Shipping for eCommerce Business: How to Provide Fast, Accurate Service
The world of shipping for eCommerce businesses is like a sport where speed and accuracy work together to meet customer satisfaction. There's little or no room for mistakes in this fast-paced industry of delivering products to doorsteps in one piece. A slip-up could lead to losing your customers and a drop in business revenue.
So, if you're ready to put on your shipping boots, conquer the art of accurate deliveries and ensure your customers receive their orders faster than they can say, "Where's my package?" you are reading the right article. In this article, we’ll go through optimizing your shipping solutions for eCommerce business and providing your customers with the best experience.
Here are highlights of subtopics covered in this article for easy navigation
- What is fast and accurate shipping?
- How to measure shipping accuracy
- How to provide fast and accurate shipping
Let’s get into the details.
What is fast and accurate shipping?
Fast and accurate shipments are the apparent winners in online purchasing, where efficiency and accuracy are significant. However, it’s also not an easy task, considering the number of steps in the eCommerce fulfillment process, such as picking, packing, shipping, tracking, and customer interaction.
Why is it important that you still do your best to improve it? According to ReadyCloud, only 15% of consumers are satisfied with the delivery speed of eCommerce businesses. In 2019, 84% of shoppers reported being unlikely to choose a brand again after a bad last-mile delivery experience, while 72% of customers were more likely to shop again with a retailer if they offered faster delivery options. On top of that, not only will prioritizing fast and accurate shipping solutions for your business improve customer satisfaction, but it will also minimize the need for returns and exchanges and increase revenue.
How to measure shipping accuracy
Shipping accuracy measures how efficiently your eCommerce business completes and delivers orders to customers without mistakes or delays. It is a crucial metric for customer retention, operational effectiveness, and financial success.
Here are two methods to measure delivery accuracy:
- Order accuracy data
- Number of returns
Order accuracy rate
One way to measure shipping accuracy is by calculating the order accuracy rate.
You can calculate this by finding the percentage of orders fulfilled accurately and delivered on time. The formula for the order accuracy rate is:
Order accuracy rate = (Total orders fulfilled accurately ÷ Total orders fulfilled) X 100
While 100% accuracy may seem impossible for an eCommerce business, you should aim to have at least a 96% to 99% order accuracy rate.
Number of returns
Another way to measure shipping accuracy is by tracking the number of returns due to shipping errors. Shipping errors could be wrong items, damaged goods, or incorrect addresses. The number of returns can indicate how well your eCommerce business handles quality control, inventory management, and logistics. The lower the number of returns, the higher the chances you get shipping accuracy right.
How can your eCommerce business provide fast and accurate shipping?
As earlier established, providing fast and accurate shipping can help your eCommerce business maintain growth in customer base and revenue. But how do you achieve this? Here are things to consider to make your business stand out from everyone on the block.
- Automate Order Management
- Centralize Order Tracking
- Decentralize Your Warehouse
- Automate Order Fulfillment Process
- Partner Up with Shipping Carriers
- Outsource Order Fulfillment
Automate order management
You can automate your order management to improve the speed of inventory tracking and delivery. After all, manually tracking orders leaves you open to errors and is very time-consuming.
Centralize order tracking
Omnichannel is everything in today’s fast-paced eCommerce industry. Customers want to be everywhere, so you end up having to be everywhere too! But just because your online presence is all over the place, as it should be, doesn’t mean your orders have to be too! You could have your eCommerce business on your website, Facebook marketplace, Amazon, Etsy, etc., and still track, monitor, and control orders from a single platform in real-time. Being able to do so makes it simple to spot any challenges or delays in the fulfillment procedure and detect any hiccups before it’s too late!
Why do OPLOG brands never have to worry that their customers with be served with late deliveries? Because at OPLOG, we have D.A.S. (Delivery Alarm System) that notifies shipping carriers to take action about shipments that exceed average delivery times.
Decentralize your warehouse
Now that we’ve centralized your orders, it's time to decentralize your warehouse! Simply put, decentralized warehousing, aka distributed inventory, is splitting your inventory across many warehouses or micro fulfillment centers based on forecasting data, inventory availability, and customer proximity. This helps minimize shipping distances and reduces transit times, resulting in faster delivery. It has been a go-to strategy for those eCommerce businesses that value time and cost efficiency and are looking to optimize their last-mile delivery.
Automate the order fulfillment process
How about we start from the bottom up? There are three main processes that go into fulfilling an order: picking, packing, and shipping. Among these three, picking is one of the most time-consuming and prone to error processes. That’s where warehouse automation solutions come to play. AGVs, AMRs, and all other types of fulfillment robots help warehouses automate the picking process, offering:
- 50% faster fulfillment,
- 99% order accuracy,
- 30% cost savings, and
- 80% increased throughput.
Partner up with shipping carriers
If you want to offer your customers fast, reliable, and accurate delivery services, it's crucial to research when deciding to work with shipping service providers. You can negotiate competitive shipping rates and service levels to provide clients with affordable and effective shipping choices. Integrating your eCommerce business with suitable shipping carrier systems can also automate shipping label generation, rate calculation, and tracking updates.
Don’t know how to pick the right shipping carrier? Take a look at our blog.
Outsource order fulfillment
There are two ways you can choose to fulfill orders─self-fulfillment or working with a 3PL (third-party logistics provider).
Typically, 3PLs do all the tedious work of fulfilling your orders, managing your inventory, and tracking your deliveries. And, if they have the technologies a tech-enabled 3PL should have, all left for you to do would be monitoring your orders.
Why are 3PLs the best way to go for many eCommerce businesses?
- 3PLs usually operate several fulfillment centers and have the logistical expertise and capacity to meet order fulfillment requirements on a large scale.
- If they have a global fulfillment network like OPLOG does, they become a crucial partner in your global expansion.
- They greatly decrease both the operational and overhead costs of running a fulfillment warehouse.
- They spare you the time and effort you need to spend to find warehouse employees amidst an ongoing labor shortage.
If you can’t decide whether to keep your in-house fulfillment operations or to outsource them, here are the 11 signs it's time to outsource fulfillment.
So, What Next?
As this article establishes, you can’t compromise speed and accuracy in the eCommerce business space, as providing fast and accurate shipping sets your business apart from competitors and earns you a gold medal with consumers.
While we have outlined several ways to help you provide better services, we would also like to assist your business in achieving it with our tech-enabled omnichannel fulfillment service, just like we’ve done with global brands such as Rossmann, SONY, and Tupperware.