The process of storing items, packing orders, and distributing them to customers is known as order fulfillment. The purpose of good Ecommerce order fulfillment is to deliver the appropriate product to the right consumers’ doorstep in the shortest time possible. As a result, it goes without saying that it is a critical component of any online retail operation.
Orders that go wrong can have a negative influence on your brand’s reputation as well as your bottom line. As a result, creating efficient and error-free fulfillment methods is crucial. However, we cannot deny that implementing an efficient order fulfillment procedure might be difficult. As a result, we’ve compiled a list of five common order fulfillment mistakes that you should avoid.
Poor Inventory Management
For managing all orders, inventory levels, and keeping up with updates in real-time, good inventory management is critical to your eCommerce business. Low inventory notifications are also provided by a well-designed inventory management system. These notifications appear when your inventory reaches a specific level, allowing you to replenish your stock before it runs out. Customers will be able to see what items are in stock before making a purchase.
You run the danger of overselling or overstocking if you don’t keep track of your inventory. If you sell an item to a customer and then discover that it is out of stock, you will certainly face dissatisfaction and disappointment, which can manifest itself in negative customer reviews. On the other hand, carrying too much inventory puts you in danger of losing it, having it damaged, or becoming obsolete over time? All of this leads to a loss of sales.
Inventory management may help you accomplish a lot in terms of warehouse organization, in addition to helping with inventory visibility. Specific locations and destinations can be assigned to SKUs. There are no grey regions for workers with explicit location directions. Furthermore, certain software will build a choose list for the best choosing paths, resulting in faster fulfillment!
Manual Data Error
While we all make mistakes, logistics is a process with a small margin for error. Customers expect to receive the correct things in a timely and trouble-free manner.
The single most disastrous and widespread problem linked with human mistakes in the workplace is manual data entry. If key factors like stock levels, item locations, delivery addresses, or order fulfillment statuses are inaccurate even slightly, it can bring your entire business to a halt.
Instead, use technology to automate your fulfillment processes and decrease human mistakes. Barcode-reading software can make fulfillment a breeze. It can guarantee that the correct things have been sent to the correct orders when used in conjunction with inventory management software.
Scanning all goods in the order is possible with strict fulfillment. If the wrong item is scanned, an alarm will sound, and the worker will be unable to proceed until the problem is resolved. Before moving ahead, workers must scan all of the objects specified in the order. In essence, anyone may create orders that are error-free!
The software can also serve as a check and balance mechanism. Work logs can help enhance worker accountability, improve manager-worker communication, and help detect and correct problems.
Lack of Communication
We understand that mistakes happen. What is unacceptable, though, is failing to communicate with your customers. Keep in mind that a day’s delay can cause stress. It’s also conceivable that your clients will have inquiries about the product they’re purchasing. That is why it is critical to communicate.
Fortunately, establishing a line of contact does not necessitate the use of customer support personnel. Customer service can be made easier with eCommerce tools like chatbots and live chat.
When it comes to resolving client complaints, these tools might be your “first line of defense.” When the chatbot is unable to handle the issue, it can automatically transfer the issue to a human customer service representative. Customers that choose to communicate via chat over the phone are not alone. Meanwhile, these tools aid in the declogging of your customer service department.
Customers are becoming increasingly demanding when it comes to their purchases and shipping. They want to know where things are and when they’ll arrive right away. If you provide carrier tracking codes by hand, such as by copying and pasting them into emails or other notifications, you risk not only delaying but also making mistakes.
Human error is unavoidable. When it comes to something as simple as a tracking code, which your customers will use to confirm that a package is on its way, an error will result in help desk tickets and customer support concerns.
Manual data entry can make tracking orders more complex if you have to process returns. Your team must enter the same data in various places, which increases the risk of error or duplicating the data if something goes wrong. For example, if your staff copies the code incorrectly by omitting the last letter or number, and then pastes this inaccurate information into all customer emails and your spreadsheet, the chaos grows.
Rather than trying to manage it by hand, find an eCommerce platform or plugin that will create shipment information and tracking codes automatically when an order is placed. This reduces the risk of an error and allows customers to rapidly opt-in to receive notifications from the carrier. Customers will be more satisfied with the information, and your customer care team will get fewer requests for tracking information.
Invalid Warehouse Space
When launching an internet business, having enough warehouse space for your products is critical. However, it’s also related to the order fulfillment method you’re employing.
If you’re employing in-house order fulfillment, you’ll need to keep track of your warehouse. However, if you outsource it, your warehouse partner will be able to assist you in managing your space according to the 3PL standard. If you run a dropshipping business, the same thing applies. Nonetheless, some consideration of your warehouse space is required. This is because the amount of products you can carry is determined by the amount of space you have.
While you can’t remove every fulfillment error, you can drastically reduce them with software. Your time is valuable, and it’s sometimes necessary to take a step back and consider the big picture. You can do it, your company can expand, and there’s still time to get it right.