Written by David Renwick
Simply starting an eCommerce store is not enough to succeed in the online business world. To keep up with the competition, you need to use
eCommerce fulfilment is the system that you use to get orders out to your customers quickly and at a high level of quality. Fulfilment apps on Shopify (or whatever ecommerce platform you use) is the difference between an OK customer experience to having loyal raving fans.
From what eCommerce fulfilment management is, to how you can start integrating it with your own store, this guide will tell you everything you need to know to start fulfilling orders like a pro.
Getting the sale is one thing, however getting the actual product to the customer is just as important. Order fulfilment covers everything that gets an order to a customer. The sale isn’t sealed until it’s in their hands!
Fulfilment management includes several key steps:
eCommerce fulfilment integration uses software to create an efficient system for these steps. When someone places an order, a fulfilment management system makes sure that inventory is up to date on the website, order forms, shipping and labels are all correct and made automatically, and that the customer receives what they ordered in a timely fashion.
81% of customers say that a positive customer service experience increases their chances of making a repeat purchase. And when it costs 7 times more to get a new customer than to retain an existing one, every part of order fulfilment counts! Below are a few more reasons why efficient fulfiment integration is so important.
Efficient delivery is one of the most important parts of running an ecommerce store.
Using an eCommerce shipping integration like Starshipit allows customers to choose the right shipping price for them, and automatically allocates the order to your chosen courier with labels ready to print. These automations add up to a seamless customer ordering experience.
Your goal is to eliminate any friction for customers purchasing online. Having an efficient fulfilment management system means that you can pick, pack and ship their order with ease, no matter how many orders are coming in.
Although your orders and profit might be increasing over time, the number of hours you have in a day won’t increase.
This is what luxury plume brand The Feather found when their business took off.
They were getting around 100 orders a day, but they were still writing out orders manually which led to a lot of errors and parcels being sent back because they had incorrect addresses.
Once they started using Starshipit to automate their fulfilment process, they saved 80% in order handling time. This is how shipping integration and order fulfilment management can help you to handle more orders and scale your income without losing your mind.
eCommerce fulfilment integration can also help you to grow by giving you back your time. This helps you to focus on other areas of growth like marketing and promotion instead of spending hours on order fulfilment. Having an efficient system also helps you to start outsourcing because someone else can easily pick up the processing part of the business. But you need the system in place first!
When you are figuring out your order fulfilment process, there are a few key steps that you will need to consider.
Looking at each of these and figuring out how long each one takes you will give you an idea of how much to charge, how much your time is worth, and whether you need a more efficient system for getting orders out.
Before you can upload stock onto your website, you need to order and receive it from your manufacturers. Do you have a system for checking the quality and quantity of orders as they arrive? This will save you time when it comes time to pick the order.
You shouldn’t be wasting time looking for items when someone places an order! You should have a shelving system that anybody could come in and understand if you weren’t there. If you use third party logistics (3PL), then they will usually have an SKU system in place for your items so you don’t have to keep track of everything.
Organising inventory storage will help in a few ways:
You should spend some time figuring out the best way to organize stock in your space.
What happens immediately after an order comes through? Do you get an email notification? Do you have a shipping integration that starts the process for you? Do all orders come into one place? Even if you only get a few orders a week as you start out, you should have an automated process for starting orders that can be replicated every single time.
If you have a good system for inventory management and order processing, picking the order should be the easy part.
If you are running social media accounts, this can make great behind the scenes content to show how you put customer orders together.
Your packaging is important for keeping logistics costs low. When you are starting out, it is more important to have low shipping costs than fancy packaging. This will keep the price down for customers and get you brownie points with your carrier partners.
Customers have a high level of expectations for shipping when they shop online.
Integrating shipping software into your fulfilment process is the simplest way to improve your efficiency.
Using an all-in-one shipping integration like Starshipit for your ecommerce store means that you can:
Delivery can be a super simple part of your order fulfilment with the right shipping integration!
The sale isn’t complete until the order is in the customer’s hands. Using shipping integration software alongside your ecommerce platform means that you can send out automatic updates to your customers without doing any extra work.
The last part of integration fulfilment management is processing returns. Nobody likes to process returns, however 92% of customers say that they will purchase again if the return is simple. Your process for this should be as high quality as the original order.
The best part about modern fulfilment management? It integrates seamlessly with your existing ecommerce store.
eCommerce shipping integrations mean no more copying and pasting addresses and getting them wrong. It means no more manually ticking off dispatches.
Online store The Bulk Pantry is a great example of how shipping integrations can help you simplify order fulfilment. They are a family-owned brand that had to quickly adapt to online sales and shipping when the 2020 pandemic hit. For most consumers, efficiency and affordability is one of the most important factors when ordering food online.
With the ability to compare accurate shipping rates from different couriers, Starshipit helped The Bulk Pantry choose the most reliable and cost-effective courier every time, which saved both money and time.
For example, when a new order comes into the dashboard, a courier will be automatically assigned based on factors like location, order value, type of product, or simply the cheapest option.
This is how easy eCommerce shipping gets to be!
If you are starting to get overwhelmed by order fulfilment, it might be time to outsource some or all of your fulfilment process.
Integrated fulfilment services should save you time, money or both. If it is still more economical to fulfill the orders yourself (and you can do it at a high level of efficiency), you might want to just use an integrated software.
Here are a few things to consider when looking for a fulfilment integration company:
Efficient order fulfilment should be the focus of growing your eCommerce brand. By using a shipping integration like Starshipit your eCommerce fulfilment will wow your customers and give you back your evenings. Take the stress out of eCommerce order fulfilment with Starshipit!