Efficient order fulfillment is an indispensable piece in the customer satisfaction puzzle. It can make all the difference between a thriving business and one struggling to keep its head above water.
What is order fulfillment?
Order fulfillment is the backbone of the modern e-commerce enterprise. It refers to the steps a business takes in responding to customer orders, from the point of sales inquiry to inventory intake and final delivery. Although order fulfillment strategies may differ across businesses, a typical fulfillment strategy involves the following processes:
- Receiving inventory
- Inventory storage
- Order processing
- Picking and packaging
- Processing returns
Your order fulfillment strategy has a direct impact on your brand’s success and customer retention rates. If your customers find your approach to fulfillment unsatisfactory, they’ll be inclined to patronize your competitors. Here are some tips to help you create the perfect fulfillment model that gets your products in your customers’ hands as expeditiously as possible.
Utilize order fulfillment technology
Implementing technology in your order fulfillment strategy keeps inefficiencies at the barest minimum while improving the overall customer experience. These technologies streamline your fulfillment processes, saving you time, money, and manpower. For example, warehouse management systems (WMS) monitor and control your warehouse operations from a single platform. It also offers stock visibility, keeping you aware of where every single product is at any time. A WMS helps you maintain optimum stock levels and tackles supply issues, such as backorders and excessive stock.
You can also find and retain new customers by using customer relationship management (CRM) tools. These tools collate information about a customer, such as their email, social media handles, or telephone number, and organize the data in a manner that helps you cultivate a meaningful relationship with them. CRM tools can also transfer order details to a WMS, process returns, or change shipping information.
Incorporate tracking systems
Tracking systems allow you to keep tabs on your products along all delivery stages. They also provide customers with real-time updates from when their order leaves the warehouse when they receive it. With tracking systems, customers can see the exact location of their packages, the route the delivery vehicle is following, and the estimated delivery time. Incorporating these systems in your order fulfillment process improves communication with customers and shows your willingness to be as transparent as possible with them. It also boosts the overall efficiency of your business by managing your delivery cycles more effectively.
Simplify your payment process
Ease of payment is one of the top priorities for customers when shopping online. A simplified payment process reduces cart abandonment rates while ensuring that your customers enjoy a smooth shopping experience. If your payment process is too complicated, customers won’t make it past your checkout page, and there will be no orders to fulfill. Below are ways you can simplify payment on your e-commerce platform :
- Allow guest checkouts: With guest checkouts, buyers can make quick purchases without having to submit their personal details. Forcing customers to create an account on your website before checking out can discourage them from completing their orders.
- Remove unnecessary steps in your checkout process: Your checkout process should have a maximum of two pages. Directing customers to multiple pages is one of the fastest ways to make them lose interest in their orders and abandon their carts altogether.
- Offer numerous reliable payment platforms: Supporting multiple payment methods gives your customers the choice of selecting their preferred option. The absence of a customer’s favorite payment option makes them more likely to carry their business elsewhere.
eFulfillment providers, or third-party logistics (3PL) companies, assist e-commerce businesses in handling customers’ orders. Outsourcing your order fulfillment to these companies frees you up to invest your time and energy into other aspects of your business, such as marketing or sales. They also save you the cost of investing in a warehouse and other equipment that you’ll typically require to fulfill your customer’s orders. Since 3PLs are experts in the order fulfillment business, they’re more likely to satisfy your customers better than you would if you handled their orders. These companies improve your brand’s scalability by assisting you in delivering high order volumes and connecting your business to a broader market.
Find reliable carriers on GoShip.com
Without shipment carriers, your supply chain will come to a standstill, and order fulfillment will be impossible. Therefore, finding reliable carriers is key to the success of your fulfillment strategy as, without them, your customer satisfaction level will be at its lowest. With GoShip, finding experienced carriers for your business has never been easier.
GoShip is an online self-service platform that links business owners with professional yet affordable logistics partners. Our freight marketplace allows you to book the best shipping services to fulfill your customers’ orders promptly. Check out our free quotation tool to find the best rates from carriers around you.