Order fulfillment is the process of receiving an order until it lands in the customer's hands. For wholesale distribution, manufacturing and other companies that take order remotely, the order entry method is often deemed as "complicated" because they don't take time to work with their B2B e-commerce customers and figure out which method best suits their business. Vendors that use order fulfillment apps don't have the experience to guide their customers and are unable to take a stance in the way that their tool is built. This creates a circumstance that is a disservice to most B2B order fulfillment centric organizations.
A typical order fulfillment process tackles customers placing orders from their trusted vendor either in person, on the phone, via email or by using a remote sales order entry app. In some cases, the order fulfillment process includes a re-key into a back-office system. Once a distributor receives an order, the customer is sent a notification, and the order is then sent to the warehouse where it gets picked, packed and shipped.
Amazon is Not the Gold Standard for B2B E-Commerce
The area that wholesale distributors, manufacturers and other organizations have perfected begins just after the order has been received. Now that mobile technology exists, most of these companies are beginning to attempt to perfect the order entry part of the equation. The first place most B2B e-commerce companies look at is Amazon fulfillment services. The company's app is great for customers while they shop, but a typical B2B sales order process doesn't allow for window shopping. The customer knows what they need and the must order it quickly, without any hassle.
B2B e-commerce organizations can take the upper hand with order fulfillment companies by taking the time to understand what their customer wants during the order entry process. It's important to walk a fine line of giving enough information to ensure the customer knows what they are ordering and that options exist, but not release too much information that is slows down the order entry process.
Consider Amazon's B2C application. It's loaded with product images, reviews, alternative selections, sharing capabilities, saving and more. The leading B2C applications utilized by most modern B2B organizations use simple, basic ordering methodologies. They understand the need to take orders quickly. Customers that are purchasing for their business want a fast and easy order entry so that they can get back to work. Having multiple product images and product reviews only slow down and confuse the point of the application.
Three Clicks or Less
When it comes to speeding up order fulfillment, work with companies that can help build your order fulfillment process that use less steps and have less options. For an order entry app built for wholesale distributors, t"hree click clicks or less to place an order" is the mantra that should guide your processes. Build your quick order entry process to be simple, and only give the information that is needed to take an order from the lowest common denominator technology user. This will ensure that the app and processes are not only adopted, but utilized quickly and often.