How many times have you ordered multiple items together from an eCommerce website to only end up receiving each of them on a different day or in separate boxes? One of the most significant factors that contribute to a poor post-purchase customer experience is wrongly or poorly packed products in too large or too small packages as well as damaged goods.
Such problems not only cause an inconvenience to the customers but also the eCommerce business, as it adds to the cost of shipping, packing, transportation and ruins the end customer experience and thereby potentially negatively impacting customer retention and loyalty.
What is Order Consolidation?
If you’ve ever shopped on Amazon, you may have noticed an option to select a specific day to deliver all your products together on the same day during the checkout process. Let’s say you ordered five products, each from different vendors, and three of them can be grouped and sent to you together. You will get these three products together in one big box rather than having three separate boxes. Simply put, order consolidation involves shipping multiple individual orders together, saving significant shipping costs and time.
We are in an era where both customers and businesses are looking for ways to be more and more eco-friendly and budget-friendly. Order consolidation helps you reduce the amount of packing and shipping materials used and enables you to reduce your costs significantly, resulting in a better customer experience and minimal impact on the environment.
Benefits of Order Consolidation
Order consolidation is a win-win for everyone involved, including the retailers, shipping partners, and end customers. Let’s take a look at the benefits in detail.
Sustainable Shipping Solutions
From boxes and packing peanuts to tape and other packing materials, you will be able to save a lot when you ship multiple orders together. Add to that, if you’re already using eco-friendly packaging, you will only be saving more on dunnage costs and unnecessary shipping fees. As more products are shipped together, there is less fuel usage, resulting in lesser carbon emissions.
Less Risk of Damage
When you are shipping multiple items in different packages, there is a slim chance of the items getting damaged while in transit. When you ship the items together, there is less risk of the items sliding or moving during transit due to being packed more tightly, reducing the risk of damage. It’s also easier and cost-effective when you consider handling charges.
Improved Customer Experience
Often, when customers order multiple items together, they expect the products to be delivered simultaneously. When this doesn’t happen, they tend to be disappointed. Further, sometimes the orders might get delayed or even damaged during the shipping. Order consolidation is your best bet to prevent any of these situations from happening.
Improved Order Fulfillment Efficiency
As you spend less time packing multiple items, you can utilize that time instead to ensure the orders are packed efficiently and with no damage or errors. As you are packing and sending the orders together, it’ll get easier to track the orders too.
Implementing an Order Consolidation Strategy to Your eCommerce Business
Can all orders be consolidated? The answer is no. Especially when you offer international shipping, not every product can be shipped in one package. Some of the products might have a different set of rules for shipping, some might have to be sent with extra care, and so on. You need to have an efficient and clearly defined order consolidation strategy in place to ensure that every order is sent out properly.
Align Your Order Consolidation Strategy with Your Business Strategy
Your order consolidation strategy should be aligned with your business strategy and warehouse management system. It also has to be defined upfront so that everyone involved is aware of the process.
Review Shipping Requirements
If you are selling multiple products that could have different set of shipping rules and needs, you need to carefully review each and every technical and strategical requirements for the shipping.
Collaborate with Reliable Shipping and Fulfillment Partners
Order consolidation cannot be done all by yourself. You need cooperation and complete support from each and every stakeholder involved, including the distribution centers, 3PL fulfillment partners, shipping partners, and business partners.
Be Prepared to Analyze and Measure Data
You are introducing a new strategy to your current shipping process, and you should be prepared to face any issue, resolve them, and improve the process for the future.
Order consolidation happens when you are growing exponentially and have an established customer base. This also means that you need as much support and assistance you can get without having to break the bank. With the help of a reliable 3PL fulfillment partner like ShipBots, you can rest assured knowing that there is an efficient order consolidation strategy in place that could help reduce your shipping costs and time and positively impact your sales.
From maintaining and organizing your inventory to improving customer experience, we are equipped to handle all stages of your inventory management and order fulfillment. With the help of right tools, software and resources, order fulfillment and order consolidation can be done seamlessly with significant cost reduction and shipping time. Let us help you with your order consolidation strategy. Get in touch with us today.