One of the most important aspects of any successful online store is the order and fulfillment process. The truth is that if you want to attract more customers to your online store, you had better insure that you have an efficient eCommerce order fulfillment process in place. Customers, according to countless concurrent, ongoing and recent studies, want multiple things when they shop from online stores: competitive prices, generous returns policies, fast order fulfillment, easy order tracking, low shipping prices and quick deliveries of ordered goods. Assigning your orders and inventories with competitive prices is just one part of the gambit. Assuring that your orders are completed in a timely and efficient matter after the fact is incremental in your online successes. Use these following DIY tips to better improve your fulfillment process to more easily retain your existing customer base and to attract new sales as well.
Create an Effective Routine
How you approach your pack and ship process and routine will absolutely dictate the effectiveness of your process overall. Creating a routine that works can only be done by you, and here are some helpful tips that you can glean information from to develop yours.
- Set aside specific times of the day for order and fulfillment. Do not try to tackle one-off orders because they will absolutely just stack up anyways.
- Try and fulfill orders in intervals where you can better make the outbound shipping deadlines. For example, fulfill orders in the morning before noon and then again in the afternoon before 4 pm to get all your orders for the day out before the end of the day.
- Be diligent in your work schedule and assure that you are available around the same time periods each day. It's all about the routine that you create that will help you bring synergy to your operations.
- Make sure that you have all of your information information accurately presented before you before you start fulfilling your orders. This will save you time because you will not have to look each order up one at a time instead.
Assure Unhindered Focus
Focus greatly matters and can mean the difference between effective and ineffective order fulfillment. Remember that your customers want fast order fulfillment, speedy delivery and low shipping costs. Assuring that your focus is unhindered will do wonders for easing your fulfillment tasks.
- Work during the times that you are most productive. If this means that you work from 9:30 am until 6:30 pm or from 10:30 am until 8:30 pm, then so be it; make sure you set your schedule and stick to it.
- Prepare yourself for the day by creating a viable checklist of the things that you need to do each day. Use checklist apps (many can be found for free online) to help better organize your schedule.
- Do not let outside interests impede upon your workday. Many eCommerce business owners work from home. Be sure your friends and family know that you are working during these hours so you can make your day as productive as possible.
Arm Yourself with the Tools for Success
You are going to require tools in order to successfully pursue this process. Make sure that you are aware of every tool and software application that you will need, and that you have them in place before you get started.
- This includes assuring that you restock office supplies, printing supplies (for shipping labels), that you possess the necessary digital scales for electronic postage provider services, and that you have adequate and ample shipping supplies.
- Set aside a dedicated work area in your home or your office that you can allocate strictly for use with your pack and ship process.
- Keep everything neatly organized and process one shipment at a time to avoid making ship order errors.
- Focus on a high quality presentation with your outbound shipments; you only have a few seconds to impress customers when they open your package.
Automate Remedial, Time Consuming Tasks
Consider using software solutions to automate tedious tasks. For example, if you are running a large inventory that's available on numerous online stores, use an order management system to communicate and update your inventory in real-time between all storefronts. Also, consider using an integrated electronic discount postage solution like Stamps.com, Endicia or Express 1 to shave down on shipping costs. Lastly, explore your options with eCommerce order fulfillment shipping software, which can automate many routine and mundane shipping tasks, like label generation, ship status updates, tracking numbers and much more.