We’re all aware of the ecommerce ordering system, right?
The more or less same steps we follow..
The “open website - cart the products - hit on the ‘Buy Now’ ” trail..
And then get the product delivered to our doorstep!
That oh-so-convenient shopping story.
But have you ever wondered what happens after you click the "Buy Now" button and before you receive the product?
As buyers, not many of us bother exploring the intermediate steps and rather just sit back and relax (and maybe track the package every hour, high 5 to the impulsive shoppers among us!) while waiting for the goodies to be delivered.
But, if you're an ecommerce business insider, you know the real struggle. With each new order being placed, a complicated chain reaction starts off, which goes from accepting payment to picking, packing, and finally shipping the order to the right place.
As the ecommerce business grows in size, so does the customer base, and the competition rises simultaneously with a whopping number of people choosing online as their preferred shopping style. Considering so, the reality of an ecommerce business gets more complicated than ever.
Have you checked out our ecommerce software development guide yet?
So, now that you’re on the right path, trying to digitize or maybe scale up your ecommerce order management system, here’s how to withstand the ever-increasing competition and thrive among the order management complexities :
To put it simply, ecommerce order management is the end-to-end process of receiving, tracking, handling, and fulfilling an order from the initial purchase made by a customer to the point when the order is safely delivered, with data collected at each stage so the order can be tracked throughout its lifetime.
However, order management does not stop there; it also extends beyond delivery. If you run a business that processes return/ exchange requests, the process only ends when your customer keeps the product past the return/ exchange period.
Before jumping into the nitty-gritties of ecommerce order management - let’s first understand how the entire process of ecommerce order management works.
So, commonly the ecommerce order management processes are split into three broad stages : receiving a customer's order, fulfilling the order, and providing after-sales services.
Now, let’s have a detailed look of how each of the stages work :
The first step in the order management process is where the customer places an order with your company. Receiving also involves accepting the customer's order where they get notified that the company has received the customer’s order and is ready to accept payment for it. Following this, the purchase details are forwarded to your warehouse, in order for your employees to start preparing the products for shipment.
Know More : Shipment Tracking Software Development Guide!
This particular stage can be further divided into 4 different steps :
The first step in order fulfillment i.e. the picking process, quite as the name suggests, involves retrieving items from the warehouse. Once the items have been picked from the warehouse, they are transported to a packing station where they are packed.
The packaging station is responsible for more than just packing and shipping items. They are also in charge of using the appropriate packing materials for each product to ensure that it arrives to the customer undamaged and in good shape, while also maximizing resource utilization.
The next step in order fulfillment is to ship the order. The warehouse staff in the shipping department typically handles three tasks :
Picking, packing, and shipping, however, can only take place in that order if your company has the necessary products on hand.
So how will you manage when a customer orders a product that you don't have in stock? In such cases, businesses have three options : notify the customer that the product is out of stock, show similar products if available or use dropshipping to postpone the delivery to a later date.
With a well-built dropshipping system, a business sends a customer's order to a supplier, who then delivers the product directly to the customer saving both time, shipping cost & efforts. .
The last step in the fulfilling process is delivering the order. When an order is shipped and arrives at its destination hub, a delivery agent is assigned to deliver it to its customer. The customer is notified that the order is on its way, and the order eventually arrives at its final destination i.e. to the customer.
Handling the after-sales processes is the final stage of order management. This is where companies follow up with customers to get feedback on the customers’ purchase experience and ensure that they are happy with their purchases, as well as handle returns and refunds if relevant to the company policy.
What comes easy is hardly worth it, and given that, ecommerce order management too comes with its own set of challenges.
Presenting some of the most significant order management challenges to be aware of and also the ways to overcome them :
Manual updates are prone to duplication or erroneous data, and with so many orders coming from multiple channels, it becomes extremely difficult to keep track of them accurately, resulting in customer dissatisfaction and a negative impact on the brand's reputation.
By incorporating an order management system (OMS) into your ecommerce business, you will be able to reduce human errors as it minimizes the need of manual processes with automation and speeds up the productivity of your business by providing real-time updates on your business operations.
A custom order management system will also promote long-term scalability by creating integrated supply chains and offering expansions in functionality as the business grows in size.
When a customer orders a product, you need to be able to easily locate the item in order to ship it quickly and get it delivered to the customer as soon as possible.
However, when your warehouse is disorganized or your communication with suppliers is delayed, you will have difficulty locating them and this leads to shipment delays, which are highly inconvenient for customers.
To avoid such customer grievances, an OMS that performs multichannel inventory management and warehouse optimization by sending alerts when stock is running low or when there is too much and needs to be liquidated can be beneficial, preventing shipment delays and retaining customers.
Where do customers go when their orders go missing, are delayed, or are damaged?
Customer service, obviously.
Saying that, inadequate customer service can be the worst fulfillment mistake you'll ever make, as customers are the ones who drive your business and without them your business stands nowhere. So if your in house team can't provide top of the line customer service, you can outsource it to some reputed call center service, since they are experts in handling different type of customers' requests.
An order management system enhances the customer experience by delivering products quickly, initiating return requests, improving communication between customers and businesses, and even providing a more personalized experience to customers. So, incorporating an order management system into your business can be a win-win, benefiting both you and your customers, resulting in increased customer satisfaction, thus retention.
The ordered product’s movement details play a major role in customers’ purchase experience as many customers stalk their packages and check them several times a day, and if they do not receive notifications about their orders, they might believe that their package has not yet been shipped, resulting in unnecessary calls to customer service and wasting time.
