In the fast-paced world of eCommerce, customers have come to expect quick and efficient delivery of their online orders. Modern expectations have shifted to free two- or three-day shipping, and anything less can greatly impact a retailer's relationship with their customers. Achieving same day fulfillment has become more than just a perk; it is now an absolute expectation. This blog post will cover how the operations and speed of a warehouse can directly impact the end customer's experience in eCommerce, four steps to achieving same day fulfillment, and how it can give your business a competitive edge.
Offering same day delivery improves the overall customer experience and reduces shopping cart abandonment rates. It also results in fewer returns. Customers appreciate the convenience and promptness of having their orders delivered within a day. In a crowded eCommerce landscape, faster shipping can be a deciding factor between similar products from different vendors. Research shows that 65% of consumers are willing to pay more for faster, more reliable deliveries. By offering same day fulfillment, you attract customers who value speed and efficiency and differentiate yourself from competitors.
Steps to Achieve Same Day Fulfillment:
Partnering with a reliable 3PL (third-party logistics) provider is crucial to help meet the demands of same day fulfillment. 3PLs specialize in optimizing distribution, warehousing, and fulfillment needs and are best equipped to meet same day fulfillment demands. A good 3PL provider will offer features like AI and predictive analytics to maximize efficiency and accuracy. It is important to find the right 3PL for your business.
As you think about partnering with a 3PL, the following four steps are critical to achieving same day fulfillment.
- Solidify Inventory Management Practices: Achieving fast shipping begins with solid inventory management practices. As such, having the technology to support these practices is imperative. Your 3PL will provide a warehouse management system (WMS) that helps you organize and track inventory effectively. The best solutions will use technology, such as AI algorithms like Kenco's DaVinci, to streamline inventory management and improve accuracy. AI-based demand planning will provide the visibility needed to plan better and avoid delays from out-of-stock items.
- Optimize warehouse operations: To meet the demand for same day fulfillment, you need to optimize your warehouse operations. Automation plays a key role in this process. By implementing automation tools and services offered by your 3PL provider, you can save time, improve accuracy, and increase scalability and flexibility as your business grows. Automation also makes processes easier for workers which improves labor retention. Your 3PL can provide Automation-as-a-Service, in which tools get paid for based on usage rather than owned outright. Your warehouse can benefit from tools such as Locus Robotics, which automates the picking process, and Box on Demand which determines and creates the optimal box size for each order, ensuring consistent and reliable performance.
- Determine optimal warehouse locations: Strategically locating your warehouses is essential for achieving same day delivery. In most cases, having two warehouses located in the US can deliver to the entire country within two days. A reliable 3PL provider can analyze data and help you determine the best locations based on your customer base and the routes of national shipping carriers. This analysis ensures that your warehouses are strategically placed for efficient and speedy order fulfillment.
- Procure a library of shipping partners: Diversifying your shipping carriers is always a good idea. A reliable 3PL provider should have several options for shipping providers. Working with multiple carriers ensures full-service coverage and provides support in case of any carrier-related issues. Your 3PL provider can help audit rates for you, potentially saving you thousands of dollars over the course of a year.
Working through these four steps can help make same day fulfillment and faster delivery a reality for any eCommerce company. Partnering with a 3PL provider on those steps can help you achieve that goal in a cost-effective manner. The right partnership will pay off, reducing time and money spent at every step along the way and driving continued innovation. By investing in these strategies, you can pave the way for greater customer satisfaction and loyalty through a better customer experience, and ultimately, enhance your overall business success.
For further details on how to achieve same day delivery goals for your business, see our new guide, "Your Guide to Same Day and Faster Delivery."