eCommerce order management software is designed to automate and consolidate all the business operations of an online retail company, from the product listing phase all the way to order fulfillment.
Order management systems are specifically tailored to facilitate a wide variety of processes for eCommerce businesses, regardless of size or scale. They consolidate all relevant product data from multiple sales channels and automate some of the core business operations from the moment a particular product is listed in the catalog across all channels until the final sales orders are received and the products delivered. When customer orders are initially placed online, the order management software will automatically compare the order information against existing inventory data to look for errors or inconsistencies. It will then check the payment method and delivery instructions before initiating the fulfillment process and creating the order transaction record and the shipping labels.
One of the main objectives for implementing eCommerce order management software is to reduce the time in the order-to-cash cycle or OTC. However, the software also saves time and improves the efficiency of order processing for both wholesalers and suppliers. A comprehensive eCommerce platform with order management software (OMS) functionality enables users to effortlessly manage orders as well as quotes. They can leverage the software to add and edit the order information, keep track of order status and inventory levels in real time, monitor and detect trends from previous invoices, verify and process shipping options, as well as adjust or modify product pricing from within a centralized platform.
eCommerce order management software facilitates the backend process of managing and fulfilling orders made by customers through your eCommerce website or any other sales channel your products might be listed in. This backend process typically includes, but is not limited to, subscription management, inventory management, returns management, shipping label printing and order routing, just to name a few. Most order management systems also cover the warehouse management process, helping eCommerce businesses with the proper management and optimization of warehouse logistics.
Order management systems for eCommerce offer both automation and integration capabilities throughout the entire order fulfillment lifecycle. This provides eCommerce businesses, brands and online retailers with the ability to deliver better customer service and consistent customer experiences at scale across all sales channels. The software solution also empowers users to effectively handle orders that are coming in from multiple channels and going out to different delivery points, while managing customer expectations. It leverages automation technology to manage multiple service providers and aggregates relevant eCommerce data within a centralized user interface.
One of the main goals of implementing eCommerce order management software is to facilitate the process of getting the product into the hands of the customer who ordered it in the most efficient way possible. The software works to manage the journey of each individual order, from the moment the customer adds the item in their shopping cart to the checkout process until the moment it arrives at their shipping address and any potential returns that may follow afterwards.
To maximize the usability and efficiency of the eCommerce order management solution, there are a few key features that have to be present and readily available. Perhaps the biggest and most important of these features is third-party system integration. This is an essential function, especially for a distributed or standalone order management system for eCommerce. It has to have the ability to integrate with third-party solutions that eCommerce companies may already be using, from their current software stack to their supply chain technology and service providers.
The majority of order management systems are designed to seamlessly integrate with some of the most common business process solutions for eCommerce, such as customer service platforms, shipping software, warehouse management, inventory management and accounting applications, just to name a few. There are those that will even provide an open application programming interface or API to enable users to build their own third-party connections. eCommerce order management software that has the ability to integrate with your current technology stack will help ensure your order fulfillment process is fully automated and seamless.
Automation is another key feature of eCommerce order management systems. This is particularly crucial since the order fulfillment process often involves a lot of time-consuming and repetitive tasks that can be eliminated or at least reduced through automation. eCommerce businesses and online store owners can leverage their eCommerce order management solution to automate select tasks and cut down the manual processes. By automating the order fulfillment process, online merchants can also reduce manmade errors and inconsistencies. eCommerce order management solutions can introduce automation wherever possible, such as processing order information, sending fulfillment requests, receiving return requests, calculating shipping costs, updating stock levels, etc.
Analytics, reporting and forecasting is a feature set that can be argued as fundamental in all modern eCommerce order management software. Many order management systems tailored for eCommerce employ business intelligence and other analytics tools to generate detailed reports, actionable insights and forecasts. The system captures data from various channels, analyzes it and generates a report that is digestible to users and stakeholders. The data analysis and reporting can be used to evaluate business performance, determine potential areas of improvement as well as predict future trends and the actions that can be taken in order to achieve a more favorable outcome for the company.
For instance, online retailers and eCommerce brands can use the software to determine how much inventory they need for a certain product in order to avoid overstocking or overselling. This function can be particularly useful in the fourth quarter or Q4 as well as during fluctuating periods where product demand can unexpectedly rise or fall. Good order management software that is capable of syncing with a company’s warehouse and inventory channels has the capacity to support almost any merchant-fulfilled strategy. All this can provide eCommerce businesses with more autonomy and complete control over their order management and fulfillment processes.
Once the right eCommerce order management software has been implemented within your organization, you can expect a few key benefits to come up from using the system to facilitate your order fulfillment processes. This type of software has become a must-have for the modern eCommerce businesses operating in a digitally transformed retail environment.
One of the most basic advantages that this kind of software solution provides is the modern experience that your organization as well as your customers require, especially in this day and age. An eCommerce order management solution is primarily designed to fulfill customer orders as efficiently and problem-free as possible across all sales channels within your digital retail ecosystem. Without the aid of a modern, fully integrated and dedicated solution, your business will most likely struggle to match the productivity and capabilities of your competitors.
Apart from providing a modern experience for your company and your customers, eCommerce order management software also has the potential to deliver a better experience for your employees and staff members. As we’ve previously covered, order management systems are meant to replace manual tasks and processes through the power of automation. This doesn’t just affect your company’s productivity and operational efficiency; it also has a positive impact on your employees. Reducing manual processes means employees will have more time on other aspects of the business and they don’t have to suffer through slow manual tasks just to meet the higher demand that comes with a constantly growing operation.
Implementing eCommerce order management systems can also benefit your business through better customer satisfaction. This is arguably the most significant advantage that your order management solution is able to deliver, the potential positive impact it can provide to the overall customer experience. Fundamentally speaking, eCommerce order management platforms are designed to ensure a more pleasant customer experience by getting product orders in the hands of customers as quickly as possible, with little to no errors as well as to provide a more personalized experience in the process. By using this type of software for order fulfillment, your customers will also experience the benefits that your employees and the entire organization have come to enjoy.
Finally, there are the controlled costs and the resulting increase in revenue. As we have shown, when it comes to order management and fulfillment, automation is your best friend. Through automation technology, you can realign your resources, including manpower, time and effort to keep costs down and revenue up. Your eCommerce order management software can easily provide you with the automation capabilities you require in order to thrive, become more productive and profitable. For instance, the software can facilitate inventory control by automatically providing detailed reports on your stock levels, giving you information on which items you’re running low on and which ones you need to push and liquidate.
With the right eCommerce order management software, eCommerce businesses and direct-to-consumer brands can easily optimize and streamline their order fulfillment processes to deliver better customer experiences and maintain higher customer satisfaction. Implementing this type of eCommerce solution has the potential to fulfill and even surpass the ever-evolving customer expectations.
These customer expectations point to a growing trend of increasingly faster delivery and more personalized eCommerce experience in the near future, which means order management systems for eCommerce are going to continue to become more vital to the success of online retailers and direct-to-consumer companies.