Echidna is excited to announce our partnership with ShipStation. ShipStation is the leading web-based shipping software that helps online retailers streamline their order fulfillment, wherever they sell and however they ship.
It may seem like a back seat to the sexiness of giving personalized experiences and superior customer service, but there is nothing that pushes a customer away faster or makes them more loyal to your brand then their ordering experience. Fulfillment and shipping has been getting a lot of talk lately because a modern e-commerce engine requires processing and managing orders from multiple channels, carriers, and delivery points. Having a full understanding of your multi-channel order process, channels, carriers, and delivery points and knowing what your customers utilize most will allow you to create a solid strategy to execute on giving the speediest and most accurate service possible. Identifying gaps in this process will improve customer loyalty and brand reputation, as well as offer competitive shipping costs and the ability to offer customers more options to return which is prime during gift-buying season.
How much time has your company spent this year on fulfillment and shipping? Consider factors like:
What if you could be focusing that time on something else? Like growing your business. Echidna has come up with a list of 5 questions to start the process of helping brands assess their current fulfillment and shipping processes and uncover gaps that could be hindering their ability to provide a superior ordering experience for their customers and seamless fulfillment experience for their employees.
For example, in store fulfillment if your customer has purchased online. What options do you currently offer them and how hard is this on your backend to track? The ability to easily allow your customer to choose in store pick-up, ship from the store, ship to the store, or store associate pick/pack/ship is a competitive advantage in today’s customer-centric world and with the holiday business.
How does your system allocate this inventory to each selling channel and is it able to support complex ordering scenarios like pre-sale and backorders that commonly occur during the holiday season?
Customers don’t want to have to wait or be transferred around to find what they want or where their order is. Successful businesses have a holistic view of all information based on a single source of truth so they can efficiently operate and provide a superior customer experience. Regardless of its physical location, can you associates have visibility into all inventory so they never have to lose a sale and can also give customers options on how to get it (ship to home, store, or set it aside for pickup in another store)
By having a complete picture of your inventory you can leverage this to efficiently fulfill demand of products. This will require looking across your entire supply chain (warehouses, drop shippers, and physical stores, etc.). You can greatly offer a more convenient, better experience then your competitor and save your brand money, by choosing the “best” fulfillment source for your customer (proximity to customer, deliver speed, profitability, inventory turns, etc).
With holiday season around the corner it means returns are coming in larger quantities than any other time of the year for many brands. Be prepared and ensure your systems are ready to not only offer an easy returns process for customers (multiple options to return, real time updating on where their refund stands, etc), but also will integrate with your other systems to show the products that are being brought back into inventory and where they are in the process.
Remember- what your customers want is to feel knowledgeable about their relationship with you and know they have both insights and options when it comes to the purchase and fulfillment experience. If you are able to give them this feeling you will not only have a strong competitive edge, but will ensure you are future ready with centralized inventory, order, and fulfillment capabilities. Connect with Echidna to implement ShipStation to your e-commerce platform to import, manage, and ship your orders will offer you a team of digital experts to ensure you are up and running in no time.
ShipStation helps e-commerce retailers import, organize, process, and ship orders efficiently from any web browser (including iOS and Android mobile devices) no matter their size. With over 150 shopping carts, marketplaces, carriers, and fulfillment services, including Magento, Shopify, Shopify Plus, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL, Canada Post, and Amazon Fulfillment (and so many more), you can streamline shipping wherever you sell and however you ship.
Additionally, ShipStation’s sophisticated automation features help you shave hours off your fulfillment process and will save you money with discounted USPS rates and a free USPS postage provider account. Print wirelessly and share your printer with ease thanks to ShipStation Connect. With filters, views, and user settings, you can make ShipStation your own—customize it to suit your needs. Handle your business on-the-go with ShipStation’s mobile app (free for iOS and Android) and do everything from creating orders to printing labels and emailing return labels all from your mobile device.