Order management is as an ecosystem of sorts that incorporates every task and activity involved with taking and filling orders, including the many interrelated functions that must work together for the entire order management process to run smoothly.
Customers expect a seamless shopping experience from your brand and from the moment they hit the button that completes their order, they are expecting timely receipt of the exact goods they have purchased.
To facilitate this streamlined customer experience, businesses need to ensure they are effectively managing the following three stages of the multichannel order management process:
1. Receiving orders
When placing orders, over 60 percent of shoppers want to see the status of a retailer’s inventory stock. So, if your sales channels aren’t synced or managed from a single platform, you are unable to provide consumers with any real-time inventory stock levels.
It can also feel like you are running separate businesses and you put yourself at risk of overselling. By managing orders at the point of sale, you are able to process orders more quickly and speed up dispatch times.
Reduce the risk of overselling by tracking your inventory stock across multiple channels. This means you aren’t dealing with orders that you can’t fill due to stockouts, nor will you miss out on large orders, because your stock isn’t split between the different channels.
2. Picking, packing and shipping
The picking, packing and shipping stage is where mistakes are most likely to occur, and even small mistakes can really add up. Picking errors can be costly, not only leading to product returns, but they also mess with inventory stock levels. The extra time required to reprocess orders can impact customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Customers also don’t want the hassle of having to return items, particularly it was an error from your end. If you do choose to forgo the return, you lose inventory stock that was intended to be a source of revenue. Automating the picking process should keep errors to a minimum – consider using tools like a barcode scanner to improve accuracy
The final and most critical stage in successful order management processing is getting the product to the customer. Fast and accurate delivery will make the majority of consumers feel positive about shopping with your brand again.
Consider that over 50 percent of shoppers see fast delivery a top priority, choosing one retailer over another, solely because they offer more delivery options and they would choose to stay with a business if it offered a loyalty program with free next day delivery.
Multichannel order management
Multichannel order management is a challenge for every rapidly growing business. A brand experiencing high-growth must focus on managing high order volumes across multiple channels, while still delivering exceptional customer service. Volcano Coffee Works have done an amazing job of achieving this balance.
Where previously manual order management processes sufficed, high volume order processing requires a scalable solution to avoid time-consuming mistakes, inefficiencies, poor customer service and lost sales. Streamline order fulfilment activities by integrating order management processes with fulfilment, shipping and inventory tracking systems.
Consolidate your marketplaces and online store into a single platform that tracks and syncs your entire inventory stock across all channels. Providing shoppers with accurate order status with total visibility into all orders.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.