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Sep 6, 2022

Omnichannel Order Fulfillment: A Key Growth Factor For Retailers

When was the last time you bought something from an online store and had a poor delivery experience, which still haunts you from buying again from that seller?

It might be possible that your package was malfunctioned, misplaced, or delayed.

Will you still purchase anything from that seller again?

If the answer is No, then you're not alone in this puzzle!

Order fulfillment is considered the most vital aspect of a business order management and processing phases. Recent research has shown that approx. 37% of consumers won't shop again from the same retailer with which they had a bad delivery experience. 

To smoothly integrate your order fulfillment process, read further to understand Omnichannel order fulfillment, its importance, the steps involved, and the ways you can use it to enhance it.

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What does Omnichannel Order Fulfillment mean?

Omnichannel order fulfillment is a fancy umbrella term that is used to receive, pack, and ship various customer orders. It is used to highlight different processes that are associated with various stages of a product’s sales life. 
Omnichannel Order Fulfillment mean

It embraces some basic ideas such as:

  • Inventory procurement from the manufacturer
  • Product storage
  • Picking, packing, & shipping customer orders

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Why is Omnichannel Order Fulfillment important?

It does not matter if you’re B2B or D2C, all businesses need to streamline their fulfillment processes because with no sales, there's no business and with no order fulfillment, there are no sales. 

With an advanced strategy, you can stay ahead of your competitors and create a base for customer loyalty. It benefits your business in several ways by:

  1. Reducing costs
  2. Enhancing customer experience
  3. Allowing you to scale properly 
  4. Saves time by enabling you to focus more on your business expansion 

In a survey of 2019 by Digital Commerce 360, it is exhibited that about 44% of customers who left their orders incomplete gave the reason for their cancellation that their package wouldn’t arrive on the estimated time.

Due to high brand competition in the retail landscape, consumers have gotten more impatient than ever before and anticipate higher expectations. Statista results of 2019, revealed that only 34% of customers are ready to wait for more than two days for an order to be fulfilled.

By using the right approach for order fulfillment in supply chain management, you can speed up the whole process, yield more orders, higher ROI, happier & satisfied customers.

A point to dwell:

Those brands that utilize omnichannel strategies perceive an increased customer retention rate of 91% year-over-year as compared to those brand that neglects.

customer retention rate

Partner with XStak, and make the best use of its Omnichannel Engine, which is best for multichannel retail businesses. It enables the brands to scale globally by offering a world-class shopping experience to your customers, opening doors for your customers to shop effortlessly. 

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What are the seven steps in the order fulfillment process?

seven steps in the order fulfillment process

The order fulfillment process might seem straightforward but can become complicated, especially in cases where 3rd parties are involved.

Let's have a closer look at each of the steps of the Omnichannel order fulfillment process.

1. Order Receiving

Orders will yield business via an online website, marketplace, calls, or in person. The inventory is received from a third party, any company’s department, or a warehouse in the form of digital data from a database; or any other form.

The goods must be carefully calculated, reviewed and counted, making certain of the quality and exact numbers. SKUs/bar codes on the incoming goods are utilized in this step of the order fulfillment process. 

2. Order Processing

After a customer places an order, the order management system of a company directs the picking and packing of the specified product to a company location where the inventory is available as per each newly received order. 

3. Request for fulfillment

Your warehouse, fulfillment, or stockroom receives the order details. 

4. Retrieval

The warehouse staff picks the items according to the orders.

5. Packing

The packing team or automated robots then selects the packing materials to get the minimal dimensional weight. Then the order is carefully packed to be shipped with a shipping label & return form. 

6. Shipping

The customer’s order is finally shipped. Customers are now accessible to track their orders after the picking, packing, and shipping phases. 

7. Arrival

The package arrives at the given customer’s address.

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How to improve the order fulfillment process?

improve the order fulfillment process

Since Omnichannel order fulfillment is an essential part of your inventory management operations, making necessary advancements offer great value. 

Below are some useful tips to streamline your order fulfillment process and deliver packages to your customers at full tilt.

A refined backup strategy 

You might have to experience some rebellious external factors while shipping products. These products can get misplaced or damaged, carriers may charge additional charges and extreme environmental conditions may harm your delivery. Having a successful backup plan can assist you in resolving all these issues and enable timely deliveries. 

Utilize everything to fulfill the expectations

Having a sufficient inventory helps you anticipate the consumer's demand. If your business is not in its initial stages, then you could begin by evaluating your orders, inventories, etc. of the past year to have a better understanding of the market seasonality.

It is reported that innovators of artificial intelligence enabled supply chain management can increase the cost of logistics by approx. 35% & service levels by 65%, in comparison with the slow adopters.

Automate where possible

Human errors can create chaos in order fulfillment, inflicting bewilderment, and package delays throughout all the phases of logistics. Customer orders are at stake when the fulfillment certainty is low ranging from confusion with packing slips to computing false orders. 

Some ideal approaches to optimize your Omnichannel order fulfillment process are as follows:

  1. Make the best use of fulfillment software for directing orders to the fulfillment center closest to your customer while reducing delivery costs. 
  2. Barcode scanners enable you to discover the exact location of the goods that needs to be picked from a preoccupied warehouse. 
  3. Sharing a link to track orders helps in keeping your customer informed and updated about the status and estimated delivery time of their package. 

As Wildcraft’s Laura Whitaker encapsulates,
“Fulfillment takes a lot of time and it's expensive to get wrong. Between replacement products, extra shipping labels, and wasted time, the costs can add up.”

