With ecommerce or online sales increasing every year across virtually every industry, it’s vital that retailers respond to this demand with online stores that are easy to navigate and user-friendly. A seamless ecommerce order fulfillment process is an essential tool for ensuring your online store is responsive to customer demands while also making order fulfillment, inventory management, and accounting as efficient as possible for you and your staff.
Check out a few of the top reasons why every retailer should be implementing a seamless ecommerce order fulfillment process, and how an ecommerce order fulfillment guide can be a useful tool in increasing and expanding your ecommerce sales.
1.Keeping an Eye on Buyer Habits and Trends
An effective, integrated ecommerce system will quickly note consumer buying trends, providing you with fast, accurate information about which of your products are in demand and which have fallen out of popularity. An effective ecommerce system will also provide you with all the essential details and additional factors needed for following consumer trends, at a glance. You can then easily note if customer demands are seasonal or change according to price fluctuations and if your advertising methods are effective for increasing sales. Your ecommerce order fulfillment system can also note the effectiveness and profitability of customer rewards systems.
2.Keeping Buyers Informed of Inventory
Poor product availability and lack of communication regarding expected inventory levels are two significant reasons for retailers to lose customers to a competitor, but an integrated and seamless ecommerce system can notify customers directly of item availability. Your ecommerce system can be tied to your production or distribution departments so that inventory levels and availability of each product are advertised clearly on your online store. Many of today’s ecommerce systems are also designed to send out emails or text messages to customers, alerting them to returning inventory, while even offering to hold an item in a physical store or automatically process an online order.
Integrating an ecommerce system with your physical store allows for sales 24/7, every day of the year. Integrating your sales through an effective ecommerce order fulfillment process means that customers who prefer to shop late or during weekends and holidays, or any time your brick-and-mortar store is closed, won’t be lost to a retailer with more extended business hours. Many retailers even advertise their website or online storefront prominently outside their physical store, so that customers know they can always shop at their convenience. A useful ecommerce order fulfillment guide can provide other such tips for effortlessly combining brick-and-mortar locations with ecommerce sales.
4.Information to Customers
Today’s consumers are more educated than ever before about specific features, the expected lifespan, warranty limits, and other information related to various products. An integrated ecommerce retail system can provide customers with reams of information about your products, and keep them informed even after a sale! Ecommerce systems might notify customers through email or direct messages of warranties about to expire, new accessories or add-ons available for a product they’ve purchased, and sales on items related to those they’ve purchased. Providing customers with needed information upfront ensures they won’t click away from your online store, searching for elsewhere for warranty or product details, and compels them to buy upgraded features or other such accessories.
Practical and detailed sales analytics allow all retailers to make the best decisions for their business overall. A seamless ecommerce order fulfillment process provides all the details needed for proper analytics, while also generating required reports. You can then note the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns, product mix, discounts, and other such specials, customer rewards programs, delivery options, and even product placement or categorizing on your storefront. An effective ecommerce order fulfillment guide can offer more detailed information on how today’s ecommerce systems can provide all the data and details needed for sales analytics.
6.Inventory Analytics and Price Integration
An ecommerce system integrated between a retailer’s online store and their brick-and-mortar shop will allow for more effective inventory management, providing reports in real time and sending alerts to production or ordering departments as needed. An effective ecommerce order fulfillment process can also adjust pricing as inventory levels rise and fall, lowering the online price of overstocked goods and raising the price of items that are in highest demand. Ecommerce systems and marketing or advertising information can also be seamlessly integrated, so your online store automatically advertises how many items are in stock once those inventories dip below a certain level.
7.Boost Brand and Product Awareness
Retail consumers turn to online stores and retailer websites for product information and availability and other relevant information, even when shopping at a brick-and-mortar store. Web crawlers and a seamless ecommerce system can alert customers to related products, boosting brand awareness and potentially increasing sales. Customers can also be shown alternative products if one is out of stock at a physical store, or if they prefer something in a different price range or with various features. Integrating your ecommerce with your brick-and-mortar store then increases your sales and reduces the risk of losing a customer to a competitor when something is out of stock at your physical store. A useful ecommerce order fulfillment guide can provide added details for increasing brand awareness through ecommerce integration.
8.Reducing Human Error
Today’s ecommerce order fulfillment systems track sales from your online and brick-and-mortar stores and automatically connect that information with your production facilities and distribution centers, warehouses, accounting department, and all other areas of your business. This process eliminates the need for manual data entry and reduces the risk of human error. Ecommerce order fulfillment systems can also be programmed to include specific alerts to each department, notifying them of low inventory levels or increased sales and product demands. Rather than relying on manual calendaring or production warnings, an ecommerce order fulfillment system will ensure that your company’s departments are adjusting their production according to real-time sales, both online and in your physical store.