August 25, 2004, 12:00 AM

Where one fulfillment company sees customer service opportunity

Fulfillment companies such as William B. Meyer are beginning to offer Internet retailers a new-value-added customer service: web store design and more online access to shipping information.

Paul Demery

Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce

Fulfillment companies are beginning to offer Internet retailers a new-value-added customer service: web store design and more online access to shipping information. William B. Meyer, a Stratford, CT, fulfillment, inventory management and logistics company, is now designing several sites and stores for more of its new and long-standing customers, including Cuthbertson Imports, a dinnerware retailer that sells online at and at other third-party sites.

The company is also linking those sites to web-based customer service options that include real-time access to order management information and live chat.

"It makes sense for a fulfillment company to offer these kinds of customer service options, and we do," says William B. Meyer CIO Frank Shiboski. "We already do a lot of data integration work with clients on the back-end, so it’s a natural extension to offer store design and other web services on the front-end."

William B. Meyer, which picks, packs and ships orders as a certified service provider to web merchants who sell on’s auction site, says Internet retailers are demanding more web-based service applications.

For Cuthbertson, and other web-retailers, William B. Meyer is building custom web-based customer service applications that give merchants more online and real-time access to shipping information.

"Web-based customer service means that if we ship for them then we also provide them and their customers with access to instant information that’s also integrated across channels and the call center," Shiboski says.

As fulfillment companies develop more web-based customer service applications for Internet retailers, a big item is going to be building e-mail shipment notifications with customized back-end reporting features.

Many fulfillment companies such as William B. Meyer already offer direct marketers and web merchants and multi-channel retailers call center services, so it makes sense to round out the program with hosting, store development or live chat applications, Shiboski says.

"A fulfillment company such as ours is already in the retailer’s technology loop," he says. "We know their people, systems and inventory, so it’s natural that we would offer them more value-added web-based services."



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