Keeping on top of business trends has never been more relevant than it is today. The global marketplace means competition is strong. Technology means efficiencies are there for the taking, if your business is prepared to make the investment.
Global fulfillment operations have become the norm for many large scale businesses in the ecommerce world. Ensuring your operation remains up to date and is utilizing the best and most automated systems available should be a priority for all businesses.
Ten years ago the businesses at the top of their game achieved such new achievements as:
- Multiple localized web experiences in local language,
- Stock in multiple continents to service local areas, and
- Customer service teams either Localized or running 24 hours a day.
Any ecommerce business that stopped advancing there is well out of date now. The successful ecommerce businesses of the future are looking towards or already achieving personalized customer experiences, multichannel fulfillment and real time visibility of all physical operations.
Personalized customer experience
One of the greatest challenges facing ecommerce businesses is to offer exceptional customer experiences. Localized websites are no longer enough. The future of ecommerce starts with the user experience the minute they bring up your page on their browser. Many websites already remember customers’ name from the last time visited. The future is about remembering what they browsed last time and making recommendations or offering personalized specials based on previous purchases or browsing.
Once hooked into purchasing, the product must then reach the customer as efficiently as possible.
Multichannel fulfillment and automation technology
By utilizing multichannel fulfillment providers and systems, the service can be provided by a source with high customer satisfaction and low cost. It can also guarantee the same product is never sold twice despite being advertised on multiple channels. This serves both customer and supplier.
The forward thinking ecommerce business of the future then looks to automation of such multichannel fulfillment, both administratively and physically.
Administrative automation providing real time visibility of physical operations
Computer cloud based automation allows complete visibility of all operations in real time, from anywhere and from any device. Every time an item is sold, picked off the shelf, or placed with the courier, it is automatically recorded into a centralized system.
This real time account of all physical operations allows ecommerce businesses to maximize profits as well as customer satisfaction. It means:
- Customers can be provided with real time information about where their product is within the fulfillment process, thus enhancing their satisfaction with the order, and
- Businesses can use the information to make faster, more informed decisions.
Mechanical automation simplifies and expedites the role of a human picker through to completely automated mechanical order fulfillment. For the biggest ecommerce retailers with a long-term business plan and sound financial resources, mechanical automation of large elements of the fulfillment process is possible. For everyone else, cloud based software provides support to human pickers allowing wave picking of items and shortest route directions.
In today’s global internet-driven world, customer loyalty hinges on the success of their most recent interaction. Customers want their order delivered fast, accurately and as economically as possible. Multichannel fulfillment taking advantage of automation wherever possible is the way of the future. Don’t let your business get left behind.
James Hyde is Founder and Commercial Director of James and James Fulfilment.