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Redefine ecommerce fulfilment with lightening-fast shipping speed

Versha Kamwal
July 20, 2021
7
mins read

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Nowadays, customers don't see fast shipping options as an additional benefit—they see it as a standard service.

Amazon is making customers accustomed to guaranteed two-day shipping to just one-day shipping for its Prime members, and many ecommerce stores are now following the trail. However, meeting customers' delivery-speed expectations is hard; it takes a lot of work, and you have to face fierce competition, but winning means lasting success for your ecommerce brand.

In this blog, you’ll learn how to ramp up your shipping and delivery capabilities to achieve faster shipping speeds and enhance the delivery experience for your customers.

How to increase the ecommerce shipping speed?

1. Introduce automation in order fulfilment

Since humans are directly involved in the fulfilment process, delays are most likely to occur. Fortunately, you can now automate traditional warehouse operations by leveraging powerful technology, such as barcode scanners, conveyor belts, intelligent robots, and more. This can help you to reduce the workload and the time spent picking, packing and shipping orders.

There are instances when you can receive bulk orders. If you take a manual approach, it will take a considerable amount of time and effort to pick and pack the orders—locating them in the fulfilment centre and picking them. Additionally, the risk of human error increases if you have multiple SKUs (stock keeping units), individual serial or batch numbers, and more. However, if you use barcode scanners to identify products and their location in the fulfilment centre, you can save significant time and ensure better order accuracy.

Eshopbox is a tech-enabled 3PL provider that provides you with an advanced way to sell on multiple ecommerce platforms, manage inventory, and fulfil your orders. Moreover, Eshopbox follows a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to streamline routine operations and achieve desired shipping speed.

More than 98% of shoppers say delivery affects how loyal they are to a brand.

2. Ensure a quick and streamlined pick and pack process

When an order is received, you need to make sure that it is assigned to the picking team—whether by human or robot, as soon as possible. The picker can then pick the products from their respective locations and then pack them with secure packing materials to protect your products in transit. This way, you can achieve streamlined order processing without wasting any time.

Eshopbox ensures on-time order processing while extending the branded experience through the order fulfilment process. You can enable priority pick and pack for orders that require faster turnarounds.

3. Stick to SLA-driven shipping

If you're selling your products on marketplaces, such as Amazon, Flipkart, and more, they have stringent fulfilment guidelines and predetermined shipping times that have to be met consistently. For that, you can ensure that orders are marked ‘ready to ship’ on time, without a miss.

This way, you can reliably get the orders to be shipped out as quickly as possible and ensure when the courier partner arrives at the fulfilment centre to pick up the orders, they don't have to wait—reducing the chances of any delay.

Eshopbox is compliant with the guidelines of every marketplace and meets all their service requirements; this ensures that orders are processed within the required turnaround time (TAT) while complying with their strict Service Level Agreement (SLAs).

Over 75% of consumers want same-day shipping.

4. Leverage multi-location warehouses

Fulfilling your orders from multiple locations is a great way to increase the shipping speed. For that, you need fulfilment centres across the country covering all the zones, i.e. North, East, South and West. By splitting your inventory and storing them closer to your customers, you can reduce transit times and ensure speedy delivery.

Let's take an example, you have four fulfilment centres in India; New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad. You received an order from Kolkata, you would obviously fulfil that order from your Hyderabad fulfilment centre. But in order to provide speedy delivery, you must pay for expedited shipping. This will drive up your cost. However, if you had a fulfilment centre in Kolkata itself, you could have ensured fast delivery while saving shipping costs.

Eshopbox has a distributed network of fulfilment centres spread across India, enabling you to provide fast delivery without worrying about your customer's location.

Eshopbox's network of fulfilment centres
Eshopbox's network of fulfilment centres

5. Use expedited courier services

After quick shipping, you need express delivery by a courier service. For that, you have to tie up with national carriers with a proven track record. However, availing the fastest delivery options from these carriers can be expensive as it’s unlikely for you to get access to discounts and negotiated shipping rates due to low order volumes.

Eshopbox's strong tie ups and discounted rates with courier companies allow you to take advantage of bulk delivery discounts, provide fast order deliveries while minimising shipping expenses.

55% of consumers will switch retailers for faster delivery.

6. Send delayed notifications

As mentioned earlier, you need to ensure fast order processing. While doing that, you can still create an illusion of faster shipping by 'delayed shipping notification'.

Let's take an example, a customer placed an order on Monday at 2 pm. The online store notified the customer that it will take three days for his package to ship from Mumbai to New Delhi. Therefore, the customer is expecting that the order will be shipped on Tuesday and will be delivered on Friday.However, the customer's order is picked, packed and shipped on Monday. But, the customer is notified on Tuesday. This means that the order will be delivered to the customer on Thursday instead of Friday.

Thus, you can surprise your customers with delayed notification and create an illusion of overperforming the shipping process by underpromising.

Order updates by Amazon
Order updates by Amazon

62% of consumers say fast shipping speed defines a positive experience.

7. Optimise delivery routes

In order to deliver orders faster, the first thing you must do is optimise your delivery routes. You can select the fastest, most cost-effective routes possible. This means, your order must be shipped automatically from the optimal fulfilment centre based on inventory availability, customer location, custom business logic and SLA.

Eshopbox leverages intelligent order routing to achieve the most cost-efficient and faster deliveries. For instance, you received an order and your customer location is Pune. Then, the order will be allocated to the nearest fulfilment centre, i.e. Mumbai rather than Delhi fulfilment centre to ensure speedy order deliveries.

8. Increase fulfilment capabilities during the festive season and promotional events

During promotional events, such as flash sales, your orders scale up exponentially when compared to BAU (Business as usual) order volumes. You need to make sure you are adequately equipped to meet the demand with capacity planning. You can plan daily capacity and manpower needs for optimum efficacy. You can also optimise the pick and pack process to improve your order processing rate while maintaining order accuracy. Moreover, you need to ensure timely inventory replenishment to avoid stockouts during peak demand and maintain uninterrupted order fulfilment.

Eshopbox's established fulfilment infrastructure enables you to effectively manage variability in sales. You don't have to worry about how you'll meet customer demands during festive seasons and sales. Moreover, Eshopbox's fulfilment centres are operational round-the-clock, even on holidays to achieve maximum shipping speed.

Flash sale on Home centre
Flash sale on Home centre

Wrapping up

The need for increasing the shipping speed is becoming an ecommerce priority. In order to maintain a competitive edge, you need to unleash greater efficiencies, scalable strategies, and advanced technology. You can also partner up with a 3PL provider to outsource your fulfilment and watch shipping speeds skyrocket while saving costs and creating a delightful shipping experience for your customers.

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