Order Accuracy: How to Increase It and Improve the Customer Experience
Order accuracy affects both your customers and your business. Learn key tips for increasing it within your operation.
Get the right packages to the right customers with Circuit for Teams.
It’s a fact of life: Nobody likes it when they get a package and rip it open to find something they didn’t order.
Whether it’s the right item in the wrong size or a completely different order altogether, it’s a bummer for the customer — which makes it a bummer for your business.
When a customer gets the wrong order, customer satisfaction takes a significant hit.
Think about it: Would you be likely to order from a company again after they sent you the wrong order?
Plus, as a business, you have to think about reverse logistics and the exchange process to get them the right order.
In other words, inaccurate orders are massive headaches that can negatively affect your profitability.
In this post, I’ll discuss order accuracy, how to measure it, and offer some tips for improving it.
- Order accuracy is a KPI that measures how many orders your business accurately fulfills.
- To calculate order accuracy, divide the number of accurately fulfilled orders by the total number of orders and multiply by 100.
- Successful direct-to-consumer retailers aim for rates above 95%.
- A low order accuracy rate can lead to lower customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- Improving your warehousing, inventory management, and packing process can help increase order accuracy.
What is order accuracy?
Order accuracy is a key performance indicator (KPI) that measures the percentage of orders your business fulfills without errors.
Errors could include missing items, incorrect items, or the incorrect quantity or product.
Order accuracy plays a key role in customer satisfaction, so it’s important to pay attention to this key metric.
Every time a new customer has a bad experience, it can diminish customer loyalty.
Customers are less likely to come back to your business after they’ve had a negative experience.
If you offer a great experience, on the other hand, they’re more likely to order from you again.
An example of order accuracy
Let’s say you have an eCommerce business that sells clothing.
A customer orders several items, including two of the same shirt in different colors, two pairs of the same pants in different sizes, and two pairs of the same socks.
The picker at the warehouse takes their time selecting the items and boxing them.
They make sure the two shirts are the right size and color. They also double-check that they’re sending the right pants sizes.
Lastly, they confirm the quantity of the socks: two.
They package the order with the appropriate mailing and marketing materials and pass it onto the shipping carrier.
The shipping carrier gets the package to the right geographic location and the last-mile deliverer drops it off at the correct address.
By using in-house delivery for the last-mile delivery, you can have more control over this crucial part of the order fulfillment process.
This can help you ensure the package is delivered on time and to the correct address, which can help build customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Congratulations! You’ve completed the fulfillment process and completed an accurate order.
How do you measure order accuracy?
Order accuracy measures how many accurate orders you fulfill out of the total number of orders.
Any orders with issues, such as mispicks, incorrect deliveries, or missed items, should be counted as incorrect orders.
Only count orders with absolutely no problems as “accurate.”
In the next section, we’ll show you how to calculate this important metric.
How to calculate order accuracy
Order accuracy is a metric calculated as a percentage. So, how do you calculate order accuracy?
Let’s break it down.
First, you’ll need the number of accurate orders and your total number of orders.
Take the number of accurately fulfilled orders and divide it by the total orders. Then, multiply this number by 100 to get a percentage. Here’s the equation to use:
Order accuracy rate = (Total orders fulfilled accurately / Total orders fulfilled) x 100
The result is the percentage of orders you’ve fulfilled accurately.
For example, let’s say you fulfilled 280 orders and ten were inaccurate orders. You’d calculate order accuracy like this:
(270/280) x 100 = 96.4%
What is a good order accuracy rate?
Of course, you want your order accuracy rate to be as close to 100 percent as possible.
But an order accuracy rate of 100 percent would be perfection — which, let’s face it, isn’t really achievable.
You can make changes to get your accuracy rate close, but a human error or technological mistake may happen every once in a while.
If your order accuracy rate falls below 95 percent, you risk not keeping up with your competition.
Thinking about how to decrease your error rate and improve your order management can help you get your order accuracy above 95 percent.
7 steps to improve order accuracy
It’s important to improve order accuracy to increase customer satisfaction and brand recognition.
Customers may see your brand as trustworthy and reliable when you routinely fulfill orders correctly.
They’re more likely to recommend your business to friends and family and leave positive feedback on your website, which can help boost your public image.
Here are seven tips that can help you improve your order accuracy.
1. Gather and analyze data
To see where you can improve, you must first know your current order accuracy rate.
Track and analyze your order fulfillment and accuracy data to get a clear idea.
You can compare your order accuracy rate between months and weeks to see if certain times or factors affect the accuracy rate.
However, if your rate is often below 95 percent, it’s time to make some changes to your operations.
2. Set achievable order accuracy goals
Now that you’ve gathered your data, it’s time to set new goals to increase order accuracy.
These goals must be achievable.
We’ve all set impossible New Year’s resolutions, like going to the gym every single day when we haven’t stepped foot in a gym in months.
Don’t fall into that trap here!
