Achieve a first-rate customer experience by outsourcing your fulfilment01 Jul
As the retail sector continues to experience significant evolution in 2020, here on our blog we’ve been offering some practical advice about moving your shop online successfully.
There has never been a more important time to switch to, or improve, your ecommerce offering, but it can feel daunting trying to decide on the right eCommerce platform and you might be worried about how to match the pre-pandemic footfall of your bricks and mortar shop with a web version. And what about getting stock out to customers?
Arming yourself with the right knowledge will not only ease these fears, it will help you create a better shopping experience for this new age we’re all living in.
In this blog, we’re here to share yet more advice with you on a topic we live and breathe every day – the importance of high quality fulfilment!
Fulfilment standards are ‘make or break’ for your online store
You’ve invested in an all singing, all dancing ecommerce website. Your marketing game is topping the league. So far, the journey for your customers is seriously something to write home about…
But then, the customer has to wait ages for their order…and they can’t track its whereabouts. It eventually arrives late, in a dented old box, possibly damaged. Suddenly, the only thing they want to write is a scathing online review, call you out on social media, or pen a note of complaint.
5 reasons to outsource your fulfilment
Impressive fulfilment is the icing on the cake of the ecommerce customer journey. Yet, some retailers treat it like an afterthought. When getting fulfilment right can lead to the kind of repeat and referred business that paves the way for major business growth, why would you take chance on that?
Like anything valuable, it makes sense to leave it to the experts. Here are just a few of the benefits of outsourcing your fulfilment:
1. Faster pick, pack, and dispatch
If you’ve got all the other elements of a superior online offering nailed, you’re going to have a long list of orders to fulfil. Slow delivery timescales can send potential customers elsewhere.
At Fullers, we pick, pack and dispatch orders on the day that they’re received, so your customer can receive them the next day. With all the other commitments of running a business, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to match that timeframe yourself without some costly overheads
2. Slicker stock management, better business insights
Any respectable fulfilment company will use a highly sophisticated warehouse management system (WMS) for every stage or the order, from placement to delivery. Whatever ecommerce platform you’ve chosen, we can integrate our WMS with it. The technology we use at Fullers ensures all orders are picked with the finest accuracy – and our dedicated staff make doubly sure.
What’s more, you can see stock levels at all times, as well as get email reports and access to graphs to see what is/isn’t selling so you can apply relevant discounts and promotions. It’s a lot of extra work to get this much intelligence in-house – and it can really empower your business strategy.
3. Specialist storage facilities and equipment
Your products are your number one asset, so where – and how – they are stored is of paramount importance. Temperature, light, and moisture levels can cause expensive damage if not carefully managed. If your stock is fragile or prone to leakage, how it is moved is also a major consideration.
By outsourcing the storage of your products to a specialist such as Fullers, you can rest easy knowing that they’re safe in our ambient warehouse conditions. To minimise the amount of expired stock you have to write off, our fulfilment experts pick and pack items on a ‘first in, first out’ basis. All products have segregated zones, lot numbers and item codes, and the WMS informs them exactly how long each batch has been there, and which stock to shift first.
4. A wider range of bespoke packaging options
Packaging plays an important part in how customers experience your brand. So much more than just a container, packaging establishes your image (e.g. heritage, luxury, ethical) and validates their purchase. Boxes have evolved from a simple transportation tool to an integral part of your marketing.
Fuelling this is the ‘unboxing’ phenomenon, which has been born in the age of the social media influencer and shows no sign of slowing down, particularly in the beauty and tech sectors. When you put extra thought into your packaging, it’s more likely that influential consumers will record unboxing videos of the product and this will drive more buyers to your company.
Fullers has the flexibility to fulfil orders in the bespoke packaging of your choice. We’re here to offer guidance and recommendations, producing (and testing!) solutions that add the finishing touch to the buying experience.
5. No returns headaches
Dealing with returned stock yourself can be hugely time-consuming. Items must be received, checked, and prepared to be put back into stock within an acceptable timeframe because slow refunds could lead to bad reviews. And where customers don’t adhere to your refund policy, extra communication will be necessary.
When you outsource your fulfilment to Fullers, we can arrange for pickup of returned items, too. We’ll check the goods and upload stock back to the WMS, handling disposal, and repair/cleaning. Next, we’ll tell you to credit the customer if they’re having a refund. It’s a particularly popular service for fashion items, but in the age of COVID-19 all returns are more complex. Let us take care of it so you can focus on other aspects of your business.
We’re always keeping touch with the latest developments in the world of eCommerce, fulfilment and distribution so that we can best serve and support UK retail business owners like you, as we react to unprecedented changes in the industry together.
Fullers is an end-to-end multichannel fulfilment and distribution service located 5 minutes from M4, 25 miles from London.