As an online retail shop, eCommerce tends to have different processes on order receiving, order fulfillment and order shipping. Order fulfillment itself is a very important aspect of eCommerce every retail store has to put attention at. It helps to keep the augmentation of customers’ loyalty. Now, how do you create the best order fulfillment process in eCommerce?
The Definition and Description of Order Fulfillment Process in eCommerce
Before the retail store vendor ships the order to the buyer, there should be a process called order fulfillment where basically it is a time span for the vendor to stock, quality checking, and pack the order.
This process has such steps to be done, including preparing the products ordered, checking whether it is the exact product or not, the quality of the products, packing the products tight and safely, having them ready to be picked up by the delivery or shipping them by yourself as the vendor, and last but not least is to be ready for return or refund possibility.
The Whole Process of Order Fulfillment
Inventory and storing is also a very important aspect. Store things as neat as possible on your store inventory to reduce the amount of time needed to find the products people are ordering. During a restocking time, it is important to already store things on different boxes with labels, for example (for small products). The less time you are wasting to pack things for your customer, the better it is. More in this later.
Meanwhile, the very first process of order fulfillment is to receive the note of the order from the selling channels. Make the notes as detailed as possible from the colour of the products, the size, and even the special notes the buyer put on for their product.
The packing and delivery process is also very important. The faster the stores pack and ship the products, the more satisfied the buyer will be. This will make them repeatedly order things from you, then spend money and energy to order the same things from different stores that might not serve the customer better than you. More on this later.
But that is not the end of the process yet. There will be a possibility of customers demanding a refund or returning the product, if you somehow accidentally ship the wrong products or it arrived not in a good condition.
If this happens, take even more time to manage it with the customers to keep their loyalty. But if the products safely arrived and the customers are pretty satisfied about it, then you just did a great job.
What Makes an Order Fulfillment Process in an eCommerce Store is Better?
There are lots of factors and aspects that make an order fulfillment of a store better than the other stores. These factors increase the amount of customers, due to their satisfaction.
Customers love a very fast order fulfillment. The sooner you are delivering the products, the better. Even most eCommerce sellers now start a one-day-only fulfillment including the delivery. The trick they are using usually are:
- The customers should have paid for the products they ordered in no later than 1:00 PM.
- Pack the ordered products as soon as possible.
- Delivery the products using an expedition service or by the store worker himself in no later than 3:00 or 5:00 PM.
- The product will be fast and safely arrived in front of the customer’s house no longer than 1:00 PM (target for a nearby address that is less than 100 km distance from the store).
This trick has been bringing a very good impact on peoples’ testimony such as “great shipping/fast packing” that helps the stars of the stores rise.
People also love friendly couriers, that makes another great point. Things people mostly love about couriers are the one who contacts the address first before actually sending the products home.
Couriers who tend to just knock on the door, ring the bell, then just leaving the package behind looks irresponsible for the package they are delivering. A good courier can make sure the package safely arrives with as little dent as possible and also a good condition cardboard that wraps the products.
If this sounds too much, you have to know that at least 25% people never order things from the same online store just because the delivery took more time or even poor condition when arrived.
The Packaging of the Products Should Never be Squeezed Out
There are lots of eCommerce partners that ignore their packaging quality. Some even just wrapped them in a thin amount of bubble wrap or cardboard.
The customers love gifts, and just like the movie ‘The Intern’ said, “Our product should feel like the gift our buyer ordered for themselves” (not a very accurate dialog), your products the customers buy should feel like a gift.
Pack it beautifully, with fun little accessories such as a keychain, thank you note, or literally, just pack the stuff neatly and wrap it with a good amount of bubble wrap or cardboard to keep the quality. The sweetest the packaging, the more impressive your product will be, even though what’s in it is just a plain casual t-shirt or some self-treatment product. A good packaging is always a valuable evaluation for the stores by the customers.
Never Ignored the Refund Process
The last tip to optimise the order fulfillment process in eCommerce is to always be ready for refund or product return demand from the customers. Some online stores in eCommerce tend to ignore this problem and let the customers upset, thus exposing their anger on the testimony and evaluation. This will create doubt on the new customers in your store.
See a refund process as a responsibility manner of your store that shows how content and empathy you are with the customers. Do not treat a refund/return process as a threat, otherwise be more down to earth and thank the customers for their concern to share the problem with you than just burst it out on social media or your official testimony page.