Order fulfillment software

Order Fulfillment Software

Empower Your Ecommerce Journey: Unveiling Advanced Order Fulfilment Software for Streamlined Operations and Sustainable Growth

By Komal Puri | March 20, 2024

Everyday billions of people login from their mobiles and desktops to shop online. Reports say that close to 2.71 billion people shopped online till the start of 2024. Amazon and Alibaba are some of the leading ecommerce companies worldwide as they offer a range of products on their website. There’s a reason why these businesses are top of the table when it comes to generating revenue online. Both these companies are experts in processing millions of orders that are placed online daily.

How do ecommerce leaders like Amazon, Alibaba and several other ecommerce businesses ensure that every order they receive reaches its rightful owner at the desired time and place? How are those billions and millions of orders fulfilled?

Order fulfillment is the process by which every item purchased online gets to the end consumer. It involves steps like sourcing or receiving the goods ordered online, storing it in a warehouse for a specific time period, picking and packing, shipping the package and managing returns processing. With so many orders coming in every minute and so much to ship, businesses lean heavily on order fulfillment softwares to process orders swiftly.

What is an Order Fulfillment Software?

Order fulfillment softwares are digital solutions that help ecommerce companies efficiently manage their order fulfillment process. It can be defined as a software that automates and streamlines the various processes involved in order processing. These solutions cover aspects - from the time the order is placed online to the moment it is delivered to the customer. Returns management is another key feature of a fulfillment software.

Such software handles tasks related to inventory management, warehouse operations, delivery logistics and effective customer communication. The end goal of a software is to process orders efficiently, while reducing cost of operations and ensuring timely delivery of purchased goods to the final consumer.

These softwares are capable of managing the four types of order fulfillment. In in-house order fulfillment businesses manage the order fulfillment processes internally. With the outsourced order fulfillment model, businesses chose to focus on their core capabilities and leave the task of processing orders to another company. Drop shipping is when a store doesn’t really keep stock of the goods they sell online. Instead, whenever an order is placed, they source the purchased item from a third-party and ship it to the customer. Sometimes, companies use the hybrid fulfillment model which is a mix of drop shipping, outsourced and in-house.

Features of an Order Fulfillment Software

Order Management: Order management is another core capability of the software. The software has a centralized dashboard where managers can see the list of ordered items. Orders taken in-store on phone or via a marketplace converge on this dashboard, along with product return requests as well. Order management consolidates every order placed in a single place so that they can be properly organized for order processing.

Shipping and Carrier Integration: Businesses often use more than one carrier to deliver the goods at the customer’s doorstep. For smooth order processing these softwares have built in tools that optimize the process of selecting the best carrier for every delivery that is going to take place. Powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, the algorithms choose carriers on the basis of several factors like vehicle type, vehicle capacity, delivery distance, shipping charges, service quality and speed. By matching these factors, businesses can select the most effective carrier for their deliveries and therefore take a step towards bringing down delivery costs.

Customer Communication: The software has capabilities that ensure businesses can communicate effectively with the end consumer. It can send automated and personalized messages and give timely updates on customer orders. With the rapid rise of ecommerce, customers need more than ‘your order has been placed’ notification. Such softwares can ensure that consumers stay updated at every step of the order fulfillment process. And it’s not just about smses these days. Companies sent in-app notifications along with emails as well.

Analytics and Reporting: Data is the new oil and plays a crucial part in optimizing the order fulfillment process. With meaningful insights, companies can identify and plug loopholes in their order fulfillment processes. Every key aspect of delivery like customer preferences, number of failed deliveries, carrier performance and more can be looked at via a single dashboard. By looking at these metrics, businesses have a chance to enhance their operations, bring down costs and boost customer satisfaction. The software must be able to collect reviews, which companies can further analyze to improve their fulfillment methods.

Common Requirements of an Order Fulfillment Software

Seamless integration: The software must seamlessly mesh with the existing systems of the business like its CRMs, accounting systems and e-commerce sites. This is imperative for the smooth flow of information between these systems and the software. When any order is placed via an ecommerce website, the software must automatically adjust the financial records and the inventory levels without the need for any personnel to update the details. This kind of smooth integration will greatly help in reducing manual errors.

