Picked, packed and dispatched
Once the order is received, it then needs to be picked, packed and dispatched. Picking refers to taking the product off the shelf where it has been stored. You will also have to agree with the warehouse team how stocks will be tracked. Will the stock level be set in your D2C software system? Or if you already have a stock tracking system, how will the ‘picking’ of a D2C order integrate with that system?
The ‘packing’ is then dependent on the nature of the product you are selling. Does the product already come in a box that is transportation friendly? Or does it need to be packed into another container? What if there are multiple products in the order, will you send them out as separate items or will you collate them in to a single box?
If you are setting this system up, you need to work out all these options up front. You also have to make sure that you have ordered in sufficient boxes and materials for packaging. You should also consider if your product is fragile or affected by temperature and make sure your packaging solution supports this.
The last mile
The next step in the process is the movement of the goods from the central story location to the consumer’s doorstep.
This is often referred to as the last mile, and we have a whole post on the last mile cost and opportunity specifically if you want to read more.
Once packed, the product needs to be labelled with the delivery details. The order details should have come through from the D2C software. You should set up the integration between the inbound order email and the label printing.
Dispatch and tracking
Once packed and labelled, the order then goes into dispatch and delivery. In some cases, the warehouse provider and delivery service might be the same provider. In other cases it might different. Either way, it’s likely that the package will require a unique ID tracker from the delivery company which can be used to track the delivery.
Ideally, the systems integrate so that the consumer is also sent this ID number when the order is dispatched so they can track when their order will be delivered.
Once payment is accepted, your order management process kicks in. This covers all the actions that need to happen to make sure the product gets to the purchaser.
For the purposes of this article, we assume the sale of a physical product rather than software or a service. These, in theory are much simpler to manage. We also assume that the physical product is already produced and stored somewhere like a warehouse.