Revolutionizing E-Commerce Fulfillment
Fast and accurate e-commerce fulfillment has never been more important in today’s climate. According to Walker Sands’ Reinventing Retail survey, 69 percent of consumers are more likely to shop online if they have access to one-day shipping.
In the world of Amazon, Prime-eligible products experience an average sales uplift of more than 50 percent, and Prime members spend nearly twice as much as non-Prime shoppers, largely due to fast and free shipping. As these indicators make clear, every e-commerce business that cares about growth and customer satisfaction should be looking at the best ways to improve fulfillment speed, accuracy, and efficiency. It’s also why we recommend that e-commerce companies pay close attention to what our partners at Zebra Technologies are doing to help optimize fulfillment operations.
Technologies that boost efficiencies
Here are three technology solutions Zebra has developed to unlock new efficiencies for faster, more accurate fulfillment.
Radio frequency identification (RFID) in e-commerce is rapidly gaining ground due to its ability to provide real-time visibility into the location and status of products and inventory throughout the supply chain. With RFID, products can be tracked as they enter and leave a distribution center or specific locations such as a warehouse aisle. In fact, an entire pallet of products can be identified and tracked automatically, right down to the individual item. It’s all done remotely by using RFID-enabled labels and either a handheld or fixed RFID reader.
Each label contains a wireless radio transmitter that transmits the item ID, and the reader locates it and matches it with related product information in your database. This means you can identify, locate, and track products within seconds, without having to manually scan bar codes.
You can also complete an entire physical inventory in just minutes or hours, as opposed to only doing it a few times per year. It’s an ideal way to avoid out-of-stocks or replenishment delays that can cost you orders and customer satisfaction.
Smart Trailer Loading
Maximizing shipping efficiency means making optimal use of trailer and container capacity, but that can be difficult to do without real visibility into all your loading activity and available trailer space. However, Zebra’s SmartPack Trailer software has changed the game by using cameras, RFID, and beacons to calculate the most efficient loading plan for space usage and order unloading. It directs workers to the right location for every carton and confirms it’s in the right place on the right trailer.
SmartPack also provides real-time visibility into loading processes, so managers can support higher delivery volumes and better throughput by increasing infrastructure and workforce efficiency.
Voice-Directed and Multi-Modal Picking
Zebra has developed a complete multi-modal picking solution that combines a wrist-worn mobile computer, a wireless Bluetooth ring scanner, a headset, and third-party software. The system helps workers pick more orders with virtually flawless accuracy by keeping their hands free and providing intelligent voice-directed prompts as well as visual and audible cues.
Instead of having to juggle a pick list, a handheld barcode scanner or mobile computer, and bins or boxes of inventory, workers wear an Android touch mobile computer comfortably on their wrist. They use it to access orders and pick lists and get prompts from their picking software on-screen and through a Zebra Bluetooth headset. The cues direct them to the correct warehouse aisle and location, prompt them to scan and verify correct items with their wireless ring scanner, and ensure the entire fulfillment process is as streamlined, efficient, and accurate as possible.
Want to learn more about Zebra solutions for better e-commerce fulfillment? Contact us today for expert advice and recommendations.