One of the factors that largely contribute to a retail business’ success is efficient and productive fulfillment strategies. Retail fulfillment manages packages and shipments while sending out and tracking the delivery of orders to the customer. There is so much more to the entire order fulfillment process than what meets the eye. A retail business could make or break depending on its fulfillment strategy. That is why more retailers are looking into planning the best strategy that can ensure their business growth and development.
Nowadays, retailers have felt the impact of the “Amazon Effect” due to the increasing demands and popularity of e-commerce. Most consumers have shifted to online shopping, especially since the start of the pandemic. As a result, retailers are more than pressured to meet their customers’ requests towards ordering and receiving packages. That is why having the best tactics and tools to help your business’ order fulfillment succeed is essential. Here are some essential tips to remember when planning your fulfillment strategy.
Establish your preferred fulfillment model
Fully grasping how an order gets delivered right outside one’s doorstep can help you find the best strategy for your retail business. Retailers can either fulfill orders in-house or through outsourcing. The best choice would depend on your current situation and whether you have the means to handle all the orders yourself or not.
In-house order fulfillment pertains to the DIY approach of fulfilling customers’ orders. This type of fulfillment model is usually preferred for smaller quantity products that can be handled by the retailer alone. In this model, the retailer is in complete control of the entire process of receiving, packing, and shipping the orders. It is also cost-effective. That is why it is preferable for small-scale businesses. However, this process will need a significant amount of space for equipment, staff, and packaging processes.
Meanwhile, outsourcing your order fulfillment process will mean that a third-party is in charge. For retailers who do not have the appropriate and sufficient resources, they have the option to let a third-party professionally handle the entire process. These third-party fulfillment companies have a much bigger capacity. That is why it is ideal for them to manage bulk inventory and orders. A disadvantage would be that you can compromise your products’ quality since you cannot guarantee how they will handle your products.
Review your shipping options
Shipping time and cost can be significant factors in consumers’ purchasing decisions. Most customers would prefer shipping within the same day, and the cost should be relatively affordable. Opting for free shipping options can also attract a large number of your customers. This may even motivate them to purchase your products immediately. Thus, it is best to consider incorporating the average fees for shipping into your goods’ price. It is vital to remain competitive but not to the extent that your products will become overpriced. Look out for the best and most suitable materials for packing your orders once they’ve been processed. You may need specific types of bubble wrap, flat shipping boxes, packing tape, and so much more.
Make use of technology resources
Software integrations in eCommerce marketplaces will allow you to quickly and conveniently manage and keep up with your orders. It does not require any manual work. With the help of technology, you can simplify your fulfillment processes and avoid human errors. This also helps the tracking information of orders to be shared with customers. In addition, it creates transparency and trust between you and your customers.
Moreover, it makes inventory way easier since some specialized software can organize and present inventory quantities to the retailers. You will quickly identify when is the right time to order more stocks of your product through this. Today, it is crucial for retail businesses to step up their technology integrations to reach their fullest potential when fulfilling customers’ orders.
Consider your location
Whether your operations occur online or in physical stores, location is a crucial factor to consider when planning your order fulfillment strategy. By choosing the best location to fulfill customers’ orders, you can meet delivery times on time. You can reduce the expensive costs of shipping. Find out where many of your orders are being delivered. This can help you establish the most appropriate place to fulfill your orders. Having this location can lessen the time and costs spent on shipping and transporting your products. Urban fulfillment centers would be better to avoid long-distance transportation costs.
Overall, as your retail business grows over time, your order fulfillment strategies will more likely shift to address the constantly changing demands of consumers in the market. Remember to take the necessary risks and make the appropriate changes to overcome any obstacles you may find along the way.