If you work in eCommerce, you need to carefully think about how you fulfill customer orders. While the process can be pretty straightforward, if you want to maximize efficiency and cut down on labor-intensive tasks, it is a good idea to use integration. Here is a look at the key stages of an order’s lifecycle and the ways you can improve the order fulfillment process.
The Five Basic Steps of an Online Order’s Lifecycle
The process of an online order begins with a customer making a purchase and ends with him or her receiving the product. There are five basic steps in this order lifecycle:
- The customer finds the product he or she wants on your online platform and places an order.
- The order is processed. Often this is done via automation.
- Any personalized orders or orders that could be potentially fraudulent are flagged for review.
- The proper fulfillment process is assigned to the order.
- Order fulfillment is achieved by coordinating across an extended distribution system.
There are two potential additional steps. A customer may need to return the order, in which case, it needs to be scanned back into your system. Once you have the returned order, the next step is to issue a refund to the customer.
How Integration Is Helping Businesses to Streamline the Lifecycle
Each stage of the order lifecycle is crucial. To ensure each stage is successful, integration is essential. Therefore, you should embrace software systems that can manage and automate one or more stages in the order lifecycle. If you use a single software platform that enables seamless integration, you can more easily optimize the whole order lifecycle. There are also plenty of pre-built vendor integrations available.
For instance, if you need to integrate your eCommerce platform with the company Sports South, you can use the SparkShipping API to automate the key stages of an order’s lifecycle. That includes synchronizing products, updating inventory, sending orders, and updating each stage of tracking the order. Find out more about the Sports South integration and other integrations available from SparkShipping so you can start streamlining the lifecycle of orders.
How to Integrate Workflow Automation
Before you decide to use integration to automatically process your online orders, you need to consider the various stages to integrate workflow automation to its optimum potential. Begin by identifying tasks that are too repetitive and time-consuming. By finding bottlenecks in your daily operations, you can remove them with the right automation solution. Next, define the goals you want to achieve by a designated time frame. For instance, you may want to maximize efficiency. That could involve training staff on how to use automation tools to their full ability. Finally, it is pivotal you measure your progress. If you have implemented integration and you are still not achieving the required results, look back at your process to identify where the problem lies.
Why is workflow automation important?
You want your eCommerce business to be as smooth and error-free as possible. As you should now be aware, workflow automation for orders is important if you want to achieve a seamless order lifecycle. Providing a smooth and robust order process means you can better compete with other eCommerce stores. Whatever area of eCommerce you work in, you are sure to have a multitude of competitors, so it really is vital that you use the best integration for your order fulfillment if you want to stay ahead of your competitors. When customers know your order fulfillment process is reliable, you are sure to get a good percentage of return customers and receive more positive feedback online, thus allowing you to make your eCommerce business more successful.