How to make your fulfilment process more efficient
You might not even be aware of this, but your order management process might be costing you a lot of sales. Just think about it for a second. A payment error, a delivery issue, or even a missed order from time to time can leave your customers disappointed. And in this ecommerce world, disappointment equals a lost customer, one that won’t ever come back to shop with you.
In this article, we’ll go through what the perfect order management system looks like and how it should work.
But what exactly is order management?
Order management is all about keeping track of all the orders that are coming into a retail business and managing the processes required to fulfil them. This includes everything from the point of receiving an order right through to delivery as well as after-sales experience and dealing with any relevant returns.
The first step is obviously to receive an order. But what do you do afterwards? How do you make sure that your customer will receive the goods? Let’s start with payment processing.
Failing to properly take a payment is like burning money, literally. All that hard marketing and conversion work going down the drain needlessly at the last minute by a faulty or hard-to-use payment system.
As such, we recommend choosing a payment processor that’s highly trusted, secure and reliable. This is an absolute must to maintain a quality ecommerce order management process.
Without one, you may miss out on multiple sales. Or worse – fulfil an order without realizing payment hasn’t yet gone through. Additionally, for sales that take place in-store, it’s also a good idea to have a quality POS card reader in place too.
Multiple sales channels
As you may or may know already know, listing your products across multiple online channels is a great way to increase overall sales. But then again, without a proper system in place, it’s also a great way to oversell and miss orders. And we really don’t want that, do we?
It’s true, you could manually log in to every single sales channel that you have, and manually export your orders every hour or so. But doing that in 2020 is a bit ridiculous, to be honest.
An order management system that automatically consolidates orders into one easy to use interface is well worth the investment – both in terms of time saved and order fulfilment.
Packing your orders correctly
The packing stage is more than just throwing the products into a box as quickly as possible and sending it on its way.
It’s an opportunity to make completely sure that you’re sending the right products to the right customers and in the most efficient way.
Here are some things to consider:
-The box size. This is literally the first thing that you have to check. Shipping companies now tend to incorporate dimensions into their prices – so having 3-5 standard box sizes to choose from helps keep costs down while not being overly confusing. A box that’s too large would mean the product inside it would roll and get smashed along the way. Or you’d have to use a LOT of padding inside the box, which is again, waste of money. And using a box that’s too small… well, that’s self-explanatory as to why it wouldn’t work.
-Verifying the order accuracy. Verifying each item is going in with the correct order as it’s being packed is a great fail-safe check. We’d recommend using a barcode scanner.
The next step: shipping the product
Okay, so you’ve picked the order, you’ve packaged it, and it’s almost ready to go to your buyer. All that’s left to do now is:
-Printing out a label to put on the box. A great order management software will have that ability built-in already, to make your life even easier.
-Marking the order as “shipped” in your software
-Sending out emails/notifications to your customer that the order has been shipped out successfully. Again, a great software should do this automatically.
This is what is basically boils down to. Making sure that you follow all of the above steps correctly and efficiently. Make sure that you can process payments easily and quickly. Be sure that you can manage your orders correctly. Pick them, pack them correctly, label them, and despatch them.
It sounds easy, right? But just think how much easier it would be if you’d be using an industry-leading order management software. You could do everything from one single interface, everything from receiving orders, to printing labels and sending out confirmation emails.