If your shipping process is slow or cumbersome, that’s what customers will remember. Not your competitive prices or your cool site. That's why order fulfillment software is a game changer in creating a shopping experience customers love.
Online shoppers expect quick fulfillment of online orders through mobile devices and desktop channels. Many customers shop through marketplaces rather than on the brand's site. In fact, a recent UPS online shopper survey found that more than 96 percent of U.S. online shoppers made a purchase using a marketplace. For small businesses, order management systems that integrates with the top marketplaces, as well as carriers, payment services, and other providers, is a must-have for success. With the right order fulfillment system, you can simultaneously increase customer satisfaction and sales.
Rising customer service expectations are squeezing shipping windows. Just a few years ago, five to seven days was standard except for high-dollar overnight shipping. Nowadays, two-day shipping has become the norm for Amazon Prime members and other companies are trying to match that. In some metro areas, same-day shipping is available for popular products.
Get ready for shipping expectations to rise again. For instance, 36 percent of U.S. consumers expect that an order placed as late as 9 p.m. would be eligible for next-day shipping, according to the UPS survey. Sixteen percent said an order placed between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. should be eligible for same-day shipping.
With those kinds of expectations, order fulfillment system is critical. If you can prepare orders for shipping as fast and efficiently as possible, you can opt for lower shipping rates and still meet deadlines. The real test is whether you fill orders correctly and get them out of the door on time. Eliminating bottlenecks and unnecessary steps in your supply chain will boost your fulfillment rates.
As your e-commerce business grows, don't forget about returns. Reverse logistics is a necessary part of the fulfillment business. The UPS survey found that 75 percent of U.S. consumers had shipped an item back to the retailer, compared to only 45 percent who returned an item to a physical store. Those people who prefer to send returns back to retailers said convenience and free return shipping were their top reasons.
If you're looking for order fulfillment system for your small business, check out Logiwa. Our cloud-based warehouse solutions help retailers improve inventory and achieve 100 percent accuracy across all their sales channels. Order fulfillment software automates entire fulfillment process. Shippers can pick, pack and ship faster so they can offer extended order times and still meet the premium shipping cutoffs. Overall, we've seen shipping improvements by up to 2.5 times faster than other solutions. If you're ready to offer same-day and two-day shipping, Logiwa can support your value proposition to your customers.
The first step in effective order fulfillment is achieving accurate inventory and establishing real-time inventory sharing across all your sales channels. However, the more channels you sell through and the more items that you are selling, the more challenging it will be to manage all business data. Most of the retailers have separate e-commerce sites or marketplaces and a brick-and-mortar store. This is such a challenging environment to gather all data and achieve accuracy.
In order to achieve inventory and historical demand visibility and the data from all these channels should be gathered in an umbrella inventory management and order fulfillment system. Once all this data is gathered in a single, central location, you’ll be able to run comprehensive reports to quickly determine which channels and products are performing best, which products might sell faster on different channels, and much more. Having this real-time picture of your inventory and orders will enable you to make smarter, faster and targeted decisions.
Tracking inventory is a manual process that often entails number crunching in excel files. This laborious process is proven to cause time-consuming redundancies as well as costly productivity losses and errors. Based on an industry survey, 62% of errors are caused by manual processes in inventory management.
You can reduce redundancies and increase productivity by automating manual processes and streamlining multi-channel sales, purchasing, inventory, fulfillment, and warehousing. When these systems are connected, you can quickly and easily receive purchase orders, fulfill customer orders and take immediate actions without human dependency. In inventory management and order fulfillment, the most cost-effective and common technology is barcode scanning. Through barcode scanning and transactions on mobile devices; you can chase the physical inventory real-time and achieve accurate inventory.
It’s known that retailers lose $1.75 trillion each year due to overstocks, out-of-stocks, and preventable returns. The root cause of all these problems lies the inventory management. With centralized data and software automation, retailers gain a holistic and clear picture of all their inventory and order fulfillment operations and make smarter and faster decisions.
Stock outs, overstocking and preventable returns are the 3 costly problems for a retailer. An inventory management system offers the capability to sort out most of these problems. When you add operational savings such as making your inventory management team more productive, the gain out of an order management system is more than significant.
As you're seeking order fulfillment solution for small business, look for solutions that support all retail channels to provide brand consistency and build customer satisfaction. Consumers will expect flexible delivery options, including in-store pickup, alternate delivery locations, and expedited delivery.
To find out more about order fulfillment software for small business contact us for a demo today.