Transparency with your customers

Sometimes, things will go out of control in the order fulfillment process, which is totally acceptable as long as brands are transparent with their customers. In a recent report by Shopify, it is estimated that 45% of users are likely to shop from those brands that highlight expected delivery times. Moreover, 69.7% of customers are less likely to buy from those brands that delay the orders without even informing. 

That's the major reason why the majority brands are investing in faster deliveries as well as improving transparency with their customer delivery commitments. 

Let’s have some icing on the cake:

By using a tracking number and fulfillment system, you can steadily update your shoppers. You just have to provide them with the adequate information they require, and reduce the customer service questions being frequently asked, “What is my order status?

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Order Fulfillment Best Practices

Bear in mind that a good organization has a great impact on the overall efficiency and functioning of the order fulfillment processes. Following a few simple best practices ensures your fulfillment process is as efficient and organized as possible.

1. Start by checking off the basics

Streamline your receiving process to prevent damage to incoming shipments and to get replacements for damaged goods quickly. This will reduce the chance of back-orders and long wait times for your customers.

2. Increase data visibility

Increasing actual time internal visibility into operational efficiency and supply levels can result in efficient shipping times, persistent packing quality, etc.

Additionally, increasing data visibility assists you in identifying technical gaps that would affect your business badly. It helps you find the best specimen and forecast issues so that businesses can easily meet the challenges and provide an exceptional customer experience in very less time. 

3. Organize the warehouse for efficient picking times

Hot-ticket items should be placed upfront and close to human or robot pickers and packers. Other things should be sorted based on demand, with items least in direction at the very back.

4. Organize your shipments and logistics

Shipping is essential to the customer experience, and you should plan for a backup strategy in case something goes wrong.

5. Automation

Automation can reduce costs, improve safety conditions and result in the most productive enterprise.

Let’s dig in further to make the fulfillment process less tricky!

  1. Initiate with the generals
  2. Proper organization of warehouses for more systematic packing times
  3. Maintain the precision of the available inventory 
  4. Implement necessary optimization 
  5. Automate where necessary
  6. Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs)
  7. Assemble shipping & logistics
  8. Amalgamation with the supplier 
  9. Smart warehousing
  10. Real-time accessibility to enhance transparency in supply chain management  
  11. Accuracy in demand forecasting

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Improve Order Fulfillment with XStak OMS

Order Fulfillment with OMS

Do you need any assistance with your order fulfillment process? 

If yes, partnering with XStak can make your whole order fulfillment process smooth and seamless while shipping orders timely and accurately. Our motive is to save logistics operations time while providing top-tier fulfillment technology that helps your business run efficiently and reach new levels. 

By collaborating with our experts, you can ascertain the right strategies and approaches to increase order accuracy rates. 

SEE IF WE'RE AN IDEAL MATCH FOR YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS

Omnichannel Engine is an incredible product of XStak that enables managers, owners, and fulfillment experts to directly access the vital details as the system detects and traces your sales. It administers and automates the complicated phenomenon of planning & routing packages. Your delivery team will relieve themselves from feeling understaffed to getting sufficient free time to relax, resulting in an improved customer experience. This excellent customer service will enable you to create a strong base of loyal customers.

Improve Your Order Fulfillment Efficiency

With XStak OMS

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Additionally, OE offers its users actual-time inventory visibility, allowing you to display all your goods online without needing to keep excessive buffer stock. It not only raises your selling rate but also notably minimizes the inventory carrying outlay, clearance sales costs & erroneous order costs.

It smoothes the process of ordering, fulfillment, and returns from anywhere in the world with just one set of data & self-regulating order management process. That’s a huge assistance for businesses and retailers that are involved with order fulfillment.

Order Fulfillment FAQs

The Omnichannel order fulfillment process doesn’t always have to be complicated but knowing the answers to some basic questions can help you out in selecting a reliable fulfillment partner.

1- What is the order fulfillment rate?

Order fulfillment rate is defined as the number of orders being processed divided by the total number of received customer orders and then multiplied by 100. This rate bears visible importance for the company's growth and increased revenues.  

Order fulfillment rate = (Total orders fulfilled accurately / Total orders fulfilled) * 100

Let’s walk through an example!

If a retailer has 100 completed orders in which 3 of them had errors then the calculated order fulfillment rate is 97%. 

The calculations are given below:

Order fulfillment rate = (97 / 100) * 100 = 97%

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2- How do you increase order fulfillment accuracy?

Whether you’re having trouble with the veracity of the orders or planning to optimize them, you’re suggested to refine your order fulfillment process to minimize the human errors that wreak havoc and yield ways for your business to reach new heights.

Below are some of the common ways to increase order fulfillment accuracy:

3- Is order fulfillment part of logistics?

Yes, order fulfillment is one of the essential elements of the extensive supply chain process.

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Wrapping up

Every order fulfillment model has its advantages and disadvantages but doing everything right and in-house ensures that it has more pros than cons. 

Whether you’re at the initial stages of a startup business or have years of experience in order fulfillment, it’s better late than never to have a deep look at your order fulfillment and management systems with a new vision and approach. You could unearth various options to minimize cost while enhancing the customer experience, which is a win-win situation for any brand, and its loyal customers.

Timely delivery of customer’s orders is among the crucial expedients of an eCommerce success. 

Get complete domination over handling and delivering orders and ensure that you meet the customer's demands by using the best of best product: Omnichannel Engine!

OE allows the users to automatically book orders with multiple couriers and evaluate their location-specific, courier-based performance. With its remarkable machine learning powers, you can easily collaborate with the best and fastest couriers that perfectly match your business needs at each location and reduce your fulfillment costs & times.

Become An Omnichannel Retailer

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