Thanks to Amazon Prime, and other retail giants who have followed suit to offer free 2-day shipping, customer expectations around the speed and cost of shipping are constantly shifting.
As consumers, when we want something, we want it now.
As sellers, fulfilling those demands is easier said than done.
While order fulfillment may not be the most glamorous aspect of running an ecommerce business, it is a function that directly impacts an online merchant’s bottom line.Visit here; Fulfillment Expert.
Did you know:
- 61% of shoppers will abandon their cart if shipping, taxes, and other fees are too high.
- 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.
What is Order Fulfillment?
Order fulfillment is the process of storing inventory, picking and packing products, and shipping online orders to customers.
This process can be completed in-house by an ecommerce company or outsourced to a third-party logistics (3PL) provider.
Ecommerce order fulfillment applies to both business-to-business (B2B) orders — where large quantities of product are shipped to big-box retailers — as well as business-to-consumer (B2C) orders that are shipped directly to a single shopper’s home.
For B2C orders, the end consumer may place the order on the merchant’s website or through an online marketplace.
After the customer completes their purchase, the fulfillment process begins.
Understanding The Order Fulfillment Process
If you are new to the fulfillment world, you may not have put much thought into how an online order ends up at your doorstep.
However, there are many moving pieces — from routing and managing inventory to choosing the correct packaging for the lowest practical dimensional weight — that make up the entire fulfillment process.
There are nuances of each step of the fulfillment workflow, including receiving inventory, warehousing products, picking and packing items, and shipping orders.
Before you can fulfill orders from your online sales channels, you need inventory.
If you choose to fulfill orders in-house, your inventory must be on-hand.
If you are outsourcing fulfillment, inventory must be sent to the provider that will fulfill on your behalf.
2. Inventory storage.
Inventory storage, also known as warehousing, is the organization and storage of your products.
Proper inventory storage will keep your products secure and protected and help give you visibility into what is available to ship to your customers.
3. Order processing.
Once an order has been submitted, it will get processed.
These steps involve picking, or the retrieval of items from where they are stored, and packing, or getting the order ready to ship.