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How to Improve Order Fulfilment for a Better Customer Experience

How to Improve Order Fulfilment for a Better Customer Experience

Running a retail business today is a much more complex and wide-ranging endeavour than before the advent of the internet. With e-commerce leading the way for growth in the retail sector, the impact of both online shopping and one-click purchasing is undeniable. A modern retail business needs a digital presence and customer service network. But, it also needs robust logistics and distribution infrastructure to properly manage stock and orders. If done right, a retail business can enjoy rapid growth in a relatively new corner of its industry. However, in this growth, one needs to recognise the fundamental importance of order fulfilment to customer experience.

Digital customers do not receive the same customer experience as shoppers on physical premises. It is unlikely that an online shopper will ever interact with a real human being from your business. Thus, making the delivery of their goods their only point of contact. If you are utilizing a third party for these deliveries, that third party can be a ‘messenger’ for your brand’s reliability.

As such, the fulfilment and delivery of items together constitute a key aspect of providing good customer service. How can you approach your business from this perspective, and improve the customer experience in the process?

Logistics – and Reverse Logistics

Speaking of delivery, properly engaging in delivery as service is crucial to customer satisfaction and retention. Swift delivery times are becoming more and more of an industry standard, or even an expectation. Therefore, it is important that you offer a range of delivery options to your customers. Offering same-day delivery as a leading option can go a long way to boosting satisfaction. Customers tend towards a preference for immediate gratification.

This covers logistics, but what about reverse logistics? Here in the UK, consumer rights are enshrined in law. – with one such right concerning the return of unwanted or faulty goods. Purchasing goods of any kind online are subject to a return within 14 days of purchase. This is a ‘cooling-off’ period that all retailers must abide by. Facilitate this through return parcels and envelopes, or even a collection scheme.

Inventory Management

But reverse logistics poses a unique problem for warehouse inventory. If usable and saleable stock is being returned, there needs to be space for it. New purchasing needs to reflect the bounce rate of sales and items. Meanwhile, managing warehouse flow, in general, can speed up order fulfilment greatly. Thus, enabling you to meet same-day targets more easily.

Investment in Technology

Lastly, it is impossible to ignore the impact of logistics and warehouse management technology on efficiency and efficacy. Automation can be king in the administrative sense. It can pair items with correct delivery options and manage the printing of delivery notes, saving time and money. This can then be passed on to the consumer in savings. Machine learning algorithms can also assist with delivery routes and even the effective and efficient storage of items and equipment.

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