Opening an online store is no rocket science today. Leading e-Commerce platforms like Magento and WooCommerce lets sellers open an online store in minutes.
From offering an intuitive interface to ensuring a smooth purchase process, such platforms are surely helping in the front-end. But what after receiving an order?
You will have to then set up a system of processing the order and delivering the order to the customer. In this blog, you will learn the 4 main pillars of setting up such an order management system, and we strongly recommend using an Order management software to develop such a system. 57% of small businesses wish to use software for setting this process up, but only 38% end up purchasing one. Which one would you want to be?
How you’d traditionally deal with an online sales order:
1st Cross-check with the stock you have. 2nd Create and Print picking-packing slips. 3rd Connect with shipping carriers to fulfill orders. 4th Communicate with your customers until the product delivered.
Yep! That’s totally outdated. It only works well with excel sheets and less business in hand.
As the business grows, your amount of orders will also grow for which you need a kept up Order management system which simplifies the complex order management processes. You will be able to save approximately 8.3% of your inventory holding cost using order management system.
A best of class Order management system will have the following four technologically supported pillars
1. Centralize all your orders in one system
Every retailer sells on multiple portals as they all strive for an omnichannel selling- from online to offline. Hence keeping final track of everything at one place is the need of the hour.
A centralized order management software allows online sellers to easily sync all the orders that come from every selling channel, making it easy to access any information and perform tasks in one system.
Let’s say you sell on Amazon, Shopify, and also have an offline store. If you lack a centralized system, you’ll have to do the cumbersome task of updating and noting orders from each portal. Due to increased complexity in order fulfillment, this practice takes up too much time. On the other hand, a centralized order management software reflects and records orders from all the integrated portals into one synchronized system, saving you time. Using the order management software, you can know how many total orders to fulfill, make better order-based pick-lists, bulk up orders, prioritize & fulfill orders timely, etc.
2. Real-time sync of information
Real-time syncing of information like stock levels, order status, placement, shipment, and other order related updates, helps you track your orders. Instant order processing capabilities make your order fulfillment process efficient and on-time, sparing you time to extend your market. You won’t have to worry about updating the stock level after each sale, as it will be done automatically using order management software that syncs real- time.
Sellers display their full inventory as stock on each platform, to get the highest number of orders. A centralized Order management software has data of every platform, which order processing capabilities use. So whenever an order gets placed on one platform, the system automatically reduces the stock count on the rest of the platforms by that quantity. And the big catch is- the system does it in real-time, which is in just a few seconds!
With all the stock information available in real-time, order management software can match the number of orders with the available inventory constantly. This eliminates chances of non-fulfillment of orders, excess order confirmation or experiencing stock-outs, especially when needed the most. The order management software also helps sellers to manage customers from multiple sources, making it easy for you to quickly gain a hold on the customer database.
3. Automate the order fulfillment process
Automation is emerging as the inevitable force in any and every industry for years. Yet many sellers haven’t realized the importance of automated order management software.
Action based automation can be set in an order management software which can make your order fulfillment tasks much easier and quicker.
We learned that due to centralization, total stock availability is pre-known and gets updated in real-time. So when the inventory level shows unavailable status, automation rejects the order as soon as it hits your store/portal or can’t be placed at all. This completely strikes off the order cancellation rate.
Split orders: Let’s say you cater multiple categories of products which are fulfilled by different suppliers/ warehouses. Trigger or Action based automation of splitting orders based on the categories of the products can be created. By automating, you can fulfill these orders smartly and you don’t need to specify the from where the product(s) are to be picked every time.
Automation also helps in bundling orders. You might be selling items from multiple brands/ ranges in the form of bundles, for e.g. a beach bag, a pair of shades, a hat and sunscreen- together as a combo. In this case, you can create automation of combining products to fulfill the order, based on the item brand and product SKUs using Automation.
If you have the same product listed across multiple warehouses- instead of taking the hassle of updating stock levels for each of them separately, the order management software will ensure your product counts are in sync across all warehouses you deal with.
4. Maintain Accuracy at all levels
With the above said 3 sharp pillars, comes the fourth one by its own!
An order management software that centralizes orders and automates them in real-time, should be doing it with the accuracy needed. Otherwise, its high time you change your order management software to a worthy one! Know how other businesses like yours prosper using accurate order management softwares.
Accuracy in the orders can be brought by keeping a wide eye open on your metrics! Keep a daily record of important metrics and know where you’re going wrong. Many sellers use reporting and analytic management software that allows them to leverage all their major back-end tasks performance in real-time.
The race is still on…
Re-quoting, “57% of larger small businesses want to use such subscription-based software but only 38% of them do”- now you need to decide which category are you?