Fulfillment drives success for ecommerce business owners and dropshippers. Hence, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve with the processes and tools you rely on to get the job done. As you consider maintaining efficiency at every stage of order fulfillment, you may ask yourself questions like: how do I ensure orders are always delivered on time? Are there gaps in my current process?
Answering these questions sincerely will help you save money, work efficiently, and guarantee satisfied customers who receive the right thing in the right packaging at the right time. No matter where you stand, there’s always room for improvement. Therefore, we’ve put together the top 8 order fulfillment best practices to help you step up your business.
Prioritize Your Inventory’s Accuracy
If you look at it from a customer’s perspective, which do you think is annoying? Seeing that a product is sold out before you order it, or ordering and paying for a product that’s listed as in stock, only to find out later that the product was not actually in stock. Most customers would prefer bad news upfront. Inventory inaccuracies invite a host of customer frustration that your business would surely prefer to avoid. Have it at the back of your mind that the more accurate your inventory, the more success you’ll have in delivering the right products in time.
Increase Data Visibility
Before you can start improving, you need a vivid understanding of your team’s current performance. Real-time updates and visibility into operational efficiency, timelines, and supply levels mean accurate shipping times, consistent packaging quality, and clear expectations across the board. Also, good internal visibility helps you identify critical process gaps that could negatively affect your business down the line. Data insights help you find patterns and anticipate problems, so you can mitigate challenges before they occur and provide better estimates of delivery times and quality.
Automate Key Processes
Manual operations may be the most feasible and cost-effective option for ecommerce and dropshipping businesses, but they can quickly become a risk as you grow. You’ll probably run into human error and still rely on manual processes that prohibit the same level of performance. Replace manual tools like spreadsheets or pencil-and-paper lists with innovative automation tools. Automated tools help streamline decision-making for all inbound, warehouse, and shipping processes and rapid yet sustainable growth.
Organize Your Inventory And Warehouse Operations
To ship and deliver orders with maximum efficiency, you need more than a quick turnaround time or a centrally-located fulfillment center. End-to-end warehouse organization supports how well you store, pick, pack, and ship orders out to your customers. A great way to step up your shipping game is with order consolidation. Order consolidation will help you meet demands and optimize order fulfillment.
Use Order Fulfilment Software That Integrates With Customer Service Software
As your business grows, you’ll eventually turn into some kind of order fulfillment software. When you do, choose the one that integrates well with your customer service software. You surely don’t want siloed information systems that can’t communicate with each other.
Unify Data Systems
The accuracy of your product data relates to the accuracy of each order you fulfill. Robust, real-time data help to ensure you store, pack, and ship products correctly and keeps vendors accountable for supplying you with the correct number of each unit, tracked by accurate unit and serial numbers. Choose a WMS (Warehouse Management System) that can collect and store comprehensive data related to product size, unit information, storage requirements, packaging guidelines, etc. Then use the insights to shape your order fulfillment processes.
The only way to be sure you have a happy customer is to ask them what they think. Follow up orders with quick text messages or emails to be certain that the customer is 100% satisfied. Try to resolve any issue if it arises. This doesn’t only build a good relationship with your customers, but it also helps you to prevent chargebacks.
Keep Returns in Mind
An inevitable aspect of online sales is order returns. The way you manage the returns process affects your revenue, warehouse workflows, and customer satisfaction. Instead of addressing each return on a tedious, case-by-case basis, create a cost-effective, hassle-free returns process that will benefit you and your end-buyers alike. Define a convenient, user-friendly return policy and support it with a reliable WMS. The right WMS can manage the entire returns process, including sending a return label with the package, tracking return status for client communication, and streamlining the inventory management process. That makes the barriers and costs of returns as low as possible for customers and keeps you firmly in control.
Order fulfillment is more complicated than the name implies. It encompasses much more than tossing a product into a box and dropping it inside a mail. But are you ready to dive into an actionable solution for your order fulfillment process? If yes, then you shouldn’t miss out on implementing these 8 order fulfillment best practices that have been discussed. To improve every of your business, like revenue, speed, and order accuracy, start by taking a closer look at the driving forces behind each success metric, then work proactively to optimize them at a high level.
Do you need a reputable order fulfillment services company for your ecommerce business? Contact us today at Fulfillman. We provide a wide range of services including Global Fulfillment, China Sourcing, Drop Shipping, Third Party Logistics, and lots more. Our trusted experts will be happy to speak with you and provide suitable answers to your questions and concerns. A fantastic experience awaits you.