A 5 Step Guide On Order Fulfillment For eCommerce Website
eCommerce has really made easy. Hasn’t it? Especially for buyers. All they need is to click on their desired product, add to cart and process the payment. And it is done. Within a few days, the product will reach the buyer’s home. But what exactly happens behind the scenes? How do retailers run their online business through a virtual office? The answer is efficient Order fulfilment for eCommerce. Let’s understand more about this.
In layman terms, Order fulfilment for eCommerce is the complete process from receiving the order to processing and then delivering it to the end customers. To help better understand exactly what order fulfilment for ecommerce is, let’s walk through the different steps involved:
Here is a 5 Step Guide that will take you through the order fulfilment for eCommerce, every entrepreneur has to follow.
1) Order Inventory
Products sold through online retail stores have to be pre-ordered in bulk by a third-party. This manufacturer or supplier will sell at a wholesale rate. Since orders are unpredictable, the flow can be either fast or slow, either way, items always have to be stocked up in advance.
The minute the inventory is delivered, check each item thoroughly. Tally the number of items ordered and delivered. Also, check for damages that may have been caused due to transport or some other unfortunate circumstance.
Add SKU’s or Labels to your products are essential as they keep a track of each product in the warehouse. This also helps keep a clear count of how many products have been sold. Insert all the Stock Keeping Units inside warehouse management software. This will complete step one of order fulfilment.
2) Inventory Storage
After you check, count, label, and insert SKU’s in a Warehouse management software. You must organize products on the shelves. They have to be strategically placed so as to increase the speed and efficiency of product packaging. For example, those products which sell quick and often have to be placed close to the packing station. The speed of transferring it from the shelf and boxing it becomes fast as the task becomes easy.
You can segregate products through the warehouse management software.
3) Process the order
Every time a customer places an order, it is noted by the retailer and then sent to the warehouse. The product is then looked up and sent for packaging. Instead of going through this prolonged process, the best solution for saving shipping cost and time is installing automated shipping software. This not only gives you the best price on bulk orders but also provides benefits like one point of contact, access to the best courier companies, quick delivery and optimum efficiency.
This software allows the order from the eCommerce website to directly process order by assigning AWB number, choosing preferred courier partners and printing shipping documents. It reduces confusion and makes processing an order simple and hassle-free.
When the order reaches the warehouse, the product is sorted out by its label or SKU. Once double checked, this product is parcelled to the shipping centre. Be sure the packaging is sturdy and durable. Transport at times damages fragile goods.
The shipping company weighs the parcel and accordingly suggests the best shipping price. If your products are of the same size say for example LensKart. This site only sells spectacles; hence their shipping cost will more or less be the same for all the orders. But this is not the case with most sites. Package sizes differ and so do prices. To understand the concept of Applied Weight, please refer to this blog.
5) Return Back Offer
One of the strongest perks of ordering online is the Return Back Policy. This is a MUST HAVE for customers. Although it is a pleasure for the customer to be able to return the product, for the seller it is a pain. Keeping a track of all the return back orders is hectic and if not handled properly may lead to extreme mess ups. Even before this, you need to understand more about the reverse logistics.
These are the basic universal steps for eCommerce sites selling any kind of products. The details of each step can be customized according to the product that is being displayed. But once this process is perfected, your sales will touch the sky!