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Customers these days have grown accustomed to fast and hassle-free shipping. With the onset of Amazon Prime, it becomes a given.
This used to be a deal, but now, it’s more of an expectation. You need to prioritize the most important things. But what exactly are these key factors that will determine the success of your order fulfillment?
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1. Aligning your order fulfillment process
Customer experience is key to winning in the highly competitive online retail industry.
This is why your order fulfillment process needs to be standardized to prevent unpleasant order fulfillment experiences. Keeping your order fulfillment process aligned such that orders from various sources can be processed effectively, in the same way.
This means, having multiple channels integrated into your fulfillment center. Making sure you have a quick overview of all your orders and when they have been processed. Has your fulfillment center pushed a tracking number back to your sales channel or to your customer?
Make sure you have a dashboard or system that can handle this seamlessly.
More customers want more control and visibility with the order fulfillment process. This is why it’s always essential to maintain perfect communication so they can always feel reassured in the service. This will help them avoid needless worries.
Have a direct line of communication with your fulfillment center or your own operations. Make sure you have a clear process and express this explicitly to your customers as well. Again, if you have a dashboard or system that can help you do this, you will be miles ahead of your competitors who are still working on spreadsheets and trying to pickup the phone every time they have a small issue.
Commitment to promises / expectations
Late and inaccurate deliveries may have huge negative impacts on customer loyalty.
According to Voxware, as much as 69% of online shoppers would reconsider their decision to shop with a particular retailer if the delivery is not fulfilled within two days of the initially promised time. You’ll need to critically access your process along with how long your courier often takes to get to some areas so you can arrive at reasonable delivery time estimates.
Make sure you have tested the shipping services you intend to use so you have a good idea of the delivery times and any potential issues that will arise. It would be best if you have real data to back this up as well.
Proper warehouse organization
A proper warehouse organization is critical for a successful order fulfillment strategy.
The warehouse should have an organized layout designed to make everything smoother, easier, and faster. Whether you’re in charge of your order fulfillment and delivery processes or you rely on a third-party logistics provider for this, placing emphasis on keeping the warehouse properly organized will help make a difference in the order fulfillment process.
This is one of the reasons eCommerce merchants tend to outsource to a professional fulfillment center. It is expected that the logistics provider will enhance their own efficiency and make sure their own operations is optimized. If you do this yourself then you have to make sure you spend time on optimizing your own operations and fulfillment. In the meantime you are taking away valuable time from building your own eCommerce business and brand.
Responsive customer service
Order fulfillment is one very critical part of the sales process that will significantly influence how happy and satisfied the customer is with the service.
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Your order fulfillment strategy should, therefore, be set to match your guarantee to ensure your customers’ expectations of the service are met. But there’s bound to be occasional challenges regardless of how meticulous and well-planned your fulfillment strategy may be.
But having responsive customer service in place can turn unpleasant experiences into positive endings, in many cases.
A lot of ZhenHub’s customers will outsource this to freelancers or virtual assistants on platforms like Fiverr and Upwork. This is a great resource as you will have a person that can do this tedious task for you and help you maintain a critical part of your business.
Whether you’re trying to attract new customers or want to retain current ones, developing and maintaining a successful order fulfillment strategy should always be given proper consideration. This will go a long way in shaping the customer experience, which in turn may influence customer loyalty and your bottom line.
If you’re wondering how your business can enjoy a competitive advantage with order fulfillment, ZhenHub can help. ZhenHub can help you guarantee delivery, minimize risks, and position your inventory in distribution centers that are way closer to your customers.
This will make a massive difference in your order fulfillment, customer experience, and the bottom line, going forward.
If you need assistance with reducing logistics costs, you can reach out to our specialists – hello(a)zhenhub.com or submit an enquiry here.