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Your Order Is on Its Way! How to Nail Your Order Fulfillment Process

by Olufisayo
Order Fulfillment Process

Companies that align their operations to improve customer experience have revenue growth of up to 8% more than other firms.

Most customers want to know more about the price and the day or time they can receive the ordered product. Creating value for your customers at this point is crucial.

Delivering products on time and with suitable packaging will enhance customer satisfaction. Your business needs an order fulfillment strategy to give customers the best experience.

Here are several tips that will help you maintain an exceptional track record.

1. Understand the Process of Order Fulfillment

Understanding the process of order fulfillment is the first step.

The procedure goes beyond shipping products to customers. So, what is order fulfillment?

In its basic definition, order fulfillment involves receiving, packing, and delivering orders to customers. Fulfillment practices can either be in-house or through third-party logistics providers. The order fulfillment strategy that you select should complement your business operations.

Once you receive the goods, go for a warehouse that encourages a smooth operation. The last thing you want is inaccurate orders or delays.

Familiarize yourself with processing customer orders and preparing the product for shipping. Pack appropriately to ensure that the product isn’t prone to damages. It would help to know the appropriate transportation methods for secure shipping.

2. Automate Processes

Automation speeds up the process of fulfillment.

Automating services isn’t all about investing in conveyors and robotics. You can automate your eCommerce fulfillment without breaking a bank.

Some of the areas that you can automate include order processing, inventory management, shipping fulfillment, and notifications. The manual handling of orders can be overwhelming. Besides, it might have a potential delay, which affects your customer service negatively.

A slow process of ordering and delivery is a turnoff. Adopt software that allows quick and seamless verification of payment, shipping, and delivery address. Automating invoices and payments reduce human errors that are common when establishing billing, tax calculations, and quantities.

Automating customer updates can enhance the customer experience. Automation makes it possible to send your customers shipping status updates after order processing. The customer can rest easy knowing that the item ordered is in transit.

3. Choose the Right Location for Your Warehouse

People want to receive their packages as soon as possible.

Air delivery is one of the fastest modes of delivery, although it is expensive. With a strategically located warehouse, you can deliver goods to customers within a few hours or a day.

When strategizing on your warehouse location, consider your primary audience.

Your warehouse ought to be central to your customer populations. As a result, ground shipping will be economical and fast.

You should have a program that collects customers’ data to assist in the review.

From the information, check the cities, towns, and neighborhoods where customers order most products. Once you identify where your customers come from, you can rent or lease a space for your warehouse.

While at it, consider the accessibility of the warehouse. The location should have the right infrastructure, such as access roads.

Being in a place where traffic is a menace can deter you from the timely delivery of goods.

4. Communicate Throughout the Process

If you want to give your customers the best experience, be intentional in communication.

Customers want to know the order fulfillment process so that they can track their goods. Other than confirming that you’ve received an order, it’s prudent to keep your client informed.

Sending a personalized message at each stage of the fulfillment is helpful. It makes a customer rest easy knowing that the item ordered is on its way. When you integrate your shipping and systems, customers can get the information they require with only a tracking number.

Despite using the best programs or software, you can’t be entirely immune to delays and other mistakes.

You need to communicate and be honest with your customers. It is prudent to call your customers to explain in case there’s an error on your end.

Don’t wait for a customer to start calling endlessly to inform them of the status of the order. When you’re upfront, your clients will understand. You can even offer a coupon or gift for future orders to back up your communicated apology.

5. Streamlined Return and Refund Policy

Shoppers return 15% to 40% of their overall online purchases.

Ecommerce is prone to such issues as customers can’t see the ordered items in person. While returns and refunds can lead to some losses, you cannot wish it away.

Every retailer deals with returns.

That shouldn’t discourage you from providing the best customer service experience to your clients. The process of returns and refunds should be seamless.

Customers want to work with someone who allows them to return goods if dissatisfied.

By accepting returns and refunding appropriately, you can form a lasting impression on the customer. A refund might cost you less than lost business.

Have a written return policy.

Your customers should be confident enough when making their orders. However, you should be clear on returning goods in their original form.

6. Partner With the Right Shipping Company

Your customers might not have any relationship with the shipping company. If there’s a delay, the complaint will be on your business. You need to partner with shippers, whom you share similar customer service values.

Check out reputable and established shippers.

It would help to vet your identified shipping company to know more about its track record. Online reviews can further help you to understand more about a shipper.

When you establish a working relationship with a shipping company, regular audits are vital. Don’t ignore constant cases of lost packages or damaged goods. Declining quality of service provision should prompt you to search for an alternative.

The Order Fulfillment Process Should Have the Customer in Mind

If you want to create an impressive experience for your clients, consider working on the order fulfillment process.

Your order fulfillment strategy can be top-notch if you focus on timely and efficient delivery. The right fulfillment strategy can change the clientele base of your business.

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