6 Ways To Optimize Your Ecommerce Fulfillment Process

E-commerce is an ever-changing field. You need to stay on top of upgrading your programs to offer a reliable order experience for your customers. Modern customers have a lot of expectations when it comes to online ordering, and you don’t want to disappoint them.

The e-commerce market is heavily saturated with competition. Optimizing your fulfillment process ensures you build trust and loyalty with your customer base, helping you to combat that competition. You can find all of the ways to optimize your fulfillment process below.

1. Focus on Your Customers

colleagues working in office

First, check in with your customers. The people who shop with your company can provide reliable insight into where you need to improve your fulfillment process. You can ask them to fill out reviews or surveys after they receive their packages. Offering a reward for doing so makes it much more appealing to them. 

Focusing on giving the customers the best possible experience with your e-commerce company will make optimizing the rest of your fulfillment process come naturally. You can do this in several ways, including:

  • Offering accurate order tracking and information
  • Communicating with customers as much as possible
  • Answering customer questions and concerns quickly
  • Providing multiple shipping options at varying cost levels
  • Responding to users on your posts
  • Providing quick, easy solutions to order issues
  • Creating and selling products that customers want
  • Improving your picking and packing times

Overall, making improvements to various fulfillment aspects will help your brand become more appealing to your audience.

2. Streamline Ordering With Automation Tools

Next, you’ll want to add automation tools to your order processing. Automation in e-commerce includes various programs that can make steps in fulfillment happen automatically.

For example, automatic inventory tracking is a common tool. It records your product inventory and adjusts as customers place orders. It will even let you know when you need to restock and can do that for you if you want.

Automation tools are essential to optimizing your warehousing fulfillment process. They allow your team to work on other aspects of fulfillment with their full attention, so jobs get completed faster and with more accuracy. Plus, using a reliable program reduces the chance of human error taking place.

This software will also find the most efficient ways to implement the fulfillment process. It often comes up with strategies that you wouldn’t think of. It uses real-time inventory tracking, keeping your products from being over and understocked. So, it’s very handy for any e-commerce company to use.

3. Consider 3PL Options

man in gray shirt standing beside brown cardboard boxes

You should think about whether third-party logistics (3PL) would be right for you. Outsourcing can provide plenty of benefits, especially to smaller e-commerce brands that don’t have enough people to run everything in-house. 

A 3PL provider would give you space for your inventory in their warehouse, so you don’t have to find the room to store everything yourself. They also pick and pack each order, helping to streamline fulfillment more.

Plus, you can save money when you choose a 3PL option. These companies bundle everything in their pricing, making it easy to compare. You can choose the one that suits your brand the most.

When you work with a third party, you also can put more of your time and resources into building your brand. The 3PL handles all of the fulfillment for you, so it’s no longer a big concern. You can work on your advertising, products, and customer service instead.

4. Always Review Fulfillment Data

You must utilize your data analytics. You want to stay on top of order trends, inventory turnover, and the cost per order. These metrics and KPIs give you valuable insight into how your fulfillment process works.

If you notice a KPI is lacking, you can focus on improving it. Often, making positive changes to one fulfillment aspect will impact the entire process.

For instance, you might notice that fulfillment takes a long time during the shipping phase. Switching to another carrier that’s faster would help you cut down on the delivery times, keeping customers satisfied.

5. Teach and Train Your Team

Next, you should invest in your employees because they’re the backbone of the fulfillment process. Without them, nothing would work. When you invest in their training, you receive enhanced order accuracy, plus faster picking and packing.

Additional training also shows your employees that you want them to succeed in their roles. They’ll feel more confident at work and will thrive.

So, always properly train your employees and further their skills where needed. You can provide them with training for other roles, webinars, and more to keep them engaged. 

Training programs also make identifying high-potential workers easy. You can then hire within for higher positions since your employees will have the skills needed for leadership within your e-commerce company.

Overall, investing in your team’s education and training is one of the best things you can do for your brand.

6. Don’t Stop Optimizing

man carrying cardboard boxes

You’re never finished when it comes to optimizing your fulfillment processes. The sooner you realize this, the better. You should evaluate the process every so often and make changes. Otherwise, your methods become outdated and slow.

Review your KPIs for inefficiencies. The best ones to check often include:

Once you’ve spotted an issue, you’ll need to determine what’s causing it. For example, you notice that picking and packing are taking longer than usual. It could be due to a poor warehouse layout, poor inventory management, or excessive equipment downtime. Address these issues then reevaluate the KPI to see how those changes made a difference.

The more you optimize, the more efficient your fulfillment becomes. Optimizing is a process that never stops. You can always find something to improve and do better.

If you’re not sure where to start, talk to your employees. They can give you insight into how many processes work for them, plus what they think would help the work go smoother.

Optimize Your Fulfillment Processes

Improving your fulfillment process will help you provide better customer service and meet expectations. Start by focusing on your customers’ needs, automation tools, and employee training.

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