From the initial customer order to fulfillment and post-sale communications, each piece of the order management process is proving to be critical as eCommerce continues to grow rapidly in 2021.
With the vaccine becoming more readily available, Americans are shifting from a sentiment of hesitancy to hope and a return to a more normal lifestyle. Retailers and suppliers are preparing for what some are calling the “Second Age of Roaring ‘20s Consumerism”. It’s tempting to ask if history will repeat itself and wonder if the 2020s roar and consumerism surges in the same way it did after the Spanish Influenza pandemic in the 1920s.
As consumers are eager to get out of the house and enjoy outdoor activities and travel again, here are a few best practices to help better prepare your ecommerce business for this ongoing rush as consumers resume their everyday lives.
Receiving & Processing Orders
- As you receive orders from multiple sales channels, you will need an automated process to consolidate orders and automatically adjust inventory levels. This will reduce the error of over or underselling inventory and build trust with your sales channels.
- Order processes will depend on how and where you store your inventory, whether you’re storing it in your own warehouse or partnering with a 3PL. Stay consistent to reduce the chance of human errors.
Order Fulfillment & Post Sales Practices
- Increased accuracy with picking, packing and shipping starts with organized inventory that have been assigned SKUs to make it easy to differentiate and then to assign a barcode to each SKU to reduce human errors in the picking process. By checking the order sheet’s barcode against the barcodes on items in your warehouse, this reduces both the amount of time to collect the ordered item and the chances of sending the incorrect product to the consumer.
- Multiple points of quality control throughout the process help to reduce the chance that consumers are shipped incorrect products and quantities. Many retailers and suppliers utilize the packing process as the second verification point for quality control.
Automation through Software Solutions
- Automating your processes with a software solution may seem daunting, but this frees up manpower / time and reduces the risk of human errors, allowing your business to grow as demand for your product line continues to increase.
- Inventory management across multiple sales channels in real-time is key when retailers look to include a new supplier. As discussed earlier in order processing, when working with several sales channels, it’s critical to automate for accurate and timely representation of inventory for consumers. Retailers and their brand have communicated a standard of quality and being able to provide the product to the consumer in a quick and timely manner is part of this expected customer journey.
- Simplifying processes through automation allows your eCommerce business to reduce processing time and cost, increase order accuracy and the number of daily shipments per person without the need to hire and train additional staff.
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EDI | Order Management | Warehouse Management | Shipping
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As your eCommerce business looks to optimize processes for this coming surge of post-pandemic consumerism, OPAL is here to assist you in each of the mentioned best practices so that you can grow your business and meet the demands of consumers and retailers.
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