Today, online shopping orders are the highest they have ever been. In 2018, the U.S. Commerce Department reported a 15% growth in online sales over the previous year. Below is a report from that same department showing the growth of ecommerce sales since 2007.
With this growth has come a demand for rapid fulfillment. Customers expect fast shipping from any retailer – and they should! No one likes to wait for the items they have purchased. Historically, brick-and-mortar stores have provided customers with a way to purchase their merchandise and go home with it immediately. Now, people prefer to shop in the comfort of their home, but they still expect products to arrive quickly.
In order to compete, eCommerce businesses are fulfilling orders faster than they ever have. By embracing speed, they have become extremely competitive and even forced others to offer faster shipping or provide customers with convenient alternatives (like in-store pick-up). In today’s digital world any online business’ supply chain requires speed, especially during the holiday season.
Speedy Fulfillment Leads to Revenue
For any business, new customer acquisition is a costly undertaking that quickly consumes time and money. Businesses trying to increase revenue levels often hyper focus on strategies that prioritize new customer acquisition and, unfortunately, over-spend. But there are alternatives to costly acquisition strategies. Studies have shown that a large portion of any business’ future revenue comes from repeat customers. Adopting a strategy that prioritizes customer loyalty has been found to be more profitable than one that constantly tries to acquire new customers. Other studies have shown that fulfillment has one the most important roles in customer service, and directly influences a customer’s decision to return.
Fulfillment is unique as it has a direct impact on the customer’s journey. It is not like inbound marketing or other customer service functions. It is one of the few business functions that impacts the business’ overall health. A dysfunctional or convoluted supply chain increases customer churn rate, and as a result sustaining revenue levels becomes costly for the business. Building e-loyalty today is essential and requires fast shipping. Customers need to be satisfied with their delivery experience so that future revenue is persevered.
Fulfilling Customers Expectations
Past surveys have shown that fast shipping is one of the most important things to online shoppers. Some of the most recent data shows that 63% of online shoppers surveyed expect delivery within three days of ordering. Anything less is a poor experience for them and does not encourage repeat business. eCommerce businesses that find themselves in this world need to know that fulfillment speed is more important now that it has ever been. Constantly achieving three day (or faster) fulfillment is not done easily, and requires a supply chain that can accomplish this lofty goal.
Speed with Accuracy Through Automation
Accurate execution is fundamental to supply chain management, but fully embracing this can sacrifice speed. To compensate for the increasing demand for speed, executives are embracing automated solutions that increase speed and deliver near perfect accuracy.
At Newegg Logistics, our 3PL service leverages technologies like Bastian’s OPEX Perfect Pick and the Pick to Light systems which sort, retrieve, and ship products quickly. These two automation systems allow us to achieve a 99%+ same-day eCommerce fulfillment and a 99+% inventory accuracy rate. Any business looking to future-proof itself needs to ensure that its supply chain has adopted cost-effective, automated solutions which provide both accuracy and speed.
Finding The Right 3PL Service
In today’s fast-paced world, accurate fulfillment is something that every online customer expects. It drives brand loyalty, sustains long-term revenue, and increases customers’ lifetime value. With the industry’s growing emphasis on fulfillment and the influence it has on the bottom line, it is critical to have a 3PL service that recognizes the importance of customer service and proper supply chain management.
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