Results for 'ecommerce fulfillment'

DIY Efficient Ecommerce Order Fulfillment

Not every ecommerce store is big enough to require the services of a fulfillment center like ShipWire, or…

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Not every ecommerce store is big enough to require the services of a fulfillment center like ShipWire, or Amazon Fulfillment. Many Shopify merchants handle the packaging and shipping of orders themselves. DIY order fulfillment means you have substantially more control over the process, and you should constantly work to optimize your workflow. 

Here are six tips you can implement to help make your fulfillment as efficient as possible.

1. Set Up a Routine

Get into the habit of fulfilling orders on a regular schedule. If you fulfill orders everyday, make sure to do it at the same time each day. This helps take away the drudgery that many people feel when fulfilling orders. When you do it the same time each day it becomes a task like brushing your teeth, after a while it just's second nature. This becomes particularly useful when you need to get other things done during the day. Block off a set time when you handle fulfillment and make sure to get it done during this time. Like any other task, having a set timeframe to finish your packaging will make you work more quickly in order to finish on time. 
Another advantage of fulfilling orders based on a set routine is that you will feel generally more confident that your orders were shipped correctly. When you are rushing to ship out a bunch of orders you've been putting off for a week or two, it's easy to overlook something. When you fulfill and ship your orders on a regular cycle, you can feel confident that everything has gone smoothly and no one was forgotten.
Fulfilling orders is a skill just like any other. People rarely become great at something by putting bursts of effort in every couple of weeks. We learn to be better by consistently performing the task at hand. Keep to the routine and it will certainly pay off. In no time, you will be fulfilling orders like a pro.

2. Don't Let Special Requests Bottleneck Your Flow

If you are packaging a large number of orders, you'll surely get into a good flow. This is when your efficiency is at it's peak and you should do whatever you can to avoid disturbing it. Don't let special requests or weird orders bottleneck your fulfillment flow. If you have to leave your fulfillment zone, spend an excessive amount of time, or any other activity that will put a kink in your packaging rhythm, skip the order and return to it once all of the regular ones are finished. When you have to switch mind sets to complete little tasks required by outliers you greatly decrease your efficiency. 

3. Define Your Workspace

It's hard to be as productive as a fulfillment center since you don't have a warehouse dedicated to the task at hand. You can help level the playing field by creating a designated space for you fulfillment tasks. It's terribly difficult to package orders if you have to move things from one side of you couch to the other. This doesn't mean you need to own a dedicated office just for fulfillment. What you need to do, though, is clear off enough space to comfortably do your packaging before you start. Eliminating the obstacles that force you to fall out of your packing rhythm will instantly increase your efficiency.

4. Study Your Fulfillment Process

Every step in the fulfillment process is an opportunity to make it even more efficient. This is the secret to insanely efficient organizations. They actively spend time identifying weak points and make noticeable improvements whenever possible. The more you are conscious of the steps required to complete your oder fulfillment, the greater the chance of improving it are. Make it your goal to refine something each week and you will see the improvements in your order fulfillment in no time. 

5. Grab a Friend

If at all possible, you should find someone to help you with your fulfillment duties. Nothing makes a not-so-appealing task seem even less glamourous than being the only one who has to complete it. Having more than one person fulfill orders also reduces the likelihood of taking excessive breaks and loosing focus. When there are multiple people working on packing orders, no one wants to be the person slowing down the process. 

6. Try Using a Shopify App

If you're a Shopify merchant, there are plenty of apps available to make DIY order fulfillment easy. For example, PixelPrinter is a free lightweight option that generates and prints invoices and packing slips and other documentation needed for shipping.

Shipwire opens a new Canadian warehouse

At the beginning of this year we added support for Shipwire order fulfillment to Shopify. If you are…

At the beginning of this year we added support for Shipwire order fulfillment to Shopify. If you are still manually picking, packing, and shipping your orders then you definitely need to take another look at Shipwire. Even more so if you are expecting a big holiday surge of sales, and you don’t know if you can handle the volume. shipwire.com has also been given a fresh new look just in time for the holidays.

Better yet, is that Canadians can now get in on the pain-free fulfillment solution that Shipwire offers by sending goods to their new Canadian warehouse in Toronto, Ontario. Utilizing Shopify for your ecommerce software, coupled with our dead simple Shipwire order fulfillment integration really can help remove the stress from your holiday season.

