Shipping Methods and Order Fulfillment

Shipping Methods & Order Fulfillment: Everything You Need to Know

eCommerce is booming with time! Over the years, on observation eCommerce is more about convenience and choice. Renowned freight companies offer preferred shipping methods & multi-courier shipping solutions to their potential customers. Shipping products successfully is an integral part of customer satisfaction. Clients like to receive their goods quickly, safely, and in perfect condition.    

There are various modes of transporting cargo and other goods such as air, land, or water. All these three modes of shipping play a vital role in boosting the economy. Depending upon the benefits of each one, you can make a well-informed decision. In this article, here we discuss some common shipping terms, carriers, popular methods, drop ship service and fulfillment solutions.  

Shipping Through Air 

Airfreight services are one of the most popular shipping methods when it comes to on-time delivery of packages. In this mode of transport, mainly aircraft are used to ship products. The shipping speed is usually faster, and the products are delivered sooner. In addition, this form of transport is often regarded as an expensive shipping mode as compared to others.  

Benefits of Air Transport 

  • Faster & Safer Delivery 
  • Appropriate for Fragile & Delicate Goods
  • Suitable for Almost Every Type of Packages 

Shipping Through Land

Land shipping is considered one of the oldest methods of transporting goods. When it comes to delivering goods within a country or across neighboring nations, this is the most appropriate method. This type of shipping service usually involves track shipments with two different forms of shipping i.e. trucks and trains. For short-distance delivery, shipping can be done by road. Basically, these are done via bicycles, motorbikes, and cars.

Benefits of Land Transport 

Benefits of Land Transport

  • Cost-Effective Method 
  • Suitable for Heavy Products 
  • Wide-ranging & Easily Available

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Shipping Through Sea

As compared to other transport methods, this form is preferred for larger quantities of products. This form of transportation is readily available, however takes time to deliver the products. One need not worry much because almost everything can be shipped through the sea. On a large scale, this form of transportation is recommended for delivery from a farther location

Benefits of Sea Transport 

  • Less expensive 
  • Safer mode of transport 
  • Appropriate for almost everything

Important Factors to Consider While Choosing A Specific Shipping Mode 

THE FULFILMENT SOLUTIONs

There are many aspects that one should keep in mind while choosing the best transportation method. Selecting the right form of shipping can help you reduce extra logistics costs. So, here are some critical things mentioned that you need to know before choosing a specific shipping mode. Have a look:  

  • Shipping Cost
  • Type of Products/Items
  • Speed of service 
  • Safety during the transit 

Do you know what are the primary factors that affect shipping costs? Well, certain features play a significant role in determining your final shipping cost. Given below is the list: 

  • Weight & Size of the item 
  • Special packaging & material for fragile goods 
  • Creating labels for safety 
  • Margins for discounted rates 

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Fulfillment Solutions 

Fulfillment solutions involve the process of delivering your goods, right from defining your products to printing labels to the final step. Order fulfillment providers primarily fulfill orders and warehouse your goods on your behalf. They integrate their software with an eCommerce store to streamline the entire fulfillment process. Once they receive an order, a proper format is followed. Afterwards, they pick, pack, and prepare the product for track shipments.  

Benefits of Order Fulfillment Solutions 

With numerous advantages, order fulfillment solutions are particularly attractive for dealers and merchants. They also have the option to either do it in-house or outsource to a third-party logistics (3PL) company. Look at the following benefits of order fulfillment solutions:

  • Lower Your Shipping Costs
  • Seasonal and Sales Fluctuation Flexibility 
  • Grow New Markets 7 help you reach a broad audience  
  • Eliminate Extra Operating Costs 
  • Focus on growing your business & core competencies 
  • Enhance your customer service 
  • Make your brand different from others 
  • Using technology to reorganize order fulfillment

Now, let’s have a look at the steps involved in the fulfillment process: 

The entire practice involves warehousing, picking, and packaging of the goods. Then, comes successfully shipping it and sending it to the desired destination. It involves crucial steps between receiving a new order to track shipments or placing that order into the customer’s hands. You can choose eCommerce order fulfillment models either as drop-shipping, or in-house fulfillment, or third-party fulfillment.  

Steps of Order Fulfillment  

  • Receiving inventory 
  • Storing inventory  
  • Processing of order (includes picking and packing) 
  • Printing shipping labels 
  • Shipping the order to the destination 
  • Customer is notified 
  • Order is delivered 
  • Handling returns policy (if required)
  • Inventory is updated

Factors to Consider for General Order Fulfillment Strategy 

When merchants first start, they need to consider various aspects for hassle-free order fulfillment. Why? It is because evaluating factors not only helps your business grow but also reduce extra operational cost. So, what are these major factors? Readout ahead:     

Order Volume

If you are fulfilling shipping orders at high volume, there is a lot to keep track of. The primary things that you need to keep in mind are inventory on hand, inventory replenishment, and SKU velocity. Apart from this, factors that play a great role are the status of the shipment, where orders are being shipped, and the number of items being returned.    

Technology 

What about Technology? Well, it certainly plays a great role when it comes to ordering fulfillment. In modern times, technology has evolved, and everything has become digital. By connecting an order fulfillment software with your online store can be easier to streamline the process. Moreover, 3PL companies are now becoming technology-driven to meet accurate fulfillment requirements.        

