Providing quality customer service is essential for e-commerce businesses. You want to prioritize order fulfillment to help keep them satisfied. However, this can be easier said than done if you’re new to e-commerce.
We put together these steps to help you improve your order fulfillment process. The sooner you start, the better, so let’s jump right in!
1. Partner With the Right Third-Party
First, you’ll want to consider choosing a third-party shipping company to handle your orders. These services include a full service warehouse that picks, packages, and ships your orders. These companies are often called fulfillment companies, and they can take a lot of stress out of fulfillment if you pick the right one.
You’ll want to look at their warehouse locations first since this can impact shipping speed. Then, check that they use up-to-date software and can integrate with your current systems. You want excellent order tracking and returns management as well.
Of course, you’ll need to ensure that you consider your budget. It’s always good to go with the best company you can afford.
What Do Full Service Warehouses Do?
A warehouse like this can be very beneficial to e-commerce groups. They allow you to store much of your product and often handle fulfillment. Many people refer to full service warehouses as fulfillment centers.
Overall, this is a huge benefit that can drastically improve your business. You’ll have an easier time managing orders, and customers will be much happier with the shipping speed. So, it’s worthwhile.
Should You Outsource Order Fulfillment?
Outsourcing order fulfillment comes with plenty of benefits. Most importantly, it’s good for customer satisfaction. They can receive their orders faster and get transparent tracking.
However, it’s also great for ecommerce brands. You’ll have more time to put into areas of your business that need it more.
You can choose what’s best for your company too. Whether you want to outsource all aspects of fulfillment or simply want to work with a warehouse, you’ll have plenty of options to consider.
2. Provide Clear Tracking
After a customer places an order, they expect to know where it is and when it’s arriving. It’s frustrating when companies don’t have good shipping tracking.
Customers want to know where they are in the fulfillment process. So ensure they know when you’re sending out their order and when they’ll receive it. The more accurate the tracking, the better.
Clear tracking also comes with the following benefits:
- Stronger customer trust and loyalty
- Increased returning customers
- Better communication with the customer
- This lessens the odds of the customer returning the order
3. Check Your Current System
You’ll want to assess your current fulfillment system to ensure that all of the steps within the process are going smoothly.
Start by checking on your tracking systems. Then, ensure your employees receive order information quickly, so they can start working on it immediately.
Next, make finding and packing the orders easier for your employees. You should run a well-organized warehouse that has accurate inventory information. Systems that update this information in real-time are always the best choice. Clearly labeling products is also essential.
Once you take the time to look through your current fulfillment system, you’ll find areas where you can improve. Your customers will surely appreciate you making the process more efficient for them.
4. Use More Automation
Automating more of the fulfillment process allows your customers to receive their orders faster and with more frequent communication from your brand. It’s much more efficient, and you don’t have to worry as much about human error.
Entering your orders manually can also consume a lot of time you’d be better off putting elsewhere. Replacing repetitive tasks with automation is better for your company and your customers.
Automation comes in many forms. It can stop suspicious orders, provide order tracking, and track inventory accurately. It can also automatically inform customers when an item is low or out of stock.
Using automation is essential for ecommerce sites today. It’s also easy to integrate with many other services, allowing you to build your brand and grow.
5. Reduce the Number of Touches
Next, you’ll want to reduce the amount of “touches” or how many people handle the order before it gets shipped. The more employees have a hand in the order, the more likely it is for something to be wrong.
Lowering touches also reduces the chances of theft and damage with that order. It even makes the process faster to get it shipped out.
So, set up your fulfillment process to have as few people managing an order as possible.
Why Improve Order Fulfillment?
Improving order fulfillment is essential for ecommerce businesses that want to thrive. You need to remain competitive, which also means building customer satisfaction. You need to provide them with fast shipping and good tracking.
You can only do that by improving your order fulfillment process.
Customers that shop online expect to have their products quickly and without issues. You need to ensure that you can quickly pick, pack, and send out their order without anything wrong.
Plus, most customers expect three-day shipping and view it as the standard. If you can’t meet that deadline, customers are not nearly as likely to shop with you again.
So, improving order fulfillment comes with several benefits. You’ll have increased picking accuracy and speed, plus lower costs. You won’t have to deal with returns quite as much, either.
According to IBM, fulfillment is the heart of a customer’s experience. So, you want that to be the focus of your business to encourage growth.
Improve Your Fulfillment Process Today!
The sooner you start working on your fulfillment process, the more improvements you’ll make. Your customers will surely appreciate your efforts and will be more likely to shop with you again.
Automation, third-party fulfillment, and precise tracking are essential to boosting your current processes. You’ll want to start by evaluating what your company does currently and see where you can make changes.