Order fulfillment is as important to your ecommerce business as an attractive, professional website, great products and optimum pricing. Order fulfillment is the receiving, processing and delivering of products to the end customer. If your customer doesn’t receive the products they ordered in perfect condition, delivered in a timely manner, they are unlikely to purchase from you again and may leave negative feedback to discourage others from buying from your site.
To decide whether you have the in-house skills for order fulfillment here are a few steps to consider:
Receiving products from manufacturer
- Count and check off goods received against delivery note. Notify shortfalls to manufacturer.
- Check goods for damage. Remove and return damaged items to manufacturer. Arrange a replacement or credit.
- Add a Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) to the warehouse software to keep track of the location, quantity and sales of the item for reordering and fulfillment purposes.
- Mark if SKU or barcode if required.
Storage of Products
- Store products in the warehouse until they are sold to your customers; collectively the products are known as an inventory at this stage.
- Careful shelving of your products will aid order fulfillment, goods will be quicker to find. Keep surplus goods if ordered in a separate area. Quick sellers should be closest to the packing areas for ease of fulfillment.
- Report and inquiry software can tell you what sells best and any seasonal trends, which may require reorganization of your inventory for optimal order fulfillment.
- Receipt of an online order is the catalyst for the order fulfillment process. Integrated software is the most efficient way to send the order to the warehouse. Interface your checkout and warehouse software but this can be costly for smaller ecommerce businesses.
- The best way to pick and pack the goods is often by trial and error and mistakes can be costly in terms of time and late orders.
- Determine the most cost effective and quickest delivery method for the order. Honor special delivery requirements.
- On dispatch notify end customer and update order.
- Ease of returns is an important part of a customer’s shopping experience.
- Design internal and external returns policies and make this easy and low cost or free for your end customer.
If you don’t think you have the in-house skills for order fulfillment, contact DK Fulfilment for a complete service.