3 Tips to Help Simplify Your Order Fulfillment Process-min

The question of how to fulfill orders more effectively is at the forefront for companies of all sizes. According to Chain Store Age, 40 percent of customers expect to have access to Amazon Prime-style memberships from retailers in 2018. This leaves little room for supply chain glitches or delivery processes that are not fully optimized – which means it is important to review your order fulfillment processes and make adjustments wherever necessary. Among the ways to do this? Identify quick methods to help you facilitate easy order fulfillment that will both ease your business operations while also helping to keep your customers satisfied.

Tip #1: Make Payments Simple for International Customers

As a modern retailer, you face global competition from third party sellers such as Amazon and Jet, as well as overseas shopping apps that include SheIn and Wish. This also introduces merchants the opportunity to connect with worldwide customers, which makes it a must nowadays for retailers to be able to facilitate payments in international currencies.

With a reported 92.2 percent of customers preferring to shop on sites which enable them to pay in their national currency and 33 percent of those same customers stating they are likely to abandon a purchase if their only payment option is in USD, it’s critical for retailers to introduce payment options that welcome buyers from around the world.

By working with a solution provider which is optimized for payment processing partnerships with companies such as PayPal, retailers are better equipped to keep sales versus lose them. Other payment options to consider include international currencies such as Bitcoin, as well as using a geofilter on your website to offer prices in whatever the currency may be for the region in which your customer makes a purchase. Collectively, these efforts can help your business capture consumers despite whatever currency they may choose to pay with.

Tip #2: Don’t Ship Without Gathering Data

Utilizing data effectively is among the best ways retailers can increase their operating margins and strengthen their overall operations. Keeping this in mind, there are many retail technologies dedicated to the collection and application of customer data throughout the order fulfillment process.

However, managing multiple retail solutions can be taxing when you are also dealing with the daily functions of running a business. Throw in the reality that data can’t be collected by human effort alone and it’s more important than ever to incorporate a system into your order fulfillment process strategy that helps your business become more effective.

By choosing an enterprise resource planning (ERP) or back-office system with the capacity to integrate all of your business functions — including data collection and implementation, order processing, and customer relationship management, among others — into one simple platform, you can manage high-level business operations without neglecting your other responsibilities.

Tip #3: Set Up Automatic Reorders

According to a 2017 report by Salesforce, 96 percent of customers rate product availability as a factor that is of utmost importance when making a purchase. Keeping this in mind, if a specific product is not available when a customer is prepared to make a purchase, that same customer is faced with the dilemma of waiting for a reorder or of trying to find that same product with a different retailer. To avoid losing out on sales, it is necessary to ensure that your inventory is in-stock and available for customers.

Use a software provider that enables you to keep track of your inventory remotely so that you’re always aware of how much stock you have in your store or warehouse, regardless of which channel your customer uses to make a purchase. Also set flags for automatic reorders once your inventory gets below a certain level so your store is always fulfilled and ready to support customers on-demand as they’re ready to spend.

Finally, order fulfillment can be simplified by choosing a retail software company such as Brightpearl, which has the capacity to process and integrate all of your company’s many functions into one easy platform. By cutting through the chaos of running a business and working smarter instead of harder, your order fulfillment can reach new levels… and along the way, your business can gain increased revenue, as well.

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About the Author

Nicole Leinbach Reyhle is the Founder and Publisher of Retail Minded, a publication committed to supporting independent retailers through news, education and support, as well as the Co-Founder of the Independent Retailer Conference. Recognized for her expertise in independent retail, Reyhle has published thousands of articles about small business and is the Author of the book “Retail 101: The Guide to Managing and Marketing Your Retail Business” from McGraw-Hill. Additionally, Reyhle has contributed to Forbes, Fiverr, IBM and more, and has been the Spokesperson for Small Business Saturday from American Express since 2014. Learn more about Retail Minded at www.retailminded.com, at @RetailMinded on Twitter or at Facebook.com/RetailMinded.