Attention Contract Developers: Shopify Wants You!

Shopify has some big customers with online stores that need apps written for them. We've been getting a…

Shopify has some big customers with online stores that need apps written for them. We've been getting a lot of custom work requests from customers who need applications for their ecommerce website's fulfillment workflow - that is, making sure the right things get put into the right boxes, and sending them to the right people for the right price. We also get requests for other things that online shops need: analytics, promotions, CRM-integration-jazz, or some kind of automatic client-retention. But for now, I'd like to talk about fulfillment.

Fulfillment: it's that part of the shopping cart transaction where the order has been placed and paid for, and now it's time to send something to the customer. This sort of app is a web application that will typically talk to a couple of APIs:

  • The Shopify API, which will have the relevant data from the shop, most notably information about the order that was placed,
  • Webhooks (see Dave Underwood's Syncing with a Store tutorial in the Shopify Wiki to find out what they are. Webhooks are used for about 90% of all Shopify apps),
  • and some fulfillment API, which the app will use to get the order to the customer.

If you're looking for some contract programming work writing software that does useful stuff for reliable customers and you're a reliable, responsive type who can be counted on to write stuff that people need to make their businesses go, Shopify would like to pay you for your services. The application you're writing will be interacting with APIs, which means that you're free to use the programming languages, frameworks and technologies you prefer, as long as you can solve the problem. And because this project is about fulfilling ecommerce orders and not socially networked cat pictures, this  contract will pay nicely.

Is this the sort of development you can do? If so, drop me a line at joey@shopify.com and let's talk.

This article also appears in Global Nerdy.

Inside An Ecommerce Entrepreneur's Brain

Running a successful ecommerce business requires a special set of skills. Whether it's SEO, social media, customer service,…

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Running a successful ecommerce business requires a special set of skills.

Whether it's SEO, social media, customer service, shipping and fulfillment or email marketing, often you need to be a jack of all trades.

What are some of the areas you find yourself spending the most time on in your business? Do you think all of these tasks belong here? Are there any we missed? Let us know in the comments.

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Spare Change, 04/01/08 edition

Welcome to the latest version of Spare Change, the rebranded “ecommerce roundup”. As usual, here’s where I bring…

Welcome to the latest version of Spare Change, the rebranded “ecommerce roundup”. As usual, here’s where I bring you all the latest interesting ecommerce news on the vast Web.

Tech News World has posted an article on E-Marketing: Cashing In on MeCommerce. They see “a mashup between ecommerce and social networks as the Holy Grail for members, advertisers and social networks.

“The demographics of the social networks are changing; the relationships between the members are changing; and thus, the applications from the developer communities on social networks are changing. New breeds of social networking widgets are giving social network members the opportunity to instantly participate in ecommerce without the headaches of back-end fulfillment such as payment processing, fulfillment and customer service. People naturally seek out products and make buying decisions based on recommendations from their friends, not necessarily from third-party banner ads and advertising placements. The ability to create a fully ecommerce-enabled site for total transaction management, all without any involvement from the user’s perspective, is a new way to conduct ecommerce. It’s more like MeCommerce, from me to you, with a plethora of vendors’ products to recommend on your social networking profile.” Read the rest at Tech News World.

Credit Crunch is a Boost for ecommerce, according to Simon Crisp, director of Shopsafe.co.uk, who notes that consumers are “increasingly searching for bargains online in a climate of restrictive lending conditions.” Consumers are “looking to squeeze every penny out of their budget”, and ecommerce vendors are responding with discount codes and vouchers “that cut prices by ten or 15 per cent, he explains, noting the importance of such strategies as funding conditions grow increasingly stringent.”

HeroTurko.net has come up with a list of "20 of the best ecommerce websites". They list their picks for “well designed, standards-compliant Ecommerce stores. These are a tricky site to get right and design can give way to conversions, which is after all, the reason they are there – to make money.” What do you think of their picks?

Finally, ecommerce guide has published a very valuable guide for this time of year: a Guide to Making Online Sales Tax Compliance Less Taxing. For those of you in the USA, this may be an exceptionally useful – and well timed – article.

Got any recommendations for Spare Change? Email me at shannon at jadedpixel dot com!

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