What is eCommerce order fulfillment?
Ecommerce order fulfillment involves every stage of the order process, from the moment an order is placed, to when the customer receives their order. There are several elements to the procedure, including receiving stock, storage, picking, packing, tracking, warehousing, delivery, and returns. To improve your eCommerce order fulfillment processes, try taking on board the following tips.
1 . Use an order management system
It’s important to have an effective order management system, to enhance the quality of your order processes. There are several challenges to order management, whether it’s shipping schedules, inventory, reporting, and analytics.
Using an OMS can help you to improve the connection between your business and the suppliers you work with. With an OM system, you can track sales, orders, and inventory. You can allow your customers to track orders and stay in contact. With the right OM system you can manage inventory levels, customer service, and sales channels.
2. Improve your warehouse processes
By increasing the efficiency of your warehouse processes, you can improve your eCommerce order fulfilment. Firstly, it’s important to provide your warehouse employees with excellent training and ongoing support. Investing in your staff means improved productivity, and minimising the risk of errors.
Technology can help you to further improve your warehouse processes. There are various types of technologies that can support your picking and packing. A few examples are, warehouse management systems, radio frequency identification, barcode systems, and pick indicator systems.
3. Assess your cycle time
It’s essential to assess your cycle time, and reflect on how you could improve. Businesses with quick order fulfillment processes achieve higher levels of consumer satisfaction. You should aim for the fastest cycle time possible. The first step is to calculate your cycle time. To determine the time-frame, you’ll have to assess your promised time frame and your actual time frame. You’ll also need to factor in your supply chain time frame, and your cash-to-cycle.
The modern customer prefers to be able to get their items as soon as possible. If you have the option to offer next day delivery, this can also improve your customer satisfaction.
4. Choose the right shipping company
To improve your eCommerce order fulfillment, it’s vital to choose the right shipping company. If your shipping provider does not satisfy your customers, this could negatively affect your brand image and reputation. Ensure that you conduct thorough research when choosing your shipping courier. Look for reviews and testimonials, and excellent experience. Establish your needs, and communicate these needs, to any company you are considering working with.
5. Consider your returns policy
Your returns policy is an important stage in your eCommerce order fulfillment. Lots of customers will check out the returns policies before they commit to a purchase. Make sure that your returns policies are clear and fair. Customers should find the returns process straightforward and convenient.
6. Improve communication
An efficient order fulfillment process relies on excellent communication with customers. Your customers expect a confirmation of their order, plus the option to track their order at every stage. You should remain in constant communication, whether it’s telling the customer their item has been dispatched or asking for a review.
7. Track your metrics
Metrics can help you to analyze how effective your processes are. There are several different metrics you might wish to focus on, including:
- Average delivery time
- Rates of order error
- Returns rates
- Your inventory turnover
- Customer retention
- Satisfied customers
8. Consider safety stock
Simple but important, you’ll need to always have enough stock, so that you are not at risk of running out. Safety stock means always having a minimum number of products. The idea is to retain just enough to always fulfill orders quickly, without having an excess of stock, which creates waste.
9. Audit your processes
To identify the weak points in your eCommerce order fulfillment, consider an audit of your processes. With the right data, you can establish which are your key areas of focus.
10. Gather customer feedback
Your customers can help you to make improvements to your eCommerce order processes. Once they’ve received their product, wait a few days, and then drop them an email to ask for feedback. Customers can indicate areas of improvement and help you to improve your satisfaction and retention.
For more information and support with your order fulfillment processes, contact Prestige Movers today. With our top-quality eCommerce order fulfillment, you’ll enhance your services, and improve your bottom line.