Did you know that by the year 2040, it’s estimated that 95% of all purchases will be through eCommerce? (source) Or that 58.4% of ALL internet users buy something online every week? (source) Perhaps that in just this past year, online retail sales all over the world amounted to a whopping $4.9 trillion… a number which is forecasted to grow over 50% within the next few years? (source)
The purpose of starting this with facts and figures is to let you know that the eCommerce industry is no joke – it is the fastest growing market in the world, with more business, customers, and trends joining the arena with each passing year. Where back in the day you could just wing it when it came to online businesses, success in eCommerce now calls for a properly formulated and executed plan.
Why is this the case?
Well, for the most part, it’s because the online customer is now more empowered than ever. They expect nothing short of perfection, and even a slight discrepancy in the experience you offer them can lead to loss. For you, of course, this means that the stakes are quite high, as are the expectations that your customers require you to meet – especially in terms of order handling. Because the way you handle a customer’s order has a direct impact on the customer’s perception of your business, eCommerce order management is one of the biggest challenges you have to tackle if you are planning to get your eCommerce venture off the ground.
But how can you tackle it?
With the help of an order management system! An e-Commerce order management system helps you tackle the important bits of your customer experience, and ensure that your online business is providing the customer with exactly what they need. Think of it as a magic wand; investing in an order management system means that you can refine many operational aspects of your business with just a few clicks.
However, picking the right order management systems eCommerce businesses can benefit from is no easy task. After all, how can you know for sure that the software system you are investing in actually aligns with your order management needs? Moreover, how can you make sure that the voice you make actually, positively contributes towards your Ecommerce process flow?
That’s where this article comes in: not only will it help you understand order management in reference to eCommerce a lot better, but by the end of it, you will also know everything you need to know about the kind of order management systems Ecommerce ventures should actually invest in!
Without further ado, let’s get started.
In this section, we will get into the details of what eCommerce order management is, and what form it takes in your day to day business operations.
Let’s start with the basics: what is this eCommerce order management we keep referring to? Well, as the name suggests, commerce order management is all about handling the order in process. For the most part, it is all about ensuring that from the time that the customer places an order, right until that order is actually received by them, everything goes smoothly – not just for one customer, but for ALL customers that you have.
In the context of eCommerce, order management is one of the core processes of an online store’s order filing system. It is only through proper order management systems that you can actually improve your customer experience, make necessary changes to your supply chain, and tangibly increase the success of your business.
On a deeper level, commerce order management is a multi-dimensional process that consists of multiple important tenets, such as customer communication, data collection, logistic and third-party logistics, as well as sales via multiple channels. Needless to say, things don’t always stay straightforward and eCommerce, without the right mechanisms in place, can become quite overwhelming.
However, with the right tools at hand (such as an order management system), eCommerce order management can become a pivotal process for your supply chain.
Like mentioned above, Ecommerce order management has the tendency to become a tad bit overwhelming and complicated if not handled properly. This is because order management, for any business, is not just something that exists in one part of the supply chain. In actuality, it has an impact on every stage of the supply chain and hence, is very intricately woven into almost everything that we conventionally consider to be an important part of a business.
So, for example, if you are planning to improve your sales, you will automatically have to look into order management and see where you are lacking in order to ensure that these gaps don’t take a toll on any potential business that you might get. Similarly, if you notice a drop in customer retention, you may be able to trace the cause back to order management. The point is, there are a lot of things that depend on how well you manage your orders, which is why it can get complex to take care of.
This also means that you need to make integrated decisions when it comes to order management. Because these decisions will have a direct impact on other aspects of your business as well, you must base them on real-time data, accurate forecasting, and consistent trends. Now, this may sound like a piece of cake, but without the right tools, it is not even possible. Trying to get the right data, making sense of that data, and implementing forecasting accuracy across the supply chain are challenges that all businesses have to tackle in the eCommerce setting, and that too regularly.
Yet, with the help of an OMS eCommerce businesses can ensure that they have all of this, and more, sorted out right down to the core – but more of that later.
To further amplify what eCommerce order management means to businesses, let’s look at what the order processing/management flow eCommerce business has to achieve looks like.
The order management cycle in eCommerce begins when a customer places an order. For eCommerce businesses, this is either done via a website or an online marketing place like Amazon, eBay, etc.
The second step of the flow eCommerce businesses have to achieve includes you accepting the order. Without the help of an eCommerce OMS system, you are likely to have to do this manually but logging into the relevant platform. However, if you are using order management systems eCommerce orders can be accepted automatically, without additional hassle.
