With eCommerce on the rise, more and more businesses recognize the importance of better quality controls for fulfillment services and solutions. In addition, as supply chain constraints continue to become a more significant issue for brands around the world, many companies have been forced to think outside of the box when it comes to reducing the frequency of damaged shipping issues and recovering more lost products.
Here are five ways businesses can successfully reduce their damaged or lost item counts when running eCommerce operations and fulfillment.
Use a Warehouse Management System
Businesses can stay on top of the product movement in and out of their facility by investing in a Warehouse Management System (WMS). A WMS allows users to gain complete visibility of their inventory and provide real-time information about the exact location of products throughout warehouses, distribution centers, or even down to specific pallets. For example, suppose a product is lost in transit due to external damage. In that case, businesses can quickly locate where it was last seen on the map within the warehouse management system, allowing them to determine when and where exactly they need to start looking for these items.
Establish Better eCommerce Fulfillment Procedures
Providing a better eCommerce fulfillment solution will not only ensure that customers receive your items on time and in good condition, but it will also result in reduced shipping and fulfillment costs for the business.
One of the most effective ways businesses can improve their shipping and delivery processes in an eCommerce environment is by establishing schedules that detail when packages should be shipped. This information will allow employees to know ahead of time when they need to ship out items and whether or not there are any delays in receiving inventory from suppliers. In addition, establishing these shipping calendars allows your business to anticipate any potential problems with fulfilling orders on time to take measures accordingly.
Invest in Better Quality Packaging
One way to reduce damage or lost items within your eCommerce business is by investing in packaging that can better handle the shipping of products. In addition, investing more into packaging costs upfront will save you money over time as returns and damaged product claims decrease significantly.
Businesses can explore various packaging options, including paperboard boxes, shipping envelopes, bubble mailers, custom packaging solutions, and more. However, it’s important to remember that the packaging process begins long before products are put in their shipping boxes. This makes it critical for businesses using third-party warehouses and drop shipping companies to monitor how their suppliers build packaging materials and product handling throughout all steps of the order fulfillment pipeline. This will help you identify areas where mistakes can happen early on, reducing damages later down the line when orders arrive at customers’ locations.
Improve Your Returns Management Processes
When running an eCommerce business, there are many things you need to keep in mind. One of them is your product returns process and how well it performs. The better the process runs, the minor product damage or loss issues will occur during fulfillment operations. This means more money saved on damaged goods, which can turn into higher customer satisfaction rates and increased sales revenue down the line if items aren’t lost during shipping.
Businesses can improve their returns management processes by creating product labels that customers easily identify. This allows them to quickly determine which product they should send back, reducing the time it takes for returns or exchanges while increasing customer satisfaction.
When product labels are quickly identified, it also reduces the amount of time your employees take to process returns and exchanges. This can save you money in terms of paying for labor costs since there will be less time spent handling products that should have been appropriately handled during production or fulfillment stages.
Your warranty claims processes should work hand-in-hand with your product returns management ones. For example, items returned under a faulty product label need to go through the same quality control checks as items sent back because customers changed their minds post-purchase. By improving both processes together, businesses can cut down on any product damage issues they may face while saving money at the same time.
Track Relevant Key Metrics
It is crucial to track relevant key metrics through analytics systems and solutions when running an eCommerce business. Business analytics and their applications will allow you to determine if any problems are occurring with your order fulfillment process and prevent further damage or losses from occurring.
To start, businesses should measure the number of incidents per month for damaged items and lost shipments. If these numbers become too high, this could signify that something needs to change regarding how products are being shipped out from your warehouse.
Another key metric to keep track of is the number of disputes filed through your eCommerce payment provider, which will include chargeback fees in addition to refunds that need to be processed. These can become costly for companies and impact sales when large numbers are regularly occurring each month. For example, notice significant increases in damaged items and lost shipments within analytics software tools like Google Analytics. It might be time to take action by speaking with employees about how these issues could be prevented from continuing. By regularly monitoring relevant metrics throughout the year, businesses can better understand what steps they should take to reduce damages and losses within their business process at all stages within their fulfillment operations.
ECommerce businesses have several challenges they need to face in today’s digital landscape. As supply chain issues continue to rise, it becomes increasingly essential for companies to maintain effective product returns and exchanges policies to reduce damages at all stages of fulfillment operations. By implementing quality control checks into these processes while improving warranty claims management efforts, businesses can save money while increasing customer satisfaction rates long-term.