Tips On How to Improve Your eCommerce Order Fulfillment Process

Order fulfillment seems to be a quick and straightforward process. If everything goes according to plan, the customer’s order will arrive on schedule, undamaged, and with all products they had ordered.

Your eCommerce order fulfillment procedure is crucial to the success of your expanding eCommerce business. It impacts both the customer experience and the efficiency of your operations.

However, by providing an exceptional post-purchase experience for your customers, you can quickly transform order fulfillment from a cost center to a revenue generator for your business.

In this post, we will discuss how to optimize your order fulfillment processes so that you may increase your business’s productivity and provide a more simplified client experience.

Determine the time it takes you to complete the order fulfillment process

The first step in improving your eCommerce fulfillment process is understanding your order fulfillment cycle. Calculating your order fulfillment cycle time is one of the first stages in improving your fulfillment process since it will give helpful information about the current efficacy of your order fulfillment procedure.

It is crucial to watch this statistic since a speedy fulfillment may affect your consumer satisfaction, which in turn influences your online business’s revenue.

Once you’ve determined your order fulfillment cycle time, you may start looking for strategies to improve it, such as boosting efficiency by outsourcing order fulfillment to a third fulfillment center like Rakuten.

Outsource order fulfillment services

Another order fulfillment strategy to improve eCommerce fulfillment service is outsourcing to a fulfillment center. If your eCommerce business is growing and you use an in-house fulfillment service. Perhaps it’s better to outsource fulfillment and leave the inventory management with a fulfillment center.

Multiple fulfillment centers have automated processes of receiving inventory and using the latest fulfillment software to make the process easier. As mentioned above, using a third-party fulfillment service will streamline the entire process.

Third-party fulfillment centers (3PL) will help your eCommerce store improve eCommerce fulfillment to deliver better client experiences by providing expert warehouse and distribution center services and processes.

Automate your fulfillment procedures

Automation is the epitome of an effective order process. While many eCommerce companies would manually enter data into each system and spend the majority of their order fulfillment time performing monotonous tasks. Because of the repetitious and uncomplicated nature of the task, this not only decreases the productivity of your team and your firm as a whole, but it may also lead to poor quality work.

By integrating and automating your order management, you can produce orders automatically, send invoices when they ship, and follow up with clients to ensure client satisfaction and future sales. If you use automation, your staff will only need to enter data once.

Furthermore, automation reduces fulfillment costs and removes the possibility of human mistakes while providing sales possibilities.

You will have better visibility into your whole company operations if you have an order and inventory management system in place. You may then study each of them and identify methods to accelerate them.

Another alternative is to utilize barcode scanners to enter inventory into your systems quickly and efficiently when new product batches arrive at your warehouse.

Create a seamless integration process

If your eCommerce company does not produce the goods, it sells in-house, or if the goods are purchased from a variety of wholesalers and stored in warehouses, then you use drop shipping fulfillment to your customers.

Then, it’s vital to include seamless connectivity with your suppliers using an order management system (OMS) that seamlessly interacts between your systems and those of your suppliers.

Use a reliable shipment company.

Now that your product is excellent and your back-end procedures are running well, it’s time to tackle the most common stumbling block in eCommerce order fulfillment: shipping. If your carrier is less than stellar and routinely underperforms, your customers will blame you and your company’s reputation rather than the shipment company.

Remember to assess your present carrier regularly: do they give real-time, exact shipment tracking? Is your carrier experiencing an increase in late shipments, delayed, missing, forgotten, or damaged deliveries? If this is the case, you must invest time and money in finding a new and better carrier to meet your order fulfillment requirements.

Handle your returns processing orders professionally

Returns are standard in all industries, and they are a crucial component for all businesses. Nevertheless, not all businesses approach them favorably and effectively. It is critical to be clear about your return policy, but it is also necessary to have efficient processes for receiving returns, managing reverse logistics, and giving reimbursements.

Consider your order processing as a customer satisfaction fulfillment. As a retailer, you should satisfy your online consumers throughout the ordering process. It is best to work with merchants who allow returns, do not charge restocking fees, and can handle refunds and replacements—work with a third-party logistics company to assist you in better handling returns and fulfilling multiple orders.

Ensure you have safety stock

To ensure a quick and efficient order fulfillment cycle, always keep just enough stock on hand to avoid running out. Setting up a safety stock is one way to achieve this. When you have a sufficient amount of items in stock at all times, you will never run out and will always be able to process orders and meet customer expectations.

The purpose of having enough inventory storage is to absorb demand issues, such as unexpected and rapid increases in order volume. To determine your safety stock quantities, use statistics and inventory management systems that analyze surges rather than regular customer demand. Such strategies, however, may be hindered by a lack of data points if your online store is a startup or your product demand is limited.

Consider warehouse management system and location.

Ecommerce customers nowadays want their orders as fast as possible. Choose warehouses and shippers that can satisfy your demands for quick selection and shipping (international shipping), or keep items in various warehouses dispersed across your delivery region and, therefore, near your customer location to ensure quick but low-cost ground shipment.

Use advanced shipping algorithms to assist you in selecting the optimal shipping choice so that you don’t overpay but also don’t under-deliver.

Dragan Sutevski

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan