How Do You Fulfill Web Orders?
One of the things that makes Amazon a leader in the online retail market is its robust web order fulfillment system. Of course, Amazon also is capable of selling merchandise at the best prices and can offer free 2-day shipping with Prime orders. There is a lot the company has going for it.
Nevertheless, Amazon wasn’t always the online retail juggernaut it is today. It became the leader over time by focusing on customer needs, and that includes web order fulfillment.
5 Principles for Web Order Fulfillment
Amazon had to get web order fulfillment right. It’s business model depended on it. Because it is an online retail store and always has been, getting web order fulfillment wrong would have killed the business from the start. But web order fulfillment is just as important for a brick-and-mortar store as it is for an online-only store.
Web order fulfillment is the process of filling orders that are made through an online store. There are multiple ways to approach it, but we offer these five solid principles for web order fulfillment no matter what kind of retail operation you run:
- Make it flexible – Your customer wants a product. They don’t really care where it comes from. Don’t separate your in-store merchandise from your warehouse merchandise. If you get an online order and your warehouse inventory is empty, don’t be afraid to pull the order from a brick-and-mortar shelf.
- Deliver it quickly – The mail can sometimes take a while. Your customer will be happy if they receive their product quickly, so fulfill it from the nearest location to them.
- Track the order – Nothing is more frustrating for a customer than not knowing where their order is. If you track every product from the moment the customer places the order to the point and time it is delivered, you can always reassure the customer that it’s on its way.
- Establish inventory allocation rules – Rules allow you to determine the best place to fulfill an order from. If you can deliver it quickly, that’s great. But what if you have 100 items in a warehouse just sitting there? It may be time to move some and re-allocate those based on customer order habits.
- Keep your supply chain well-stocked – You should be able to predict how much of each product you’ll sell from season to season. Keep your inventory stocked and fulfill orders from the location most helpful to your customer.
Web order fulfillment isn’t difficult, but it should web well thought out.