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Father’s Day is nearly here, and with it should come a flurry of orders for eCommerce stores across the UK. But, if you want to make the most of this important sales period, you need to make sure that your order fulfilment process is properly optimised. Keep on reading to find out how to optimise your order fulfilment process for Father’s Day now…

Why is order fulfilment important?

You market and sell fantastic products. Surely that’s enough to keep your customers happy right?!

Well, whilst that is an important part of providing customer satisfaction, these days order fulfilment is just as, if not more, important.

Changing customer expectations mean that consumers expect their orders to arrive correctly, well packaged, and quickly – all factors which are determined by your fulfilment process.

Get your fulfilment process wrong and you’ll quickly find yourself losing customers to competitors who have aced their fulfilment.

So, if you want to nail your fulfilment process ahead of this year’s Father’s Day, you’re going to want to do the things we’ve detailed below.

How to optimise your order fulfilment process ahead of Father’s Day

Below, we’ve set out five key actions which you can take to optimise and improve your order fulfilment process, so that your customers who order goods from you for Father’s Day have the best possible experience.

1. Optimise your inventory management

When you’ve got a big sales event like Father’s Day approaching, the last thing you want is to run out of stock.

You want to make sure that you’ve got plenty of inventory on hand in order to fulfil the expected demand.

To do this, you’ll want to make sure you’re using an appropriate warehouse management system (WMS) that gives you complete visibility over your current inventory.

A good quality WMS will also provide you with plenty of raw data, so that you can make informed decisions about what you need to order and when.

It can also be helpful to use this software to set automatic reorder triggers, so that popular items of inventory are automatically reordered when they hit a certain level of stock.

2. Integrate your systems

If the different parts of your order fulfilment process are not talking to each other, then you could quickly find yourself in trouble, with mistakes with orders and unhappy customers.

To make sure that your order fulfilment process is as efficient as possible, you want to make sure that all of your systems are properly integrated. For example, you need your order processing system to be integrated with your warehouse management system, so that your warehouse team knows which items they should be picking and packing.

You’ll also want systems like your financial management software to be integrated with your warehouse management software so that you know how much of your capital is tied up in current inventory etc.

In many cases, it’s far easier to use software like 3PL Fusion which can help integrate your various systems and processes into a single, easy to use dashboard.

3. Perk up your packaging

How are you packaging your orders? If you’re just throwing your goods into drab, basic packaging, you may find that your customers start to flock elsewhere.

Why? Because, like every other part of the fulfilment process, customer expectations are changing.

Whereas in the past customers may have been quite content to receive their products in basic packaging, today they expect to see their orders arrive in sustainable, environmentally-friendly, branded packaging.

Particularly when a consumer is ordering something for an event like Father’s Day, they’ll expect to have the option to personalise their order, such as adding a customised note within the box.

However, these innovations cannot come at the expense of packaging integrity. Consumers are still just concerned about receiving their orders in one piece as they ever have been…

Guide – if you really want to create an exciting ‘unboxing experience’ for your customers, read our guide on how to do so here. 

4. Ensure your return policy is clear and easy

Whether eCommerce managers like it or not, returns are a fact of life.

As of 2021, 54% of British shoppers said they regularly return the products they have bought online.

So, it’s important that before you reach Father’s Day, your eCommerce store not only has a returns policy that is clear and easy to understand, but allows customers to make returns simply.

Return policies are vital for a good customer experience.

The best way to optimise your returns process is to not treat it as an afterthought. You should integrate returns (or ‘reverse logistics’ as we call it in the industry) into your order fulfilment process by creating dedicated processes for your warehouse team to handle returns.

You can take other actions, such as making sure you have a dedicated area within your warehouse to handle returns, quality checks, and processes for reintegrating returned orders back into your inventory.

5. Think about outsourcing your fulfilment

As your eCommerce business grows, it’s highly likely that you’ll find it more and more challenging to handle your fulfilment operations.

It’s only to be expected.

After all, you probably founded your eCommerce brand in order to market and sell your products. You didn’t necessarily think you’d have to become an expert in fulfilment logistics too.

The learning curve of fulfilment and logistics can be steep. There’s a whole host of things to learn, from proper inventory management to the proper ways to handle returns and much, much more.

Furthermore, as your fulfilment scales, you can find more and more of your capital tied up in expensive investments such as warehousing space. That’s capital that you could be using to grow your business further.

With all of that in mind, it can often make commercial and financial sense to outsource your fulfilment to a third-party provider like 3PL.

Think of it this way; a third-party logistics provider is dedicated entirely to getting fulfilment right.

From dedicated warehousing space, to experts in fulfilment processes and deals with the leading couriers and delivery companies, a third-party logistics provider will be able to handle your fulfilment in a way which you probably can’t.

So, if you’re serious about nailing your order fulfilment process in time for this Father’s Day, think about talking to a third-party logistics provider like 3PL today.

Learn how outsourced fulfilment could boost your business now

For more fulfilment, logistics and eCommerce advice and information, read the 3PL blog

When to Make the Switch From In-House to Outsourced Fulfilment? | Learn How Switching to a 3PL Can Save Your Business Money | What Is an Order Fulfilment Strategy?