Black Friday is one of the most significant events in the retail calendar, attracting crowds of customers and generating massive revenues. For many companies, it's a moment that can determine their annual results. That's why preparation for this special period, which now typically extends into the entire Cyber Week, begins long before the actual event.
Preparation for Black Friday starts with a thorough analysis of the previous season.
Analysis of the Previous Period and Reflection
This is the time to examine both the processes and systems that were used. It's worth considering what went well and what could have been done better. Root cause analysis allows you to identify the source of problems and errors that occurred during previous Black Fridays.
Development of an Action Plan
Based on the analysis of past years' situations, it's valuable to develop a precise action plan. Start preparations well in advance to ensure you have necessary purchases, such as additional equipment like terminals or PC stations that can help serve a larger number of customers, installed and your staff trained to fully benefit from them. Expanding areas that were sources of problems in previous periods can bring you tangible benefits and certainly help avoid losses due to shortages in that area.
Process and System Changes
Implementing process and system changes is crucial and also requires advance action. Plan the promotions you want to offer to customers in advance and make sure to inform warehouse management about them. They will have a chance to prepare the necessary resources. If you plan to offer bundles, pack them in advance to avoid last-minute product assembly. If a particular item will be offered at a particularly attractive price, move its stock closer to packing stations, and so on. It's also worth introducing new solutions, such as batch picking processes or automatic labeling. These changes can increase efficiency and shorten order processing times. When implementing changes, be sure to test them functionally and provide adequate training to employees to ensure they are an improvement rather than a hindrance.
Resources Are Worth Their Weight in Gold
An important part of preparations is not only adjusting processes but, above all, planning resources for Black Friday. Additional staff and transport resources may be necessary to cope with increased in-store traffic.
And, of course, the merchandise... The best processes won't help if there's nothing to pack and ship, so make sure to plan the inventory that matches your customers' preferences well in advance.
Planning for the Entire Year
Preparations for Black Friday start in January. Planning begins with a review of the previous season and the development of a change plan. The execution of tasks must be spread out over time because many of them cannot be completed in a short period, such as purchasing a new WMS system, establishing cooperation with a logistics or fulfillment operator, or switching from the current service provider to a new one. Only with such a long time horizon can this be organized.
Since we are publishing this set of tips at the end of October, you may not have enough time to fully implement them before the approaching peak sales period. However, you will be perfectly prepared for the next season. And if not... feel free to reach out to us 😉
We're interested in your offer. Write to us!
Logistics is a key aspect in the realm of e-commerce. Customers expect swift and reliable delivery, and efficient order fulfillment becomes the key to the success of stores. In this context, let's consider the role of fulfillment and strategies to streamline this process.
The Role of Fulfillment in Customer Service
Fulfillment is not only the process of order realization and delivery but also an essential link in building trust and customer satisfaction. Properly managing the entire process certainly increases the chances that a customer who has once used the store's services will return in the future. Of course, the quality of the assortment is also of great importance, but that's a topic for another discussion. Recognizing such a vital role of logistical order processing, more and more companies appreciate the significance of this process. As a result, they invest in its optimization to meet the growing market expectations. What aspects are key here?
Customer Satisfaction: Proper packaging, quick shipping, and timely delivery contribute to a positive customer experience. When expectations are met or even exceeded, loyalty to the brand is built.
Error Reduction: A professional fulfillment process minimizes the risk of mistakes, such as shipping the wrong product. This way, the company can avoid the additional costs of returns and customer dissatisfaction.
Strategies for Improving Order-related Processes
Streamlining order-related processes is crucial for companies aiming to increase efficiency and customer satisfaction.
What aspects should be considered when streamlining processes?
Automation: Introducing automated warehouse management systems (WMS) and integrating them with e-commerce platforms allow for faster order processing. Automation eliminates manual errors and accelerates processes, such as picking and packing.
Data Analysis: Monitoring and analyzing order data helps identify areas for improvement. This may concern delivery time, packaging quality, or product availability.
Inventory Optimization: Adjusting inventory levels to actual demand minimizes the risk of product shortages in the warehouse, and thus – delays in order fulfillment.
Employee Training: Investing in training for staff responsible for order fulfillment increases work efficiency and reduces the risk of errors.
Collaboration with Suppliers: Good relations with suppliers enable better delivery planning and cost optimization.
It's clear now that fulfillment in customer service plays a pivotal role in the e-commerce industry. A satisfied customer is a loyal one who returns for more purchases and recommends the brand to others. To achieve this level of satisfaction, businesses must continuously improve order-related processes. Implementing modern technologies, data analysis, and investing in staff development are just some of the strategies that contribute to success in this area.
