Over the last few decades, the eCommerce industry has grown tremendously. eCommerce has grown from a small group of people selling online to millions of customers. eCommerce has evolved from a way to buy something when your local store is out of stock into a preferred method for shopping. eCommerce is popular because of the variety of products available under different categories, the convenience of shopping anywhere, discounted rates, quick deliveries, and other factors. The sellers claim that customers will abandon their shopping carts if they do not receive orders within one week. What drives eCommerce if we dig deeper? eCommerce is not a single process but rather a collection of processes that must work together to achieve the desired result. Let’s look at how these processes work.
What Is Order Fulfillment?
Order fulfillment is the term used to describe the entire process, from the sales process to the customer’s experience after delivery. The key steps in this process are receiving, processing, and shipping. Online sellers usually handle the order fulfillment themselves, or they outsource certain operations to third-party service providers. We’ll look at how order fulfillment functions.
Order Fulfilment Process
Receiving and storing inventory is part of the process. The products may be from a third party, a warehouse of another company, or from some other department. The inventory must be properly counted, checked, and stocked, regardless of where it comes from. This will ensure that the right products are received and the correct inventory number is updated. When products are received at the stocking center or retrieved later from internal storage, bar codes must be used.
Storage and warehouse
Once products have been received, they can be immediately stocked or placed in short-term or longer-term storage. The products are stored for a short time to ensure the smooth distribution of current stock and not to store them indefinitely. This is a crucial step, as it will determine the speed and ease of fulfilling operations. It is important to complete this step quickly to avoid any delays.
Receiving orders is a parallel process to inventory management. Online platforms can set preferences for how they receive order requests. You can either accept orders manually or integrate your cart or market place to software in order to receive orders directly. Depending on the customer’s delivery preferences, products need to be delivered directly to their doorstep. You need to give priority delivery for customers who choose the 1-day delivery option.
This step of order processing involves searching through a warehouse to find the product that a customer ordered online. You may need to select different products in different warehouses because multiple products can be shipped with a single order.
Packaging products is also an important step that you should take seriously. It is important to invest into sturdy packaging materials to protect your products during transport. Different types of products require different packaging materials. The bottom line, the packaging should be able to withstand friction and offer maximum customer satisfaction.
Shipping is the key component to converting your customer into a purchaser. It’s important to select a courier partner who can deliver a great experience for your customers. It would be easier to compare the shipping rates of all the couriers and choose the best one for your eCommerce business. This will help you make informed decisions.
Return order processing
In most cases, the chain of ecommerce order fulfilment ends with the delivery. It’s not true for every customer. Return orders are an integral part of today’s order fulfillment. Customers may return orders for a variety of reasons, but sellers are forced to accept them in order to remain competitive. It is essential to manage the return order process, but it’s also important to lower the RTO rate.