eCommerce has changed the way we shop. It has also changed the way retailers operate their businesses. It has undoubtedly broadened the scope of purchasing and delivery methods. Over time, retailers have adapted and evolved their order fulfilment processes to maintain customer satisfaction.
However, sometimes it’s hard to keep up with customer demands and expectations. Orders in the eCommerce space move quickly. During busy periods or the lead up to the holidays, a retailer may struggle to keep up with order fulfilment from their online portals. When the pressure to deliver rises, you might face obstacles and recognise flaws in your eCommerce fulfilment strategy.
Check out these four common obstacles faced through the eCommerce fulfilment process.
Your technology doesn’t match your needs
It is without a doubt that eCommerce and order fulfilment strategies have evolved quickly. However, has your company’s technology evolved with it? Sometimes businesses struggle to adapt because their technology isn’t scalable. Arguably, there are barriers to new technology, namely the price tag. However, if your order fulfilment is being conducted manually or with a very rudimentary system, you will struggle to track your inventory and get shipments out the door on time. Suddenly, the new technology doesn’t seem so expensive.
New technology can be overwhelming for companies, as they can get behind very quickly. Once they get behind, it’s hard to catch up and manage customer expectations along the way. Don’t get trapped in this spiral. Find technology that can support you and grow with you.
Bad customer reviews
Technology can be one of the reasons you have poor order fulfilment from your eCommerce platform. However, when other facets of the process are not streamlined, customers will start to notice. If items are delivered late or broken, this will also impact on customer satisfaction. Their frustration can pour through on online platforms. Whether social media or email, when customers are upset they will let you know. Analyse what customers are saying and look for patterns in their feedback. Hopefully, you can derive a common theme and fix that part of your fulfilment process.
Your team doesn’t have the right skills
Without the right skills on board, there are likely to be problems when it comes to order fulfilment in the warehouse. If employees don’t have previous experience in a warehouse setting, then they need to be trained properly. Each company has a different procedure for stock taking. If your employees don’t know how your company manages your stock taking requirements, then your inventory numbers could be off, resulting in an inventory discrepancy. A few errors in the stock taking process can lead to a domino effect of problems throughout the entire order fulfilment process.
If you find that there is always a backlog in your warehouse and shipments aren’t getting out on time, this could lead to a big obstacle in your eCommerce order fulfilment. Instead, look at outsourcing the fulfilment process. If you’ve run out of space in your warehouse or battling to get orders out the door, look at using third-party fulfilment. They take can of all stages of fulfilment and allow you to focus on other critical parts of your business.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.