Location 

This is very important to consider the location because it’s the only way to reach out to your audience. Shipping charges may vary from place to place, or you are close to a major city or central location. A 3PL company has multiple warehouse locations to store inventory and it can expand your reach & drive down additional transport charges. Furthermore, you can take help of track shipments for further ease.    

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Shipping Methods & Order Fulfillment: Dive Inside the Facts 

Do you know some of the actualities regarding distribution methods & order contentment? Here we talk about some of the interesting facts and accurate statistics about shipping methods & order fulfillment.     

61% of shoppers will unrestraint their cart if the shipping charges are high

53% of shoppers believe that speed of delivery is an essential thing when it comes to evaluating online orders

38% of shoppers will never shop with a retailer again if they get unsatisfactory delivery options. 

25% of shoppers cancel an order due to the low speed of delivery

Additional Facts & Statistics 

Are you aware of some of the facts that give you deep information about the choices and preferences of customers? Well, here are some of the top stats to let you know the complete picture about shipping methods & order fulfillment.   

60% of customers have chosen a competitor with more hassle-free delivery options

74% of customers rate free shipping as important while checking out

45% of customers have abandoned a shopping cart because of poor quality experience.  

In this post so far, we have discussed the benefits of the eCommerce fulfillment process. What about the challenges? Besides the unfailing advantages, certain limitations may arise in between the process. It can not only prevent a business from scaling but also delays the orders from getting on-time delivered. 

Ecommerce Fulfillment Process Challenges – Understanding the Ins & Outs 

Let us have a look at some of these challenges:

Lack of Fulfillment Expertise In-House

Few businesses have this scenario of typical distribution network as a core competency or built their own supply chain. Becoming a fulfillment expert is not an easy job. Despite all the complexities of shipping, one needs to find to run operations smoothly in a warehouse. As an expert, you always know how to be strategic in a particular operation

Issues of Changes in Volume 

If you aren’t prepared for required changes in volume, it may be a huge hurdle in order fulfillment. What if during a peak season, the staff isn’t sufficient to accomplish the desired requirements? In such a case, it becomes difficult to plan and meet the customer’s demands. 

Lack of Proper Strategies 

When fulfilling the eCommerce orders, you need to make proper strategies to pack boxes, grow your customer base, and create new products. Achieving growth in relevant tasks and marketing your target audience can be a great move to fulfill the order delivery on time. It can include which fulfillment model can fit your business the most?   

Not Using the Right Technology         

It is commonly seen that many eCommerce businesses face difficulty in using the right technology. Without modern and connected technologies it is not possible to achieve the desired results at the given time. To meet customer expectations, you must understand the current e-commerce scenario in the market. As your business grows, strategies will grow, and technology will help you boost the desired goals. 

eCommerce Shipping 

Irrespective of the shipping method, one needs to build strategies to fit all e-commerce shipping requirements. Right from order receiving, and processing, and fulfillment at every stage one needs to make rules and follow. Well, there is no denying that shipping status may depend on your audience location, budget, margins, drop ship service, and product type. What strategies to follow for a successful shipment process:  Some basic shipping strategies for faster shipping & customer contentment are discussed below:

  • 2-day shipping 
  • Same day delivery 
  • International carrier
  • Expedited shipping    
  • Overnight shipping
  • Eco-friendly freight 
  • Hybrid shipping services 

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The Bottom Lines 

In a nutshell, it can be concluded that there are various factors that affect your shipping status & order fulfillment. In this post, you have learned about the different methods of shipping and their respective benefits. In addition to this, the benefits and steps of a successful order fulfillment solution have been discussed in detail to clarify the ins & outs of the process. Many of you often think about why executing proper shipping methods is so important for companies. The answer is offering fast & affordable shipping options to customers helps prevent any amendments while checking out or track shipments. It is true that without proper implementation of order fulfillment, eCommerce businesses cannot deliver goods on time. However, it can affect a lot on your target audience and may have an impact on the performance of your business goals

The reality is if the shoppers don’t get their package faster, they are reluctant to pay an extra amount for shipping. Therefore, 3PL companies need to make sure to meet customer expectations as per their preference. Forming the right strategies, using the latest technologies would certainly help to raise the level up. Ecommerce fulfillment process challenges that companies usually face are - lack of fulfillment expertise in-house, issues of changes in volume, lack of proper strategies, or not using the right technology.

Tracking Shipments and Returns

No! The shipping process doesn’t end once the carrier is ready. You need to continue to offer a good customer experience after the shipment process also. It simply includes product tracking or managing return policies. What are the things that need to be considered at the last phase? 

  • Adequate Order management     
  • Tracking eCommerce shipments 
  • Managing eCommerce returns 

Hopefully, this article was helpful for you. For precise details, you can also read the interesting facts and statistics mentioned above. Overall, it is clear from the facts that customers do check the shipping details including fees and they can sometimes also change their mind when checkout. So, it is important to make sure that you serve up to their expectations for a better customer experience. The more you deliver the products to them conveniently; the more are the chances to scale up your business. Remember to read the important details before you choose any drop ship service or specific shipping method because it can make or break the deal. 

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