- by Arnish Shah
One would definitely agree that the competition in Ecommerce business and customers’ expectations are not the same as compared to a decade ago. Going forward, in 2017, the customers would be looking for high standards in accuracy, efficiency, transparency and convenience from online retail business.
It is well said by Nido Quebin (President of High Point University) that:
“Change Brings Opportunity.”
Following are the order fulfillment trends that would help you in meeting your customers’ expectations and grabbing opportunity of growing and succeeding your online retail business in 2017 and beyond.
Free shipping has always been an eye grabbing factor for the people buying online. Thus, many online retailers have started providing free shipping on purchase of specific minimum amount. This would encourage the customers to buy products worth that minimum amount and avail the facility of free shipping.
Special Perks to Members
Adding members and giving them extra benefits like free shipping and 2-day delivery has been a successful selling strategy these days. For example if you are Amazon Prime member, by paying just $99 per year, you can enjoy the benefits of free shipping on no minimum purchase or delivery within 2 days. Introducing this option can help you in retaining your customers and also improve sales.
Minimum Delivery Time
Customers buying online prefer to receive their products as soon as possible. Online retailers can introduce upgrades in their delivery time by introducing 2 days delivery option to their customers on a minimum order or if they have accumulated minimum credit points in their membership program. On providing quick delivery or product upgrades can definitely become desirable option for your customers and motivate them to buy more from your store.
Multiple Order Fulfillment Options
There are multiple order fulfillment options like free delivery, same day delivery, 2 day delivery, nearest location pickup etc. The more delivery options you provide to your customers, the better response you get from your online shoppers. By providing different order fulfillment methods, you gain satisfaction of your customers and successfully stand apart from the crowd of other online retailers.
Using Fulfillment Centers
Every year the shipping carriers in USA increase their service rates and surcharges by 4.9%. With the increasing shipping costs and the pressure of providing free shipping the customers, the online retailers are facing the challenge of sustaining their profit margins. Especially, the small online retailers are struggling to yield minimum return on their investments. In this case, using fulfillment centers can prove to be beneficial and convenient as they conduct in-depth analysis of package contents, weight, shipping destination, speed and other dimensions to detect the best shipping carrier for all the orders.
Maximum Use of Inventory Management Software
Customers are now expecting quick delivery with efficiency and accuracy. Inventory management software automates the task of pick, pack and ship the products which would make order fulfillment process quicker. Moreover, the order fulfillment process if done manually with the help of resources would take higher time when compared to inventory management software. Ultimately the smart work would be leading in 2017.
Online sales in USA are expected to reach to an astounding figure of $1,115 billion dollars this year. So, it would be quite exciting to follow the above mentioned trends and provide your customers with best order delivery experience.