In today’s digital age, an E-commerce store can be considered one of the lucrative businesses. With most people shopping online nowadays, it can bring in more sales and revenues over time. Yet it’s important to note that a successful E-commerce business doesn’t only involve selling different kinds of products. It’s also essential to get the logistics in place to provide a more seamless and efficient order fulfilment process, making your customers happy and satisfied. This is where an order fulfilment strategy comes into play.
Essentially, an order fulfilment strategy can be a crucial aspect of an E-commerce business as it helps ensure packages arrive at their destination affordably and quickly. However, there are various order fulfilment strategies available at the moment. These can include direct-to-consumer order fulfilment, stores as distribution nodes, omni-channel order fulfilment, dropshipping, and third-party logistic provider (3PL).
Hence, to help choose the correct order fulfilment strategy, here are tips to consider from the get-go:
Know Your Customers
Generally, knowing your customers is vital when selecting the right order fulfilment strategy. When you analyse specific pieces of information, you’ll know which order fulfilment method can suit your customers best. For example, you should conduct thorough research about who your typical customer is, whether they’re located in higher shipping zones from the place of your inventory, what products are in-demand these days, and other relevant data to tailor your order fulfilment strategy based on their needs.
Aside from common customer information, it’s also essential to understand their behaviour. The level of service customers expects from you and the way they interact with your business can significantly affect the order fulfilment strategy you employ. Thus, it’s best to gather essential customer information to choose an effective order fulfilment strategy. The more you know your customers, their locations, and shopping habits, the more you evaluate the effectiveness of your chosen plan. Failing to do so may result in using the wrong strategy and slow fulfilment processes, leading to lost customers and revenues.
Get Familiar With Your Business’s Infrastructure
Getting familiar with the current infrastructure of your E-commerce business can also be important when choosing an order fulfilment strategy. In essence, E-commerce infrastructure refers to the facilities and tools utilized for operating an E-commerce business. These can include the services, network, hardware, and software used to support your operations.
Typically, your E-commerce infrastructure plays a crucial role as it can provide you with a framework for whatever strategy you’re considering for your operations. However, consider some things to understand your business’s infrastructure better. One of these is identifying the method of fulfilling orders, like whether they’re done manually or through automation. For example, if your business completes orders manually, determine whether it would make sense to bring automation to your operation to know which order fulfilment strategy is best suited to your business. If the answer is yes, you may consider using distributed order management software to automate, manage, and optimize order fulfilment processes.
Another part of getting to know your business’s infrastructure is looking at your parcel carrier options, such as local or regional carriers, adds-on services, intermodal and hands-off, and other related options. Familiarizing yourself with these options can help you figure out the amount of time you need to process and fulfill orders to satisfy the expectations and requirements of your customers. It can also help you know how many orders your business can accommodate daily.
So, by understanding your parcel carrier options as part of your business infrastructure, you can easily find the best order fulfilment strategy for your E-commerce operations.
Understand What Your Typical Order Looks Like
Another critical consideration to remember when choosing the right order fulfilment strategy is the typical order of your business. It’s crucial to understand better what this order looks like as it can give you a clear idea of how to form an order fulfilment strategy. Therefore, start gathering important order history data for the last couple of years, including the peak or seasonal periods of your business, order volume, average order profile, items in the order, and other relevant information.
By doing so, your E-commerce business can determine all the intricacies required to ensure the order fulfilment strategy you choose is efficient and reliable.
As an E-commerce business owner, picking the appropriate order fulfilment strategy can be one of the vital decisions you have to make for your business. However, the selection process doesn’t need to be difficult if you take note of the tips discussed here. Running such an operation can be challenging. This covers an in-depth understanding of your customers, order profile, and E-commerce infrastructure and having the right order fulfilment strategy to help your business grow and succeed in the long run.