Tips on making order fulfilment process improvements

Buyer decisions are impacted by shipping speed and delivery options.  In the lead-up to the busiest sales period of the year, retailers need to be thinking about their fulfillment processes now. 

Most eCommerce retailers process between 33% and 40%+ of their unit volume in the fourth quarter, specifically between November and Christmas.  Boxing Day and New Year Sales further contribute to a frenetic retail period and customers can be less forgiving during this time. Customers expect fast shipping, flexible delivery options including click and collect as well as an easy returns process.

Automation offers retailers significant reduction in order processing, with automated address and labels, tracking as well as branded tracking pages.

According to a 2016 study by Dotcom Distribution, 87 percent of online shoppers said shipping speed was a factor in deciding to order products online again. Similarly, 67 percent of them would pay more money for same-day shipping if they had a deadline, and 47 percent would pay for it just because they wanted the package faster. Australian’s typically rate a few percentage points lower in such surveys.

Shipping speed will determine repeat business

Fast, accurate order processing is critical for ecommerce store success. In today’s fast paced digital world, consumers expect to take receipt of their item within 2-3 days (or even less) and in many regions next day is becoming standard.  Take any longer and you risk customer dissatisfaction as well as no repeat business.  Not to mention the risk of negative online reviews.

Automation software enables online retailers to process orders 3 times faster

Automating fulfillment with a shipping integration can save you thousands of hours and dollars a year.  In a study released by Radial, “Strategies for Agile, Profitable and Secure Omnichannel Execution,” retailers report that the “average cost for the company to fulfil an order is staggering at 70 percent of the average order value.  Today, more than 55 percent of customers are using multiple channels such as online and mobile to shop, yet over 40 percent of retailers describe fulfilment costs as a major challenge impacting their business.”

For the online retailer only sending a few parcels a week, automation may not offer you any immediate cost/time benefits.  However, if you’re shipping orders in batches of 10 or more daily, it is a worthwhile consideration when you calculate the time required to produce labels and customs documentation.

Automation software has been a critical component for successful online retailers.  This year’s StarTrack ORIAS Best New Online Retailer, Fit My Car, credit automation software as a major factor for their growth and success online.

“Working with StarShipIT has been a super smart move for our business. Online retail is fast, and as an on-demand manufacturer in this space, it means ease of use, speed, and accuracy in your shipment tracking software become that much more important.  Before StarShipIT’s automation software, we suffered the pain of bulk upload & print of shipping labels. StarShipIT saves us a considerable amount of time per order.

It’s not just the time saving that’s important, it’s the reliability, the accuracy and cost saving for us.  The goal for us is to get the order right first time. Having systems in place that allow you to make mistakes as you grow just multiplies the problems. We definitely benefit from the time saving that StarShipIT provides but the other benefits that are less measurable are just as important”.  James Tinsley, Director, Fit My Car.

StarShipIT supports multiple channels and couriers, providing live rates at checkout for Shopify & Magento and flexible shipping options including collect from store.  You can generate labels as well as picking slips, manifests and customs documentation.  As well as the courier labels, customs require information around the contents and value of orders, and often this takes the form of a signed declaration.  With StarShipIT and DHL Express, you can simplify the process with an electronic lodgement of the customs declaration, leaving just the label to be printed. If all the information is imported from your eCommerce platform, this can become a fully automated process saving countless hours on laborious paperwork.

Iyia Liu, founder of well known eCommerce success stories Waist Trainer and Luxe Fitness, processes more than 1000 orders per week.  Early on she recognised the importance of investing in technology to streamline her fulfillment process.

“Starting out, I used to hand write addresses on pre-paid post bags. You can imagine how long that would take…fast forward to StarShipIT and our shipping process is very automated. Synchronising directly with Shopify, it’s as easy as clicking a button to print a customer’s delivery address. With StarShipIT, we can print hundreds of orders in a couple of hours. I can’t imagine doing it any other way.”  Iyia Liu, Founder WaistTrainer & Luxe Fitness

Keen to try StarShipIT for yourself?  Sign up for a FREE 30 day trial and we’ll be in touch to get you setup and shipping straight away.

Not ready yet?  Check out some of our customer stories and see how automation has freed up time for them to focus on growing their business.