6 Common eCommerce Fulfillment Challenges (and How to Overcome Them)

Alex Pang-25 February 2021

Great order fulfillment leads to a positive shopping experience for your customers and an increase in repeat sales. Order fulfillment starts when a customer makes an order and ends after successful delivery.

If there is an order fulfillment problem, your eCommerce business will incur the loss of both time and money trying to rectify these issues.

To avoid this, you need to pay attention to these common order fulfillment challenges. Knowing what to do beforehand helps you create a seamless order fulfillment process for your online business.

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Shipping Delays

The challenge

Customers expect faster delivery with their order. Amazon’s two-day Prime shipping has become the set standard. It’s even raised the bar by providing one-day as well as same-day delivery in some markets.

Any delay in shipping damages your brand image. Customers value receiving their products fast that they wouldn’t mind paying extra. 61% of customers are willing to pay more for same-day delivery.

International shipping often takes a week to several months for delivery. However, your customers will turn to your competition who offers the same product faster.

The solution

To solve shipping delays, provide a range of shipping options to your customers. You could provide same-day delivery at a higher rate. Customers should also be able to stalk their packages. Consider adding tracking codes so customers can monitor their order status.

Shipping Location Constraints

The challenge

The location of your warehouse determines the speed at which your products will get to your customers. The closer your fulfillment center is to the potential customers, the shorter the distance. Therefore, if your online business has a fulfillment center strategically located near your customers, it slows down shipping timelines. The same case applies to businesses with a global reach.

The solution

Consider working with a fulfillment provider with multiple warehouses located near your customer base. This not only streamlines the speed of delivery but also lowers shipping costs.

Poor Inventory Management

The challenge

Nothing is more frustrating to your customers than buying an item only to discover that they can’t have it-or receive it while it’s damaged.

Poor inventory management results in backorders( selling out-of-stock products) and the issue of damaged or lost goods. This forces you to issue refunds or provide incentives to disappointed customers.

The solution

Upgrade to an eCommerce platform that automated inventory operations for tracking, procurement, and reordering. The system should offer a centralized view of your products in the warehouse and real-time data. This will optimize your inventory flow which can sync across other systems to boost efficiency.

Lack of Branding Options

The challenge

With so many businesses selling products online, finding a way to stand out from the competition is a huge challenge. The relationship between an eCommerce brand and a customer is totally visual. Delivering your products in generic packaging does nothing to create a memorable unboxing experience. In fact, you come off as un-engaging and impersonal.

The solution

To establish a personal connection with your customers and promote brand loyalty, use customized packaging. Showcasing your brand in the packaging creates brand awareness and amplifies your reach.

Branded packaging doesn’t have to be expensive. Branded boxes use a lot of ink and that’s why they’re expensive. You could opt for customized packing tape or custom tissue paper. Remember to include a thank you gift for your customers or a free sample to encourage cross-selling.

Poor Customer Service

The challenge

Customer service often gets overlooked but dismissing it has detrimental consequences. 78% of customers backed out from making a purchase due to a poor customer experience.

According to Salesforce Research, 89% of customers are more likely to make a repeat purchase after a positive customer service experience. Furthermore, 78% of customers will do business with a company again even after a mistake if their customer service is excellent.

The solution

If you can’t afford to hire staff to answer customer questions, offer an effective way for customers to get those answers. If you opt for email, ensure those responses are within the next business day.

You could also opt to install a chatbot that answers basic questions. Having a robust FAQ section also comes in handy when delivering a superior customer experience.

Inefficient Returns

The challenge

Invesp states that at least 30% of all products ordered online are returned compared to only 8.89% in brick-and-mortar stores. In addition, 92% of customers said they’d buy again from the same business following an easy return process while 79% of customers suggested they prefer free return shipping.

If you’re not prepared to deal with returns, you’ll only end up with dead inventory. This in turn stops you from making revenue.

The solution

As you may have realized from the stats, customers value a free and simple return process. Choose an eCommerce fulfillment provider who has the infrastructure and fulfillment processes in place to handle high volumes of returns fast and efficiently.

Overcome these Challenges with NextSmartShip

NextSmartShip provides a simple yet reliable order fulfillment strategy for your eCommerce business. Our innovative eCommerce fulfillment services include:

  • Global eCommerce fulfillment
  • Fast delivery
  • Access to our fulfillment warehouses in the U.S, U.K, Australia, Germany, and China
  • Efficient inventory management with inventory information synced in real-time
  • Fast and flexible shipping at affordable rates because we deal with different shipping couriers
  • Customized packaging options for limitless branding including labels, shipping boxes, inserts, coupons, and more
  • Dynamic integration with major eCommerce platforms
  • Option to add both private and white label products
  • Dedicated accounts manager for one-on-one customer support

With the above fulfillment services, you’ll be able to easily overcome any eCommerce fulfillment challenges. This translates into happier customers, repeat sales, higher profits, and fewer headaches for you!

Are you ready to get started? Reach out to us today and get a custom quote.

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