We hear fabled success stories all the time about major companies like the founders of Apple getting their start working in their garage until they could scrape up enough funds to expand their operations, or Estée Lauder starting with just a few products that she sold at a handful of salons in her area after a salon owner asked her what her skincare secret was.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with humble beginnings—we all have to get our start somewhere—but gone are the days of having to work out of your garage or basement, or pay for warehouse space that goes unused while your company goes through normal fluctuations in demand.
eCommerce fulfillment technology is making it easier than ever to support the operations of your online retail store or direct-to-consumer (DTC) brand. Incorporating innovations in technology like automation and analytics can make the process smoother, faster, more accurate, and more affordable.
The upshot? For many DTC brands, working with technology-based eCommerce fulfillment services gives them a way to provide a better customer experience, develop new products, and deliver better assistance.
At the end of the day, implementing order fulfillment technology into your business processes is about creating the best possible consumer experience, which is key for DTC businesses looking to thrive in 2021.
Integrate with your Marketplace and Expand Your Reach
Modern eCommerce fulfillment technology is making it easier than ever to streamline your operations so you can pair your order fulfillment services with your online marketplace. This enables tools like real-time knowledge of inventory and lot control management. With a fully-integrated platform that’s part of your online store, you can partner with your logistics provider from the point of purchase through delivery; from click to door.
Marketplace integration is also a way that some DTC brands are expanding into new markets. Many modern fulfillment solutions can also enable brands to sell from their website and from other marketplaces like Fulfillment by Amazon and Amazon FBM (Fulfilled by Merchant) to reach even more potential customers.
What else can this level of integration do for you? For starters, you can offer better package tracking information to consumers, enable automated box curation, and personalization and kit customization to give your customers new ways to interact with your brand.
Automate Your Processes
Many are leery of implementing automations in the workplace, worried that this kind of technology will replace employees and put people out of work. Instead, automated processes like order fulfillment focus on freeing up existing employees to focus their efforts on more valuable endeavors and core competencies. It’s about working smarter, not hiring fewer folks. According to a report by McKinsey, 45% of current paid on-the-job tasks can be automated by today’s technology.
In the world of eCommerce, DTC brands can automate their processes so they don’t have to manually check for new orders or complete tasks that could be handled by software.
You can take advantage of inventory management software to automate things like:
- Setting inventory reorder points
- Generating picking lists
- Managing returns
With a modern fulfillment solution, you can connect with your third-party logistics (3PL) provider to automate fulfillment. They pack and ship orders for you the minute an order is placed, reducing the time it takes to go from warehouse to mailbox.
Why does this matter? Not only does it cross a lot of things off your daily to-do list, but it means your customers get their products faster—which can be crucial to your business’s success. Today’s consumers live in a world where free, two-day shipping is the norm. A negative or slow shipping experience could cause problems for your brand.
As RetailWire put it, “Not getting delivery right is a business killer, with 72.7 percent [of consumers] saying they are unlikely to do business with a site again after a poor delivery experience.”
Whether it’s ensuring your products are always in stock or getting orders shipped quickly, choosing a fulfillment provider that offers order fulfillment optimization technology and automation can make your processes smarter and more efficient.
Gain Access to Insightful Analytics
Another business-critical function that modern fulfillment technology empowers is the insights you can gather from data surrounding your customer’s buying habits.
With order fulfillment technology, you get access to predictive analytics data from your software interface to determine when you need to scale up inventory, and when it’s time to scale back. This means:
- You don’t overbuy and get stuck with excess product and you don’t run out when demand is high
- You don’t run out of warehousing space and you don’t overpay for too much inventory storage space at your warehouse location
It’s these kinds of cost-saving and business-saving measures that can keep operational costs low while anticipating increased demand. Essentially, these analytics are a powerful tool that can help you scale your operations up and down with ease.
Thanks to powerful analytics paired with an integrated inventory, a modern fulfillment solution means you get in-the-moment inventory data and financial analytics. With this information, you gain knowledge about what’s driving your brand’s success. It’s like getting a roadmap to your success. As you gather more and more data, you have a better idea of how to best serve your market and what kinds of products to develop moving forward.
Additionally, with this kind of order fulfillment technology, you can leverage data to build and improve your distribution and fulfillment strategies and make better business decisions. You get to use historic order data to get insights about future demand and avoid issues like stockout or over-ordering.
What OceanX Can Do
OceanX is a technology-first, modern fulfillment-as-a-service solution that’s here to offer you real-time business intelligence and scalable customer care so you can continue to blaze new trails. What else can our modern solutions do for you?
- Smart multi-warehouse logistics routing for better shipping rates
- Discounted shipping
- Data visualization and dashboards
- Fulfillment and customer care reporting
- Order channel attribution
- Customer journey insights
Our modern order fulfillment technology is about so much more than fulfillment. And with rates like 99.5% same-day ship, 99.8% order accuracy, the ability to capture 3,000 orders per minute we can put it all into perspective: It means a better customer experience which can only equal one thing: Better business for you.
Are you ready to learn more? Contact us today!