An established and streamlined eCommerce fulfillment system is necessary to grow your business and better serve your customers.
The ins and outs of eCommerce fulfillment can be confusing to navigate, but a carefully developed system will take your business to the next level. Your products will be delivered faster, all while reducing expenses simultaneously.
Stay tuned as we break down the best practices for effective eCommerce fulfillment operations so you can transform your business.
What Is eCommerce Fulfillment?
eCommerce fulfillment is the series of steps you take to deliver products to your customers. This process includes everything from inventory and order fulfillment to shipping and much more. Whether you outsource fulfillment services or handle orders in-house, your operations must operate effectively to meet customer demands.
As your business grows and product demand increases, you’ll reach a point where you need to get additional support. In that situation, an eCommerce fulfillment service can help you keep up with the demand. These providers offer a more effective and efficient choice than hiring an employee to meet your shipping demands. When you work with a fulfillment company, you will always have the right level of support to keep up with your ever-changing number of product orders.
Difference Between eCommerce Fulfillment and Order Fulfillment
Order fulfillment covers all the steps of fulfilling the orders from their receipts to picking, packing, and shipping. This strategy is all-encompassing for all types of fulfillment.
On the other hand, eCommerce fulfillment refers to only the orders which are received through online stores. Customers add items to an online cart and then check out virtually. The process for each strategy is largely similar, but they vary based on their specific sales channel.
Tips To Improve Your eCommerce Fulfillment Strategy
If you’re ready to improve your eCommerce fulfillment strategy, the following seven tips are for you:
- Prioritize Accuracy – Customers have high standards for order accuracy and shipping speed, so these areas can make or break your business. The more correct orders you deliver, the higher your revenue will be as you generate more recurring customers. Conversely, if your eCommerce can’t deliver products correctly and on time, customers will not be satisfied.
Thorough inventory checks will greatly improve order fulfillment accuracy. A digital check with a barcode scanner can greatly help. If you don’t have the time or the manpower for this, consider outsourcing your fulfillment!
- Streamline Your Fulfillment Timeline – If you want to build your customers’ trust and keep them coming back for more, a consistent fulfillment cycle timeline is key. This timeline includes every step from the moment a customer places the order up until delivery. When dealing with an eCommerce business, this fulfillment cycle could take between a handful of days and a few weeks. Sometimes, the timeline is affected by things outside of your control; however, aim for your average fulfillment time to be as low as possible.
- Automate Your Ordering Procedures – Your eCommerce business will eventually reach the point where it’s no longer feasible to manually enter data into each system. With an automatic order and inventory management system, you only need to input data once. This will free up loads of time and energy that you can spend elsewhere on your business. Plus, it will speed up your overall fulfillment time.
- Increase Customer Communication – Modern technology has made everyone more impatient, especially when it comes to online ordering. Consumers want updates regularly and immediately. Give your customers what they want by sending them updates throughout the fulfillment process. As soon as their order is placed, shipped, and delivered, let them know. Also, provide the tracking number as soon as it becomes available.
Use Technology for Inventory Management – Software will make inventory management much more organized and efficient. This will give you real-time access to what has been ordered, what you have on hand, and the current fulfillment status of each order. Manually counting by hand or eyeballing your inventory will make it impossible to stay organized.
- Outsource Fulfillment – The easiest way to optimize your eCommerce fulfillment strategy is to outsource the process entirely. A fulfillment center will ensure your orders are processed correctly and efficiently, so you can focus on selling products and growing your store. Rather than renting extra space or paying for additional manpower, a third-party service can take over for a fraction of the price.
What To Look For in an eCommerce Fulfillment Solution
Consider these factors as you search for an eCommerce fulfillment service to fit your business needs:
- Inventory Management Features – Inquire about the software used by your fulfillment company of choice. Look for a service that will give you real-time views of your inventory status so you can replenish it as needed.
- Transparent Costs – A sensible fulfillment company will be upfront and transparent about its costs and refrain from hidden fees. As such, partnering with a fulfillment service should save you money on labor, packing supplies, overhead, shipping costs, and more.
- Scalability – A worthwhile fulfillment company will be able to help you grow your business in the long term. When finding a fulfillment partner, consider their ability to scale up over the next few years. Surely you anticipate growth in your company, and your fulfillment center of choice should help you meet those growth targets.
- Returns Management – Returns are inevitable, yet they’re time-consuming to handle. Many fulfillment centers will offer return management services. As you select a fulfillment company, opt for one that can handle returns efficiently.
Scale Your Business With MintFulfill
If you’re ready to team up with an esteemed eCommerce fulfillment company to save money and grow your business, you need Mintfulfill. Our expert systems will take over the expensive hassles of shipping and fulfillment so you can increase sales. We pride ourselves on having quick processing times, excellent communication, and a customizable price range to fit your unique needs.
We’re eager to become a vital part of your shipping team! Reach out today to get started.