In today’s time, when most of the urban population is opting for online purchases, 3PL services are no more just a choice, but a need. Read on to find out why.
Order fulfillment is a crucial part of eCommerce and retail business. It begins with order placement by a consumer to its successful delivery and even the post-delivery experience. This process includes receiving, storing inventory, processing, and delivering orders. The faster you deliver the orders, the more your chances are of gaining a competitive advantage and retaining your consumers.
With Amazon and other retail giants offering free 2-day shipping and often same-day shipping, consumer expectations have skyrocketed in recent times. In the age of instant gratification, when consumers want something, they want it immediately and don’t have the patience to wait for days.
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Per some retail data and statistics, 62% of shoppers say that speed of delivery is an essential factor in evaluating their online orders. While 85% of online shoppers search elsewhere when delivery speeds are too long. Getting the eCommerce order fulfillment process under control has become more critical now than ever. As soon as the customer makes the purchase, the fulfillment process begins.
What eCommerce Retailers Need for Order Fulfillment
The whole process requires careful planning and a sound strategy, especially when you are planning on growing your business. Let’s look at what an eCommerce retailer needs to turn their order fulfillment into a competitive advantage:
Seamless Integration With Suppliers . If your online goods are sourced from various distributors and stored in warehouses, you must have a seamless connection through a professional order management system (OMS). Your system should have smooth communication with the suppliers to avoid any delay in delivering products.
End-to-End Order Visibility . You need to ensure real-time visibility of the supply chain process. It means your OMS should be equipped for you to access the same catalog, inventory data, and all order processing-related data along with your suppliers and supply chain team. This end-to-end visibility is essential for accurate order fulfillment and customer satisfaction.
Warehouse Location . You need to choose your warehouse locations smartly to fulfill the demands of your consumers. Your warehouse locations should facilitate quick-picking and quick-shipping requirements. Apart from this, distribute warehouses to multiple localities to ensure faster, low-cost shipping.
Select the Right Logistics Partner . The importance of hiring the right logistics partner can never be stressed more in eCommerce order fulfillment. Shipping can become a genuine hurdle or bottleneck for speedy delivery. You need stellar performance from your logistics partner regularly to maintain your brand reputation and retain your loyal customers. After all, your consumers know your brand and are likely to show dissatisfaction or frustration towards you. Ensure that your logistics partner provides you with real-time, accurate order tracking.
Exception-Based Order Management . Apparently perceived as a comparatively costlier system, exception-based order management provides a long-term benefit. In any unfortunate situation, instead of notifying your customers about a delay in order delivery, you can automatically upgrade your shipping methods to meet your delivery promise. Such an automated process is likely to impart brand loyalty and increase the chances of repeat purchases.
Customer Communication . It is needless to say that throughout the whole process of order fulfillment, you need to keep up your communication with the customer. It can’t only be by a ‘Thank You’ email after the order delivery. It should rather be an up-to-date, on-demand, real-time communication regarding order status till it is shipped and delivered. It goes a long way to achieving customer delight and loyalty.
Return Management . Return is an integral part of eCommerce retail and might do you some good. An efficient return management system and an easy return policy significantly retains customers. After all, between 20-30% of online purchases are returned. Manage reverse logistics efficiently and be customer-friendly in issuing refunds. It earns you brand loyalty.
Why Partner a 3PL Provider
It can be a daunting task to manage the entire order fulfillment process in-house,potentially compromising your time with efficient business operations and product management. A smart way to handle the whole fulfillment process and focus on growing your business is outsourcing it to an efficient Third-Party Logistics (3PL) partner. A professional 3PL provider provides a complete range of logistics services that include transportation, warehousing, picking and packing, inventory forecasting, order fulfillment, packaging, and freight forwarding.
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- Increase or reduce warehouse space per change in business requirements
- Faster and cheaper order delivery because of wider coverage network with strategically placed warehouse locations
- Inventory optimization
- Advanced technological infrastructure, including advanced analytics
- Real-time visibility for order and inventory tracking
- Expert supply chain operations
- Professionally managed customer experience
- Efficient return management
So, give your order fulfillment process a competitive edge with an expert 3PL provider and provide your customers with the fastest, most accurate order delivery.
XPDEL is a leading hi-tech provider of Fulfillment and Logistics Services, on a mission to enable growth for eCommerce companies. We are futuristic in our vision and constantly work on creating technology that helps us meet customer expectations not just for today but also for tomorrow. We have a widespread network of fulfillment centers that enables us to efficiently handle nationwide delivery in the US – same-day, next-day, and 2-day delivery. Being located closer to the end consumer, we deliver much faster compared to others.