When the items have been picked, packed and shipped from the warehouse, the order management system can simply notify the customer that their order has been shipped and also inform them of the expected delivery date based on their shipping address and order information.
We live in an increasingly globalized world, with brands accepting orders from outside of their geographical borders on a daily basis, but do you know where the problem arises?
When you fail to offer your customers flexible payment options that will make the entire transaction process harder with the hassle of currency exchange.
To address such issues, a well-structured order management system can enable cross-border order acceptance by supporting payments across all countries and currency types. This not only broadens a brand's retail footprint, but also allows it to learn and grow from its experiences in new markets.
Choosing features that cater to every other ecommerce business when incorporating an ecommerce order management system will only mean reducing your own USPs. So, you need to have clear goals in mind and pick features that specifically function around your unique workflow, aiming solely to solve your problems while adding up to users convenience.
To assist you in determining which features will best meet your requirements, we have compiled the following list :
Some smaller businesses may provide their customers with only one sales channel, whereas others may provide multiple. Whatever approach you take, an ecommerce order management system that you incorporate into your business should be capable of managing orders from various sales channels from a single platform, which will also be useful in the future when you decide to expand your sales strategy.
If your company has multiple fulfillment centers, it's a great idea to include a fulfillment integration platform into your order management system so you can choose which center to use for each order depending on location and inventory levels.
When relying on small teams to fulfill orders, it can be difficult to increase the volume of accepted purchases, but with an OMS the task becomes much simpler as it reduces the need of manual work, making room for a significant increase in the number of orders, regardless of its size.
With the right order management system, a business can manage order volume without hiring more employees, as well as configure bulk actions and repetitive tasks, making the entire order management process much easier.
As a business expands in size, it becomes more difficult to keep track of stock levels for each individual product. An order management system should not only give you real-time updates on your inventory level, but it should also be capable of preventing contradicting or unfulfillable orders. You can also calculate the available to sell inventories with high accuracy this way.
In order to minimize overselling and overordering, order management systems should be able to estimate exactly how much safety stock you'll need. An OMS should also be able to plan your supply needs using up-to-date analytics and sales estimates to guarantee demand is met without producing deadstock.
You might think that your job is done once the order is shipped, but this isn’t the case until the order is delivered to the customer. To avoid unnecessary complications, it is always preferable if both the customer and the seller can monitor the progress of a delivery themselves. Having said that, incorporating an order management system with a GPS tracking system to track deliveries can be extremely beneficial in situations like this.
Every business operates in its own unique way, following steps in a specific order and carrying out tasks at set times, so try incorporating an order management system that is adaptable and compliant with your workflow, streamlined solely to uplift your business growth.
Before you embark on your journey of OMS implementation, you'll need to ensure that the one you're building specifically solves your problems and aligns with your business goals rather than a thousand other similar businesses, as no two businesses, even in the same industry, are alike. So, in order to find the right ecommerce order management system that works best for you, consider the following questions :
When considering an order management system, examine your current business processes and analyze the entire order management process to see how pieces fit so you can compile a list of which business functions are currently in use and then determine which functions you want to simplify with an OMS system. And it's always important to prioritize features and functionality that are truly required by your business over those that are nice to have, so you can find an OMS system that best suits your needs and meets the majority of requirements.
While implementing an order management system, you may want to configure it in such a way that it will assist you in meeting the demands of your business at that particular time. However, as your company grows in size, your order management needs will also grow, and you will begin to have more customers, more warehouses, or may even require additional features to handle those excessive tasks. That is why it is necessary to include an OMS with enough scalability to facilitate your future growth.
Order management systems are not always the first systems that a business implements. Most businesses already use accounting or online sales channels, ecommerce platforms, or other systems for their business operations. But since an order management process brings together the majority of the business departments, it is important that the OMS is compatible with the others in order to integrate existing solutions into it, making its usage as well as business operations easier.
You'll want your order management system to be as simple to use as possible, just like any other system. A difficult and complex system can be frustrating, costly in terms of time and money, and may even necessitate the hiring of a manager. So, incorporate an OMS that is simple and transparent, so that you and your employees can use it easily.
Most people nowadays prefer to stay connected to their business while they are away from it too, especially if they have processes that require constant monitoring. So, for such instances, it's beneficial if your OMS system is mobile-friendly allowing you to check in on your business at any time, no matter where you are and where you go..
Looking for an OMS development team that will provide exceptional service and streamline the entire ecommerce order management process?
BinaryFolks can undoubtedly help you with this. Our skilled and specialized software developers have firsthand experience delivering a wide range of projects for clients from various industries. With BinaryFolks, you can easily unlock the full potential of your order management system and accelerate your company's growth graph.
So, here’s what to expect if developing your OMS with BinaryFolks :
Driven by ex-engineers from Google, Amazon & Salesforce
101% Value For Money (+1 for Our Complimentary Consultation before You Spend Your 1st Dollar!)
Reviews That You Can Verify!
Safeguarded Business With An NDA
Eye For Details
Questions Galore (Until Your Requirement & Our Understanding are mirror copies!)
Insight-Rich Scope Enhancement
Intense Domain Expertise
Close-knit feedback loop
It goes without saying that an ecommerce order management system can greatly assist you in managing those complex order management processes.
But with so many systems making rounds in the market, which one will you choose?
Remember, the goal is to find the “right” product for your company, and if you're having trouble finding one or have questions in mind..