The Importance of Accurate Order Fulfillment in the Retail Apparel Industry: Three Ways to Offer the Best Customer Experience

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Apparel and Footwear customers have unique expectations when shopping online due to the nature of the products they purchase and the experience they seek. Failure to accurately fulfill their orders directly impacts their experience and causes disappointment, frustration, and inconvenience, leading to lost sales and diminished brand trust. Navar reports that the estimated cost of a return totals as much as 30% of the original purchase price. ECommerce brands must prioritize accuracy in order fulfillment to maintain customer satisfaction, loyalty, and long-term success while avoiding unnecessary expenses.

Read three ways to offer the best customer experience through accurate order fulfillment:

Deploy the right technology for efficient inventory management

From the moment an order is placed to its delivery at a customer’s doorstep, order fulfillment accuracy is crucial for creating a good customer experience. At the heart of this lies a suite of technology designed to optimize every stage of the supply chain – the most pivotal being the  Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) and Order Management Systems (OMS). By harnessing the power of barcode scanning and automated picking systems, these technologies streamline processes, minimize errors, and enhance efficiency so that your customer receives the exact item they’re expecting – down to the correct size, color, or quantity. The right tech can help maintain product availability and prevent order fulfillment errors such as back orders, pre-sales, and out-of-stock situations while optimizing safety-stock management. By embracing the right technology, eCommerce apparel brands can enhance their order fulfillment processes to deliver superior customer experiences. 

Partner with a provider that cares about how items are selected, packed, and transported

To optimize order fulfillment accuracy and minimize human error, it’s crucial that your fulfillment provider thoroughly documents and understands the picking and packing process. By outlining best practices and leveraging automated or touchless solutions like a pick-to-light system, eCommerce brands can streamline operations and enhance efficiency while consistently selecting the correct item ordered. NFI eCom uses Cubiscan to help guarantee that packaging is the correct size. This enhances the customer experience by ensuring that items are securely and neatly packed. Proper packaging plays a pivotal role in the “unboxing experience” for customers, emphasizing the importance of branded packaging to stand out and accurate labeling for easy identification. 

Additionally, giving customers multi-carrier shipping options offers flexibility and delivery optimization, ensuring timely and cost-effective shipping processes. By prioritizing these aspects, businesses can avoid fulfillment issues and enhance the overall customer experience, resulting in loyalty and satisfaction.

Provide visibility into order status and returns policy

Customers value transparency about their order status from start to finish. Providing visibility into tracking details, potential delays, and available options for issue resolution, whether through detailed tracking systems, email notifications, or online portals, is essential for building trust and satisfaction. Similarly, clarity is crucial for returns. Outline return policies, including eligibility, timeframes, and fees, to provide a hassle-free returns process. 

When it comes to keeping your customers satisfied, your 3PL partner should be actively involved in the process. NFI eCom acts as an extension of our customer’s business, providing the tools and personnel needed to correctly fulfill orders for several retail eCommerce brands. While providing an order accuracy rate of over 99%, our customers receive complete transparency and flexibility to create a smooth order fulfillment process. For more information about our capabilities, visit nfiecom.com.