eCommerce has turned the world of order management upside down. Emerging eCommerce trends have reshaped the way consumers interact on their purchasing journey and how businesses respond to this new way of shopping. A multichannel business has the challenging task of managing inventory stock from a variety of online channels and offline platforms. Additionally, if you have inventory stock going to B2B and B2C markets, you’ll have to keep track of multiple accounts.
A multichannel business needs to track inventory stock and customer orders, maintain customer loyalty, optimise fulfilment times and create an online and often physical presence across multiple channels. That’s only a small snapshot of what it takes to run a multichannel order management system. Let’s take a closer look at some of the ins and outs of what multichannel business is all about.
Stages of order management in multichannel business
When you break down the stages of running an order management system in a multichannel business, it may seem simple.
- A customer places their order for a product they want
- The business gets the item out of the warehouse, packs it up and ships it to the customer
- The customer receives their order
Essentially, there are three easy steps for each channel and you should have your order management system across multiple channels under control. Unfortunately, this humble list doesn’t display everything that’s going behind the scenes to keep this process simple and streamlined.
Managing orders to support sales
It’s important to slow down and make sure you’re taking the right actions to make these orders successful. Some might say that the order is already successful if the customer has chosen to buy it and pressed the order button. However, if you have 18 sales coming in from one platform, and you turn around and see there are 23 sales coming in from another platform, you might respond and start spreading yourself pretty thin if you don’t have a plan.
If you want to support your sales, you need to support the platforms that host your sales. Integration is key when it comes to running a multichannel business. Instead of manually checking multiple sales interfaces, why not bring them all into one central location. This will eliminate the feeling of running multiple businesses. Rather, with all sales data centralised in one place, you’ll be able to maintain productivity, manage your orders better and ensure customers are satisfied by getting inventory out the door on time.
Multichannel orders can increase your revenue
When you sell your product through multiple channels, you have a wonderful opportunity to find your customer where it suits them best. If a customer knows they can get your product on their preferred platform, this creates a level of customer satisfaction and loyalty. If they have other positive experiences such as fast delivery, discounts, bundles or product range, you’ll continue to increase their customer satisfaction. This satisfaction can lead to repeat sales and a level of brand loyalty that secures future purchases. Each step in a multichannel order can influence the customer’s decision to buy and lead to an increase in revenue.
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.