Order fulfilment is at the most basic level the whole process from initial inquiry to delivery of goods to the final consumer. This can include packaging, storage and postage. This is an essential part of every retail business and without it there would be no business or sales, as it is an essential part of sales for any business. But if you have a successful retail operation, it isn’t just about making sales but fulfilling orders too. Order fulfilment is about delivering what has been paid for and needs to be delivered by the designated company. For any business, having a free returns policy is crucial. Customers will return to your site wanting to know why they made the purchase and when they will receive the product. If they can’t get hold of the item within the required period of time or are unhappy with the quality, they are likely to contact you via the contact link provided on your website. Having free returns can have a massive impact on your overall brand experience. You don’t want to be delivering a badly designed product that the customer is going to write off as faulty even though it was delivered within the required time period. You also need to make sure that you are offering excellent customer service to ensure that the experience is as good as it can be for your prospective customers. Another key aspect to order fulfilment is inventory management. This process involves both physical and electronic methods of tracking the products you sell and their locations. Whether you are using a physical location such as a shop or garage or an ecommerce based solution, inventory management ensures that you know how much inventory you have on hand and where it is located. It can also assist with order fulfillment by allowing you to calculate how many orders you need to process to meet your projected sales figures. This ecommerce inventory management tool also enables you to track and trace your ecommerce order progress which allows you to take appropriate action to replenish stocks quickly when stock levels fall below your requirements. A further key area to consider when planning your order fulfilment process is data accuracy. A large amount of ecommerce businesses suffer from poor data quality, which results in inaccurate inventory stock levels, late delivery and shipping times and in some cases fraudulent transactions. A great way to combat this problem is through the use of customised online stock control software. This software can provide your business with access to real time stock level reports allowing you to take actions to manage and control excess stock levels. It also features secure data encryption and fraud management enabling you to manage and track your order fulfilment workflow with complete confidence. In addition, this software is fully compliant and safe for use with any ecommerce site including Google, eBay and Facebook. Lead time is another key factor to ecommerce businesses and the type of product you sell. If you sell an expensive product, then you need to ensure that you have the lowest lead times possible. Lead time refers to the length of time a visitor will spend on your site without making a purchase or filling out any forms. For this reason, many merchant services offer a free instant lead time which can be calculated based on the number of views your website has. This enables you to determine the amount of time it will take your visitors to view your site so that you can control the amount of advertising and other promotional opportunities you offer. When it comes to online sales and ordering, one of the most important aspects is picking the right product. It can be difficult to pick the right product when you are dealing with multiple product specifications and customer feedback issues and all of this adds up to money wasted. For this reason, your order fulfilment process should include the entire process of choosing the right product line. You need to work closely with your supplier to pick the best products available at the best prices. By doing this, you will ensure that every product you sell is guaranteed to convert into an order and that your margins are consistently high. With all of these quality aspects in place, you will find that your customer service is higher quality too. In order to provide exceptional service, order fulfilment processes must include careful planning and packing. Most orders are complex and involve many details, which means that you will need to carefully consider every step of the process from start to finish. For example, if you are placing a large order for chocolate fountains then you will need to carefully think about every aspect of packaging and your company’s reputation for picking quality products. Quality and safety should be of paramount importance. Of course, your online shoppers are also an important part of your order fulfilment process. The majority of online shoppers are happy to pay a little more for their shopping experience but there are always exceptions. Therefore, you should always offer competitive prices and promotions to ensure that you attract new consumers. Always make sure you communicate your prices and promotions clearly to your shoppers so that they can benefit fully. This not only helps to maintain a good reputation, it attracts new consumers who know that you are there to meet their needs. The order fulfilment process described here is an essential part of ensuring that you make full use of your website’s unique features to help improve your online shopper’s experience.