The ultimate goal for customers purchasing goods online is to have their order delivered in full and on time – essentially, they want to be satisfied with their online shopping experience. Therefore, the ultimate goal for retail businesses operating online should be to provide customers with effective, seamless fulfilment.
In recent years, the process of online fulfilment has seemed like science fiction, with robots moving products in warehouses and trials of flying drones delivering stock directly to retailers. Despite the stigma and the seemingly complex nature of the process, online fulfilment is achievable if a business measures it, understands it, and constantly improves it.
Fulfilment is the last critical step in the customer journey
Unfortunately, fulfilment is not always a top priority for businesses despite it being critical to the customer experience. According to a recent survey by shipping platform Temando: “80 percent of shoppers prefer a specified time slot for delivery and 75 percent want guaranteed weekend or after-hours shipping, yet only 31 percent and 18 percent of retailers respectively are offering these services.”
Businesses that consider this critical final stage of the customer journey and implement an appropriate fulfilment solution will reap the rewards, as experienced by Mark Greaves, Briscoe Group Limited, who says that “from the start when we designed a solution for our online delivery offering, we had the customer as number one priority in mind.”
The New Zealand retail chain found that as both their ecommerce and volume of orders continued to grow, making routing of product became more complex. With this in mind they engaged eStar, the leading providers of enterprise ecommerce platforms to implement a Pull-Based Fulfilment solution. This solution is a sophisticated new way for clients to distribute orders across multiple dispatch points on demand.
The instantaneous evaluation provided ensures that no dispatch point becomes overloaded, the right orders are made available to the best-fit dispatch points, and the overall order DIFOT (delivered in-full, on time) metric is improved.
Measure twice, deliver once – then take it to the next level
In order to ensure ongoing success, it is imperative to always measure fulfilment performance. The most common measure is the percentage delivery in full, on time (DIFOT) at an order or order-line level. Aim for 100 percent and expect to always be better than 98 percent. Businesses need to understand their fulfilment failures and adapt processes for continuous improvement.
Make your returns as easy as possible for customers. All stores should accept online returns, and the process for returning should be clear and simple to follow with options for in-store or delivered.
The main reason customers use click & collect is because it is an easy collection point. Although customers are wanting to click & collect, Australasian retailers are still lagging behind. The May 2017 CommBank ‘Retail Insights Report’ found click and collect is being offered by only 42 per cent of retailers.
Click and collect can also be a massive upsell opportunity and engagement tool for store teams, we have seen retailers upsell on over 25 percent of orders collected from store.
Seamless online fulfilment is the next frontier, a critical step in being able to remain relevant within the retail landscape and maintain a customer base.
Developing top-level order fulfilment processes that fit with delivering a frictionless customer experience is complex. It’s with that in mind that we’ve created a new eBook, Delivering on the ultimate retail customer experience. It’s about how order management and fulfilment can deliver a competitive advantage to grow sales.
The eBook covers:
- What the modern customer expects
- The four key trends affecting order fulfilment
- Responding to the market’s delivery imperative
- How omnichannel complexity is hampering order management and fulfilment.
- True unified commerce – this is about transforming the customer journey, giving them the information and support they need to make a buying decision.
Please download the eBook, so that you can explore the issues and learn how to respond to them in a way that delivers an exceptional customer experience.
This eBook is aimed at helping you deliver the kind of customer experience that becomes a genuine competitive advantage.
Spending time now reviewing your online order fulfilment processes and focussing on how to improve them will deliver a positive ROI and ensure repeat customers.
This eBook will help you to:
- Improve your order management and fulfilment processes
- Understand the power of a pull-based fulfilment system
- How order fulfilment fits with a truly unified commerce approach
- How successful retailers are implementing this approach today