The world has been trending digital for a while now, but recent events have pushed the eCommerce industry into high gear. As customers order more and more online, supply chain partners and technology providers are acutely aware of the importance of fulfillment.
Fulfillment might seem tangential to online shopping because it happens after an order is placed, but in fact, it can play a major role in the buying decision. A 2018 study from Kibo Software, Inc. that surveyed 3,000 U.S. consumers found that 8% of shoppers consider delivery speed the most important factor in purchasing. The same study revealed that 40% of consumers would abandon a purchase if delivery took more than 2 days, and 63% considered delivery within 3 days to be standard. In 2019, UPS’s Pulse of the Online Shopper Report found that while many online shoppers will sacrifice speed to get free shipping, “millennials are more likely to choose accelerated delivery options.”
While some businesses like Amazon are pioneering next day and even same day deliveries, many manufacturers and suppliers find it difficult to keep up with rising demands. In 2018, Retail TouchPoints surveyed 146 retail executives to learn about their last-mile challenges and discovered that 49% of respondents saw customer delivery expectations as their most significant obstacle—even above shipping costs, logistics or merchandise returns .
So, what does all that mean? Put simply, it comes down to this: as a retailer or e-tailer, finding ways to streamline fulfillment will help you satisfy customer desires while reducing business struggles. That’s where automation fits in, allowing you to scale business operations, meet tight delivery timeframes and increase efficiency, without overwhelming your internal resources.
Acumatica already offers options to help accelerate fulfillment with automation. The sales order management tool includes features like automatic purchase order and shipment order generation, which help to streamline processing, so your fulfillment team can quickly address and fulfill new orders. Multiple and partial fulfillment options enable you to fill a sales order from multiple warehouses, depending on inventory availability and shipping costs, so you can optimize deliveries and meet consumer shipping expectations. Shipment schedules allow you to plan ahead, while auto-generated pick lists let you prioritize orders to maximize pick & pack efficiency.
Shipping integrations like TrueCommerce Pack and Ship take those capabilities one step further with additional fulfillment automation. For example, the TrueCommerce solution automatically validates and verifies information on purchase orders to prevent delays and shipping errors. It can also print compliant GS1-128 and other required shipping labels to speed up order processing. ASN generation quickly communicates order statuses with retailers, who can then relay shipping estimates to the end consumer, elevating their delivery experience.
Of course, the benefits don’t stop there. Batch shipping and simple shipping let you process large order volumes in minutes. Cartonization and palletization tools help your team create optimized FTL and LTL shipments, while shipment planning gives you the ability to organize and prepare shipments in advance to get ahead of rising order volumes. Plus, having access to over 60 global carriers will enable you to find the lowest shipping rates with options for cross-border shipping and same-day delivery, depending on your market.
These tools directly integrate with Acumatica to enhance your fulfilment processes and allow your team to increase operational efficiency and capacity, while eliminating the need for time-consuming manual tasks like data entry. As a result, you’ll be able to accept more orders, ship them more quickly and accurately, and maintain an excellent customer experience from your online store to your customer’s doorstep.