Getting orders safely and swiftly out of the door and on their way to waiting customers is key to the success of any ecommerce business. No matter your size or scope of operation, having a dependable, scalable fulfillment system in place is essential.
The evolution of fulfillment processes can often lag behind a brand’s upwards trajectory – meaning that in-house teams find themselves scrambling to adapt and match the pace. To avoid this, laying solid foundations that bring ROI at any scale is a must.
Let’s explore six ways to start tuning up your fulfillment process.
1. Talk to Your Team
It’s easy to theorize when it comes to new processes – but your team working on the front line will be able to give you the clearest and most qualified advice to speed you towards a slicker operation. While opinions will naturally vary a little from person to person, creating an environment where your fulfillment team can feed back openly and honestly about the current system will pay dividends – helping you see common trends and recurring patterns, and allowing you to take action that will have tangible impact.
2. Get a Unified View
By its very nature, fulfillment involves a lot of moving parts, people and processes. Visibility, allowing for independent action and effective collaboration, is essential. Giving your team one unified view of your fulfillment process (going beyond Shopify’s native functionality) is a fantastic way to oil the cogs of this particular machine. OrderlyPrint offers a single, intuitive dashboard view of all live orders meaning information is clear, consolidated and, perhaps most importantly, completely current. You can use it to quickly create custom picking lists, combining multiple orders into a single document, as well as instantly syncing fulfillments and tracking information to your store.
3. Sort Orders via Date Tags
Managing orders at scale brings the promise of efficiency – if you can nail down your technique for batch processing and adopt the tools necessary to inject the additional functionality. Order Tags & Flows integrates with OrderlyPrint to allow your team to easily sort your orders via tag dates. Select up to 500 orders at a time, and filter by date tag to ensure you’re getting everything out in a timely manner.
4. Analyze Returns Data
Analyzing returns data is an important (if less than thrilling) step in the quest for fulfillment accuracy. By digging into patterns in return reasons and frequencies, you’ll uncover valuable insights. Identifying recurring issues, such as sizing discrepancies or product defects, means you can start proactively problem-solving. You’ll also be able to flag any issues with incorrect orders, which can be addressed at source with your fulfillment team. Addressing these trends does more than streamline future fulfillment processes – it’s also a win for your customers’ experience over time.
5. Automate Paperwork
Automating repetitive tasks at scale is key to a business that can scale without growing pains, and there’s plenty of scope for success here within the realm of fulfillment. Customers will often request additional paperwork in the form of invoices or receipts, so automatically providing a copy of these documents, before they need to go out of their way to ask (and add to your support ticket queue!) is a win on many levels.
6. Don’t Sleep on Quality Control
Finally, in the fast-paced world of ecommerce, it can be easy to downplay the importance of regular order audits and quality control. By systematically inspecting orders (as opposed to waiting for complaints or returns to reach a tipping point that shows it’s necessary) you can identify and rectify potential issues, guaranteeing that only flawless products and perfectly packed orders reach your customers. Proactive quality assurance does more than boost customer satisfaction – it also safeguards your brand's reputation, fostering long-term loyalty and trust.
Fulfillment can be one of the most complex elements of ecommerce to finetune and master – but with the right tools, training and team, it doesn’t have to be something you suffer through.