Everyday millions of customers click the “buy” button in an e-commerce store. A few days later they see a box on their front porch and experience that little tickle of elation knowing their order has arrived.
In between is a complicated process of “order fulfillment” and “inventory management”. This is an aspect of an e-commerce process, that when running smoothly, should remain invisible and seamless to a customer’s experience.
Here are a few elements to running a successful order fulfillment process for your craft beer e-commerce store:
Same-day order processing: When a customer selects 2-day shipping, the countdown starts from the moment they click the buy button. We’re not saying this is fair, but we are saying that perception is everything. Get orders shipped quickly.
Accuracy: Customers need to get the exact items they ordered. Pulling the correct SKU from inventory cuts down on the expense of returns. Order accuracy is dependent on a detailed process to store and track inventory that includes a well baked system of checks and balances for accurate pick packs.
Branded boxes, mailing labels, and packing tape: Use every opportunity to express your brand. Amazon does a great job with this, even using it as a promotional tool, like for Amazon Fire. Applying your brewery’s brand to the packaging is another way to gain more impressions during its journey.
Additional value: Along the lines of continuing to delight customers, like Hubspot, use the shipping package as a vehicle to provide additional value. Include pre-printed return mailing labels, offer discounts or promotions to encourage future orders, or find other businesses to co-brand and partner. This gives these partners access to your customer base, while cultivating a potential revenue share. Just make sure that any co-branding is a fit. BlueApron’s been taking advantage of this. So has WineClub, by providing pre-loaded gift cards in BackCountry.com shipping boxes.
Thinking holistically about an ideal e-commerce experience and mapping that to the goals and resources of the brewery’s brand will ensure the program will earn high marks from very happy customers.