Ecommerce is rapidly evolving. Customers’ shopping habits are changing, as are their demands and expectations. When consumers want something, they want it now, even if the situation is difficult or unusual. At the best of times, navigating these demands is difficult for sellers. Retailers can have the best product, price, and eCommerce site in the world. However, if their eCommerce order fulfillment and delivery times don’t meet customer needs and expectations, they will likely lose customers. As a result, they may not be able to recoup their losses. While it receives little attention, optimizing the print on demand fulfillment process is just as important for customer sales and loyalty as marketing and rewards programs.
WHAT IS PRINT ON DEMAND FULFILLMENT?
The process of storing your products and then picking, packing, and shipping orders to customers is known as print on demand fulfillment.It applies to business-to-business (B2B) fulfillment, in which larger quantities are shipped to retailers. In addition, it also applies to business-to-consumer (B2C), in which customers place orders online on your website or through an online marketplace, and the products are delivered directly to their door. Furthermore, when a transaction is completed in either case, the fulfillment process begins.
It is a complicated process with many moving parts, beginning with receiving the product, warehousing, picking, packing, and shipping orders. Finally, ending with keeping track of the orders and ensuring that they are received on time and in peak condition.
WHAT DO CUSTOMERS CARE ABOUT?
Every customer touchpoint with a brand is included in the customer experience. It is both subjective and objective—it is how a customer feels and is quantifiable through customer satisfaction (CSAT), net promoter score (NPS), and other metrics. However, eCommerce businesses must address all aspects of the customer experience, including the front end (e.g., website, and marketing), back end (e.g., customer checkout and order fulfillment), and post-sales experience (e.g., reverse logistics and customer support). Moreover, every component must be optimized to create a holistic, positive brand experience. However, how does this appear to customers?
- Products that are available at the best prices.
- Multiple eCommerce fulfillment options allow customers to get the product in the way that best suits their needs.
- Shipping options include free, two-day, and same-day delivery, with costs clearly stated upfront.
- Return policies that are quick, simple, and convenient.
- Clear and quick ways to contact customer service, as well as self-service options.
- Nothing is hidden, and everything is stated up front, including policies and reward programs.
HOW CAN PRINT ON DEMAND FULFILLMENT HELP YOU WIN LOYAL CUSTOMERS?
Most omnichannel retail customers choose a merchant based on the right combination of product availability, price point, shipping cost, delivery time, and return policy. In addition, they buy when they can find all five in one place. They become loyal customers when they discover that they can rely on an exceptional experience from a retailer.
Amazon Prime is an example of a company that has built customer loyalty by consistently delivering on all five touchpoints. Moreover, demonstrating to customers that they can expect the same experience every time they buy. Customers develop a habit of shopping with their favorite retailers knowing that they can get what they want, when they want it and with a consistent experience. Finally, it saves customers time and makes shopping more convenient, increasing customer loyalty.
ECOMMERCE ORDER FULFILLMENT AND DELIVERY CAN MAKE OR BREAK CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP
At first glance, having an intuitive, easy-to-use eCommerce website with great products and pricing would appear to be the most important factor in converting browsers into buyers. But it won’t matter if your print on demand fulfillment, shipping costs, and delivery times can deliver that seamless shopping experience. Indeed, more than 70% of consumers cite convenience (77%) and free shipping (72%) as the primary reasons for shopping online. Furthermore, over 60% of the same group said the time savings and home delivery benefits of online shopping were important factors in their purchasing decisions. Optimizing eCommerce order fulfillment and delivery, as well as providing that information to customers before they convert, results in a shopping experience that feels simple.
HOW TO MAKE PRINT ON DEMAND FULFILLMENT AND DELIVERY MORE EFFICIENT?
Ecommerce businesses can operate their own order fulfillment process, outsource it to a third-party logistics (3PL) company, or do both.
1. Own and operate it.
Owning or renting warehouses or eCommerce fulfillment centers, hiring, training, managing fulfillment process staff, and negotiating contracts with carriers are all part of the order fulfillment process. Furthermore, retailers who own and operate their own order fulfillment are responsible for all aspects and bear all operational costs.
2. Outsource it.
Retailers can outsource all or a portion of their fulfillment process to print on demand fulfillment providers. These providers own and operate fulfillment centers and specialize in print on demand services. They specialize in operating efficiently at lower costs. In addition, they frequently use retail robotics to automate picking and packing and other fulfillment workflows. As a result, allowing them to scale and work more quickly.
Leading fulfillment companies use cutting-edge inventory and management technology that provides real-time inventory visibility and integration with retailers’ existing systems. As a result, customer orders can be easily tracked throughout the fulfillment process. Print on demand fulfillment companies can negotiate contracts and rates with shipping carriers. In addition, they can optimize the final mile to reduce and control costs.
Depending on the provider, some have their transportation fleet and global fulfillment centers to keep inventory close to customers. They can also support store fulfillment options with omnichannel order management systems, which create transparency, real-time inventory visibility, and streamlined order fulfillment strategies.
THE BOTTOM LINE: LOYAL CUSTOMERS INCREASE SALES
To improve eCommerce customer loyalty, ensure that order fulfillment and delivery meet and exceed their expectations. Customer satisfaction leads to repeat business. High customer satisfaction results from optimized print on demand fulfillment, which provides order accuracy, fast shipping, multiple delivery options, and an easy returns process. In addition to being loyal, happy customers promote the brands they love, which is the best way to stay ahead of the competition in today’s environment.
Trust Fulfillplex for print on demand fulfillment and transportation management solutions to delight and retain customers. As a top eCommerce fulfillment company, we create eCommerce solutions that help your online business grow. We handle all logistics, from shipping to fulfillment, so you can focus on marketing your business. Get in touch with us now!