If you run an eCommerce business, you’ll need to pay especially close attention to your order fulfillment strategy. But what exactly is eCommerce order fulfillment? And why is it so important for the long-term success of your business?
The Basics of eCommerce Order Fulfillment
eCommerce order fulfillment may seem elementary, but it’s a topic that requires careful strategic consideration if you want to be successful. Order fulfillment is the process that happens between the time a customer places an order and the time they receive the item; backend processing, picking, and shipping are all essential components of eCommerce order fulfillment.
There are many ways to solve the challenges of order fulfillment in this space, such as utilizing specific technological systems designed to streamline order fulfillment. But what’s most important is that you have a clear, overarching strategy in place that fits both your business and its customers.
The Value of Investing in eCommerce Order Fulfillment
As a business owner, it’s tempting to think that the most important ingredient for the success of your business is the quality of its products and services. To an extent, this is true, but even the best products are going to mean little if your order fulfillment is unsatisfying or problematic in some way.
There are many benefits to investing in your eCommerce order fulfillment, so you can serve your customers better.
- Faster shipping times. One of the most important advantages of better eCommerce order fulfillment is faster shipping times. If you can process orders faster, practice smoother inventory management, accelerate picking, and choose the best shipping services, your customers will receive their products in a much shorter time frame. We don’t need to tell you that faster shipping time is a crucial critical advantage, especially in the vast competitive landscape of the modern internet. You may not be able to make delivery trucks drive faster, but you can cut unnecessary waste and shave days of shipping time off every order.
- Customer satisfaction. Overall, better order fulfillment practices lead to higher customer satisfaction, and for several reasons. There are fewer errors, there are fewer issues, there’s more transparency, and as we already stated, customers received their products faster. With happier, more satisfied customers, you’ll get more repeat business, more referrals, and ultimately more revenue.
- Proactive issue prevention. There’s a lot that can go wrong during order fulfillment, from glitches and errors during order processing to shipping and delivery mistakes. But if you have smooth workflows and reliable technologies in your order fulfillment strategy, you’ll be able to proactively prevent most issues from taking place. This saves you time and money in multiple areas.
- Internal efficiency. Order fulfillment is also an important area for development if you want greater internal efficiency. If you’re not careful, you could end up spending a disproportionate amount of time and money processing orders and shipping products.
Ultimately, the combination of these benefits leads to:
- Cost savings. You won’t have to pay as much for shipping. You’ll reduce labor costs. You’ll lose less money to errors and returns. You may even be able to save money on certain technologies and products. Overall, that means considerable cost savings.
- Revenue generation. A better customer experience leads to greater revenue generation along multiple avenues; customers will be more loyal, they’ll buy more from you, they’ll refer other people, and you’ll get more reviews, so you earn new customers in the future.
Significant cost savings and higher revenue generation mean your business becomes more profitable.
How to Invest in eCommerce Order Fulfillment
The question then becomes, how do you invest in eCommerce order fulfillment to see these benefits?
- Utilize new technologies. Implement new systems, software platforms, and devices to streamline whatever you can.
- Design streamlined workflows. Design the most efficient, straightforward workflows you can, and work diligently to eliminate potential waste.
- Employ automation. Automation has insane potential to reduce manual effort and improve consistency, making human errors a thing of the past. Implement it wherever possible.
- Provide more options. Give your customers more shipping options and more flexibility when it comes to shipping choices. This will help you meet each customer’s needs individually.
- Choose the right partners. Finally, be prudent when practicing due diligence for choosing shipping partners. The right shipping partner can make all the difference, even if your internal processes are already fully optimized. The greatest shipping partners are able to offer faster shipping times, more reliability, and potentially even lower prices than their competitors.
If you take your eCommerce order fulfillment seriously, and you’re willing to put together a comprehensive strategy to improve it, your business will be much more competitive and more satisfying for your customers.
Remain willing to practice ongoing optimization so you can continue seeing even better results.
Featured image provided by Karolina Grabowska; Pexels; Thanks!