Order fulfillment is one of the biggest challenges most online retailers are facing. Having a streamlined and consistent delivery system requires a lot of resources to run smoothly. The faster the whole process of receiving, processing, and delivering the product to the buyer can be, the better the customer experience.
Moreover, successful order fulfillment within days of delivery boosts the probability of future repeat purchases. Otherwise, your business will be losing time and money whenever you experience an order fulfillment problem.
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Some online business retailers choose to deliver by themselves or outsource order fulfillment services to other companies such as Selery Fulfillment. Choosing the best courier will earn your business a good reputation because goods will be received on time.
However, having an efficient order fulfillment process might be challenging, but you can avoid some mistakes to make it effective and error-free.
Here are common order fulfillment mistakes to avoid.
1. Poor Communication
The first vital tool in successful order fulfillment is good communication with your customers. Gather all the information about their order. Once you have collected all the required information, start processing the delivery while you keep them posted about the status of their product. Provide information about the day of pickup and the pickup station.
Some companies go the extra mile to provide a tracking number to monitor the order. Ensure the code is correct while giving this tracking number to avoid confusion. Test the code to ascertain its functioning before giving it to the client.
In addition, there’s always a miscommunication between the shop and the store/warehouse. Sometimes the warehouse isn’t timely informed about new orders. Ensure a system facilitates the whole process to avoid confusion that would otherwise cause delays.
2. Poor Inventory Control
There’s nothing as disappointing as learning that you can’t fulfill your customer’s order. Being unaware of your current inventory level will be counted as a loss because once the customers miss what they had ordered, there’s a higher chance of getting negative reviews.
Before allowing products to be sold online, ensure your stock has been checked. Selling products that are out of stock might cause a delay, resulting in poor customer satisfaction due to a failure to fulfill your promise. Frequent inventory management will ensure you meet your customers’ demands.
On the bright side, a regular check of your inventory saves you higher operating costs since you’ll be able to know what to restock on your products.
3. Inappropriate Order Information
Inappropriate order information can ruin your online business. Having the wrong product description can lead to getting angry customers’ reviews. You also end up spoiling your business relationship with your loyal customers, and new customers won’t be attracted because of your presumed false expectation.
Once they notice that what you had posted isn’t what they expected, the chances of product returns can be high or some orders cancelled. Thus, when you can’t sell what you have in stock, the chances of your business falling will be high.
Furthermore, such mistakes can destroy your business relationships. Third parties won’t be ready to work with you because they wouldn’t want to associate with your bad reputation. On the other hand, suppliers might also cut short their supply of products.
4. Failure To Deliver On Time
Nowadays, most online clients are used to next-day delivery. It doesn’t have to mean you have to strain to make it the next day. What customers expect of you is to fulfill your promise. For instance, if you say the product ordered will be delivered in 4 days, ensure that your order is provided on the fourth day.
If you feel you can’t have an exact day of delivery, have an approximation as per your carrier. For example, if the product can be delivered between three to four days, an approximation of three to five days is needed. Letting customers know when their delivery will take place minimizes the anxiety and reduces the risk of being mistrusted.
During peak seasons such as Christmas or special days such as Valentine’s Day, demand tends to increase. To satisfy the high demand, you need to have a team big enough to handle delivery during the peak holiday rush.
5. Relying On A Single Courier
It’s reasonable to build a good business relationship, but putting all your hopes on one carrier can cost you big time. What if the courier service experiences a downfall or the company workers go on strike? You’ll end up with a lot of undelivered goods and no one to deliver them to.
The need to have several options for carriers spares you the burden. You also get to enjoy better delivery services, cheaper rates, and faster execution.
Human errors are the leading cause of most order fulfillment issues. It’s vital to know where to automate the order fulfillment process. Automation of this process will save you time and money.
If you can’t handle the pressure, the need to outsource will be highly recommended. Outsourcing might look expensive, but it’ll save you a great deal in maintaining good customer relationships and other business relationships.