It is effortless for a consumer to go ahead and place an order over popular eCommerce sites. And they expect the product to reach them in the given time estimate. It is so easy to remember and receive the order, but the process within the back-end is quite complex to fulfill each of those orders.
There are many steps that the order undergoes before the entire shipping process is completed. It might not be necessary for a usual consumer to understand the involved procedures. But it is crucial to understand those steps, to get an idea about what your order goes through during the entire processing phase.
The business owners set their shipping process to meet the consumer requirements on a large scale. So, irrespective of whether you are a consumer or an aspiring eCommerce business owner, you need to understand how shipping works to utilize the best of it.
How the Shipping Process Actually Works- in Just 3 Steps
The shipping process leverages three steps that include receiving, processing, and fulfilling the order. Every order shipped depends upon several factors: order management, warehousing, carrier relationships, and others. And meeting all of those factors without errors is evident to fulfill an order.
Therefore, to understand how shipping works, you need to get an in-depth idea of how the three steps are carried out:
1. Receiving the Order Request From Consumers
A customer places the order, and the company or its shipping handle receives it on their end. The eCommerce business owners will ensure to have the ordered item in their inventory or stock. It is because, without that, the product will show out of stock to the customer.
The eCommerce owners work alongside the suppliers or manufacturers to put up the demanding products in stock. If the business has hired 3rd party logistics, then the products will be sent to a fulfillment center directly from the supplier stocks. If the business owners have their logistics, they will bring in the inventory to their warehouse to maintain demanding products.
Today, most online stores have order management systems embedded within their platform for simple order processing. They are one form of inventory management software that streamlines the orders from customers quickly and conveniently. It helps both customers and the eCommerce business management team track the orders and inventory in one place.
Hence, the first stage of the shipping process is carried out seamlessly, using the right software and tools.
2. Order Processing Stage or Verification of Detailed Order Aspects
For the second step, the eCommerce logistics team intends to verify the data within the order. It is to ensure that the data provided by the consumer is accurate. One of the crucial pieces of information that are verified on priority is the shipping address. The order is then processed to the management tool for checking with the inventory for availability.
Most eCommerce businesses prefer to put up ‘Out of Stock’ listed over their website to give a prior indication to the consumers for not placing their orders for such products. But in some cases, the products listed available are usually sold out at inventory. Therefore, this verifying process is essential within order processing aspects.
Most of the verification process is carried out with the help of technology and automation that intends to speed up the order processing step. From this step, the customer’s tracking portal is open, and they can track the shipping information of their ranking at different stages.
The automated technology used for order processing verifies much more than just product availability and address validation. They check whether there are multiple orders for the same consumer, from different sellers, to combine & ship them for mutual benefits. Apart from that, it also splits up the orders from the same consumers going to separate addresses.
3. Seek fulfillment and Final Shipping of the Product
After the order processing stage has been passed, the order then moves onto the fulfillment phase. Different eCommerce businesses have other fulfilling options available to them. All of the companies follow their separate rules in terms of fulfilling and delivering the order for their customers.
Most eCommerce businesses prefer drop shipping or self-fulfillment as ideal shipping options. Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment option under which the stores are not responsible for keeping their products at their warehouse stocks. And, self-fulfillment is where the retailers intend to store the products in their inventory and ship them accordingly.
But out of these two, the best shipping option preferable by the small eCommerce businesses is 3rd party logistics. They will handle all of the fulfillment aspects of your business orders, including warehousing, preparing lists, packing, shipping, delivery, and returns.
Hence, this is how the shipping process is executed on the back-end. You order the product, and you get it within a week! But there is a lot that a business goes through for processing each of the orders. If you are willing to start your eCommerce store, you should know that understanding how to ship the products effectively is the key to help your business thrive.