Are you interested in our offer? Write to us!
Check out other services from EUROCOMMERCE.
Managing returns in logistics (fulfillment) is crucial for ensuring customer satisfaction. Many consumers evaluate online stores based on their return policies. Managing returns is not only a logistical challenge but also an opportunity to build positive relationships with customers.
Clear Return Policy
Information on how to return an item, available at the time of purchase, increases the likelihood of a customer returning in the future and making repeat purchases. This is because by describing the process, you are being transparent. The customer understands what can be returned, within what time frame, and in what condition. Avoid complicated procedures and hidden fees. Consider offering free returns, especially for certain product categories.
If certain products are often returned due to defects, contact suppliers to improve quality or consider discontinuing that product line. You can also consider changing or diversifying suppliers.
Good product descriptions, photos, and reviews from other customers in online stores can help buyers make the right choice and ultimately reduce the level of returns. Most buyers pay attention to reviews of the store itself, as well as the specific product.
Appropriate packaging of shipped items can reduce the number of returns due to damage during transport. However, packaging alone is not enough. You should also carefully choose a courier or shipping company to ensure customers are satisfied with the delivery.
Providing buyers with multiple communication channels is a significant step towards improving customer service. The more options, the better. Most stores or platforms offer phone, email, and chat, making it easier to report problems and dispel any doubts regarding returns.
Not all returned products have the same value. While optimizing the process, consider different approaches depending on the value of the returned product.
What Does the Return Process Look Like?
The customer must inform the store about the desire to return the purchased product. After notification, the seller checks if the request was made within the designated time and meets the other conditions specified in the store's return policy. The customer should receive all necessary information on how to return the goods (e.g., address, packaging method). The next step is for the customer to send the product back to the warehouse or service point. Upon receipt, the product is checked for any damages or missing items. If the product meets the return conditions, the buyer receives a refund or a replacement.
The final stage is analyzing the reasons for the return. Sellers should assess why a particular product was returned to avoid similar issues in the future.
How to Effectively Manage Returns?
Do you run an online store? Respond quickly to return requests.
Facilitating the process through maximum automation using appropriate software for managing returns in logistics centers helps ensure a seamless experience.
An indispensable element of returns is informing customers about the return status at every stage of the process. On the other hand, store staff should know how to properly handle returns and communicate with customers on this issue.
When interacting with customers, it may sometimes be beneficial to make concessions compared to your standard return policy to build a relationship with them.
The key goal of managing returns is not only their efficient processing but also understanding the reasons behind them and making appropriate changes to minimize them in the future.
Check our offer and contact us
If you sell furniture in the e-commerce model, you must read this text. Here you will find information and tips that can help you to increase your income.
Surely you are wondering how to spread your company's wings and start selling on new markets. Maybe it is worth to consider a foreign direction as an element of development?
Start of foreign sales
Why aren't you selling internationally yet? Perhaps this 3 biggest problems, which sellers face sending orders XXL, are holding you back:
- complicated and expensive international delivery - you think that expensive pallet shipments are necessary to protect the goods from damage. Shipments in the courier model are not always possible, and if the courier company accepts dimensions of this type of parcels, they are reloaded many times, which means that they do not always reach the customer in perfect condition...
- lack of knowledge of languages that would allow for efficient sales service, and then after-sales customer service,
- lack of idea how to start building your possition of foreign market.
It is a pity, because the market of our neighbor, just beyond the western border, is still the absolute top among the directions of expansion.
If your company is not ready to prepare this project on its own, we offer assistance in solving the biggest of these problems, i.e. deliveries in Germany.
We will deliver your furniture!
If you are still hesitating, check out what solutions we have prepared.
Our deliveries ensure:
- transport without pallets (unless you consider it as necessary),
- without reloading on the route from our warehouse to the customer's home,
- delivery with our own fleet,
- setting delivery date with the customer,
- if you wish we can help the client to carry the goods from the truck to his home.
Thanks to such solutions, we reduce the risk of damage, and the customer will be served comprehensively!
Need some help? Contact us!
Are you the owner of an online store that carries out all logistics operations within the company? I wonder when was the last time you had the opportunity to go on vacation…?
We mean such a real vacation, without a laptop and work even on the beach, without the phone ringing every now and then when you have to solve logistics problems so that orders go to customers, and without having to check the status of order fulfillment...
If you don't have time to rest, outsourcing logistics is the perfect solution for your store.
Reclaim your time, go on vacation, and then focus on growing your store instead of keeping an eye on ongoing operations! Entrust the logistics to us.