When it comes to eCommerce, confirmation is an important part of the customer experience. Since you and your customers don’t really have any face-to-face interaction, it becomes absolutely important for you to let the client know that the order has been received. In this stage, you can benefit from order management by updating your clients with any tracking information or delivery estimates that you might have.
This essentially involves you forwarding the order to your fulfilment team, which will then move on to allocating the necessary items in your inventory. This process can be simplified with the help of an eCommerce OMS system, but it can also be done manually. However, what must be ensured is utmost accuracy during this stage, because the last thing you want is messing up the details of your customer’s order.
Once your team has successfully managed to allocate, pick, and pack the needed goods – it’s time to safely dispatch them. Needless to say, it is your job to ensure that not only the customers get their orders on time, but also that the products being shipped aren’t damaged on the way and are received by the customers in pristine condition. Also, for this stage, make sure you inform the customer that the order has been dispatched, since such updates are a crucial part of the order management.
The customer receives the order – however, this is not where your job ends. For example, oftentimes, the customers have one issue or the other. An important part of the order management workflow is to ensure that these issues are dealt with promptly, and also that your customers are fully satisfied. Even if the customer doesn’t reach out to you after the order has been shipped, you should reach out to them for reviews, just so you can ensure that everything is good with their order.
So, this is what a normal order management trajectory in the eCommerce process flow looks like. As reiterated quite a few times, each one of these aspects is streamlined and made easier to execute with the help of OMS eCommerce businesses commonly use.
But what’s the deal with these order management systems? In this section, we look at why an e-Commerce order management system is so important, and how your business can benefit from it. We also look at the most important features of an effective eCommerce order management system, which can be used to understand exactly which order management system you should pick for your business.
A common sentiment when it comes to order management is why should we care? Despite order management being such an important part of the success of any business, it is often neglected. However, if you are a business that has been doing this until now, we don’t blame you. Not all business owners are aware of just how important and impactful Ecommerce order management is for the success of their business venture, which is why they look over their order management systems as well.
Yet, the truth is, eCommerce order management systems are quite important. This is because with the help of just one software solution; i.e. an order management system, you can easily streamline the whole purchase process for not only your customers, but also yourself.
With the help of an order management system, you are essentially equipping your order management cycle in eCommerce with necessary automation, integration, and scalability – not just in one area of your business, but in different stages of the eCommerce lifecycle. This is especially true if you are implementing an omnichannel business model; order management systems Ecommerce businesses rely on can help them achieve consistency, efficiency, and success across multiple channels.
The best part? That’s not where the list ends! There are many benefits to order management systems – let’s discuss a few of them to better gauge the importance order management in general, and order management systems in particular:
If you’ve made it this far in the article, then you already know just how precarious the whole order management business is. One wrong move, and you are not only losing business but there are ten other problems you are opening yourself to as a business. This is why accuracy is so important; so that you can avoid making miscalculated decisions and any other detriment that you may incur from them.
This is also why order management systems are such an important part of the equations. With the help of order management systems eCommerce businesses can ensure that they are equipping everything from their warehouse performance to their sales activity right down to their marketing efforts with accurate data and precise trends. This in turn ensures that you don’t have to rely on manual efforts of your human labour; which essentially means less mistakes and oversight you have to deal with.
By automating important processes like allocation of stock, adding SKUs, collecting and maintaining customer information, and much more, an order management system ensures that your business is empowered with nothing but accuracy! Thanks to this, order management systems help eCommerce businesses refine their operations and make them more attractive for the customer, while ensuring that they also contribute towards the success of the business itself.
In today’s time and age omnichannel is the way to go if you want to make sure that you are expanding your business in a feasible way and tapping into a larger audience. However, without the help of order management systems eCommerce businesses cannot possibly create a workflow that allows them to tackle multiple orders from different channels.
In contrast, with the help of an order management system, you have access to better analytics and tools, which makes it far more convenient for you to tackle omnichannel selling. For starters, relying on an order management system means that you are taking out manual labour and replacing it with automation. It also means that you can handle more things in less time, as well as the fact that you are opting for an integrated solution that brings different areas of your business together. All of these things help make your transition from a single-selling channel to an omnichannel a lot smoother.
For many customers, the most crucial factor when deciding whether or not to go back to a business is how long it takes for the business to deliver their order. In this sense, the speed of your order processing is an important factor as it has a direct impact on the prospect of repeat business from a customer.
By employing the help of order management systems eCommerce businesses can ensure that all the different processes taking place within their warehouse are done at lighting speed. Since all the important tasks that could potentially cause delays are automated, the chances of you running late with the delivery of the product are very low.
