Order fulfilment is one of the most critical functions within an e-commerce business. With so many elements within the order fulfilment process, there a multiple of issues which can arise if not conducted efficiently.
The significant rise in online retail amid COVID-19 further adds to the importance of a ‘right-first-time’ approach when it comes to the order fulfilment process.
Incorrect orders and delayed deliveries are now deemed unacceptable by consumers and inaccuracies can result in negative reviews and could seriously impact your bottom line.
With efficiency at the forefront of the e-commerce industry, many businesses are now opting to outsource their order fulfilment to a 3PL (third-party logistics) provider to ensure that customer deliveries are consistently timely and accurate.
This article covers some of the biggest challenges within the order fulfilment process and what e-commerce businesses can do to avoid these pitfalls.
What are the biggest challenges within order fulfilment?
Some of the most common challenges experienced by e-commerce business within the order fulfilment process are as follows:
Whilst international buyers will allow some leeway when it comes to delivery times, a lack of international delivery options could result in them taking their business elsewhere.
Most consumers want their orders as soon as possible, so many international buyers are willing to pay increased shipping costs if it means they’ll get their order faster.
Consumers who receive a damaged product means one thing – the item wasn’t packaged sufficiently.
Damaged goods can result in many setbacks for e-commerce businesses, including frustrated customers who are unlikely to order from you again and covering the costs for replacement items.
It really does pay to make sure that your items are packaged appropriately every time to avoid experiencing these financial setbacks.
3PL providers offer a range of packaging options to ensure that your products, regardless of shape and size, will arrive safely to your customers every time.
Inadequate inventory management
It’s incredibly frustrating for customers to order a product, only to receive an email minutes later confirming it’s out of stock.
Not only is this disappointing for customers, but it also suggests that your business’ operations are not up to scratch.
Not keeping track of stock can result in having to process refunds and ultimately wastes valuable time.
At Pointbid, we use the latest technology to provide accurate data every time. Our online portal updates inventory data automatically, reducing the human error likely to take place in an untrustworthy spreadsheet.
Poor customer service
If your customer has a query regarding an order, is it clear on your website where they need to go?
Some online retailers are guilty of being a faceless establishment, leaving customers who need help feeling lost and frustrated.
Clearly displaying your customer service options, whether it be a helpline or live chat option, immediately reassures the customer, knowing that someone is there to help solve their query
A team of efficient staff who can provide delivery updates and order details is a worthwhile investment for e-commerce businesses and is likely to result in result in relieved customers.
Many online stores receive a significant boost in business during particular times of the year. Whilst this boom is great for business, many small to medium-sized e-commerce companies can find themselves feeling overwhelmed by the increase in orders.
Many 3PL providers create tailored plans that are suited to your business needs, meaning that you only pay for the service you use.
Outsourcing your order fulfilment during these seasonal peaks can help free up your time to focus on other business priorities whilst having the peace of mind that orders are being taken care of efficiently.
These are just some of the many challenges which e-commerce businesses can experience during the order fulfilment process.
If your business is facing any of these challenges, it may be time to consider outsourcing to a 3PL provider like Pointbid.
Our company has over 50 years’ experience within e-commerce fulfilment and offers bespoke services tailored to the structure of your business.
If you’d like to know more about your options, please give Pointbid a call on 0121 326 7368 and save both time and money with your order fulfilment.