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E-commerce Order Fulfillment Problems and How To Avoid Them

When was the last time you bought something? Was it good? Did the product meet your standards in terms of quality, delivery time, and overall performance? We guess that you are taking time now to think about all of these things because customers always want to buy products that have excellent reviews. With this said business owners must give an excellent customer experience primarily depending on how well they navigate fulfillment issues by the time of order and delivery.

Without an effective e-commerce order fulfillment process, your customer experience and revenue can suffer. But, if you prioritize these things, there is a big possibility of SUCCESS.  Building the kind of e-commerce fulfillment solution that satisfies online customers every time they order is not as easy. Many challenges can get in the way of delivering your products to your customers quickly, correctly, and damage-free. 

Don’t worry, you’re not alone in this business struggle. This article will cover some of the most common order fulfillment problems that businesses face all the time, and what you can do to avoid them.

1. Shipping Delays

When customers buy from e-commerce businesses, they expect their packages to arrive quickly. They don’t want a process that is disorganized and complicated and when it happens it gives them an idea to go to the competitor that can give them what they’re looking for in a faster and easier process. 

To avoid shipping delays and the possibility of looking for another supplier, provide a range of shipping options for them to select from. These might include same-day delivery, two-day delivery, and standard group shipping. The faster the shipping timeline, the higher the possibility of increased sales.  It is also a great idea to add tracking codes for all orders so loyal customers can monitor their order status and see exactly where it’s at. By this, they will expect the delivery date of the parcel.

2. Item is Damaged

Nothing is more disappointing than opening a broken product. Customers don’t want to wait for the order then at the end of the day find out it is useless. They will be less likely to order from your store again unless you do a great job fixing their situation. 

Replacing damaged products can quickly become very expensive if they happen frequently, and keeping up with customer service inquiries can become another full-time job. 

You can replace the product immediately, send an apology, or even give them a discount the next time they buy to ensure that the poor packaging itself hasn’t caused you to lose them as customers. Make sure that your packaging won’t crush the items inside. It is better to consider your product packaging always, read our blog Why Your E-commerce Product Packaging Matters.

3. Poor Inventory Management

Without a streamlined system, you can easily fall into the trap of accepting orders to every individual customer’s request and promising timelines that aren’t feasible. This increases the risk of mistakes in reordering inventory from suppliers or selling non-existent inventory eventually leading to a bad reputation in your business and you don’t want it to happen. Instead of managing things in-house, try something different. 

Think about outsourcing your order fulfillment services to an expert who can manage things for you. Because this falls in their area of expertise, a fulfillment center that offers inventory management can be the perfect all-in-one solution. The warehouse management system uses technology that tracks relevant data and ensures your inventory is always up-to-date and well-managed. In this way, you can give the right number of available products to your customers. 

4. Administration Errors

When orders get labeled wrong, the delivery team ends up with the wrong product and delivers it to the wrong customer. Administrative errors can occur for many reasons but are often linked to human error. Whether it’s reading an order wrong, picking the wrong product, or switching labels from one package to another, these simple mistakes can cost you big in the long run. 

Try using barcodes, and with more than one touch-point,  products are double-checked to ensure that the labeling and product inside are the same. This process minimizes errors and increases the level of customer service which will turn into profit. 

5. Poor Customer Service

This is a very common e-commerce order fulfillment problem. Poor customer service can be extremely damaging to a business. It is likely to lead to dissatisfied customers who are unlikely to purchase products or services from the business again. It can also lead to the business gaining a poor reputation via word of mouth or through reviews on social media or other websites.

Invest in quality customer service representatives, even if it costs a little more. They’ll be better equipped to manage fulfillment issues, and you’ll have less negative feedback. Make sure that as a business owner, you will listen to all these negative thoughts and give them a solution as soon as possible. Always give them a reason to purchase again and be the repetitive buyers. To learn more create an effective e-commerce service plan read our blog 6 Key Elements of A Perfect E-commerce Customer Service Plan.

Wrapping Up

To achieve SUCCESS in your e-commerce business you must be aware of the order fulfillment challenges that customers are facing by the time they order your products. To meet customer expectations, you must understand the overall e-commerce order fulfillment process. Which fulfillment model makes the most sense for your business and how to be strategic in the  operations. Once these things are executed properly this will go a long way in preventing back-orders or long wait times for your customers and will lead to customer satisfaction and high sales.

Struggles in the business are endless,  but when you know how to prevent them you are stepping a major step toward SUCCESS. Register to the FREE E-commBizkit Incubator and be guided by the best e-commerce experts on how you will avoid necessary mistakes in your business. Don’t miss this opportunity.