Fulfillment. First of all, if you are involved in customer-facing ecommerce, you know that it’s a noun and not a verb – “Send this order to fulfillment.” More often than not it is the last and most visible point of contact in your customer transactions. And historically, it has been one of the least glamorous parts of your business operations.
But nowadays, the post-pandemic economy – with a radical shift towards ecommerce that will probably remain long after COVID has ended – has moved fulfillment into the spotlight more than ever. While it has always been important, it has now become a critical part of a company’s brand. Let’s take a look at what this will mean for your business.
Fulfillment – by the numbers
According to Shopify Plus’ recent report The Future of Ecommerce Report 2021, consumer expectations about order fulfillment have grown rapidly alongside the explosion of ecommerce throughout 2020 and beyond, and customers list immediacy, convenience and speed as the top consumer demands going forward. Some other insights from this report include:
- Over two-thirds of consumers now expect same-day, one-day or two-day delivery.
- Half of all firms surveyed are processing and picking orders quicker to meet aggressive shipping cutoff times.
- 33% of firms are processing more orders at peak times.
- Local delivery is on the rise, with some brands trading traditional shipping for services, like Roadie, or using their own employees for last-mile delivery.
Fulfillment – a differentiator
The bottom line is that fulfillment has quickly grown to become a competitive differentiator, and accurate and timely fulfillment is more critical to brands than ever. Moreover, the trends behind these changes – namely, a dramatic increase in ecommerce and deliveries to homes and businesses – are not going away.
More than ever before, your profitability and brand reputation now rest in the hands of your shipping addresses. If these addresses are not accurate, genuine and up-to-date, they generate costs that cascade throughout your entire operations, including lost and late deliveries, customer dissatisfaction, inventory losses, additional human time and resources lost, increased fraud exposure, and more.
Address and delivery accuracy
This means that address verification – particularly at the time of data entry and/or time of use – is no longer an option for most businesses. Our DOTS Address Validation suite of services integrate directly into your business applications using API interfaces, for US, Canadian and International addresses. These services leverage continually updated data from the USPS, Canada Post and international postal services to ensure accurate AND correctly formatted addresses.
In addition, our most recent service – DOTS Global Address Complete – will suggest and autocomplete addresses as they are being typed in, from the very first keystroke, to improve the speed and accuracy of your customers’ own data entry.
How easy is it to use and implement these services? You can find out for yourself right now, test-drive these services with a free 500-transaction license key, explore our comprehensive developer resources, including sample code to help get you started quickly. Plus expert support and implementation assistance are just a phone call or email away, with available 24/7 tech support and friendly, knowledgeable product experts.
The world of ecommerce is changing, and the costs of contact data problems are now looming larger than ever. We are here to help improve the ROI of your ecommerce operations, any time you need us.