Fulfilment and Dispatch - The Business End of ScalabilityE‑commerce
With channels such as PPC, it can sometimes even be like turning on a tap - get the right keyword strategy, set your budgets (be ready to increase them) and watch the traffic levels and revenue increase.
The question is how you take a spike in sales and develop this into longer term growth - ensuring that other business processes integral to a successful online retail business are not only working for now, but are scalable as the orders continue to increase in number. One area to get right is fulfilment and dispatch.
Making sure the warehouse picking and packing, label printing and courier integrations are working seamlessly - it’s vital the “not-on-show” side of the business is able to backup the promises of the customer facing site.
So here it is, our snapshot rundown of how to keep your fulfilment and dispatch process slick and scalable…
Keep the notion of multiple orders (any time of the day) front of mind
This may sound simple, and perhaps even obvious. But in our line of work we’ve come across many retailers who are perhaps looking to grow the online aspect of their business with the changing face of the high street. The fact is, online shoppers might behave the same in some respects - bestsellers, seasonal trends and monthly spending peaks - but with good free delivery options and the chance to shop at any time, you need to be prepared for overnight orders, quick turnaround on next day deliveries and multiple orders from single customers.
Pick, pack and send is a very different process to replenishment
Yes, retail stores will not receive the same products with every replenishment, but there’s usually an overnight grace period, where sales can be analysed. With online, more often than not, the full stock holding is available for customers online - meaning at any given moment, any product can be ordered.
Analysis of bestselling lines, quick selling products and slow movers can make all the difference when it comes to scaling up your fulfilment process.
Think about the layout of the warehouse in terms of product placement - keep bestsellers closer to the packing area. Consider adopting a form of smart picking, taking multiple orders with products close in proximity to each other and ensure these are picked in the same schedule.
Accuracy - ensuring the warehouse and fulfilment teams aren’t repeating jobs
Again, this might seem obvious, but being as accurate as possible across fulfilment and dispatch processes is going to make a sizeable difference to the scalability of your business. From a picking perspective, it’s important that location data or changes are updated across all systems (platform, picking sheets and handheld scanners). It might not be a full warehouse move, even a small shift to a few racks and bins can cause issues with picking if the systems in place are not updated. Ensure you’re sending out your picking staff with lists of products they can definitely pick. It’s vital to keep the stock levels on warehouse racking up to date and accurate - there’s nothing more frustrating than arriving at a bin to find there’s not enough stock to pick. Finally, it’s important you send the right items to your customer - consider integrating a check system at the final stages of packing an order - making sure you send the right products as you fulfil more orders and avoiding any unnecessary returns and unhappy customers!
Get in touch to discuss how the features available within Venditan Commerce could help you scale up your ecommerce business. Please call John on 0161 826 3098
19th May 2017