The e-Commerce fulfillment process is essentially the part of your operation that gets the product from the business to the customer. It only has three main elements: Picking, packing and shipping. Although the processes sound simple enough, there are certain complexities with each. These will be addressed later on.
The key factor in your online business running smoothly will always be its e-commerce fulfillment process. A recent study found that the call of free shipping influenced 83% of all shoppers. High priced fulfillment is the number one reason that online shoppers make it check out and abandon their baskets. So ensuring the best possible fulfillment process for any e-Commerce business is the best way forward.
What is the Fulfillment Process?
The e-Commerce fulfillment process does not differ from the fulfillment process of an order management system, should that be familiar. If not here, it is explained:
The fulfillment process is simply the process from the placement of the order until the customer receives it. The pathway is shown below:
- The customer receives the order via one of the businesses available submission mediums
- The order is received and processed by the in house order management system. If the customer is new, a new account will be created. If the customer is existing, the order will be added to their existing account details.
- Notification via a digital medium, either SMS or email of the receipt of order is sent.
- A two-section order is passed to the warehouse both in digital and paper format. This will also be visible on the OMS system
- Order is then located at the warehouse by a warehouse operative, and this is called the order picking.
- The items will be quality checked, correctly packaged and distribution labels assigned
- Order is shipped via a courier service.
- The customer receives notification that the order has been dispatched, this will be sent to the same medium as order receipt.
- Order arrives with customer.
The e-Commerce fulfillment process is incredibly important when it comes to order process management. Having a streamlined system and the help of an order management system will always see this process run at its most streamlined.
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How Does the E-commerce Fulfillment Process Work?
The e-Commerce fulfillment process follows a simple and effective pathway. Having an understanding of the steps involved in the process will enable you to manage your outsourced fulfilment provider.
The e-commerce fulfillment process steps are outlined below:
- You place an order with the manufacturer.
- Product is distributed from the manufacturer to the fulfillment warehouse.
- Product is received, checked and added to current inventory.
- Your products are placed onto shelves.
- Orders are received from your sales channels.
- Money goes into your business account.
- Order is picked, scanned, packed and depleted from your stock.
- The order is prepared for shipping.
- The logistics company collects and transports order to the customer.
- The order arrives safely with your customer.
What are the 6 Steps To Optimized Order Fulfillment?
The six-step process has been tried, tested and has resulted in many successes when it comes to the e-Commerce fulfillment process. The steps are shown and detailed below:
- Classify Inventory - A classification of inventory is assigning a category to your inventory based on size, frequency or even velocity. This would be designated based on the business requirements. Upon classification, the process will help identify which products share attributes. By taking the time to do this, cost-to-pick graphs can be formulated.
- Match Inventory to Storage - After the assessment of your inventory, you will obviously have discovered that the inventory will be mixed and have different storage requirements. Having the appropriate measure in place for storage and transport is quintessential in adequately managing your stock.
- Automate - Having access to an automated storage and retrieval system can streamline the process ten-fold. Not having automation in place, especially for large and slow-moving items can see a massive demand for human resources. When it comes to manual manpower for larger, slow-moving items, you are also increasing risk as well as cost.
- Slot Inventor & Storage Technology - Once automated having high processed storage technology is a must. This storage technology is designed to meet the exact purpose of the warehouse and keeps a visual map of availabilities. Storage tech adds speed, safety and an incredible amount of efficiency to the business.
- Map Processes - Using efficiency systems and mapping groups like batch picking or zone picking can also add time-saving measures, especially when it comes to optimizing your order fulfillment process. Batch picking, for example, can consolidate required picks on a single pick, rather than return after visiting another zone.
- Integrate Business Systems - Using order management systems and integrating throughout your business, creates a time saving, streamlined and efficient service that also aids in the prevention of errors.
E-commerce Fulfillment with R+L Global Logistics
Having a complete service is integral in ensuring an online store is as successful as possible. One of the most critical parts of the fulfillment process is getting the product to the customer.
It isn’t merely enough though to get the product there. The product should arrive on time, in the intended condition and with all correct documentation. The logistics are something any business should take care of.
Companies like R+L Global, for example, offer a full array of services for all of your global shipping needs. They offer a full service with a range of transportation options. The client also gets full access to a tracking dashboard. This will always give peace of mind to the business and customer alike.
R+L Global isn’t just a standard logistics company; they also offer a wide range of services. E-commerce fulfillment process services such as order fulfillment, pack and repack service, and even reverse logistics among many more. Taking care of every step of the fulfillment service shouldn’t be left to chance. Having an internationally trusted, accredited, and endorsed logistics solution is the only answer.
Have more questions? Contact us and we’ll help you better understand e-commerce distribution networks.
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