Express Order Fulfillment – 200 Orders
Now more than ever, customers want quick and free order fulfillment and delivery, so it’s crucial to get it right. From picking your inventory to packaging it and getting it out the door through to managing your inventory to prevent overselling, order fulfilment is vital in ecommerce.
What is order fulfilment?
Order fulfillment is the process that an order goes through before it reaches the hands of your customer. This includes receiving, packing, picking, and shipping.
Ideally, you’ll fulfil all your orders efficiently, meaning you can operate with reduced running costs and get the orders to your customers quickly. But you’ll also need to carefully balance this speed with accuracy so that you send the right items to the right customers.
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of fulfilment for the overall customer experience. Spoiled by Amazon, customers expect to get their purchase as quickly as possible, and they love free shipping. However, they certainly notice when their delivery is delayed, especially when they’ve paid extra for shipping.
If you strive to improve one part of your business, it should be your eCommerce order fulfilment.
Why is the order fulfillment process important to ecommerce?
Order fulfilment is one of the most important aspects of any sale. You’ve spent time and valuable resources to find the right clients and convert them, and the hard work is over – that is, if you nail the fulfilment stage. If the order arrives late, damaged, or it’s incorrect, all of your hard work has gone out the window. Customers, particularly first-time customers, are not particularly forgiving when it comes to late orders.
Of course, order fulfilment impacts many other areas of your business, including inventory management and control. When demand surges, you need to order more goods and have them on hand to ensure your fulfilment process goes smoothly. You might also need to hire more staff, and rent a larger warehouse to store your merchandise. If your fulfilment strategy starts to fail, all of these other dominoes fall as well.
With the right order fulfilment process you can:
- Lower your shipping costs
- Have the right amount of products at all times
- Prevent overselling and underselling
- Reduce overall operational costs
- Reach new customers, even internationally
- Give better customer service and get better reviews
- Spend more time on actually growing your business
Customer expectations of order fulfilment
Simply put, customers expect that their preferred items will always be in stock and that they will arrive exactly when you promise they will arrive. While they may be willing to join a waitlist for an item to become available again, there’s an excellent chance they’ll simply head to your competitor in the meantime. Of course, their circumstances might change, or they could change their mind entirely and decide the purchase isn’t worth their time and money.
As a result of Amazon, customers increasingly also expect fast and free delivery. Of course, you might not be able to include shipping in the purchase price. If not, you need to do everything possible to ensure you meet your promised shipping times. If a customer pays for shipping, they expect it to be reliable and arrive smoothly and without damages. That’s why it pays to work with reputable shipping companies, even if they charge a little bit more.
What are the six elements of the ecommerce order fulfilment process that we are offering in this package?
1. Receiving inventory
Start by receiving your inventory from the supplier. Then, check every shipment to ensure the items are all there and report any errors immediately.
2. Warehousing & inventory management
Now that you have the inventory in your possession, it’s time to index and store them correctly in your warehouse. Use a dedicated inventory management system to give you real-time data about stock availability, warehouse location, and order fulfilment speed. With a solution like Veeqo you can sync your single inventory across multiple sales channels to make sure you never oversell.
3. Picking and Processing
Picking and processing comes next. If you do your own picking and processing, you need to implement robust and organised systems to prevent errors. Veeqo offers a paperless picking solution that can help you pick your products in the most efficient way. To prevent errors you can scan the barcodes of the products using the Veeqo Scanner or the camera of an Android or iOS device to make sure the right item is picked.
After picking the items from storage, it’s time to package them for shipping. Don’t take this step lightly – your packaging is your first impression on a customer. Ensure everything is packed securely to prevent damage. This is where a lot of retailers and 3PLs tend to make mistakes as without the correct process in place the picked items can get mixed up and sent to the wrong customer.
Depending on your target demographic, you may also want to invest in branded packaging and use additional care when wrapping and packing.
Now it’s time to hand over your precious cargo to the shipping company and put your trust in their services. Therefore, it’s essential to always work with a reliable and reputable shipping company.
6. Returns management and after-sales care
Once your customer has their order, you might think that the hard work is over, but it might just be beginning. If a customer needs to exchange or return an item, or they have a quality issue, they need quick and effective customer service. If you fall down here, you’ll likely lose your customer, and you risk negative feedback.