Successful fulfilment process is the percentage of orders meeting delivery performance with complete and accurate documentation and no delivery damage (Supply Chain Council). It is the act of quick and accurate shipping of a purchased order. Unarguably, happy and satisfied customers result in increased business transactions, making order fulfilment one of the key contributors to the success of an e-commerce business.
Competition in e-commerce business has doubled in recent times. And, to survive in such a competitive scenario online retailers are brainstorming for novel ideas to retain existing customers and attract new customers. But, the bottom line of any strategy remains the same as successful order fulfilment. For example, as an online retailer, you may introduce festive discounts and offers on all available items in your store. The discounts may attract customers and increase business transactions but if purchased products do not reach the customers on time and in good condition then it will repel customers from shopping in your store in future. Thus, a good order fulfilment plan is the core for any online retailer. It will help retailers to stand out from their competitors and attract repeat business.
There are many deciding factors that contribute to successful fulfilment and repeat business such as free delivery,one-day shipping , discounts, and offers. Like in any other business, e-commerce business also requires an in-depth understanding of competitor strategies. This works as a reference while planning your own selling and shipping strategies. Agreed that there are many challenges to ensure successful order fulfilment but they can be mitigated by reconsidering some of the basic process related factors in the supply chain network.
Though the order fulfilment aspect of e-commerce is mostly hidden from customers, business owners need to understand the intricacies of it to grow into a successful company. One of the thumb rule while promising delivery time is, always keep a buffer because customers do not mind receiving their orders early but they definitely get furious when their orders reach late. It is also required of e-commerce business to keep a tab on various channels used to place an order and treat all channels as equal. This will eliminate confusion, delay, and missing orders. And finally, communicate regularly with your customers regarding their order status such as order placed, on the way, out for delivery etc. This will give your customers the confidence and trust on your service leading to more business transactions and profit for your company. Thus, consider all the direct and indirect factors of order fulfilment while devising a fulfilment strategy of your firm.