There is so much noise about eCommerce and its thriving popularity in the 21st century that even the biggest fans of brick and mortar try their hand at it.
If you are one of the companies that join this shift toward online commerce, that’s a smart move!
And if you are currently on the step of educating yourself on the main eCommerce tips and tricks, this blog post is a must-read for you, as it covers the critical area every eCommerce business should be keen on; order processing.
What is order processing?
Order processing is everything that lies between the moment a customer makes an order and receives it.
That’s the core part of the order fulfillment workflow, and it ensures that all the customer orders are appropriately tracked and all the orders are delivered on time.
We guess you don’t have any objection that order processing is a vital part of eCommerce operations. So, let’s discuss what you need to know about this process first of all:
- The main steps involved in order processing
- The manual and automated ways of order processing
- A must-have automation toolbox that will help you organize the process easier
Order processing key steps
#1 Order placement
Typically, your products will be distributed across different channels when customers can order them; an official company website, eCommerce platforms like eBay, Amazon, Shopify, etc.
So, the first step for you is to ensure that orders from different channels are successfully collected into one spot. That’s essential, as you can quickly get confused when tracking each channel’s orders separately.
Tip: You can organize this process manually, but we suggest you use automated order management software for a faster and more accurate order management process.
#2 Determining the order fulfillment spot
Your products are spread around different channels, both online and offline. In simpler words, the items that should be delivered to the end customer are usually not collected in one spot.
Usually, the product is in one spot; the packaging or some accessories are in the other vendor’s warehouse. As your business progresses, you will also have multiple warehouses to ensure the proper stock you need to meet your customer demand.
Long story short, once you receive an order, you need to determine the place from where you will deliver the order.
Tip. You might concentrate all your products in one spot, considering your convenience. However, you might offer a longer delivery time to your customers in this case. Otherwise, we suggest you consider the concept of dark stores. It’s a cost-savvy fulfillment center option that helps you significantly increase orders’ speed.
#3 Picking and packing the orders
Once you determine where you will deliver the final product, you should ensure an available staff in place that will organize the picking and packing processes.
As simple as it sounds, this process includes picking the customers’ products and packing them for further shipment.
This might sound simple to organize. However, in practice, here is when many issues can arise. A warehouse employee might pick the wrong color or size. In addition, there might be issues with proper packaging, resulting in damage to the delivered product.
So, you should precisely organize the picking and packing process of order processing.
Tip. The industry standards suggest using the following three types of pick and pack processes.
- Piece packing implies the employee picks one item for one order at a time.
- Batch packing means employees collect items in batch for several orders simultaneously.
#4 Sorting according to delivery destinations
The delivery directions are different, so employees need to sort the products according to the delivery directions. This helps to optimize the delivery processes significantly.
By categorizing the products according to their shipment directions, the company also gains a cost-savvy delivery option. This means it is possible to organize fewer shipments and fulfill more orders during one shipment.
Tip. To ensure you always keep track of the product movements in your inventory, we suggest using barcodes.
#5 Shipment and post-shipment tracking
You need a reliable transportation company and staff that will ensure the timely delivery of the products without causing damage to it.
Transportation companies and curriers play an essential role in order processing. They are your main partners in ensuring customer satisfaction and work speed. Therefore, you should either organize the delivery yourself or be careful when choosing a transportation partner.
Also, you should keep in mind that successful shipment is not the end of the battle. Many customers might have complaints or questions after receiving the product. So, you should be available to discuss and communicate with your community.
Tip. To better understand what’s happening around your customer community, ensure a proper reporting and analytics system is in place.
The best order processing software to choose
Handling all the order management issues manually is not viable, especially as the business grows. So, we highly recommend you to choose eSwap, a multichannel inventory management platform, which allows you to have proper control over all your order management process.
By integrating the software into your eCommerce store, you can manage all your orders from one place. Therefore, you will decrease the probability of human error and increase customer satisfaction.
Interested? Start your free trial now!