Are you looking for ways to elevate your e-commerce business? One of the best methods is to improve your order fulfillment. Strong order fulfillment abilities are crucial when running an online business since it increases customer satisfaction and keeps everything running smoothly.
So, you’ll want to work on your order fulfillment, so matter how good it is currently. Here are some strategies that you can use to improve your order fulfillment.
1. Streamline Picking and Packing
First, you’ll want to ensure that your picking and packing processes are streamlined. If you can’t do that alone, you can always work with a third party offering packaging and fulfillment services. These companies pick and pack for you, so you don’t have to worry about it.
You can also:
- Organize your warehouse to minimize picking time.
- Use tracking technology to improve the picking process.
- Keep packing stations well-stocked with labels and other supplies.
Keeping your picking and packing process straightforward will prevent any headaches later on. You’ll also have faster turnaround times throughout the entire fulfillment process.
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Since picking and packing are some of the first steps in fulfillment, you want to improve these areas first. The better your picking and packing, the better the rest of your fulfillment will be.
2. Choose Reliable Order Management Systems
Next, you’ll want to choose reliable order management systems (OMS). These systems are order fulfillment software that can help you track inventory and ensure orders go to the right place.
You’ll want to research your options and choose a reliable OMS for your ecommerce brand. Doing so lets you see real-time order updates and keeps the fulfillment system running smoothly.
You can also use the software to handle bulk orders, which are challenging to track using other methods. The software should even let customers know what step you’re on with their order. Using OMS software is essential to keeping your ecommerce shop running smoothly, especially with everything being online today.
3. Prioritize Order Accuracy
Next, you must ensure all your orders are accurate when they go out. That way, you won’t have returns bogging down your fulfillment system. You can do this by implementing quality control processes to check that orders are accurate. It’s good to train your warehouse staff on how to do this.
If a customer makes a return, you must make the process easy for you and them. Even if you prioritize accuracy, you will receive returns occasionally. You want to handle it quickly and get the order out.
Most consumers say that a hassle-free return is important to them. They may ignore your business if you don’t offer returns.
4. Choose The Right Warehouses
The warehouse location can significantly impact how your fulfillment process goes. You want to choose one closest to your customer base to get the orders out quickly. It also helps to choose one that’s on the main roads.
If you can have more than one warehouse, that will be your best choice. You can spread them apart, shipping the products out faster. It helps to offer customers multiple shipping options, so they can choose the one that’s most convenient for them.
Once you have a warehouse, you should evaluate it occasionally to see that it’s performing up to your standards. You want to have as few delivery delays as possible.
5. Keep Customers Updated
Fulfillment isn’t complete until the customer receives their order. So, you’ll want to ensure they can track their orders online and know when to expect them. It’s frustrating to customers when they don’t know where their orders are.
You can do this by sending shipping notifications to customers and giving them a tracking number. Doing so also makes it easier for you and the customer to communicate with each about the order if needed.
6. Monitor Performance for Changes
You’ll need to spend some time making adjustments until your fulfillment process is perfect. You won’t get it right on the first try, so you’ll want to monitor performance through KPIs and key performance indicators.
The KPIs you want to look for include:
- Order picking accuracy
- Customer satisfaction
- Shipping times
- Order cycle times
- Perfect order rate
- Orders picked per hour
You can use data analytic tools to track these KPIs and identify when there’s an area that you need to work on. Improving that KPI will help the rest of the order fulfillment go smoother.
Lastly, checking the customer reviews will let you know what issues to fix. Enhancing your order fulfillment process should make the customers happier. If it’s not, you’re likely moving in the wrong direction. You’ll need to make many changes when elevating these processes, so don’t get discouraged.
7. Keep Enough Inventory
Having enough inventory in your warehouse is also essential. If there are frequent stock-outs, your customers will become frustrated and place orders with other online shops.
You’ll need to track product demand and do your best to find patterns, then keep up with it. Most inventory software will be able to offer you data that helps you.
You want to ensure you always have enough inventory for your ecommerce business. Your tracking processes should also be highly accurate so customers don’t try to order something they don’t have.
Finally, good inventory classification processes can help your team pack orders faster, and you’ll know how to better keep up with demand since you can easily see the most popular categories.
Focusing on inventory management can drastically help you improve order fulfillment.
Elevate Fulfillment One Step At A Time
You don’t want to make drastic changes to everything at once. Instead, try changing your fulfillment process for the better, one step at a time. You won’t overload your staff with changes and can see how each step improves the process before making another change.
To summarize, improving order fulfillment can elevate your e-commerce business. It can take some time, but it’s worth it! Start with streamlining your picking and packing, and get a third party to help you if needed.