Tips from experts in e-commerce and shipping fulfillment.
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Retailers need to prepare to meet the growing demands of consumers who want to be able to purchase when, how and where they choose. Although this may complicate matters for vendors, successful retailers using an omnichannel approach with the right technologies, support and processes can meet these challenges in a cost efficient manner.
Andy Geldman’s article “22 Tips for E-Commerce Shipping and Fulfillment” contains a list of 22 tips from experts in e-commerce and shipping fulfillment. Here are just a few:
Shop Around for Carriers
Many businesses think it’s easier to select one carrier for everything, but this is not the case. It’s best to continually evaluate the right shipping mix in order to meet the needs of both the company and its customers.
Let the Professionals Handle Warehousing
Outsourcing your e-commerce warehousing can do your business a lot of good. You will not make money moving boxes and producing labels. Third parties can do this much better than most retailers can, leaving retailers time to focus on running their business.
Embrace Drop Shipping
Drop shipping means that retailers do not keep goods in stock. Instead they transfer customer orders and shipment details to either their manufacturer or a wholesaler who then ships the goods directly to the consumer. If implemented correctly, drop shipping can significantly reduce distribution and fulfillment costs.
Give Buyers Every Option
Many businesses only ship once a day. However, while some consumers may be happy with a three-day delivery, others may wish for same-day delivery or even free delivery. If retailers don’t want to miss out on sales opportunities, they must be able to offer these different options.
Amazon has set the bar high in terms of fulfillment within the e-commerce sector. Shipments are securely packed, quickly filled (often on the same day) and the online shopper receives a notification when the goods are on their way.
Look for Efficiencies
The more similar orders are, the more efficient retailers can become. For example, multiple orders can be picked at the same time in waves. The more orders received for a single type of product, the faster the picking and packing becomes. This can be useful during sales promotion periods.
Keep Your Delivery Promises
By keeping delivery promises, retailers can keep their customers. Retailers who get their parcels to their customers quickly and safely and offer as much status visibility as possible during the delivery journey create a very positive customer experience.
Surprise Your Customer with Shipping Upgrades
Retailers need to do more than just deliver to their customers, they need to delight them too. For example if customers are simply expecting to receive a delivery on time, the company can delight them by upgrading their parcel to a priority shipping status for no extra charge. This will often cost the business only a little more or in many cases it could end up costing less than a standard delivery.
Fulfillment can be a very complex and time-consuming process. By automating or outsourcing, retailers can ensure their deliveries will be handled by professionals who know how to keep customers more than happy.