The Ecommerce Lifecycle with AJ Khanijow

AJ Khanijow and Joe Lynch discuss the the ecommerce lifecycle. As the founder of an ecommerce fulfillment company, AJ works closely with ecommerce companies and is an expert in ecommerce fulfillment.

About AJ Khanijow

 AJ Khanijow is the founder of Fulfyld, a warehousing and fulfillment company based in Huntsville, Alabama. AJ and his team at Fulfyld specialize in e-commerce fulfillment. Prior to founding Fulfyld, AJ held business development and leadership positions in the manufacturing, technology, packaging, and consulting industries. AJ earned an industrial engineering degree from Auburn University.

 About Fulfyld

 Fulfyld is an e-commerce fulfillment and warehousing company based in Huntsville, Alabama. Fulfyld’s unique service offering includes the technology and customer service required by direct to consumer brands along with deep expertise in value-added services, product sourcing, and packaging that enables them to become an extension of their customer’s supply chain. Customers range from local to global companies, each with unique e-commerce fulfillment needs. Fulfyld integrates directly with e-commerce marketplaces and shopping carts to simplify your shipping process. Fulfyld ships same-day, every day, for one flat-rate.

Key Takeaways: The Ecommerce Lifecycle

The Ecommerce Lifecycle 

  1. The prospective customer comes to the website, usually using a computer or tablet, but increasing via phones. Prior to the visit, lots of things happened, website development, SEO, messaging, branding, etc..
  2. The prospective customer becomes a customer by adding something to their cart, buying something. The transaction begins.
  3. The customer’s transaction is processed via sales channels or online commerce platform that ecommerce companies use to run their business. For ecommerce, the sales channels include marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Jett, or Walmart.
  4. The customer’s transaction is converted into an order so that it can be provided to the fulfillment center for picking, packing, and shipping. Fulfillment centers typically used a warehouse management system (WMS) to manage orders.
  5. The fulfillment center associate receives the order via a printed sheet or handheld scanner. Next, the associate scans the product and adds it to a tote. The tote, which contains one product is taken to the packing area.
  6. Once the tote arrives in the packing area, the products within the tote are scanned again to ensure the right products got picked. The products are packed according to the size of the order and predefined packaging and packing guidelines.
  7. Lastly, the barcode scanner prints out the shipping label, and the shipping team associate adds the label to the package. In the background, the tracking information is communicated to the customer. The package is picked up, usually by USPS, FedEx, or UPS.
  8. Returns process
    • The consumer initiates a return online.
    • Once the return is approved, a shipping label is generated by the WMS or sales channel. The shipping label is emailed to the consumer.
    • The consumer repacks the product, adds the shipping label, and gives it to the small parcel provider.
    • The returned product is received and scanned into by the return center (often the same fulfillment center that shipped it).
    • The returned product is added back to inventory, discarded, or repaired.
    • Once the product is received and scanned, the inventory count is updated and the sales channel initiates a refund or exchange transaction.

Common problems in the Ecommerce Lifecycle

  • Ecommerce sellers don’t watch or monitor their orders closely enough which is an issue because sometimes there are glitches in systems and orders don’t move through the order process.
  • Managing barcodes and SKUs (duplicates) – details matter
  • Lack of inventory planning
    • If you run out of inventory, the marketplaces like Amazon penalize ecommerce sellers who run out of inventory. If your product isn’t available, your company will move lower on Amazon page rankings
    • Customer expectations have risen in regards to online buying and they expect the product they purchase to be available
  • To avoid problems ecommerce sellers must manage their SKUs – incorrect, duplicate, or too many SKUs can drive errors and additional costs.
  • Selecting the wrong fulfillment partner is another common mistake in the ecommerce business. Managing ecommerce fulfillment can be challenging and not every warehousing company is capable. There are a lot of new fulfillment centers that are new and lack the proper experience. Many of the older warehousing companies specialize in other industries and are not used to the high volume of ecommerce shipments or home deliveries. If your warehousing company specializes in automotive OEM, they might not be good for your Etsy customers.

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