Take advantage of the help of an experienced team
What are the benefits of e-commerce logistics outsourcing? First of all, it will allow you to reduce the costs and stress associated with ongoing logistics services, thanks to several features of this service:
- You don't have to hire employees who may not have work during the period of weaker sales. All processes will be carried out by our warehouse service team. We have employees who have many years of experience in this area and you do not have to teach them everything from scratch.
- There is no need to rent a large warehouse, which is only filled during periods of increased sales. When you work with us, you only pay for the space actually occupied and operations performed. And you take up as much space as you need - more during peak sales, less in the off-season.
- The store owner does not have to constantly supervise the order fulfillment process. That is why the solution we propose is perfect during the holiday season (but not only 😊). As the owner of an online store, you can easily go on vacation, the shipments will be sent anyway thanks to the automation of our processes.
Does your store need more options?
EUROCOMMERCE will also allow you to scale sales on foreign markets, with the same delivery time as in Poland.
Don't wait any longer and give yourself a chance to rest! Everyone deserves it 😉
Contact us or leave us your contact information, we will get back to you for sure!
Robotization and computerization have long gained a strong position in the industry. Logistics is not lagging behind in the use of technology achievements. A fulfillment service tailored to the customer's needs would not be possible without the appropriate technological facilities. Customers require high standards and facilities that will allow for fast and error-free shipment of goods, which translates into trouble-free sales, often in many channels at the same time. Omnichannel is practically a standard today.
Today, modern warehouses often use various technical solutions to provide efficient service and fast shipment of products.
What amenities appear in the warehouse?
Let's start with the IT systems necessary for the operation of the warehouse for the fulfillment service.
A must have in every modern warehouse is the WMS warehouse system, which allows you to optimize and manage warehouse processes. Its main function is to connect all levels of warehouse logistics. The WMS system can also be integrated with other systems, such as ERP systems or transport management solutions. The WMS should ensure the automation of order management and the organization of warehouse work at the highest level, as is the case in EUROCOMMERCE.
The automation of warehouse processes allows you to streamline the handling of online store customer orders. What is hidden behind the concept of warehouse automation? It is a very broad concept, covering many issues.
In this regard, the following can be distinguished:
- Conveyors used to transport containers, pallets and packages in a warehouse.
- Sorters, intended for sorting goods and containers during transport.
- The shuttle system is a modern solution that is used to store goods in huge rack systems without access for people. The pallets or containers in which the goods are stored are transported from the racking system to the picking or issuing zones, depending on the system configuration.
- Elevator/carousel racks are used to store typically luxury products. Thanks to this solution, only a designated group of employees has access to the goods.
- Flow/moving racks – on one side they are loaded with pallets, on the other side these pallets are picked up.
- Robots for the transport of racks, in this case the rule of picking goods to a person is used, thanks to which the density of racks in the warehouse can be increased - the so-called picker - a person to pick orders.
In addition to innovations in the field of storage and transport of goods in the warehouse, there are also solutions that facilitate the identification of goods and their flawless picking by the staff, such as:
- RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) – pallets marked with rfid tags can be transported by a forklift equipped with a reader. The forklift operator does not need to scan such pallets because the system knows what kind of pallet it is when it is loaded onto the forks. After transporting it, e.g. to the gate, the scanners on the gate read such a pallet (there are many possibilities of using such tags),
- Pick by light or pack by light systems are a solution that supports people in picking and packing, indicating a specific product or place with light.
- Pick/pack by voice voice systems, in headphones, the warehouse worker hears a message about what to pick.
These are just some of the modern systems supporting work in logistics centers. Equipping the warehouse of the future will be fundamental to its proper operation. EUROCOMMERCE is constantly developing its base so that all processes run smoothly, using solutions that are best suited to the specificity of the fulfillment center.
Are you looking for a fulfillment partner?
We have been observing the development of e-commerce for years, supporting the development of Polish sellers in scaling their businesses. Thanks to this, we know that effective cooperation requires flexibility. At EUROCOMMERCE, we operate in a bipolar manner, thanks to this solution we can cope with the most complex deliveries and optimize customer costs.
What is this bipolarity? In our offer, customers will find a courier standard serviced on the basis of agreements with operators, as well as XXL logistics run by us. And it is XXL logistics that this text will be devoted to.
XXL logistics - why is it worth selling to Germany, also large dimensions?
It is worth analyzing the opportunities and threats resulting from the launch of a new sales direction. Times are not easy and many companies are looking for solutions that will be an additional source of income for them. Acting today, you build the foundations of future profits and development of your company. So it's worth considering non-obvious options.
