When it comes to an order’s journey, ecommerce fulfillment just might be the star of the show. When done right, it’s sets your shopper up for a delightful experience. But if done wrong, it can have lasting consequences for your brand.
Imagine this scenario for your shopper: they place an order for a new dining room table that they absolutely fell in love with and it’s the perfect fit for their space. They eagerly anticipate said dining room table’s delivery to their front door. They check the shipping and delivery status daily for updates. Finally, delivery day is here and their new table has arrived! But, there’s a problem. It’s the wrong table. Their initial excitement turns to disappointment, and then to frustration. They feel let down because they’ve received something they didn’t order.
Not only does the cost of a mis-pick hit your bottom line, it also impacts the likelihood (or unlikelihood) of your shopper becoming a repeat customer. It’s become more important than ever for brand’s to get fulfillment right to ensure a great shopper experience.
“The disruption in retail we’ve seen over the past twenty years has positioned fulfillment at the heart of the customer experience.” IBM
Why seamless ecommerce fulfillment is key to success
In today’s competitive landscape, shoppers have come to expect a relatively high level of precision when it comes to their order’s fulfillment. They don’t want the wrong item showing up at their doorstep, nor do they want the frustration of having to coordinate a return. Fulfillment has become a brand’s greatest asset (or a great liability if done wrong), as shoppers look at and weigh a brand’s “fulfillment capabilities when considering a purchase“.
So if your pick accuracy could use some improvement, read on to learn more about how to meet, and exceed, your shoppers’ expectations when it comes to getting their orders right.
How do you ensure seamless ecommerce fulfillment?
Shoppers expect more from their shopping experiences than ever before. Successfully navigating the realities of this ever-changing landscape is essential for sustainable growth.
The best way to ensure you are delivering on your fulfillment promises, level of quality is by bringing in an expert, either in-house or through a partnership. And since, again, the cost to fulfill in house is so high, a lot of booming ecommerce businesses go the third party logistics (3PL) route. This means finding a logistics partner that manages the shipping and fulfillment side of the business.
Top ecommerce fulfillment services
Don’t risk disappointed shoppers because of inconsistent fulfillment practices. In partnering with a third-party logistics provider, your brand can rely on professional expertise to help streamline and simplify the entire fulfillment process for you.
Below are a few of the top services that a 3PL provider does to help ensure seamless ecommerce fulfillment — and provide a positive experience for you and your customers.
1. Integrations & proprietary technology
Look for a 3PL whose order management system (OMS) can integrate seamlessly with your website. A 3PL can efficiently execute end-to-end order fulfillment using these integrations, from receiving inventory to delivering orders.
Utilizing the right technology makes the fulfillment process more cost-effective, convenient, predictable, and scalable. With GoBolt, brands gain real-time visibility into inventory, order statuses, and shipment tracking with our proprietary suite of apps.
2. Fulfillment center network strength
Storing your products closer to your shoppers allows for faster, and more efficient shipping. Having a strong, distributed network of fulfillment centers not only helps satisfy your shoppers and their expectations around fast delivery, but it also facilitates shorter shipping routes. Being able to optimize delivery routes benefits both your bottom line and our planet!
3. Speed and efficiency
When working with a 3PL fulfillment partner, you’ll want to ensure you discuss a few service level agreements (SLAs) before you get started. By identifying and defining a few target goals, you can help set benchmarks and expectations. A couple of examples include your pick accuracy rate, and fulfillment and shipping times, such as same-day fulfillment and 2-day shipping.
4. Transparent and frequent communication
Shoppers don’t like being left in the dark when it comes to the status of their order. In fact, 70% of shoppers said on of their top considerations when buying something online is the ability to check in on and track their order.
At GoBolt, brands gain access to a Merchant Portal where they get visibility into the fulfillment process. These insights include:
- Flexible shipments
- Order orchestration
- Inventory shipments/advance shipping notice
- Product and order management
- Error notifications
- Returns merchandise authorizations flow
Fulfillment is a key piece in the supply chain puzzle, especially as it relates to shopper satisfaction. It’s become increasingly important to provide a best-in-class fulfillment experience in order to complete a positive order cycle.