Fulfillment And Shipping Concerns For Online Business
Imagine your online business is getting one thousand orders in a month. I know, it’s a good problem to have. It means that you are doing a good job selling, and now it’s time to fulfill the orders. Doing a great job at selling is not enough to make a business a real success. If you are failing at fulfillment, all the sales in the world will not be able to save your business.
The key to fulfillment is communication. Your customers have to be informed about the time it takes to ship an order; about the time it takes to deliver their order. Your fulfillment details should be posted on your website close to your shipping policy.
Once your customer has placed her order, she wants to know how soon she can expect it. Clearly post your order processing time during the checkout process. The promise of quick fulfillment might help you close more sales.
If you are a sales oriented person, fulfillment might not be the highest priority process on your list. It is quite possible to destroy a business with lots of sales and poor fulfillment. During the early years of e-commerce, poor fulfillment has ruined many businesses.
Online order tracking should be part of your fulfillment strategy. Once customers place their orders, they are anxious to know how soon their products will arrive. As a result, you may receive a phone call or an e-mail inquiry for each order. To support so many requests, you might need to hire additional personnel. Instead, your fulfillment system should e-mail shipping tracking numbers. In addition to providing the service through e-mail, your website should have a “track your order” area where customers can track their orders once they have entered their order numbers. Making order tracking easy can save your company money and improve customer satisfaction.
Shipping is a hotly debated topic. Everybody has an opinion on the matter. Should you offer free shipping or not depends on several factors such as your competitive situation, your product, your profit margin, and you unique selling proposition. It is a business decision that you have to carefully consider. About 60 percent of e-commerce businesses regard “free shipping with conditions” as their most successful marketing tool. However, don’t jump on the bandwagon and start offering free shipping without understanding its impact your bottom line.