Payment ......

In this section we will examine the fulfillment process in terms of:
- Integrating online orders with back office systems;
- Distribution channels;
- Dispatch;
- Delivery;
- Handling customer returns.

Outsourcing the Fulfillment

As online sales move past the experimental phase, several factors combine to put new pressures on order fulfillment systems. These include:
- An expanded selection of products sold online;
- The need to move a large volume of small parcels;
- Rising customer expectations.


Retailers find that it’s relatively easy to distribute products in bulk through a wholesale, retailer, or distribution channel as compared to eCommerce distribution. However, difficulties can emerge when a company has many individual products that require distribution to the customer’s home, inventory control, and customer support.

Meeting Customer Expectations

There are a number of things that can be done to ensure that the fulfilment process provides a satisfactory conclusion to the whole purchasing cycle, including:

- Processing all orders at a line item level, so that each individual item ordered is clearly identified. This is particularly important where a multi-item order is placed and one or two of these are out of stock;

- Personalising orders so that the customer feels that full account has been taken of their individual needs. Specifying the actual name of the customer to whom the order should be delivered is particularly important in situations where it is being delivered to a business, otherwise it can be left lying around for days in reception waiting for the right person to come and collect it;

- Tracking the status of the order means that any customer enquiry can be resolved promptly and efficiently. Equally important is the fact that formal tracking of progress ensures that any problems arising out of non-delivery of the order are quickly identified and remedied;

- Communicating the order status to the customer is an excellent way of ensuring that they are kept fully informed of progress.



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