E-Commerce Fulfilment: 5 Pains & Their Remedies
The popularity of e-commerce fulfilment services in Australia is growing by leaps and bounds. A whopping number of businesses rely on these services because of their efficient and timely handling of customer orders.
However, even the greatest of inventions can collapse with ignorant implementation. It is particularly the case for businesses with large inventories. Thus, you can’t jump into it without knowing its depth!
Here are 10 common problems we noticed in the e-commerce fulfilment industry, and you have all the right to know them!
1. Locating Inventory
What happens when you receive an order? Naturally, you locate that specific item, pack it, and deliver it. If you can’t do that in time for some reason, it affects your credibility and customer satisfaction. Needless to say, both are indispensable for your business.
This problem arises in two situations:
- When you have communication gaps with your fulfilment partner;
- When your warehouse organisation is subpar.
These two reasons hinder your ability to meet orders on time. It would frustrate your customers, especially if they paid a premium price.
Solution: Maintain real-time inventory data and hire efficient employees. These two are essential in locating inventory without delay. Besides, streamline the eCommerce fulfilment process and train the staff accordingly. This helps in turning a one-time consumer into a regular one.
2. Inferior Customer Service
How do customers reach a business? Through customer service, of course. If these communication lines are inadequate for a business, they can only see little growth.
Say, your customer had a product missing or received a damaged product, and to make things worse, they can’t reach you. This is exactly the kind of situation a business should never put its customers in.
Hence, it is a business owner’s job to ensure proper communication between you and the customer. You can guarantee efficient communication by considering the following.
- How easy and efficient is it for your customers to reach your representatives?
- Can they competently handle customer queries?
- Do your representatives have the resources to address fulfilment issues?
Nothing is more frustrating for a customer than being unable to reach a provider. So, keep refining your lines of communication to make them simpler, stronger, and more effective.
3. International Shipping
Businesses often face issues related to international shipping, as it takes anywhere from weeks to months. International customers may not expect product delivery overnight. However, they can still choose a different provider if it gets longer than justified.
One huge benefit of international buyers is that many are willing to pay a premium price for faster delivery. So, it is up to the company to find efficient means to meet the requirement. Otherwise, it can quickly turn into a downside.
Tip: Consider negotiating a discounted rate for bulk international shipments if you regularly receive a massive volume of business from abroad. It can improve your profit margin significantly. Besides, this can also motivate your supplier to provide timely product deliveries.
4. Damaged Inventory
While it is business for you, your customers respond emotionally to product orders and deliveries. They particularly get excited about premium purchases. If they get damaged products in return, they get frustrated and disappointed.
As a business, you must avoid this scenario at all costs, or you should at least have proper contingency plans to please the frustrated customer.
Besides, some small e-commerce businesses try to outsmart their customers by deliberately sending a slightly damaged product thinking the customer may not notice it. However, they do! Customers always find out what’s wrong with a product.
This makes them request a replacement, which costs extra for the business. Worse comes to worst; your customer may never return or leave a negative review. Hence, refrain from doing anything that is not good for your business.
Solution: Efficient inventory management on the front end prevents most of these problems. Ensure the employees are trained to stock the products safely and double-check before sending them out.
Furthermore, invest in quality packing and never say no to insurance. These save you the trouble of refunds and replacements.
5. Shipping Costs
Shipping costs are a significant aspect of e-commerce fulfilment services. Businesses often struggle with two questions when it comes to shipping costs:
- How much to charge customers for shipping?
- How to keep the cost reasonable?
Solution: One way to do it is by the weight of the packaged product. Another common way is to set the shipping costs based on the product price. Generally, customers are willing to pay more when they order in bulk. They are less likely to hesitate.
As much as e-commerce fulfilment services are a boon to businesses, they can also become the reason for one’s downfall. You need to ensure that each step of the process is simple, efficient, and practical. This creates the perfect order fulfilment for a business.
One more vital ingredient here is a great fulfilment partner. Many businesses outsource fulfilment to a professional to derive better outputs. If you want to try that, here’s our recommendation— Efficient Group.
It’s a worthy partner for your fulfilment needs as they are much experienced. In fact, Efficient Group is particularly skilled at pick-and-pack services and fashion warehousing. Take a glance, and you can talk to its representatives for further details.
We hope you got what you needed to know through this article. If you have any queries, connect with us in the comments.