Optimize Order Fulfillment & Shipment Process Before The Sales Season

Online retail is growing like a wildfire. And the seasonal sales act as a great catalyst. Retailers don’t hesitate to take advantage of the times when the market is at a boom, and shoppers are all ready to splurge. 

With the aim of big sales and profit, they streamline their order fulfillment strategy to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction, loyalty, and personalized experience. By employing a great strategy,  you can efficiently utilize the resources, drive better sales, and generate more engagement. 

The e-sellers employ modern eCommerce fulfillment tools to handle their supply chain operations, especially during peak times. We are about to mention several keynotes that you might want to scribble down as it will help you in the upcoming boom in the sales season.

But before getting your feet into it, you need to understand how an optimized fulfillment process impacts your sales.

Questions To Ask Before Entering The Seasonal Sales

So, consider the order fulfillment process as an ecosystem that consists of tasks and activity related to fulfilling the orders. Now pour some thoughts on the following questions:

 

Do You Have Enough Stocks?

There is a sudden spike in your sales during the seasonal sales time, or demand for your certain products becomes high resulting in rapid selling. Do you have provisions for extra stock or have a safety stock at hand? You must be ready with all precautionary measures available to handle the rush.

 

Are You Able To Replenish Your Inventory On Time?

Now having stocks at your warehouse and replenishing inventory are altogether different procedures. Replenishing inventory takes its own sweet time as it involves few days to pick & pack the items by the supplier along with additional days in the traversing process. And a few more to get listed in your inventory and finally reaching the warehouses. There is a certain quantity set as to when you must replenish your inventory. And during the seasonal sales, the situation might get haywire if you were to manage everything manually.

 

Are Your Warehouses Adequately Aligned?

Warehouses experience a busy schedule during the sales season. For instance, the arrival of new stocks, order returns, order dispatch, loading the orders in the shipping area and much more. The need is to ensure that you have arranged everything efficiently. You must plan a balanced layout of your warehouse and maintain separate areas for specific tasks. 

 

Can You Manage The Order Returns Without Hassle?

 

Stating of State of eCommerce Delivery Consumer Research Report:

“49 % of respondents confirmed that an online merchant’s returns policy had deterred them from making a purchase.”

 

You have to maintain various touch-points like do the courier returns need to reach the point of origin or put away in the damaged stock. The customer-initiated returns need to be differentiated at the warehouse. Do the returned orders reflect in your inventory?

 

Can You Ensure Timely Shipping And Delivery?

 

According to Cart Abandonment Rate Statistics :

53% of shoppers say that speed of delivery is an important factor when it comes to evaluating their online orders.”

“38% of shoppers will never shop with a retailer again if they had a poor delivery experience.

25% of shoppers have canceled an order because of slow delivery speeds.”

 

This sales season make sure that your customers become your regular customers. Follow these key fulfillment factors:

  • Make shipment tracking information available to them
  • Ensure timely delivery
  • Make sure they don’t receive wrong orders
  • Condition of the products should remain intact
  • Initiating and completing returns process should be easy

 

Scale Your Order Fulfillment Operations

Achieving a near-perfect fulfillment process is not an impossible task. Here are some insights to scale your order fulfillment operations more quickly, accurately, and efficiently.

 

Adopt Omnichannel Strategy to Engage with Customers

The omnichannel strategy utilizes multiple sales channels to provide customers with a seamless shopping experience. It empowers you to engage your customers with consistent quality service across various channels of markets; online marketplaces, physical stores, or a company website. You can route the online orders directly to the nearest store for fulfillment. It ensures:

  • Reduced logistics cost
  • Assured customer satisfaction
  • Reduced order processing time
  • Flexibility to control the order allocation

Automate to Take Swift Actions

Automating your order management system speeds up your fulfillment process. You may start small by investing in scanners. Make a smooth entry of products into the inventory system as it moves to your warehouse area, or scanning it out as it leaves.

Then you can move to automate everything, including where to route, how to ship, how much to replenish inventory, and much more.

 

Go for Cloud-Based Inventory to Ensure Transparency

Transparency of stock levels becomes essential in the fulfillment strategy while selling across multiple channels. Inventory visibility keeps you updated so that you can be proactive and replenish stocks to meet future demands.

Adopting a cloud-based inventory is the easiest way to increase the visibility of inventory across all channels. It provides a versatile environment where all stock levels, across all sales channels, are managed under a single interface.

 

Assess your Warehouses for a Quick Pick, Pack, & Deliver

The warehouse is the heart of the order fulfillment process. Whether you ship goods to a retailer or straight to the customer, its speedy delivery depends on the efficiency of the warehouse. If you want to identify the problem in your order fulfillment process, it’s best to start here. Assess your warehouse on following touch-points:

  • Layout pattern
  • Utilization of space
  • Labeling areas

Once you assess and optimize your warehouse, you can quickly move on to evaluating your packaging and picking strategy accordingly.

 

Integrate your Planning Software to get Better Control

Maintaining and managing different ERPs can become complex and create problems in the fulfillment process. Ensure high control and manageability by integrating all your ERPs like Tally, Oracle, Net-suite, and more. This will help you to unify all your information regarding sales, payments, accounting, and returns.

 

Fast Shipping and Delivery to Make Customers Happy

Instead of managing everything on your own, enable your seller to ship the product directly to the consumers through drop shipping. It ensures:

  • Strong vendor relationship
  • High product assortments
  • Low inventory carrying costs
  • Low stock-outs
  • Faster delivery time

 

Keep a count of items in stock that has to be shipped. Maintain an end to end tracking of shipment statuses. It improves the end customer experience. The real-time insight from smart labels such as barcode enables efficient tracking. It processes items that are in, through, and out of the warehouse.

 

Smooth Returns Management & Eliminate Delays

Stating of State of eCommerce Delivery Consumer Research Report:

49 % of respondents confirmed that an online merchant’s returns policy had deterred them from making a purchase.”

Hence, you should have clear visibility about the returns received so that any delay in managing refunds to a customer (for an online return) can be eliminated. Ensure that all the information for a return moves quickly between your systems so your customer can be assisted well with the return requests.

 Unicommerce helped hundreds of retailers with hasslefree solutions. Our order management system is a value-add to the structure of your retail operation. Request a free demo with us today!



3 Comments

  • Sakshi

    These questions are very important to keep in mind when thinking of sale to organize when it’s the end of the season to make sure no discomfort during the process and keep it smooth.

  • Mahesh

    Very well written blog. Even I started my own store recently and this blog has made me THINK about these questions before entering the end of season sale. Thanks!

  • Anish

    I really like this article. It’s very helpful and a good read. I’d like to know if there are more articles on how to optimize the pricing for all the products during the end of season sale on all channels.

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