The retail industry is constantly evolving. Technological advances have changed the nature of business. Today, while a website is the online marketplace, it’s possible to access it from a social media site, an app, or email. Also, shoppers aren’t restricted to ordering goods from their computers, they can use cell phones and digital notepads as well.
This myriad of ways customers can choose to make purchases used to present problems for sellers. It was difficult to coordinate older inventory management systems with all channels, and if several warehouses and traditional shops were involved, the roadblocks to filling customer orders were compounded. Essentially, one arm of the business couldn’t talk to another arm. As a consequence, if an order came into a warehouse and the item was housed in another one, the digital system couldn’t cope and everything had to be processed manually. As can be imagined, this added a lot of unnecessary time to the order fulfillment process.
The answer to this conundrum came with the development of omnichannel order management systems.
What is omnichannel order management?
Omnichannel order management is a digital centralization of information about inventory and sales for however many outlets a sales business has. Like the hub of a wheel, all orders from all channels will pass through one automated system. Because it houses data for all inventory, wherever it’s stored, every sale can be processed seamlessly in good time. A byproduct of this is that stock levels throughout the company are updated with every sale, so information about your inventory is always current.
In practice, it means that any customer can shop from anywhere – from a website, social media site, app, or physical store – and get the goods they want in short order.
How does omnichannel order management work?
Let’s say a customer has noticed your product on a social media site ad campaign, and after being directed to your online store, decides to purchase several items.
If these items are stored in different facilities, the omnichannel order management system will instantly be able to locate them and choose the quickest, most efficient way of fulfilling the order. Depending on where the items are stored, this could mean routing the whole order to another facility, or having an item that’s missing in the first location be sent over from another one.
As mentioned, the omnichannel order management system also keeps a constant tab on stock at every place it’s stored, maintaining information about the amount that remains as it’s removed to fulfill orders. This reduces the chance of running out of anything, and ensures that orders can be filled with speed.
How can omnichannel order management benefit your business?
1. Reduced costs
To minimize discounting, the system takes into account location, time, and shortages while shipping goods from warehouses with excess inventory. It presents recommendations based on indicators that are quickly and precisely identified.
For instance, you can select the best shipping option using Orderhive’s shipping software based on pricing, discount, package size/weight, location, and delivery date. The end result is a satisfied consumer and decreased total delivery expenses for the retailer.
2. Satisfied customers
Omnichannel order management can help retailers improve customer experience by handling inventory and orders across all sales channels. If every sales channel uses the same real-time inventory data, you can avoid stockouts and minimize backorders.
This guarantees that your products are available to customers whenever and wherever they want, enhancing their buying experience. Satisfied customers are more likely to do business with your company again and recommend it to others.
3. Increased sales
By improving overall operations and making your company run more efficiently, the omnichannel order management system is responsible for giving customers a much better buying experience. And if this encourages them to go back to your company to buy more or, better yet, recommend you to a friend, your sales should go in one direction: up.
4. Inventory visibility
Good supply chain management (SCM) is vital. When this runs smoothly and efficiently, you can be more competitive and, as a result, more profitable.
Omnichannel order management can play a big part in this. It does this by giving accurate, complete control on your inventory. This includes where it is, how much of it there is, when it goes out for an order, and when it’s returned. This total visibility is an important aspect of SCM.
5. Increasing the scale of operations
When you have an omnichannel system in place, it’s easy to add to it. This could be anything from a new sales channel to an additional warehouse facility. Whatever it is, it will fit seamlessly into the existing software and coordinate with all your other operations.
6. Gain an edge over competitors
Ecommerce is a tough environment. There is a lot of competition, with several big players, like Amazon and eBay, setting the standards. What’s more, with so many choices, customers have become demanding, wanting their orders to be filled quickly.
Having the centralized digital hub for all sales outlets, sales, and storage spaces that an omnichannel order management system provides translates into shipping and pickup services that can rival major online retailers. A customer can walk into one of your stores to collect something they’ve ordered online; or they can order something in that same shop and have it delivered to their home the next day. This ability gives shoppers a personalized experience; and this personalized experience could give your company an edge.
We’ve discussed the benefits of having an omnichannel order management system. As the online buying experience becomes more complex, these digital platforms are becoming essential. Along with being able to facilitate sales from a multitude of channels and oversee inventory at every stage and facility, omnichannel order management has the flexibility to keep up with changes in retail and cope when your company grows.
Bring all of your orders into a unified dashboard with Cin7 Orderhive. With functionality like online and offline order syncing, you can quickly combine all of your sales channels onto one platform. Furthermore, automate repetitive activities to manage bulk orders more quickly.
Experience omnichannel order management at its best by booking a demo today!
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