Why should I use omnichannel fulfillment services?
-Increased online orders
-Better warehouse management
-Better customer service
-Decreased shipping costs
-Faster order fulfillment
If you have or are starting an eCommerce business chances are your main goal is to increase sales. You spent money and time creating an eCommerce website so you want those sales. Although that is the ultimate goal for just about any business, there is a lot more you should be taking into account besides just marketing to get more customers.
Online sales are expected to increase by approximately 14% each year. It will account for about 15% of retail sales. That number is just going to increase taking over the traditional brick-and-mortar shopping experience. What customers expect their online shopping experience to be has changed over the years. In order to make sure your profits are in the green and you can provide great customer service through improved logistics.
If you focused heavily on your brick-and-mortar business you’re going to face some serious problems. The rise in store closures is at an all-time high. Adding a proper eCommerce website to your company is going to save it but only if you do it the right way. Before we jump right into everything let’s see some options for how you can save on your basic shipping options.
How to save on shipping costs
Any retailer with an online store must create a proper delivery system that not only satisfies your customers but also streamlines your process to lower costs. There has been a huge shift to have free and fast shipping. This can be very expensive and cut into your eCommerce profits.
Amazon for example markets free 2-day shipping which many are happy to have. The reality is it’s not really free. You have to pay a yearly subscription to get that benefit. Of course, for smaller online companies charging $120 a year probably won’t get you many customers. However, having it as an option for let’s say $15 a year is much more enticing especially for those who will buy things regularly. Make sure the price you set matches what you offer.
Offering free shipping on a minimum amount purchase is also pretty common and does work for many eCommerce websites. 2-day shipping is more expensive so giving this out for free isn’t the best idea. 5-7 days is a more affordable option, but that also makes your customers feel like they have to wait too long for their items.
1. Negotiate with the shipping company on costs. The more you ship the bigger the discounts will be.
2. You should also try using region-specific shipping companies because often times you can get better rates with them versus the national/global companies.
3. Look for partners of these companies who offer other significant discounts even on express shipping.
4. The packaging you use makes a big difference. Cut back on the size and weight to help you save.
5. Ask about the cost of shipping supplies. You may be surprised to find out that you can actually get supplies for free. Again, negotiate, negotiate, negotiate.
6. If you are looking to have insurance on your shipped items, you will most likely get a better deal if you do it through a third party versus the shipping carrier.
7. Having an automated system to take care of shipping can save you a lot in the long run. It will cost you more in the initial phases but it will be worth it. This includes doing all your shipping online.
8. Offer store pick-up. Customers should have the option to pick it up in the store if it’s available. Many times people don’t mind popping in and grabbing the item. Having to wander around trying to find what you’re looking for, then having to wait in line to check out can be more time-consuming. The convenience of ordering online and then picking it up in the store is very appealing.
Although these are great options, to truly become relevant and provide the best service you can, it’s all about omnichannel fulfillment services. It will save you money on inventory management, customer service, and more.
Omnichannel fulfillment services
Omnichannel fulfillment services offer one of the best options for eCommerce as it provides internalized commercial transactions. This increases the number of sales because it is faster and easier. It’s a solution for not only online orders but even brick-and-mortar. This helps everyone and keeps your company at the forefront of the shopping experience. It essentially resolves the difficulties companies face with a larger number of orders.
How does omnichannel fulfillment service work?
It uses an automated system which manages the entire buying process. You use 1 streamlined system to manage every single step of the customers buying products. Your business will be provided with a simple way to do the following:
1. Customer Service – From the beginning to get a customer to make a purchase all the way to services provided after the customer has bought the product can be done very simply and cost-effectively.
2. Warehousing – You’ll be able to manage every piece of inventory, the warehousing, and check any merchandise/inventory.
3. Orders – Manage the entire ordering process from adding items to the cart to order confirmation.
4. Packing – The items will be grabbed then put in boxes and labeled so they are ready to be shipped.
5. Shipping – Pick up, on-time delivery, returns, and payments can be done with very little effort.
Every part of the chain works together seamlessly. Even better is how automated this entire flow is to help keep your efforts and costs minimal. Over 80% of the businesses who have implemented this have seen an increase in their sales.
Customers receive numerous benefits from this as well. They have the ability to find products, make price comparisons, purchase and receive the products they want through various channels in a very quick and easy way. This gives customers today what they want.
Although Omnichannel fulfillment services have become a huge trend, the reality is that the majority of retailers have not incorporated this. For the ones who have, many of them have not fully figured out and mastered what these services can really do. Many eCommerce businesses end up spending too much on all their logistics such as shipping and handling and don’t even realize it. This is a big part of what eats up profits.
Trying to figure out all of these logistics and satisfy the demands of customers can be time consuming and expensive. It’s not something you need to figure out on your own. Omnichannel fulfillment services are worth it as it helps improve customer relations and logistics. It has been proven to help the businesses who have implemented it. If you could improve your sales not only through proper marketing but also through lower costs and streamlining the way your business runs wouldn’t it be worth it?
To help you get started on a better retail experience for both you and your customers the first step is to speak to companies like SDI who specialize in improving brick-and-mortar businesses by developing powerful eCommerce companies with more sales and better customer care.