By selling online, you can reach customers in different markets, but in the case of oversized goods, the most difficult piece of the puzzle is logistics.
Oversized shipments are rejected by courier companies that have a long-term policy, preferring small shipments that generate the highest margin and allow maximum use of space in transport. Large shipments are limited. If they fall within the limits, various surcharges are often added to them anyway. And the transport of large and heavy shipments in this model means that they often reach the customer in a condition that does not allow them to be used. There are complaints, returns, exchanges and in extreme cases also resignation from the purchase.
This is where EUROCOMMERCE comes into play. If you are considering starting sales abroad, but the problem with the logistics of XXL goods takes away your motivation, we will take care of it. We saw a niche in this field. After analyzing the situation, we found a way to bypass the barriers related to the delivery of oversized products.
Our and our clients' experience shows that a well-planned process allows for success even in difficult conditions. Thanks to EUROCOMMERCE XXL, furniture sent from our distribution center reaches individual customers in Germany without damage. From Poland to the end customer, without any reloading.
How do we do it?
We work with our own fleet, so the probability of any damage is practically zero. Our procedures assume that the goods go from the warehouse directly to the recipient - without reloading, which generates most of the damage. If it is not necessary, we do not transport furniture on pallets - thanks to this solution, the risk of moving and damaging the goods is minimized. The delivery time is always agreed over the phone by the staff communicating in the customer's language.
Transport leaving Zielona Góra reaches recipients in subsequent locations in Germany. The route is determined by the freight forwarder who contacts the recipients. The freight forwarder confirms the presence of the consignees during the planned delivery. Customers know what time the transport will arrive. If the date does not suit him, he may set a different delivery date. In most cases, the parcel reaches the recipient within 48 hours. from posting.
Are you looking for a logistics partner to deliver furniture directly to customers?
Contact us ->>.
Fulfillment is a logistics service that is becoming more and more popular every year. This is a proposal for companies that have online stores, but for various reasons do not want to develop logistics structures.
What is fulfillment about? How to choose a partner? What to look for when making decisions? You will find the answers in this text.
What is Fulfillment?
Fulfillment is a service thanks to which an online store transfers the handling of its own e-commerce orders to an external operator. The services of companies offering fulfillment are most often used by online stores:
- in which up to several thousand parcels are sent monthly,
- shops run by very small teams,
- Companies for which e-commerce is one of the areas of activity and do not want to focus on logistics.
What to look for when choosing a fulfillment partner?
To choose the right partner, you need to pay attention to several important details.
The first thing is to verify the conditions in which the goods will be stored.
Store owners cannot afford to sell poorly stored, damaged, damp, etc. goods. This can directly affect the quality of the items offered, and thus, frequent complaints and bad opinions about the online store.
The second area to pay attention to is customer service. This is one of the key aspects in business where the speed of response to any problems with orders is extremely important. You need to be sure that all the processes related to contacting you regarding orders not carried out in accordance with the arrangements, necessary assistance in contacts with courier companies and questions run smoothly.
Another aspect that needs to be taken into account is the integration of systems with an external warehouse. Here everything has to be buttoned up to the last button. After all, you cannot afford any oversights and errors in the flow of data between systems. Incompatible software can have a huge impact on both the quality of customer service and, above all, the correctness and speed of sending orders.
For many people running stores, an important factor is the handling of returns by a partner that offers fulfillment. As you know, returns are a constant element in online sales. It is therefore important that it is an offer of the company we are considering. Some sources say that returns account for as much as 35% of purchased goods.
Other areas are services and solutions that can improve the operation of the store and even enable its scaling. If your fulfillment provider offers next-day delivery services and international shipments, then the presence of these forms of delivery in the store's offer can convince potential customers to buy in your store. It is said that time is money, and the next day delivery option often determines the customer's choice of which store to use. The faster the delivery, the happier the customer.
International shipments, on the other hand, are a chance for your store to exist not only in Poland, but also abroad. It gives the opportunity to build the presence and brand awareness in subsequent markets, and thus allows for risk diversification and profit scaling when working with one logistics partner.
If all these conditions are met, the client has no choice but to sign the contract.
Fulfillment in e-commerce is the process of order fulfillment, which includes all steps from accepting goods to the warehouse, through placing an order by the customer, to delivering the product to him and possible handling of returns. Its characteristic feature is that it can be separated as a separate area related to logistics and outsourced to a logistics company that specializes in such activities.