Scalability: When an enterprise expands its business and faces the need to process big orders, then the software must step up and be able to handle the management of orders without any dip in service quality. In other words, the software must be able to scale up and meet the changing preferences of the consumers. Scalability is also required during peak season events, when businesses usually face massive orders for processing.

Flexible Shipping Options and Carrier Integrations: It must be able to provide a range of shipping options and must be able to integrate a variety of carriers. This will enable companies to optimize deliveries for cost. More flexible options also means that companies will be able to deliver orders faster and enhance customer satisfaction. By matching the perfect shipping solution to the order requirements, businesses can bring down operational costs and choose the most cost-effective way of delivering products.

Order Tracking and Updates: The modern age, mobile-friendly customer wants minute-by-minute updates of their orders. It takes just minutes for quick commerce companies to make deliveries, but between the placing and delivery of the order, these businesses send frequent in-app updates, emails and sms notifications to the customers. And its not just quick commerce companies, most ecommerce businesses provide real-time order tracking facility to their customers. By providing updates on order delivery status, businesses can build trust with the customers and win brand loyalty in the long run.

Returns Management: An efficient order fulfillment process cannot take place without factoring in an efficient returns process. The software should be able to handle returns and process refunds to customers. It must also organize the returned items so that they can be processed further. A hassle-free and smooth returns management process goes a long way in building trust and boosting customer confidence in the brand. It also helps in managing inventory level by taking into consideration the items returned by the users.

How to Choose Order Fulfillment Software

Assessing Your Needs: What are the needs of your business? What types of products are you going to sell? What’s the approximate order volume that you are expecting? Will there be any seasonal fluctuations? Businesses must assess their unique needs before investing in a software.

Evaluating Features: Look for software that offers the key features necessary for your operations. Prioritize those that align with your specific pain points, such as advanced inventory management for businesses with complex product lines or global shipping options for those with an international customer base.

Expansion Capabilities: Choose a software that allows you to seamlessly expand your operations. It should become a roadblock if the businesses want to add more distribution hubs or offer new products to customers. The software must not meet your existing needs but also help you increase your business capacities.

Checking Integration Capabilities: When purchasing the software do first check if it easily works in tandem with your existing technology stack. No point spending money on a software that in the end does not work alongside the tools that you have brought in earlier. When your existing software blends in with your order fulfillment solution, it circumvents any probable disruptions and maximizes its potential.

Reviewing Customer Support: Always choose providers that give comprehensive after-sales support and training. This is much needed in case businesses face any issues while using the software.

Why FarEye's Order Fulfillment Software is the best?

What sets FarEye apart as the best order fulfillment software is the range of services offered by its software:

  • Orders can be placed seamlessly - whether they are B2B orders, or orders coming from an ecommerce website or in-store orders.

  • Orders can be delivered from several places, including distribution hubs, dark stores, and brick and mortar stores. FarEye’s software provides for easy home pickups for returns.

  • Businesses can efficiently allocate orders to multiple fleet types. Owned fleet, crowdsourced drivers or outsourced vehicles for deliveries it can handle all options efficiently.

  • FarEye also provides multiple fulfillment options at the point of purchase. Same day, next day, scheduled, white glove, click and collect and hyperlocal deliveries can be smoothly executed.

In Conclusion

If ecommerce businesses want a skin in the game, they must invest in robust software. By leveraging these softwares businesses can not only reap benefits of cost and a better managed order processing system, they can also have a superior delivery experience that boosts customer satisfaction and increases customer retention rates.

Komal puri

Komal Puri is a seasoned professional in the logistics and supply chain industry. As the Senior Director of Marketing and a subject matter expert at FarEye, she has been instrumental in shaping the industry narrative for the past decade. Her expertise and insights have earned her numerous awards and recognition. Komal’s writings reflect her deep understanding of the industry, offering valuable insights and thought leadership.

Komal Puri
Sr. Director of Marketing | FarEye