If you choose the right order management system, you can improve your shipment times by a lot! With the good software solutions and the right technology, an order management system will empower your fulfilment process with unparalleled speed which will eventually lead to a bunch of happy customers – something that all businesses want!
Whether you are a small business or a larger corporation – the ultimate goal for every establishment is to expand. For some ventures, this will mean growing internationally, whereas for others it could refer to expanding in the local market or across different channels. Anyway, one of the most prominent aspirations of any business is growth.
If you don’t equip your order processing, inventory, and warehouse with an order management system, you are essentially depriving yourself of the opportunity to grow. This is because with the help of the right order management systems eCommerce businesses can successfully grow internationally, across different segments, and to resonate with different audiences.
An order management system is a scalable solution that not only helps you maintain your current operations, but also simultaneously empowers you with tools that can help you grow and gain a competitive edge in the market.
Needless to say, the right order management system for your business can very well help you open yourself to some advantages that can change the whole trajectory of your business.
However, in order for this to happen, it is important to make sure that you are choosing the right order management system.
There are a few things you should keep in mind.
You know what they say: not all order management systems are built equal. To make sure that you are picking an effective software solution, you must make sure that it has some important features that are characteristic of a good order management system, as well as other features that help it make a better choice for your business.
These key features include:
This may seem like an obvious aspect, but your eCommerce order management system must be a way for you to bring automation to your warehouses and fulfilment centres. This way, you can ensure that you are eliminating mistakes that are likely to happen if you rely on human labour.
Also, it is through automation that an order management system can help you speed up your processes, which is why this is a key feature that you should look at before you choose your order management system.
You should also look for an order management system that helps you expand your business across different channels. In this regard, look for a software solution that provides integrations with companies like Amazon, eBay, Magento, and WordPress. This way, you will be able to ensure that you are not limiting your sales to just one sales channel but multiple.
Also, you must ensure that the order management system you pick seamlessly ties data from these different channels together, so that it is easier for you to understand your fulfilment procedure holistically and without any hindrances.
If you are looking to expand your business, the last thing you need is any restrictions on the number of orders you can process. Therefore, you need a software solution that can help your process orders limitlessly. This is even more important if you are a small business with a small team, because in that case, you have to make an effort to minimise the workload on your human labour and try to direct their efforts away from trivial tasks, and onto more important things.
So, an order management system that can support a large order spurt is ideal. That way, you won’t have to rely on your employees for most of the eCommerce order processing services and commerce order management, which means less discrepancies, less problems, more speed, and definitely more customer satisfaction!
A good order management system will not only provide real-time tracking for your shipments, but it will also help you track your entire inventory and stock in real-time. This means that you can keep track of your products through the purchase journey, and in case of any potential problems you get, you can encounter them early on and fix them before they manifest into greater issues.
So, get an order management system and refine your eCommerce process flow for good!
With the help of real-time tracking, you can ensure that you are constantly in touch with your products and so, you can ensure that the products that get to the customers are in pristine condition and don’t cause problems to your end to end eCommerce process.
Forecast replenishment is another key feature of a good order management system that you need to look into. With the help of accurate forecasting and planning, you can make sure that you are avoiding the common problem of over-ordering and overselling. This will help you save money, time, and resources within the end to end eCommerce process. This will also help you avoid deadstock; a situation that most businesses dread.
In today’s time and age, manual forecasting is not feasible or practical at all. With the help of order management systems eCommerce businesses can forecast customer demand accurately, as well as collect the data necessary for such forecasts. It’s a win-win either way, which is why this aspect is very important to consider before you choose the order management system for your business.
An order management system should help you collect data by sales channel, product, and customer. This data can then be used to improve different aspects of your business; inventory and warehousing, yes, but also sales, marketing, and supplier relations. Therefore, your choice of an order management system must check this box if you want it to make an actual difference to your business.
For example, Canary7 gives you access to important insights and data collected from each purchase. You can then turn this data into comprehensive reports, which will ultimately help you understand your activity a lot better, and therefore, improve it as well!
Lastly, here is a small list of questions you should ask yourself before you choose an eCommerce order management software:
Since an order management system is an important part of your business, make sure you do your research before you commit to one. You should look into case studies and reviews for the system you choose, so that you can make sure that you are making an informed choice.
By using a good order management system eCommerce businesses can ensure that they are on the right track when it comes to the success of their business. However, in order to do this, you must ensure that the software you are choosing is the right fit for your eCommerce order management flow. This article will help you do that, so make sure you bookmark this page and return to it whenever you decide to empower your fulfilment procedures with an order management system.