Building the kind of eCommerce fulfillment solution that satisfies online customers every time they order is not as easy as it may seem. Many challenges can get in the way of delivering your products to your customers quickly, correctly, and without damage.
From small businesses to well-established, reputable enterprises, eCommerce order fulfillment issues are common for many.
If you have encountered problems or are branching into the world of eCommerce, these are some common challenges you may face and solutions for how to address each one.
eCommerce Fulfillment Problems and Solutions
1. Shipping Delays
In today’s immediate gratification era, users don’t just want fast shipping – they expect it. As a result, Two-day shipping has become the set standard, and anything short of that may be a cause for complaint.
Many customer bases value receiving their products as fast as possible, so they often don’t mind paying extra. Customers are willing to pay a premium to get their items fast, whether it’s the same rush shipping or the peace of mind knowing something will arrive before a specific date.
Don’t force your customers to turn to your competition to get the same product faster. Instead, try something different.
The eCommerce industry moves fast, so your eCommerce fulfillment services need to be just as fast! It’s crucial to work with a fulfillment provider who can guarantee the shipping timelines your customers expect if you want to create a short, streamlined, and efficient eCommerce shipping process.
To avoid shipping delays and cater to every customer, provide a range of shipping options for them to select from. These might include same-day delivery, two-day delivery, and standard group shipping. Of course, the faster the shipping timeline, the higher the rate customers pay.
It is also a great idea to add tracking codes for all orders so loyal customers can monitor their order status and see exactly where it’s at.
2. Shipping Location Constraints
Location, location, location. Purchasing the perfect home in a suitable location for your needs is much like finding an eCommerce fulfillment center with a prime location for your customers. The location of your eCommerce fulfillment centers greatly influences how quickly your products get to your customers.
So instead of choosing a location that is land-locked and only offers one shipping carrier, try something different.
Choose the best eCommerce 3PL provider with multiple warehouse locations so that you know your products get to your customers as quickly as possible. How do you find a partner that suits your business and customers? Research to learn more about where your customers are, and choose a fulfillment provider with warehouse locations that match.
Be sure to consider international customers, too. If you sell worldwide, you need a fulfillment partner that can streamline international shipping for not only speed of delivery but also cost-effectiveness. We recommend working with a fulfillment center close to water and can port products anywhere you need them.
3. Poor Inventory Management
Without a streamlined system, you can easily fall into the trap of catering to every individual customers’ request and promising timelines that aren’t feasible.
Having an in-house warehouse management system might lead to mismanagement and miscalculation of products, making the seemingly-simple task of order fulfillment near impossible.
When your customers place an order, they assume that the product is available. But if they don’t receive it promptly, they lose the trust they put in your business and won’t continue to support your company. So instead of managing things in-house, try something different.
Think about outsourcing your order fulfillment services to a trusted partner who can manage things for you. Because this falls in their area of expertise, a fulfillment center that offers inventory management can be the perfect all-in-one solution. The warehouse management system uses technology that tracks relevant data and ensures your inventory is always up-to-date and well managed.
4. Items Lost or Damaged During Transit
Nothing is more disappointing than waiting all week for your exciting new package to arrive only to open up a box of broken or damaged goods. Customers will be less likely to try ordering from your store again unless you do a great job fixing their situation.
Replacing damaged products can quickly become very expensive if they happen frequently, and keeping up with customer service inquiries can become another full-time job. Not only should you send the customer a replacement free of charge, but you’ll need to cover any shipping costs and respond to their messages promptly and courteously. Instead of the headache, try something different.
First, you will want to make things right with the customer in the short term. This usually means giving them the benefit of the doubt and replacing their lost or damaged items. You may also want to offer future discounts for the customer to return and shop with you again.
Instead of just mitigating it, you need to improve your packing and management best practices to solve this problem. Make sure that you use durable containers that won’t crush the items inside. Because containers get stacked and thrown around, it’s crucial to ensure the ones you use can withstand the weight. Check that you are loading pallets adequately, staying under the weight limit, and not letting packages hang over the edge.
5. Administration Errors
Administrative errors can occur for many reasons but are often linked to human error. Whether it’s reading an order wrong, picking the wrong product, or switching labels from one package to another, these simple mistakes can cost you big in the long run.
When orders get wrongly labeled, the delivery team ends up with the wrong product and delivers it to the wrong customer. How can you avoid costly administrative errors? Try something different.
A third-party warehousing and logistics company like BR Williams can provide you with order fulfillment services that help you manage your warehouse layout and avoid costly label mix-ups. Inventory is tracked using barcodes, and with more than one touch-point, your products are double-checked to ensure that the labeling and product inside is the same. This process minimizes errors and, in turn, boosts profitability.
Say goodbye to fulfillment issues now!
As Alabama’s choice eCommerce transportation and fulfillment solution center, BR Williams understands the ins and outs of eCommerce order fulfillment. Our experts help businesses like yours harness the power of reliable order fulfillment, real-time inventory management, and everything in between.
For more information on how to get started, contact us today!
About BR Williams Trucking & Logistics
BR Williams, a family-owned Trucking, Warehousing, Fulfillment & Logistics Company has been serving customers since 1958. We specialize in removing the supply chain frustrations our customers have by developing custom-made solutions. We offer nationwide transportation services through our fleet and logistics division. Our multiple fulfillment and distribution warehouses in Alabama including the Port of Mobile span over 1.7 million square feet. Our core values are Honesty, Integrity, Service. We still serve our first customer that was established in 1958.