A fast, efficient, and reliable order fulfillment system is one of the keys to making sure that your customers are satisfied with their online shopping experience. If your ecommerce can quickly and correctly process, pack, and deliver goods, you’ll have more opportunities to make customers happy, as well as encourage them to share their positive experience with other potential buyers.
Handling order fulfillment in-house, however, can be too resource-intensive for a fledgling online shop or even an established brick-and-mortar store that is trying to improve its online sales. The good news is that many ecommerce fulfillment providers in the US are vying for your business. These companies receive, package, and send orders to waiting customers for a small intake fee, which can be paid by the hour or per unit. By partnering with a company that specializes in order fulfillment, entrepreneurs can focus on the more essential aspects of running and growing their online business.
Choosing the right service provider can be difficult if you have a lot of options right in front of you. To avoid disappointing partnerships, keep an eye out for the following issues while searching for an order fulfillment company:
Administrative errors take on many different forms—inaccurate product dimensions, incorrect shipment quantities, or even shipping the wrong items or to the wrong address, to name a few—all of which can earn you less-than-stellar online reviews from dissatisfied clients. Mundane clerical errors can increase expenses, leave your customer base unsatisfied, and deter would-be customers from relying on your business.
Before entrusting order fulfillment to a third party, make sure that your prospective partner has systems in place to reduce, if not eliminate, preventable clerical errors. Getting rid of simple clerical errors with the help of a software that keeps accurate track of inventory, for example, can significantly improve your bottom line.
For consumers, nothing can be more off-putting than finding out that the item they want to buy is priced differently than advertised. Changes in pricing is said to be the top reason for cart abandonment. This type of issue can be caused by clerical errors and outdated coupons, as well as using inaccurate calculations or failing to account for shipping costs and changes.
Determining how to charge for shipping is a struggle that almost all ecommerce businesses face. Your ideal order fulfillment provider should be able to help you overcome this challenge by offering various options, such as by basing shipping cost on the weight or price of the item. At the same time, in cases when price changes cannot be avoided, the order fulfillment service should be able to get in touch with the customers to inform them of the changes.
Failing to keep customers in the loop
Excellent customer service is of utmost importance to ecommerce businesses, as it’s one of the few ways that they can interact with their customers. Customer service also plays an important role should anything come between the customer and their orders.
In the event that the item goes missing or incurs damage, or if the delivery is delayed, will your order fulfillment company be able to provide adequate customer service? Will they be able to communicate with the customer and properly address their questions and concerns? Once you have partnered with an order fulfilment service, the last thing you want to do is to field questions from angry customers who were not informed about the changes in their purchases. As such, you will want to partner with an order fulfillment company who can keep customers in the know and answer all questions they may have.
Unreasonable returns policy
Inevitably, your order fulfillment partner will need to process returns on your behalf. This is why it’s important to look at the returns policy the company has in place. Is the return system simple enough that it won’t confuse the average customer? Will the customer be required to pay for the shipping of the returned item? Can the system successfully address and resolve issues that may cause dissatisfaction among customers?
Remember that returning an item also inconveniences the customer, so the process should be made as straightforward and as hassle-free as possible. With great customer service and returns policy, your order fulfillment company can turn the situation around, leave a positive impression on customers, and encourage them to keep coming back to your online store.
Finding the right order fulfillment company is a challenge for many entrepreneurs, but if you know what to look for and what to steer clear of, you’ll be able to weed out the ones you wouldn’t want to work with. Keep these red flags in mind when shopping for a provider and you’ll have an easier time coming up with a shortlist of dependable and trustworthy order fulfillment companies.