectations can cause issues during the fulfillment process. While everyone can expect delays to happen, your backers can feel vulnerable after parting with their money and waiting for delivery. Being open, transparent and interacting with backers throughout the process can help maneuver their mindset away from unrealistic expectations.

While it can be tempting to only share the positive news, crowdfunding backers are usually aware that your campaign is not an eCommerce store. Sharing problems that you are facing, plus how your team is solving them, can help include your community in the project. This can transform backers into feeling like part of the journey, boosting satisfaction when the final product is delivered.

Related post: Fulfilling your crowdfunding campaign: How to plan your shipping strategy


6. Post-Fulfillment Support

If not properly planned for, a lack of post-fulfillment support can quickly erode any trust you worked hard to build with your campaign's backers. Not everyone will be completely satisfied with the end product. Creating a customer service process can help transform this into a positive experience for the backer.

An FAQ section can help your backers quickly find answers to questions you are regularly asked, plus you can display your customer service email in an easy-to-find format. Committing to a response time can also help you build trust with your backers.

Including a refund policy in your campaign can help set customer expectations. Detailing it in your FAQ section can also further help backers locate it quickly and reduce inbound messages for your team. Make sure to check which transactions fall within your chosen crowdfunding platform's refund policy and which you will have to issue yourself.

Legal issues can put a hold on even the most successful crowdfunding campaign. In fact, the more successful your camping the more liable you can be for potential legal blowback. With the space becoming increasingly regulated and laws expanding, searching crowdfunding lawsuits can be scary stuff.

There are some key areas to focus on when avoiding legal issues with your crowdfunding campaign. Checkout the quick breakdown below to stay one step ahead and don't let them grind your fulfillment to a halt:

  • Entering a vague, yet legally binding contract. You can be sued by backers if you fail to fulfill your campaign obligations
  • Potentially infringing intellectual property. Double-check for any licenses or agreements you might need to obtain before fulfilling orders
  • Tax liability. Taxes are still a murky area for crowdfunding, however any funding raised will be treated as income by the IRS and not a gift
  • Risk of personal liability. Crowdfunding platforms are not liable for legal issues that your campaign creates. As you will be personally responsible, it can be worth setting up a business entity to reduce risk

8. Funding Shortages

While you may have worked out your manufacturing costs down to the dollar, fulfillment can be harder to project with real-time shipping rates changing daily. There are other factors to consider beyond transport, including warehousing storage or customs fees for international shipping.

You may be tempted to fulfill orders yourself to cut costs, however without proper storage, you can risk damaged products, lost orders and potentially falling profits. Fulfillment can take many forms beyond just popping a shipping label on a box, with some fulfillment centers even offering customized packaging.

Identifying a fulfillment provider while setting up your campaign can help factor in future delivery costs, avoiding funding shortages at this crucial, final stage. While this figure will likely change, having a workable forecast to budget around can help increase the profitability of your crowdfunding campaign.

9. Lack of Scalability

Not being to handle a rapid increase in growth can be a major hindrance for effective crowdfunding fulfillment. Common issues you can face include not having enough staff in your team, a lack of warehouse space, and no investment in automation.

Automated processes can help you rapidly clear order backlogs and make sure your crowdfunding campaign fulfillment is a success. Streamlining your processes will allow you to scale them and meet your needs as you focus on growing the number of backers.

10 Poor Packaging

Ineffective packaging can quickly lead to damaged products, increased shipping costs and ultimately unhappy backers. Common packaging mistakes include using wrong-sized boxes, not securing fragile items and using low-quality packing materials. Check out these 5 quick tips below to help ensure a successful delivery:

  1. Packaging boxes keep products safe, look professional and the flat surface is easy for scanning labels
  2. Include cushions if you have any fragile or delicate items
  3. Connecting with a shipping platform that offers automated shipping label creation will save time, plus reduces the risk of human error
  4. Try to reduce packaging size and weight as this can inflate shipping prices
  5. Outer packaging, especially black plastic wrap, is hard for automated parcel machinery to process. This can result in domestic shipments being held up, while international orders can even be returned

Hack CF Fulfillment with Easyship

Crowdfunding fulfillment can be a crucial factor in determining a campaign's success. Factoring in fulfillment costs from the outset can help you meet backer expectations and avoid funding shortages. Easyship's cutting-edge shipping tools can help you create a scalable fulfillment process in a couple of clicks.

Free Shipping Calculator: Compare over 250 carriers around the world and get an instant estimate of your shipping costs. Take control of your fulfillment options using our exclusive prenegotiated rates, with up to 91% off

Have you worked hard to create a successful campaign? Sign up for a FREE Easyship account and stop worrying about delivery. Automate fulfillment today and effortlessly meet your backer's expectations