In the early days of a startup, entrepreneurs handle most of the order management tasks themselves. Good businessmen always minimise management costs and handle most of the tasks themselves while starting a venture. But your online selling business can see a meteoric rise in a short span of time.
As orders pile on and the major challenges shift from making products available to get them shipped on time, you need a lot of support. Along with the backend staff and order fulfillment service, having an effective software becomes necessary.
If your order processing software isn’t up to the mark, it can lead to delays in delivery, miscommunication, and other issues. So what services do a good order processing service software must provide?
How does an order fulfillment software work?
A fulfillment software helps the seller manage orders on his site as well as different channels efficiently. It will help you track shipments, inventory, order rate, etc. Good software will essentially track products from the checkout page to the customer’s home.
Before we discuss how to choose a good order processing service software, here are the fundamental steps every order management software should follow
The management process starts right when a customer places an order on your site, over the phone, or through social media channels. The software first saves the customer details and receipt of payment, if made.
The software then provides the details to the order fulfillment service where the corresponding goods are kept.
The software keeps tracks of sales and profits.
The final step of the fulfillment procedure, where the order reaches the customer’s location. The software records the completion of the sale as soon as the customer receives the product.
Essential Tips to choose the best order fulfillment software
- Integration to selling channels
A proper fulfillment software does more than just tracking. It helps you integrate with different selling channels to increase your reach. Here are a few:
Reaching out on different selling channels is necessary to elevating your online selling business. Choose software that can suggest different places you could list your product on. Amazon, Etsy, eBay, Flipkart are some of the popular online marketplaces.
- Shopping Carts
Your fulfillment software must synchronize with your online store. It has to be a one-stop-shop for all order related details. Popular shopping carts include Shopify, WooCommerce, etc.
2. In-Built Features
Your order processing service software should give you seamless access to your sales over different channels. The UI should be user-friendly, and it should work with all modern devices. A quick, user-friendly software can even send automated delivery messages to your customers. Here are the features you must look out for:
You must automate grouping and assign orders based on details and preferences. The software should allow you to save how an order is going to ship based on location, delivery time, product etc. Manual grouping of orders can take a long time.
Based on your saved preferences, the software will assign packaging and carrier services for each order. To make order management simple, automate actions that you apply on multiple orders.
- Manually Import Orders
Some selling channels don’t reveal their data to third-party software. Your software should support manual import of orders which comes in handy in these cases. Just create an Excel spreadsheet of the orders and import it in your software for the record.
- Rate Calculator
Many fulfillment software don’t display the cheapest carrier for the current order. This is because of agreements between carriers and software companies. Look for software having a rate calculator to assign each delivery based to their corresponding cheapest carriers.
- International Shipment Support
A fulfillment software can ease the hassles of international shipments. It can validate international addresses, calculate import duties, print customs forms, and create labels instantly.
The fundamental reason why people look for order fulfillment service software. Both the seller and customer want to track their orders. Look for software that provides real-time tracking and automated or customized notifications. Accurate tracking will also relieve you from the overflow of customer inquiries regarding their package.
The software should be able to list all the returned products at one place conveniently. It may also track and record the refund status as well as processing coupons.
5. Business Tools
Shipping software should be a one-stop solution for your online selling business. A detailed analysis based on cumulative sales figures, shipping costs, returns etc. Will help you plan better strategies.
- Mobile App
Being an entrepreneur, you can’t keep sitting on the desk all day. If your software has a mobile app, you can check for real-time updates while you are in the market to buy new products.
A fulfillment software in many ways acts as a middleman between your customers, logistics providers and selling channels. It is the first one to know about a delay or an error in the shipment. Good shipping software has a support team of experts who can help you with operations.
The customer support should be available 24×7 and over live chat as well as on the phone. Since shipping is the most crucial part of eCommerce, you need to resolve shipment as soon as possible.
Apart from these tips, look for discounted software and start with a short or trial subscription. Only make long term investments after trying and testing their services. And keep in mind that the role of fulfillment software in eCommerce is underrated. A good software will save you a lot of time, help improve reviews and save costs too.