Set goals you can work toward without feeling defeated.
This might mean increasing your order accuracy by 1 percent to 2 percent in a feasible time frame.
It’s important to remember why you want a high order accuracy rate when setting these goals.
As a reminder, increasing order accuracy can help drive customer satisfaction, which can help your bottom line.
Customers who are satisfied with their orders are less likely to make returns and more likely to buy again.
Fewer returns and more orders mean more money in your wallet.
3. Reconsider your inventory management process
Your order fulfillment mistakes are coming from somewhere, right?
The culprit might be your inventory management system.
Inventory management is the practice of organizing your inventory, knowing where everything is, and maintaining an accurate inventory record.
(Check out our tips on tracking your inventory.)
It’s easier to make mistakes if you and your pickers don’t know where certain inventory is or if inventory is disorganized.
Up your game by investing in inventory management software that can help you track stock and estimate future demand.
Automation software can even reorder products when stock gets low.
Instead of thinking about which products to reorder and when, you can spend more time thinking about other aspects of your business.
Several inventory management systems can help you automate inventory processes.
For example, Cin7 can integrate with platforms like Shopify, Square, and Amazon.
InFlow is another inventory management system that can help automate other parts of the fulfillment process, like printing shipping labels.
Ordoro is another great option, especially for multichannel retailers.
4. Revise your picking and packing process
Picking and packing mistakes are common.
It’s easy to chalk these mistakes to human error, but that’s just one piece of the puzzle.
Consider whether your picking and packing process is easy to navigate.
Are you doing your pickers any favors with the way you store inventory? What about the packing process itself?
It’s not a bad idea to ask your employees for their feedback. Since they’re the people doing the picking every day, they likely have ideas for what to improve.
Common errors include picking the wrong item with a similar stock keeping unit (SKU) to the target item, such as an item in a different color or size.
Perhaps your team isn’t using the right barcodes, or the barcodes for certain items are hard to find.
Or their packing slips aren’t descriptive enough, and they don’t know which item is the right one.
Warehouse slotting is one revision you can make to the picking and packing process without additional warehouse square footage or team members.
When you practice warehouse slotting, you organize the warehouse’s slots — shelves or parts of shelves — to make the picking process easier.
This could mean organizing the slots by SKU number, product type, size, or color.
For example, you could put the same pair of pants in one area, but have a different slot for each size.
This distinction makes it less likely for a picker to select the wrong product.
5. Incentivize your employees
Sometimes, you just need some encouragement to get down to business.
Getting all your team members on board with increasing order accuracy can make the mission a common goal.
Additionally, you can incentivize employees to increase accuracy and meet fulfillment goals.
Set an internal goal you want for your team. Then, determine how often you’ll check in on the goal and when you want them to meet it.
Finally, it’s important to reward your team when they reach the goal so they feel appreciated for doing their part and motivated to keep improving.
Incentives can be monetary (a bonus never hurt anyone) or a prize like free pizza and snacks.
6. Track orders until the end
Order errors don’t just happen in the warehouse or distribution center.
They can also happen during the delivery process.
Drivers can damage, lose, or deliver packages to the wrong address, which can hurt your order accuracy rate.
It’s important to track orders until they reach the customer. Doing so can help you determine if you can improve any aspects of the delivery process.
Maybe the shipping carrier you’re using is having problems.
Or if you’re managing your own delivery team, perhaps your routes aren’t the most efficient.
You can manage your drivers and track orders to their final destinations with Circuit for Teams.
New features allow you to integrate our delivery management software with eCommerce platforms like Zapier and Shopify.
You can even edit routes in real time, notify customers, and keep tabs on your delivery drivers.
7. Implement the best warehouse management system
You can also improve order accuracy by using a warehouse management system (WMS), which can help keep all your employees on the same page and update data in real time.
For example, a WMS can create packing lists for pickers that keep them in the same warehouse section.
Instead of packing one order in one corner and running over to the other side of the warehouse to pack in the opposite corner, the WMS creates packing lists that save your pickers time (and energy).
Think of a WMS as the brain of your warehouse.
When everybody’s tapped into it, you can prevent needless order inaccuracies.
A WMS can also perform routine quality checks and prevent small processing errors by creating streamlined workflows for your employees.
Circuit for Teams can optimize your order delivery process
Increasing order accuracy can help your business boost customer satisfaction, which helps increase customer retention.
Accurate and quick orders make your customers happy. The happier your customers are, the more likely they are to stick around and place more orders in the future.
When you keep more customers, you can increase your profitability and make a better name for your eCommerce business.
Circuit for Teams pairs the world’s most popular driver app with a world-class delivery management platform.
If you run a business that manages a team of drivers, Circuit for Teams can help you plan your routes, distribute them to your drivers, and collect proof of delivery all in one place.
Customers can message you and your drivers, so you’ll know as soon as a problem happens.
Plus, new features allow customers to view their dynamic estimated time of delivery and delivery status.