Key aspects of online store service in the fulfillment model
The key aspects of fulfillment in stores operating in the e-commerce model are primarily activities related to the order processing process. This process includes the following steps:
1. Storage of goods in the logistics center
This stage begins with the acceptance of the delivery, during which the goods must be checked and properly distributed in the warehouse. Proper storage of products is crucial for effective fulfillment.
Adequate stock levels must be maintained in the warehouse so that orders can be filled quickly. This, of course, remains on the side of sales managers. Fulfillment is the outsourcing of logistics services related to the shipment of orders to the end recipient. It is also necessary to ensure adequate security and organization in the warehouse, and this is already the responsibility of the warehouse service of the logistics company that performs the fulfillment of the online store. Any company can introduce its regulations here. At EUROCOMMERCE, we distinguish 2 types of goods receipt into the warehouse - the customer chooses which model is suitable for him:
a) Acceptance to the warehouse on the basis of a notification - we verify the number of collective packages delivered to the warehouse and on this basis we accept the delivery in full. In a situation where, over time, it turns out that the actual quantities and stock levels do not match, the customer assumes responsibility for these discrepancies. Acceptance of delivery takes less time than the second option.
b) admission to the warehouse after full quantitative verification - the delivery is counted in full and any quantity discrepancies that occur later are the responsibility of the logistics center. Acceptance of delivery takes longer than in the first variant.
2. Completing and packing orders
After receiving an order in the system, employees must quickly find products in the warehouse and pack them in such a way that, on the one hand, it is economical, and on the other hand, it allows to protect the products against damage during transport. Packing online orders takes place under time pressure, because the so-called. cut off, i.e. the time of collection of parcels by courier companies, is fixed, and it is in the interest of the stores to send them as soon as possible.
3. Shipment of the order to the customer
Fast and reliable shipping is key to buyer satisfaction. It can be said that this is such a logistic customer service. Formally, it is part of the purchase process, but the client often evaluates it as a way to take care of the subject after the transaction itself. E-shops should offer various delivery options, such as courier, parcel locker or personal collection, so that customers can choose what best suits their needs. Working with a logistics center that provides fulfillment services, you often have more choice and much more flexibility in choosing the method of delivery of goods to your customers. Customers expect up-to-date information on the status of their order. That is why tracking and current information on the status of the order are very important. In EUROCOMMERCE, which also works with foreign carriers, the store does not have to communicate with carriers on its own. If disturbing or incomprehensible information appears in the tracking, the EUROCOMMERCE customer service department clarifies it directly at the source.
4. Returns handling
Dissatisfied customers can return the products. In practice, some industries struggle with high order return rates. Their service in the logistics center does not absorb the team as much as in their own warehouse.
E-commerce operates on the basis of an ecosystem of cooperating tools that allow for a quick exchange of information between individual systems. When considering a solution such as external logistics service, you should first of all verify whether the company offering fulfillment allows you to integrate the online store with the warehouse and the warehouse with other systems, such as baselinker.
The number of systems is growing along with the development of the store, when more and more extensive sales processes are implemented in the online store and new markets are served. It is crucial that various systems, such as the WMS warehouse system, the store system through which orders are received, as well as solutions that integrate sales from various channels, e.g. marketplace platforms, work coherently to ensure a fast and effective fulfillment process and not to let errors occur and inventory discrepancies.
What is important here is not only the correct operation of the system and providing the right data, although this is of course the most important issue from the point of view of the shipment. Proper processing and protection of personal data is also important here. The customers of the logistics center providing fulfillment are companies, i.e. online stores, but the customers of online stores are natural persons. This generates very large amounts of personal data, and their protection is an important element of the operation of any company.
The role of fulfillment in the online sales process
All the discussed aspects are crucial for effective fulfillment. And what is his role? Very important!
Fulfillment has a big impact on the final level of customer satisfaction. The owner of the online store outsources logistics processes to an external company, thus losing a direct impact on the customer experience resulting from the way the order is packed and the delivery time. All processes are carried out by employees of the logistics company responsible for the fulfillment of store orders.
Logistic support for online stores plays a key role in the modern e-commerce model, because it is a process that connects sellers and customers. Sellers - on their own or with the use of an external company, when running an online store, must effectively perform the processes described above as crucial for fulfillment in order to meet customer expectations and build their loyalty. This can contribute to success in e-commerce. A partner who removes this obligation from the seller and approaches the logistics of orders in a professional manner is an undoubted advantage of any business.
Are you looking for a proven partner in e-commerce logistics?
EUROCOMMERCE has been operating on the market since 2016. Get to know our processes ->>
EUROCOMMERCE działa na rynku od 2016 roku. Poznaj nasze procesy ->>