How to save time on processing orders with automation
Automated order fulfilment is different things to different retailers, in essence it is using technology to automatically populate fields and validate information that would you normally have to do manually.
If you choose to do direct fulfilment and your order volume is higher than 20+ a week, you may choose to use automation software to streamline and automate the processes.
Cloud systems that import orders automatically from sales channels in real time bring automated fulfilment into the reach of SMEs without the huge strategic investment in machinery, technology and staff. SaaS (software as a service)is a really affordable way to access sophisticated software without having to pay for development work and ongoing updates. All the hard work is done by the software developer so you can focus on the important stuff – like marketing, sales and general operations to help grow the business.
Using automated fulfilment saves you time in a number of different areas. All of the features below help you save time and/or money on fulfilment. When reviewing shipping software solutions, here is a checklist to ensure that you have your basics covered.
By automating these different stages of the purchase and delivery cycle, you can speed up fulfilment, save time and money on manual processes:
- Live rates at checkout (StarShipIT enables live rates at checkout for Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento users)
- Multiple carriers– you may wish to use more than one carrier to deliver orders across Australasia
- Generates picking lists, labels, manifests & customs documents automatically
- Delivery options selection (this enables your customers to choose to collect or have their goods delivered)
- Imports orders with write-back
- Generates labels automatically (with bulk printing)
- Books courier pick-up
- Auto corrects addresses reducing delivery errors
- Enables drop shipping, ship from store and multi location shipping
- Customisable shipping notifications (SMS/email)
- Branded tracking page – your voice, your chance to upsell to customers when they check their order status
- Return courier label generator
The other key consideration when looking for a shipping solution, is what existing integrations or software apps you currently use – or may wish to integrate down the track.
For example, if you use Xero for accounting, TradeGecko for inventory management and Shopify for your eCommerce store, then you need to ensure that the shipping integration you choose will play nicely with all of these.
You may also wish to consider which carriers you are using or plan to use in the future as not all shipping integrations or freight aggregators (freight forwarder) offer all carriers. Many StarShipIT customers use DHL Express, Fastway and Australia Post to ship their parcels internationally and domestically so it’s best to work through your fulfilment and shipping processes before you choose an integration partner.
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