For e-commerce sites and online stores, order fulfillment is one of the most important aspects of their business. Order fulfillment is that part of the customer experience journey when the item changes hands from the seller to the buyer or the recipient. The customer’s impression about the company can be affected by how fast they received their ordered items as against what the store promised and whether they got the ones they ordered in the first place.
With the continuing growth of online purchases, more companies are encountering challenges in their order fulfillment operations. If you’re looking for a fulfillment company that can provide advanced and smart solutions for your fulfillment operations, there’s quite a number of them offering their services.
Here are a few order fulfillment mistakes e-commerce companies make, which cause a negative impact on their retail businesses.
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1. Shipping To A Wrong Consignee Address
One of the most common order fulfillment mistakes of e-commerce and other online retail companies is they sometimes ship to the wrong consignee or get the wrong recipient address. Direct-to-consumer business models make this mistake every now and then. This may not happen a lot to other businesses, but if this happens, it’s going to be costly.
By shipping an item to the wrong consignee, you’re going to have to coordinate with that consignee to pack the item in the box where it came in. Then you’d have to ask them to hand it to the courier or forwarder, who’d pick the item up again. Of course, the expenses for the return shipment would be paid by you.
Whether the item mistakenly sent to the wrong consignee comes back to you or not, you’d have to send another item to the correct consignee or recipient this time. Then you’d have to spend for the shipment again. If this happens, you incur unnecessary inventory and shipment costs.
To reduce the risk of committing this mistake, the solution is to make proactive preaudits of the buyer’s and receiver’s information found in your database or given by the customer. Errors are often committed when some buyers use a name other than their given legal name or buy an item and put the address of their relative or friend where they’re staying.
2. Shipping The Wrong Items
Another common mistake in order fulfillment is when your team gets the delivery address right from the checkout details but sends the wrong product or item. Things like this don’t happen a lot in e-commerce companies, but there are times they do happen.
To reduce the possibility of delivering the wrong item to a legitimate customer, you’d need to do several things from your end. You have to put additional checks on the entire process your items go through. This means from the time checkouts are pulled off your stock shelves to the time they’re sorted for packing to the packing process itself to the labeling and sorting for ship out. You should consider putting quality assurance checks in place to make sure costly mistakes like these are kept to their minimum low.
3. Customers Saying Items Don’t Match The Description
There are quite a number of online shoppers and e-commerce buyers who complain the items they received didn’t quite match what was described in the listing on your e-commerce site. This would seem quite a minor or harmless mistake, but it tends to have a negative impact on your customers’ experience. This happens when order fulfillment becomes increasingly complex because of the growing volume of orders.
To minimize these kinds of mistakes, consider making changes to the root cause of the issue. You don’t have much control over the impressions and reactions of your buyers and customers. So you have to make adjustments where you have control. If things like these are happening too often, you might have to assign a team to go over item descriptions on your site. They should prioritize item listings that had problems in the past. But they should also go over the rest of the product listings once they’re done with the critical ones.
The task of the team is to go over the product listings and item descriptions. They should remove any jargon or equivocal language, which might mean two or more things to a buyer. They should also review whether the language they used to describe the items could possibly mean different things to different folks. Another way of minimizing this mistake is by reaching out to the buyer and confirming the details of their purchase. It doesn’t have to be done over the phone. It can be made through chat messages or email.
Fulfilling Your Orders
A crucial aspect of customer experience for e-commerce sites and online retail companies is how they receive the items they ordered online. Many customers and online shoppers feel a bit of anxiety while they wait for their orders. So they’d feel disappointed if the online store makes mistakes in sending the wrong item, sending it to the wrong address, or sending items that don’t seem to match how they were described.