[Updated post from July 13, 2021]
Outsourcing fulfillment provides a long list of benefits to your e-commerce business. In addition to time and labor savings, a reliable 3PL enables you to weather peaks and troughs in consumer demand more effectively. With your provider’s infrastructure and expertise at your disposal, you can transform the fulfillment process from a burden into a competitive advantage.
But there’s one thing that holds many e-commerce brands back from partnering with a 3PL; the fear of losing control over the brand experience.
Control over the customer journey from end to end is one of the biggest competitive advantages of D2C retailers. Instead of relying on wholesalers to showcase brand identity and products, D2Cs have a direct line to customers via their own sales and marketing channels. This gives D2C brands the ability to build a consistent brand identity and voice across multiple touchpoints, from a customer’s initial entry into their website to the moment of delivery.
By shaping every step of the order fulfillment process, D2Cs can inspire high levels of brand trust. Loyal customers know exactly what they’re getting, and can make their voices heard on what they like and dislike about the brand experience.
This unparalleled level of control can make outsourcing e-commerce fulfillment nerve-wracking for brands. They want to free up time and energy to focus on growing their business – but not at the cost of losing what makes their brand unique.
But what if there was a way to achieve this level of flexibility and responsiveness, while still taking advantage of your fulfillment provider’s expertise?
Ryder E-commerce’s proprietary technology has you covered with Order Rules, an advanced automation solution that enables memorable brand experiences without the logistical headaches.
Order Rules are a key feature of Ryder E-commerce’s proprietary Whiplash platform. It gives customers extensive customization capabilities during the order fulfillment and shipping process.
The Order Rules functionality uses rules-based automation to trigger actions when certain criteria are present within a customer order. When triggered, Order Rules will override the regular fulfillment workflow and direct warehouse operators to carry out the activities specified by the Rule.
Criteria that can be subject to Order Rules on the Whiplash platform include:
Order Rules are divided into two types: Routing and Packing. Using these two kinds of rules, you have an unprecedented amount of control and flexibility over the customer experience.
Routing Rules are triggered when an order is first created or items are added/removed from an order, meaning they fire before any other Rules. A Routing Rule gives users control over what warehouses fulfill which orders and how orders are shipped.
Packing Rules are triggered during the packing process after an order has been processed and routed to the intended facility. The purpose of Packing Rules is to allow users to specify the use of certain packaging or add promotional items to customer orders.
These rules will appear as recommendations to warehouse operators through the Whiplash interface. Any product is labeled ‘promotional’ for the purposes of a Packing Rule, making it possible to add everything from free samples to gifts with purchase to your orders.
Building memorable and consistent brand experiences helps to facilitate deeper customer engagement with your brand. With the power of Whiplash Order Rules, your business can launch all kinds of engaging initiatives to help attract and retain customers:
Exclusivity is a powerful drawcard in retail – especially when customers get access to a memorable experience as well as a sought-after product.
Influencer marketing is a highly effective form of word-of-mouth marketing (WoM) that increases brand reach into key consumer segments. When you’re working with an influencer, a positive first impression is vital. Assembling an eye-catching influencer kit with a great unboxing experience is the best way to get influencers excited by your brand – and more likely to share the experience with their followers via social media.
An influencer kit of perfume samples by Besame Cosmetics.
Order Rules enable users to set up a Packing Rule that designates premium packaging for SKUs that are subject to influencer campaigns or special promotions. A multi-item influencer kit can also be set up as its own SKU in your inventory for kitting purposes, ensuring a seamless fulfillment process.
No matter how carefully you vet your suppliers, poor quality control is an ongoing risk. Customers receiving defective or damaged products are bad news for your brand’s reputation. This is why it’s essential to be able to quickly halt or recall a batch of orders when an issue becomes apparent.
With Order Rules, users can take control of the situation in just a few clicks. Simply create a Routing Rule that pauses all outstanding orders containing a troublesome SKU, allowing you to add replacement items before an order is shipped.
Everyone loves to receive a freebie with their order – especially when it’s been carefully selected to complement their purchase. However, manually including personalized free samples in your orders can be very difficult for brands to scale.
A manual process of choosing samples is impractical and adds a lot of time to the fulfillment process. Using Order Rules, you can decide which items should be added to orders with what SKUS, allowing you to select relevant offerings that tempt customers into making future purchases.
Packing slips are a key touchpoint that builds on the relationships you’re establishing with your customers. Brand consistency is vital throughout the end-to-end experience, and post-purchase communications are a common place for this to fall.
By combining Whiplash’s Order Rules with our templates feature, you can set up specific packing slips to be used for different kinds of orders. Have a certain message for your influencer kits, or for loyalty members who are being given an early preview of your latest product. The options are limitless!
As an e-commerce brand, there will be times when speed is of the essence even more than usual. For example, you might want to capitalize on certain trends by shipping products faster (think boosting sales of umbrellas during a particularly wet spell of weather). You also upgrade shipping to reward your most loyal, high-spending customers. In sum, being able to segment your customers with faster shipping options is an immensely valuable tool to boost brand loyalty.
Order Rules enable you to seamlessly designate rapid shipping for certain SKUs, delivery destinations, and order values, without needing to manually make changes to every order.
But don’t just take our word for it; our customers are currently using Order Rules to revolutionize their fulfillment processes and increase customer satisfaction.
For luxury fashion marketplace Moda Operandi, a stellar customer experience is a must. Whether it’s expedited delivery for loyal customers or premium packaging for couture garments, Moda has leveraged the power of Order Rules to meet the expectations of their high-end clientele:
“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,” says Soares. “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, e-commerce Supply Chain and Operations Executive for Moda Operandi.