With the rise of online shopping comes the need to ensure your eCommerce business runs as smoothly as it possibly can. And while on the surface, doing business online might seem straightforward and relatively easy to execute, in reality, there is a lot of logistics and systematization to be considered.
Let’s take a look at six ways you can make your eCommerce business more efficient.
1. Ensure Order Accuracy
Not much can annoy a customer more than receiving the wrong package. To prevent this, you need to adapt or create a fool-proof checking process.
You can ask your inventory management software to help; however, relying on an app is often what causes faulty shipment. After all, what if you haven’t set the app up correctly? Or if it can’t tell the difference between two products that are quite alike but differ in lot number?
That’s why it’s best to involve a human checker in the process. They will verify each order as it comes to them from the warehouse and makes sure that it matches the order in every way possible: size, color, barcode, etc.
They should also ensure your software is getting things right and that inventory numbers are being updated in real-time.
2. Improve Your Picking Process
Picking and packing are where most mistakes happen in the eCommerce process, which is why you should direct most of your scrutiny here.
We’ve already spoken about the importance of ensuring your software’s accuracy. What you also need to focus on is speed and efficiency. These two features are often mutually exclusive, so start by organizing your inventory in a way that makes the process easier. An ABC system that classifies items based on demand can help.
Ensuring your pickers know the floor is just as important. Consider things like whether it’s better to organize stock according to size (so that you don’t send the wrong one out by a hasty mistake), by item color, or any other prominent feature.
3. Track More Information
If you also branch out to tracking your items by serial and lot numbers, you can ensure you ship items out based on priorities and not convenience. This will help you add a crucial level of efficiency to the process.
For example, you may be inadvertently sending items with the longest expiration date first, leaving you with stock that you may be forced to recycle. This kind of tracking system will also help you stay on top of quality, and you’ll be able to pinpoint exactly which lots or manufacturing series may be causing certain issues your customers are complaining about.
4. Rethink Your Packaging
The way you package your products is of key importance as well. You need to not only protect your items but also make them appealing. And on top of that, you’ll want to make packaging, storing, and shipping easy as well.
Consider the differences between in-store and warehouse packaging. Do you need to make it compact? Can you make better use of space? Can you make the packaging more appealing? Is it reusable or recyclable?
The modern consumer is a green and eco-friendly consumer, so make sure you don’t use boxes that are too large and that serve no other purpose than to get your item from point A to point B.
5. Try to Ship Smarter
Shipping can be a major eCommerce challenge, and the fact that you often have little to no control over the process makes it that much more headache-inducing.
Fortunately, there’s plenty you can do to improve the process. First, ensure everything on your end is top-notch: provide clear directions to your warehouse, be ready to load the orders when the delivery truck arrives, have all the necessary paperwork ready, and be as nice about any delays as you can.
You can also consider dropshipping. That’s where you don’t have to worry about storage and inventory management at all. However, the downside with dropshipping is that you would be leaving a lot in someone else’s hands, opening yourself up to complaints from dissatisfied customers.
6. Control Your Quality
Finally, you also want to think about quality control on an ongoing basis, and not just when a complaint arrives or when you spot a particular issue yourself.
Teach your staff the importance of quality over quantity and why it’s incredibly important to ensure every customer gets that 5-star experience. If they feel more invested in the process, they will pay much more attention and be able to spot snags on time.
Monitor the efficiency of your processes and software continuously, and keep an eye out for better solutions. There is always a new app available that might suit you better, be more affordable, or easier to use. Other eCommerce businesses are also sharing their tips online, so make sure you are keeping on top of them, and implementing anything you find will take your business to the next level.