We all want to see our businesses flourish – but growth can be accompanied by growing pains. When it comes to scaling, ecommerce isn’t entirely predictable. The trajectory that your brand follows might not be linear, and acceleration can often come in bursts. Don’t let poor customer experience stifle your sustained success.
It’s important to be ready for anything, with systems (from warehouse order picking software to automated invoicing) in place to help you handle all upticks in orders. Here are six tips to help you avoid order management issues as your Shopify store scales.
1. Invest in Warehouse Order Picking Software
Having an efficient fulfillment system in place is paramount to the success of your overall order management. By nailing this one area of your process, you’ll achieve faster deliveries and more accurate orders. Warehouse order picking software that allows you to bulk tag, filter and organize your orders, as well as producing picking lists for your team, is an essential investment for any scaling brand. Implement before you think you need it, and you won’t find yourself scrambling to bring everyone on board.
2. Hone Your Returns Process
More sales, more returns. While reducing returns at source is the ultimate goal of any ecommerce brand, it also pays to streamline your process on an internal and customer-facing level. Make sure your returns policies are crystal clear to avoid additional support requests and negative reviews. Include well-presented returns slips and cross-train your team to ensure that returns can always be processed promptly and with minimal interaction required from the customer.
3. Review Your Customer Service Data
Make sure you take time to acknowledge where the snags truly exist in your system. Often the impression we get doesn't match the reality of our customer service data. Dig into the details to discover where most of your order management issues lie, and enable your team to feed back openly and honestly about the problems they see crop up repeatedly. As your business grows, this data set becomes ever more valuable and accurate. It may also change over time too, so it’s something you’ll need to revisit regularly.
4. Automate Your Invoicing
Requests for invoices add a needless extra step to your order processing. It’s better to be preemptive and apply a blanket approach to providing these – something which Shopify doesn’t do out of the box. By proactively giving your customers access to their invoices, you’ll cut the time you spend on each order and deliver a better experience for them, as their requirements have been preempted. As you start to scale, this can be a game changer in terms of saving time and effort.
5. Communicate Clearly
You’ll find your customers are far more understanding about delays and errors if you clearly and honestly communicate about the issue. Keeping your customers in the loop about their order (even when the news is negative) provides invaluable reassurance. Leverage Shopify’s automated notifications to their fullest extent by customizing the standard templates and adding more of your brand’s personality. Automated order tracking is a must for brands operating at scale.
6. Seek Scalable Solutions
Above all else, seek out solutions that will be able to grow alongside your brand. Whether you’re putting practical process-based improvements in place, or updating your tech stack to round out your order management system, you need to feel confident that your investment is going to keep pace with your business over time. Waiting until you’re at breaking point before trying to implement new ways of working places unnecessary pressure on your team and business. Try to stay one step ahead of your requirements wherever possible. The aim is for onboarding and integrating new solutions to be stress-free exploration, not a panicked race!