Order fulfilment in e-commerce has always been a big deal, but in the last 18 months, it has become even more important. Even businesses with well-oiled fulfilment systems have had to change how they do things because of problems with the global supply chain. Even if you can’t control how many items are in stock or how long it takes to ship them, all is not lost. Following the tips and best practices below, online stores can keep doing well even though e-commerce order fulfilment is hard.
What does order fulfilment mean in online shopping?
Order fulfilment in e-commerce is getting your goods to your customers. This is the most basic way to think about it. But this simple description hides the fact that this complex process affects many different parts of your business.
By the time your customer gets your goods, it has been through a long and complicated journey. Most of the time, it comes from your maker or supplier. From there, it could be sent from more than one foreign location to your warehouse or fulfilment centre. Once it comes in, it is carefully put on boxes to be found quickly when an order comes in. And finally, when a customer places an order, the item is picked, packed, and sent to them.
The mechanics of shopify dropship apps order fulfilment are hard to wrap your head around, and each step is a chance for something to go wrong. Retailers should keep a few best practices in mind to ensure everything goes easily and with as little trouble as possible.
Best practices for Order Fulfillment and Shipping on Shopify
Order fulfilment in e-commerce greatly affects how your customers feel about your business as a whole. Shoppers want their orders to come quickly and, most of the time, for free. One of the main reasons people abandon their shopping carts is because of shipping costs or arrival times that are longer than expected. Whether problems with your supply chain are making your business a mess or you’re just looking for ways to make your online order fulfilment more efficient, these tips will help.
- Be honest about how much stock you have.
Don’t lie to shoppers about what’s in stock. If some goods are out of stock or will take a long time to arrive, make that clear on the page for that product. If you’re having shipping delays across the board, like during busy times like Black Friday, you might want to put up banners on your site with information about what to expect and an explanation for any trouble this might cause. By avoiding shocks at the last minute, your shoppers are more likely to understand. If they’re used to getting their goods in a few days, don’t wait until they’re about to check out to tell them shipping will take six weeks.
2. Keep customers updated after they buy
Even after customers buy something, they still need to know what’s happening. If you can, it’s always a good idea to let customers track their packages so they know when to expect them. Even when there are delays, buyers will be glad to know that at least their order is on its way. As a bonus, this will probably cut down on the number of angry calls to your customer service team, whose job would be to find lost packages and let people know what’s happening.
3. Make the most of marketing
Nothing is more frustrating for a shopper than having to scroll through pages and pages of products that aren’t accessible. But with a few simple changes to how you display your items, you can get customers’ attention back on the things you do have. Use automatic rules to move products out of stock to the bottom of category pages and move products in stock and ready to ship to the top. If a customer searches for a product you don’t have in stock, don’t give them a “no results found” page. Instead, please give them a related product.
4. For order fulfilment online, use the technology you can trust.
If you started your online store from scratch, you may have once had to sort and pack each order by hand before taking it to the post office. Even though this gives a small business a personal touch, it can only be done if your shop grows. It’s important to have reliable technology that works at every step of the fulfilment process. This cuts down on delays, which cost you money. Effective technology ensures quick turnarounds and less room for error, whether scanning newly received stock to automatically update inventory levels on your website or sending instant alerts straight to your warehouse when new orders come in.
5. Make it easy to send in returns
You might not think of returns as a part of order fulfilment in shopify dropship apps
, but they are an important part of the process and must be considered. Suppose you can easily accept returned items at your fulfilment centre and update your online inventory levels immediately. In that case, you can get those items back out the door as soon as possible. Also, buyers often check your return policies before making a purchase, and 51% of US consumers say they will only shop with stores that offer free returns. Streamlining the returns process makes it easier to complete orders and keeps customers happy.
Order fulfilment in online shopping doesn’t have to be a pain.
Given how complicated the processes are, it’s easy to see why many retailers find shopify dropship apps fulfilment to be a hassle. If you add problems with the supply chain, shipping delays worldwide, or even the fact that resources are stretched too thin during the Christmas shopping season, you have a recipe for disaster. But this is even more reason to put money into your order fulfilment systems. Using these best practices and keeping track of all the moving parts will make your customers happier and make your business much more efficient.