Order management, inventory management, order fulfillment…the list goes on.
Being an ecommerce merchant means keeping a lot of juggling balls in the air – especially when trying to delight online shoppers that are increasingly difficult to impress in the age of Amazon and instant gratification.
So, how can director-to-consumer brands use the fulfillment process to enhance, rather than diminish the customer experience?
There is a way: It’s called Whiplash.
Our proprietary ecommerce fulfillment platform offers our customers best-in-class technology and automation to streamline workflows, increase visibility, and gain more control over the fulfillment process – all in one easy-to-use interface.
So without further ado, here are five ways that the platform can improve the customer experience:
Without seamless integrations between your selling channels and management systems, it’s impossible to create a smooth ecommerce operation. Important order data can get lost in translation or delayed from reaching the warehouse. This means slower order processing and fulfillment – and unhappy customers.
Online shoppers have higher expectations than ever for rapid and hassle-free delivery. Even a minor delay in fulfillment workflows can result in hours or even days being added to the delivery timeframe.
When studies have found that 69% of consumers are much less likely to shop with a retailer again if their order is not delivered within two days of the given delivery date, there’s little room for error.
Whiplash’s open API programming enables our platform to connect seamlessly with a variety of best-in-class ecommerce platforms and management tools, including Shopify and Skubana. This enables you to access real-time information about orders, shipping rates, inventory levels, and returns – all from one easy-to-use interface.
Find out more about our integration partners here.
How you communicate with your customers after a purchase, matters – perhaps even more than how you speak to them pre-purchase.
Why? Because consumers know that your ultimate goal is to sell them something. If you stay just as attentive and reachable during the post-purchase phase, it’s a sign that your brand is truly customer centric.
If all they get is radio silence, It’s no secret what that signifies. And this isn’t good for customer retention.
Amid raging delivery anxiety and the expectation for seamless touchpoints throughout the shopping journey, merchants are under pressure to offer swift and consistent updates about delivery.
With Whiplash’s email confirmation tool, merchants can use advanced automation to free up their customer care team and create a valuable post-purchase branding opportunity.
Set order confirmation emails to trigger the moment a customer places an order – no manual intervention required. You can even embed a unique return link so that customers don’t need to contact you first, making the returns process even more seamless.
But best of all, Whiplash enables you to customize your template to better reflect your brand aesthetic. Add your logo, brand colors, and text to create a consistent brand experience from end to end.
Many merchants feel anxious about the prospect of outsourcing ecommerce fulfillment to a third party. They want to free up time to focus on growing their business, but not at the cost of losing creative control over the fulfillment process.
With Whiplash’s Order Rules, merchants can achieve this same flexibility and responsiveness as self-fulfillment – but with added bonus of being able to scale quickly and avoid fulfillment errors.
So, what are Order Rules?
Order Rules are a unique feature of the Whiplash platform that gives merchants unparalleled control and flexibility over the fulfillment process.
‘Rules’ are certain actions that will trigger when certain criteria are present in a customer order, such as a specific SKU, order status, shipping method, or destination. Order Rules will override your regular workflow, enabling you to create a highly customized fulfillment strategy.
Order Rules are divided into Packing and Routing rules. Using a combination of these rules, you can enhance the customer experience and maximize promotional opportunities for your brand.
With Whiplash’s Order Rules, you can:
“The Whiplash platform has been the ultimate trump card for Moda Operandi. The ability to integrate so seamlessly with our online store has given us a level of flexibility and control that we’ve never had before. By setting custom Order Rules for packing and routing, we can make sure that our most valued customers receive the service they expect – every time.”
Nikhil Soares, ecommerce Supply Chain and Operations Executive for Moda Operandi
For more on how you can make the most of Order Rules, check out our full post.
Managing inventory levels is a major pain point for many merchants – and for their customers.
If you suddenly find that you don’t have enough stock to fulfill outstanding orders or can’t identify which facility has the inventory to fulfill an order the fastest, this results in huge delays to fulfillment.
Moreover, poor inventory visibility increases the likelihood of excess and dead stock acclimating in your warehouse, not to mention damaged or defective products that aren’t identified until they arrive with your customer. This undermines confidence in your ability to deliver a hassle-free experience – and many customers will not be coming back.
The average U.S. retail operation has inventory accuracy of just 63% – barely a pass rate. But if you’re going to foster repeat purchasing behavior, this can’t be anything less than an A.
Whiplash’s action-based two-way integrations ensure that your available inventory is always up to date, with levels adjusted in real-time whenever an item is purchased or returned.
Our inventory tracking capabilities also prevent merchants from running into nasty surprises that affect fulfillment. Set up custom notifications to alert you on everything from low inventory levels to an unexpected return, enabling you to take action quickly to maintain stellar customer care.
Find out how Shopify merchants can gain best-in-class inventory visibility with Whiplash.
“Before partnering with Whiplash there were some services we weren’t able to offer, such as in-store returns. This added a lot of friction to the customer experience. Integrated inventory management has been a real game-changer for the Calzedonia brand – and our ability to meet consumer expectations.”
Marcello Veronesi, CEO of Calzedonia USA.
It’s easy enough to manage orders when you only have a handful coming in each day. But as your ecommerce business grows, it’s impossible to keep managing orders effectively using ad hoc methods like emails or excel spreadsheets.
Scalability is one of the toughest parts of being a direct-to-consumer brand. Managing fulfillment in-house is a great way to get started and stay in touch with day-to-day happenings. But it’s all too easy to become a victim of your own success.
As keeping track of orders becomes more difficult, it’s far more likely the mistakes and delays are going to occur that result in negative customer experiences. Unless you can see all your outstanding orders in one convenient place, issues with order processing and fulfillment aren’t going to be picked up until it’s too late.
Whiplash‘s intuitive order dashboard allows your team to have total control over your orders. Search and filter for individual orders in seconds by SKUs, destination, or fulfillment stage for the perfect overview of your operation in real-time. Pause or cancel orders with a single click in response to a customer’s amendment or change of mind. It’s the perfect solution for customer-centric order management.
No matter whether you’re an emerging or an established merchant, the Whiplash platform can offer your business advanced automation that makes it easy to support your customer’s needs. From a customizable fulfillment process to full visibility over your orders and inventory, the Whiplash platform is a best-in-class technology partner for ecommerce brands that are ready to scale.
You can find out more about our ecommerce technology here.