E-Commerce Fulfillment Excellence: Practical Tips for Your Business Key Takeaways Inventory fulfillment is a step that must follow towards building up your e-commerce brand. The return system must be simple and should not consist of any hindrance. Ensuring quality control and rewarding the customer with some extra gifts can help business in the long-term.
If you’re running an e-commerce business, you’ll want to use several practical tips to help the fulfillment process go smoothly. Having an efficient fulfillment setup can keep customers satisfied and help you grow.
These tips do not have to be complicated in nature, but effective in real-life operations. So, if you’re ready to learn some practical tips for e-commerce excellence, keep reading. We gathered the best of the best below!
Assess Your Fulfillment Model
First, you have to review the current processes to determine if they work well for the business. There are three main models that you can follow. These options include:
In-house fulfillment: Your enterprise handles the shipment process. You can save a lot of money on storage and outsourcing costs, although it puts strain on fulfilling each order. This model benefits small companies the most. Third-party logistics (3PL): Your business outsources the operations to another company. The third party handles inventory management and shipping, allowing us to focus on other areas of the company that need appropriate attention. Drop-shipping: The manufacturer holds products until a customer orders them, then sends them out. You won’t have to pay storage fees, although the orders must be processed quickly. It can also receive bad customer reviews if the products arrive damaged.
Consider which method you’re using now to fulfill orders. There might be one that makes more sense to use. For example, if the company is steadily growing, using in-house operations for much longer is not recommended. Switching to third-party
fulfillment logistics will help in progressive growth by meeting customer demand.
Overall, the process you use can help or hinder the company. You must choose the right one.
Focus on Your Inventory
A good inventory management strategy will determine how well the process runs. Focusing on improving it will ensure having products for customers when they enjoy them, without paying too much due to overstocking.
Start by installing reliable inventory management software. It should integrate smoothly with your e-commerce system and offer several useful features. For instance, providing customer order tracking, analytic tools, and reorder alerts are the basic expectations.
Analytic tools can be as helpful to businesses as you might have thought. They let you gain insight into what products clients like the most, so maintaining them in stock won’t be an issue. They also show you what’s not selling well, so the decision becomes easier if it must be kept in stock.
Your inventory management software should also provide accounting tools. These tools reduce the likelihood of human error.
Next, organize the warehouse well. The products are arranged in ways that make sense to the staff packing the orders.
The next step towards successful fulfillment is optimizing your packaging strategy. The materials that are used in packing will determine if the customer orders arrive in good condition. The money can be saved and still impress the customer with the best packaging.
Here’s what you can do to optimize the packaging materials:
Have many packaging sizes available. You need to use the ones that suit the orders, so there’s not much waste. Choose lightweight yet durable options. Consider more sustainable materials. Use packaging that has your brand’s brand on it. Review the packaging often costs and decide if you can make changes. Train staff on efficient packing strategies. Use simple packaging that’s easy to assemble to streamline packing. Review carrier packaging guidelines and follow them.
Offering clients a unique unboxing experience will make the e-commerce brand much more memorable in the long run. However, their order must arrive safely first, so consider the packaging’s durability before its style.
Improve Your Returns System
Returns happen, so you need to be able to handle them effectively. Start by reviewing the returns policy on the website. You’ll need to improve the wording to make it as clear and concise as possible to avoid confusing customers.
Now, offering a few different return options can be the best thing you can do at this point. They will appreciate choosing between shipping the package back themselves or dropping it off. Setting up automated notifications to keep the customer updated on their refund also helps their minds at ease when waiting for the return to go through.
Maintain an eye on all the return data gathered to your server. You can use analytics to find patterns, showing if there’s a reason for the returns. From there, you can improve the product or information about it in the online store to reduce the chances of a customer returning it.
Returns management is necessary to get the right insights into the operations and sales progress. When you offer users hassle-free returns, they’ll be more satisfied and loyal to the organization. You also can get an advantage over the competition when they don’t have the same quality level for returns.
Update your returns system. Soon enough, you’ll have everything running smoothly.
Work on Your Quality Control Improving your fulfillment’s quality control ensures that the brand meets the clients’ expectations. Ensure that only the best products are going out. Plus, every order is accurate and arrives on time.
Start by defining standards for all the products in the range and then, train the staff on these quality standards. They should know what to look for and do if a product isn’t good enough.
It helps to hold a random audit every so often. Inspect a sample of your inventory to see if the products are still up to your standards. Doing so frequently ensures that no issues arise from damaged products.
Lastly, encourage staff and customers to provide feedback on the products. An open line of communication will help you discover quality issues before they become out of control.
Choose E-Commerce Excellence
You can drastically improve operations by using the tips on this list. Your customers are sure to appreciate it! Your business will also grow and build more loyalty with them, making it worth the time.
In short, you want to use the best ecommerce practices. Take the time to review the current process and see where you can make the most improvements.
The order fulfillment process in the e-commerce industry is not an easy task. Therefore, these were some practical tips and tricks that can be followed in order to achieve a much better operational success than estimated.
Also Read: Fundamentals of Online E-commerce Payments