What about shipping and logistics

Shipping processing - what is that?

Alone in the area E-commerce the sales volume in Germany in 2016 was over 44 billion euros. For comparison: in 2009 it was half as big at 21.8 billion euros. The online mail order business is clearly noticeable enormous growth rates and there is a reason for that: it works. And that also means everything that goes with it - starting with the large selection and increasing user-friendliness in the online shop, through to the virtual cash register solution that is individually tailored for the buyer to the logistics and Shipping processing. The latter point in particular is an enormously important success factor in e-commerce. Online mail order companies are therefore increasingly under pressure to meet the increased expectations of online buyers. But what makes optimal shipping processing?

Smooth processes from ordering to delivery

The term shipping processing sounds quite unspectacular at first: the buyer orders a product, the dealer delivers it. But anyone who is active in e-commerce knows exactly how much work is really behind it. On the part of the mail order company, the range of products in an online shop must be well chosen and maintained in the merchandise management system and always kept up to date.

The order picking, possibly also assembly, the various packaging, warehouse logistics and shipping must also be designed to be as cost-effective and efficient as possible. Of course, low shipping costs and short delivery times are also of interest from the buyer's point of view, as is uncomplicated returns management. In short: every step in the shipping process needs to be optimized.

The individual steps are:

  • Order acceptance
  • Shipping processing
  • delivery
  • Returns processing

A smooth process chain offers the online customer the best shopping experience - from the decision for a product to the receipt of the package at the front door. This should always be the aim of the mail order business.

Shortly after the user has called up the online shop, a number of important criteria are used to decide whether to make a purchase or not. And these already play a role before the order is accepted. In addition to details such as available sizes, colors, number and other information, the general availability of the item in the warehouse must be visible in the shop. After all, the customer also wants to know how long it will take to deliver their order. The operator of the online shop should have a smoothly functioning interface to the merchandise management system. Ideally, the shop solution keeps the inventory management system up to date.

Shipping processing without any pitfalls

In order for the actual shipping processing to begin, the buyer must of course first place his order, i.e. have his order and customer data recorded, select shipping or payment options and submit his order. As a rule, an order confirmation is received by the customer and the actual shipping process begins. The first step in the shipping process is the creation of the packing list, which is also Picking list is called.

All articles that are to be delivered are noted here. As a rule, the shop system does this by itself today. The same applies to the creation of the delivery note, the invoice and the printing of return and address labels and other documents that are necessary for the return. Interfaces to established parcel service providers have also long been the standard in shop systems, so that data can be passed on without media discontinuity. This has two advantages: time savings compared to manual input and the avoidance of errors.

Then it comes to the picking, in which the packing list plays a role. Details such as storage location, article number and order number are noted here. The service provider then removes the ordered items, prepares them for shipping with the appropriate packaging and puts the goods on their way. With the mere delivery and handover to the buyer, the shipping process is over, but don't underestimate the moment of unpacking as part of the customer's buying experience.

Hence, you should definitely value a high quality one packaging and protect the goods inside from damage. You can also use the program to strengthen the relationship with your customer. Small additions such as Product samples, an individual thanksgiving or a Discount coupon for the next purchase. Examples like these illustrate the appreciation you show your customers and at the same time increase the chance of a new order in your shop.

Conclusion:

From a certain shipment volume, it is advisable to think seriously about fulfillment or logistics outsourcing in the shipping process and all the steps involved. After all, shipping is one of the steps that take up a lot of time and also gives the retailer a lot of freedom. All of the saved human, time and money resources can ultimately be incorporated into the core business. Negligence and errors in the field of logistics, especially in shipping, always lead to additional work, but above all to dissatisfied customers. You should therefore clearly define your needs and your requirements for a smooth shipping logistics process so that your fulfillment service provider can offer you a tailor-made solution.