No matter the size of your business, order fulfillment issues are a common encounter in e-commerce. Errors can occur during the warehousing, packaging, shipping, and delivery process, and each of these aspects can have their own set of complications and stresses. If you want to ensure your business runs smoothly and successfully, here are some important facts about the most common e-commerce fulfillment challenges, and how you can resolve them.
Incorrectly Filled Order
Imagine the nightmare of hearing most of your customers have received the wrong products. Your ability to take orders and file products correctly is key to preventing this problem. Otherwise, your delivery team will inevitably send the wrong items to your customers. Third-party warehousing and logistics services can help you prevent this e-commerce fulfillment problem. Their services can help you manage your warehouse layout and track products using software and barcoded labels.
When customers order items that are missing parts, arrived late, or are damaged, the first place they will go is customer service. If your customer service system is inefficient and slow and you cannot competently respond to customer concerns, you could lose customers for good, and receive negative reviews that seriously hurt your business. By investing in quality customer service representatives and software that runs efficiently, you will be fully equipped to handle the issues your customers have and improve your reputation.
As a business owner or manager you may have grand visions and aspirations, but without the right workforce, you won’t be able to carry out your desires. Choosing the right team for the job is essential to achieving growth with your e-commerce business. You also need to employ qualified and talented managers. It may take some time to find the right people to help your business run, but it is an area you cannot afford to skimp out on, especially since you are leaving the bulk work to them.
Using the Right Technology
Even as a small business, you need to have an efficient order fulfillment service to deliver quality service to your customers. Customers will not tolerate inaccurate or delayed deliveries from you, and technology can help you work more efficiently and accurately. Software provides detailed information about how and where orders are being processed, and where they are moving along the supply chain. When you are aware of where your products and customer orders are, you can forecast the timing of which they will arrive at the customer’s doorstep. Technology also enables automation, which is a huge benefit to e-commerce businesses. They significantly reduce human error and risk so you can have the most effective fulfillment system possible.
If you have international customers, you know that it can take a week to several months to deliver their orders. Although international buyers are aware of this, they will seek other places to get what they want if your process is taking too long. By offering a range of shipping options to these buyers, you can enable them to get their items sooner if they pay a bit more. If you offer premium shipping services, you’ll be surprised to see how many customers are willing to pay more to get their items sooner.
When customers order products from your online store, you should provide the correct tracking code so they can follow the movement of their order. Services like Amazon include a tracking number when the customer has paid for their product. It notifies the customer when the product has been shipped from the warehouse, and where it is located along its journey to their home. Tracking information helps customers manage their expectations, so if there is a delay along the way, the customer can have some peace of mind in knowing where it is.
Inventory Management/Out of Stock
One of the worst areas you can neglect is inventory. A proper inventory management system is the key to ensuring your business runs effectively and that your customers are happy. If you run out of products, you will lose sales opportunities and frustrate your customers. Additionally, your online store should reflect how many items of each kind you have available. An inventory management system can help your customers manage their expectations if items are low or if they are on backorder. Although it is recommended that you use an inventory management system to monitor which items are in higher demand, you can still salvage a relationship with a customer by keeping them aware of your inventory count.
Communication with the Supplier
Good communication with your suppliers is vital to the success of your business. Choosing the right third-party logistics provider will allow you to have rapid communication and quality service. They will have proper technology that will streamline your processes and allow you to visualize and track the movement of your products.
An inventory tracking system is essential to helping you adequately serve your customers. It helps the picker locate the right products at the right time, to prevent the loss of precious time. Inventory control creates an order-picking sequence that streamlines the process for workers.
APS’s e-Commerce Fulfillment Service
Running an e-commerce business can be challenging and dealing with issues that delay and obstruct your success can be frustrating. The good news is that you don’t have to struggle to get on top of things on your own. You can get a handle on these challenges by teaming up with a third-party logistics company. They are equipped with the tools you need to manage your inventory, get your products shipped out on time, and keep your customers happy.
APS Fulfillment, Inc. cares about our clients’ success. Our professionals will bring you solutions to your fulfillment challenges. We provide services such as real-time inventory management, e-commerce fulfillment, fulfillment solutions, and fulfillment markets. There are endless benefits to working with a third-party logistics company that uses the best quality software systems to manage your warehouse, so if you’re looking for the right company, look no further than APS Fulfillment, Inc. You can contact us by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at (954) 582-7450.