Keen to speed up your order fulfillment process and boost customer satisfaction? Order picking can take up a huge chunk of time if the system includes unnecessary steps. And it all begins with pick lists. This post will walk you through what a pick list is, and how to create them really easily when you're selling from multiple channels.
Essentials of a pick list
A pick list is a document that tells you which items you need to take out of your inventory to fulfill orders. It typically includes:
- Product SKUs
- Item locations in the warehouse
- Variations (for example, whether the order is for blue or red sneakers)
- Product images
- Order quantity
Pick lists are a particularly good idea for retailers dealing with large order volume, a large amount of inventory, or a high number of products per order.
In general, they're great for any eCommerce business wanting to keep the process organized by making it possible to pick, pack and dispatch at the same time. Great when selling from more than one online location!
Challenges of stock picking in multichannel eCommerce
It's not enough to only sell from your web store nowadays. Customers expect you to go where they are so you need to pop up on marketplaces too (Amazon, eBay, Etsy). And shoppers aren't very forgiving, and will happily turn their back on you if your business doesn't live up to expectations. They've got a lot of options and they will go where they get great service.
But it's not all doom and gloom. Successfully managing your business across all channels does pay off. Especially when we consider findings like these:
- 75% of consumers surveyed said they would return to a company with excellent service
- 56% would recommend the company to family and friends
- 33% would spend more with a business who offers amazing service
Adding more selling channels to your brand does add to your profit margins of course. But if you don't have an effective order management system in place, it can do more damage to your business than good. Because one of the big (if not the biggest) expectation online shoppers have is fast, error-free delivery; that's a lot of pressure to pick orders as quickly as possible. And the logistics can be a nightmare when you have orders coming in from several places.
Veeqo makes the point that "70% of labor time when processing customer orders is taken up by just picking the products."
And if the picking process is chaotic, it could potentially eat into more time and cause mistakes.
Cisco-Eagle breaks it down even further:
"60% of the average picker's time is spent walking. Not picking, not packing, not checking for quality and accuracy – walking. This is an activity that cannot add value to your operation or to your customers, so you should strive to eliminate it whenever possible. Not only does it waste time, it makes people tired, and tends to cause a loss in focus and can increase error rates."
If you're picking your Amazon orders separately from your eBay orders, and you're picking your web store orders separately too, that creates a lot of unnecessary extra work and tired legs. Which has a knock-on effect on your customer service. Which has a knock-on effect on your brand reputation. Not good.
Can I use the same picking list for eBay and Amazon orders?
This question gets asked a lot. And the answer is yeah, you can. There is a way to bring together all your orders from all your various channels and create a 'master' pick list. Order management software can do this, among many other things.
We'll walk you through how easy pick lists are to create at ChannelGrabber:
You can customize your pick list depending on your preferences, as seen below.
Select the orders that need picking.
Simply click on Pick List to create it.
You can now start picking your orders!
And because our software allows access to as many team members as you need, who can all log in at the same time, we have a fail safe to protect against the same orders being picked and dispatched twice.
Your team members can create their own workload, or batches of orders that they are solely responsible for. And other members logging in can see all of the batches and which orders are currently being processed, cutting the risk of picking and dispatch errors.
Keen to make easy pick lists a part of your business?