Order fulfillment is the more logistical side of the eCommerce fulfillment process. It’s the side of the shipping business that keeps track of order progress, processes returns, and ensures that order processing is fast and accurate. Without an effective order fulfillment team, your customers might receive the wrong items, and shipping and returns might be difficult and unreliable. Making sure that these elements run flawlessly is a very important part of a successful online transaction.
Most companies hire a professional order fulfillment company because the services they offer save them time, money, and warehouse space. These are some of the responsibilities that your order fulfillment company should provide for you:
1. Warehousing and Processing
An order fulfillment company will receive and store your products at a warehouse. They will receive items from your manufacturer and count them, check them for defects, and apply SKUs to them and track them on their warehouse software. When you receive an order from a customer, that order is sent to the warehouse where the items will be processed, checked for quality, assembled if needed, then packed and shipped to your customer in a timely manner. These warehousing services are generally paid for on a monthly basis, and include inventory management and real time access to inventory levels.
2. Returns and Exchanges
Returns and exchanges are an important element of the eCommerce equation, and it’s important to handle them in a timely and professional manner, because they can often make or break your customer’s experience. Your order fulfillment company will process returns and exchanges for you by examining and restocking returned items and issuing a refund or reshipping a replacement. They’ll help keep you and your customers informed about the progress of a return or exchange.
Billing is part of the order fulfillment process, and your provider will take care of sending invoices to customers as well as processing order payment and returns.
4. Customer Service
Your order fulfillment provider will be your customer service provider for all things related to stock, shipping, product shipping, tracking and returns. They’ll provide call center services as well. When choosing an order fulfillment provider, you should be confident that they will do a good job in representing your company as an extension of your customer service department. After all, your customer service staff are some of your most important representatives to your customers!
Your order fulfillment company is an invaluable part of your eCommerce team, and will help you make the shipping process as seamless and easy as possible for both you and your customers. Many aspects of order fulfillment can be complicated and unique between sellers and even between packages. The importance of a competent team cannot be understated!
FirstMile provides all these services and more at an affordable price and with the professionalism that comes with our eCommerce expertise. Whom you hire for order fulfillment matters, because your customer’s online shopping experience matters. So hire a company that you can rely on for accurate and timely order fulfillment, accurate package and inventory tracking, and excellent customer service. Get started with a quote today.