If you have ever bought anything online, you know how easy it can be as a consumer to click a few buttons and have your desired item on your doorstep within a couple of days. This straight forward, and appearingly magic process is what many of us have grown accustomed to, but a lot of people don’t know what happens from the minute they click ‘order’. Unfortunately, it’s not some sort of sorcery – the process actually involves some very hardworking individuals operating in the background to fulfil your request quickly and properly, so you can get on with your day.
What is order fulfilment?
Order fulfilment is the process involving the receiving, picking and packing, and delivery of orders, which starts from when a sale takes place, right through to the order being received by the customer. You may think it is a simple process, but it involves a lot more than just putting things in the post. It’s all about creating a stress-free and seamless experience for your customers so that they are happy to order from you again, and tell their friends. It is vital that your business builds customer loyalty if you want it to thrive and stay competitive.
Benefits of outsourcing your order fulfilment
Successful order fulfilment involves a lot of time and effort, of which some retailers are limited and are not able to attain. However big or small your business, there can be many benefits of outsourcing your ecommerce fulfilment services, including:
- Free up more time to focus on other areas of your business
- Can be more cost-effective than hiring new staff
- Lower shipping costs due to greater shipping volume
- High quality technology integrations
- Open to new markets with worldwide shipping options
- Attract more customers with quicker shipping times
- Save on storage costs
What is the order fulfilment process?
Before your orders are taken, there are a couple of things we need to do first…
You send your stock and inventory to our warehouse, where it is welcomed by our team and treated as their own. This can be either from yourself or directly from the supplier. We scan in each item with our handheld machines, and log it into the system for a 100% check. One of our team will then let you know that your stock has arrived in our warehouse via email.
Once all your stock has been logged into our system, they are placed and stored in our organised warehouse where they will wait to be picked and packed once a customer places an order.
Step one: Orders generated
This is the stage that happens once a customer places an order online.
Orders generated through your ecommerce website (such as WooCommerce, Shopify, or even other sales platforms such as Amazon or Ebay) will appear on our systems, where we will be on hand to collect the items from their place within the warehouse in the next stage of the process. We integrate our systems with yours, so you don’t need to notify us on each sale – it is all done automatically.
If the order is placed before 4pm, our team of UFS fulfilment staff will set about completing your order and sending it off the same day! Orders placed after this time will be completed the following day.
Step two: Picking and packing
When we receive notification of an order, our team will carefully pick the items from storage and pack them according to your predetermined requirements. This may involve adding free gifts, free samples, special gift wrapping or just chosen promotional leaflets inside the parcel. We will package your parcel using your branding, with your chosen packaging options, so your deliveries are personal and easily identifiable. Or – we can package them in plain unbranded packaging – depending on your preference! Either way, customers will never know that a third party fulfilment company handled their products.
Step three: Orders are delivered
Once your parcels are packaged and ready to go, they are dispatched using the delivery method you selected. Our efficient shipping and delivery service ensures that your customers receive your parcel quickly, with no mistakes. We make sure that all orders are double-checked, and delivered to your customer with complete accuracy.
And one extra step…
Step four: Returns
With online purchases, there will be a large number of people who may want to return their items due to reasons such as size or fit which cannot be determined through a computer screen. In these cases, it’s important that your returns processes are handled just as smoothly as the fulfilment and delivery.
If any of your items were to be returned, we would receive them at our warehouse where they will be scanned in, inspected, and then updated on the inventory. We will follow your instructions on whether you would like us to send any unsellable items to you or whether to scrap them. Our team will send you photos of any issues with returned products, so you can decide what you would like us to do, whether you would like it to go back into stock or thrown away.
At UFS, we understand that customers are the most important thing to an online business, so they deserve the best possible customer experience when they order from your shop. This is why we pride ourselves on providing a top-quality ecommerce pick and pack service that covers all your fulfilment needs. For more information or to get a quote, please contact our friendly team on 01773 512 692.