E-commerce is evolving as the most preferred form of retail in local and international transactions. Numerous companies are investing in building an e-commerce platform, and their returns are more than tripling. 

With increased access to technology, the way people are shopping has changed drastically. The order fulfillment process of e-commerce is faster than ever before. The speed of deliveries is one factor that determines whether a product sells or not. 

Many platforms offer free delivery options. In fact, Amazon and Flipkart offer 2-day free delivery options for customers. In the competitive e-commerce landscape, retailers should leverage the best services to run their business successfully. This article will go over the e-commerce order fulfillment process and certain e-commerce strategies that retailers can use.

The trends in e-commerce develop from buyer decisions

E-commerce fulfillment has grown to cover the entire buyer journey once they land on your website, up until the product reaches their door. In fact, you can take it a step further and request a review once the delivery has been received. 

Let’s explore some factors that influence buyer decisions when it comes to e-commerce fulfillment. In the process, let’s uncover three strategies to fulfill orders in 2021 and beyond.

  • Research states that 61% of shoppers abandon their cart when the shipping charges and taxes are too high.
  • Research shows that 53% of e-commerce shoppers expect a fast delivery, which determines whether they order from you or not.
  • Research also states that 38% of the shoppers never shop with an online store after experiencing poor delivery.
  • Research shows that 25% of the shoppers immediately cancelled their orders because the delivery window was too slow.

If you’re worried about these stats, don’t be. We’re going to cover three guaranteed e-commerce strategies to work for your e-commerce business. Let’s first understand the order fulfillment process.

What is e-commerce order fulfillment?

In e-commerce, order fulfillment refers to the B2B orders, where items are shipped in bulk to retailers, and B2C orders, where products are shipped to the buyer’s door. With increased access to customer data and technology that automates most processes, new forms of B2B and B2C interactions occur.

Dropshipping is one example of service that takes care of the order fulfilment for a retailer who wants their items picked up from a location and dropped off at another.

For the B2C orders, a customer usually places the order through the sellers’ online store. The shipping aspect for large companies includes a vast logistics network and infrastructure. But for a retailer just starting on their own, dropshipping can be an e-commerce strategy for order fulfillment.

Here are three expert e-commerce strategies that are sure to pay off in 2021. But first, it is important to realize that if you just started your e-commerce venture, do not compete with Amazon and Flipkart. Compete with the local market for your products and work your way up from there.

In-house order fulfillment

In-house order fulfillment involves

  • Taking responsibility for the products 
  • Storing them in a secure inventory 
  • Confirming orders on a website 
  • Labeling items 
  • Packing them and dropping them off at the customer’s door 

For small businesses, in-house order fulfillment can be ideal. You can save costs on every other aspect of the order fulfillment except for shipping. Incomplete, ambiguous, or non-existent addresses also add up to shipping costs. If you find a cheaper way to get the product to customers as quickly as advertised, you can save shipping costs. This is where your pricing strategy can be fine-tuned to give you maximum profits. With 100% control over picking, packing, and shipping, your business reputation will grow with each fulfilled order.

  • Receiving products

This process is where the product is physically available for the retailer to fulfil an order on their website. You can choose to receive the product to store in your inventory or make the order through the fulfilling partner.

  • Stored in inventory

The product is stored in an inventory to keep it organized, safe, and secure. When a customer makes an order, the item can then be processed.

  • Processing the order

Processing involves packing, making the receipts, and getting them ready for shipping.

Shipping the order

The order is then shipped either through the retailer’s own logistics network or a fulfilling partner who picks the ready order and takes it to the customer. Shipping is a tough part of the selling process, and each business will have its issues in shipping that they need to overcome

Also read: E-commerce Shipping: Best Strategies and Practices

Processing the returns

In case a customer returns the order, you have to be on standby to process the payments and verify the item and formalities.

  • Feedback

Gathering feedback from your customers is vital, especially when you sell products that cater to their choices. A happy review can boost your ranking on an e-commerce listing or your website.

However, as the business grows, you will have to spend a lot of time fulfilling each order. The labor costs and packaging costs are sure to increase. This may sound like a lot of work for one product, and it is. In this case, you will have to invest in storage space, packaging items, tracking software, logistics, and much more. 

The advantage of in-house order fulfillment is that you solely operate your enterprise, and everything can be decided according to your business objectives.

Third-party fulfillment

Third-party fulfillment is a great e-commerce strategy, where you just give the product to a third-party who takes care of the rest. In most cases, they pick the product from your location, pack it, and drop it off the customer. Amazon is an example of third-party fulfillment. The only condition is that you will have to sell your items on their platform.

The payments are made online, and Amazon takes care of the entire process. This is ideal if you have limited products and would like to sell them individually on an Amazon store. If the product is approved, you’re good to go. Remember, this is where Amazon makes a lot of their money through fast delivery and timeless transactions.

  • Drop-shipping

Drop-shipping is one example of service that takes care of the order fulfillment for a retailer who wants their items picked up from a location and dropped off at another. For small, medium, or large businesses, drop-shipping is an amazing alternative to third-party fulfillment. 

In this case, you’ll have to hire a drop-shipping service that will pick your product and deliver it to the customer. Whether an in-house order or a third-party fulfillment, drop-shipping is great to save money on the shipping front.

For a person who doesn’t offer to ship nowadays, the likelihood of retaining customers is lower. 

Conclusion

To understand the correct e-commerce strategies, you have to first understand the order fulfillment process from a retailer’s standpoint and a customer’s convenience. The key takeaway is that e-commerce strategies are evolving with order fulfillment procedures.

When you can ensure that the items can be delivered on time, the price will no longer be an issue for customers who receive free shipping on their favorite products.

For retailers looking to leverage the benefits of e-commerce, understanding buyer decisions and customer expectations are vital. Consumers expect what they paid for online, to be delivered almost just as quickly. 

Your e-commerce strategy should be well-organized and planned for maximum revenue and optimum ROI. Hence, knowing the evolving trends of e-commerce is essential to creating your niche in the market.

Talking about e-commerce strategies…

Having the right blueprint for handling all your orders and inventory is vital to upscale your business as well. That is where we come in. At Razorpay Thirdwatch, we help businesses reduce RTO rates and detect impulse purchases and fraudulent orders using AI. 

Also, you can identify complete and incomplete addresses, detect risky orders based on various data points collected, get RTO insights, get information about the reasons behind your RTO orders, and so much more!

Through the order confirmations feature, you can set up a smooth process of understanding which orders to ship safely and consequently reduce RTO losses for your e-commerce store.

Read more: How To Enable And Use Automated Order Confirmations On Your Online Store

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