Modern customers expect good service and quick delivery when they buy items online. It's what they have grown accustomed to with the e-commerce giant, Amazon. Of course, customers expect smaller online stores to provide the same level of customer service. It's possible to manually process about 10 to 20 orders per day. If you have more, then you'll benefit from automating your logistics processes. This article provides you with a few tips and tricks for making improvements.
Automating logistics processes: pick and packing list
The processes that you use to package and ship items directly influence your store's profit margin. They are some of the most important factors for long-term success. The shipping process is composed of four steps: taking orders, preparing items for shipping, delivering items and managing returns.
Once a customer has ordered one or more items in your online store, you should send the customer an order confirmation. Many e-commerce systems can send this confirmation automatically. The actual shipping process then begins when you start assembling packages. So-called pick lists and packing lists can save you valuable time while assembling orders. Pick lists are used for multi order picking. They list information about all of the items that need to be shipped, regardless of which order the items belong to. Configure your pick lists so that they logically move from one storage rack to another in your warehouse. Any random routes or detours waste valuable time and money. Packing lists then help you sort the items that you just "picked" into the correct packages. In other words, packing lists help you assemble your packages by showing you which items belong to which order. Next, add the invoice and delivery note to the package, slap a shipping label on the front, and you're ready to have the package picked up by a shipping service provider and sent to your customers. When choosing a system, go with one that can automatically create and print such lists and shipping documents. This will help you quickly ship your items.
Store popular items in the front
Many online stores group items in their warehouse by product categories. This makes sense if you want to quickly know where a specific item is located. But the larger your warehouse, the farther you and your employees will have to walk when picking items. This means that it will take longer to process orders. Even a difference of three minutes per order quickly adds up to an hour if you process twenty orders per day. You'll be able to ship items more efficiently if you store frequently ordered items up front and less popular items in the back. This will help you get your items to customers more quickly.
By automating the most important logistics processes, you will gain valuable time when processing orders and you will be able to provide your customers with better service. By the way: Make sure that you use appropriate packaging materials so your items are not broken or damaged when they reach your customers. Defective items are one of the main reasons why customers return items that they bought online. Quick and reliable shipping has a tremendous impact on long-term customer satisfaction. In turn, it will help you generate more revenue.