When a customer places an order on your website, they will have to wait. There is no doubt about that. No matter how fast your 3PL order fulfillment partner can pick, pack and ship the order, it still must travel from the facility to their shipping address. In the past, eCommerce consumers expected to wait for 2-3 business until their orders were processed and shipped, which has changed drastically.
The new industry standard is for an order to be shipped the very same day or the following business day after it is placed. What happens when there is a delay? Well, your customer knows, cause they do not receive a notification saying their order was shipped and providing them with a tracking number. These types of delays can harm your business in more ways than one.
For starters, your customer may initiate a support request, asking your team when they can expect their order to be shipped. This takes up time that could be better invested in assisting customers with actual issues. Shipping out an order on the very same day completely eliminates this. This means not providing a customer with a tracking number quickly may result in a loss of time.
Then you have a situation where the customer is waiting and begins shopping around for a different product, which can easily result in the customer requesting a cancelation. They have every right to cancel an order before it ships. This means not providing a customer with a tracking number quickly may result in a loss of revenue.
And maybe the most important factor is customer satisfaction. Delays in processing an order qualify as starting out the customer experience on the wrong foot. Because consumers are so accustomed to having tracking numbers in hand so quickly, this leads to them becoming irritated. This type of customer experience can quickly result in negative reviews. How many times have we seen negative reviews because a package did not arrive in time for a birthday or special event? Well, all those could be easily avoided by simply processing orders and getting tracking numbers out more quickly.
Safe to say most merchants never realized just how much hinges on getting tracking numbers out as soon as possible. Naturally, the customer will still need to wait for the carrier to deliver the parcel, and yes, this can result in delays. Most of the time consumers are well aware of the difference between an order not shipping out quickly and a carrier delay. They have experience shopping online and have experienced carrier delays before. Typically they will not point the finger at your business for delays that occur after the tracking information indicates that a parcel is in the possession of a carrier, they will simply turn to the carrier.
Now that we understand the importance of processing eCommerce orders the very same or next business day they are received what exactly can be done to ensure this happens without fail. The first and by far the most important thing is to enter your customer’s email when submitting the order to the carrier. This means that as soon as a tracking number is generated and available, an email will be sent from the carrier to your customer.
The challenge is getting the actual order picked, packed, and shipped quickly. For that, you must optimize how you and your team handle orders once they are placed. You need to be ready to react immediately. This is not always easy to do for a company with so many other moving parts. That is where having a reliable 3PL service provider is the best solution. Essentially you are leaving the logistics to the professionals so you can focus on all the other aspects of your eCommerce business that make it great.
3PL companies like InterFulfillment offer their customers same-day shipping. This means whenever an order enters their system before a certain time every single business day it will be picked, packed, and shipped the very same day. Also, when you include your customer’s email in that order, they will receive the very same email from a carrier with their tracking number without delay. All the aforementioned problems that stem from delaying order processing and the timeframe that your customers must wait for a tracking number are solved!
A trusted order fulfillment partner is usually the right way to strengthen the overall customer experience when it comes to the online ordering process. Think about when you order a product online, and within hours, and sometimes within minutes, you have your tracking number in hand and can follow it all the way to your doorstep. That is what we all want when ordering products online, and ensuring that is what your customers will get, either by providing yourself with a reliable shipping operation or trusting your orders to a reliable 3PL shipping company with eCommerce expertise, the results are the same. Your customers are happy and singing your praises!