Who doesn’t fear the unsatisfied customer? They are poison for the business and most companies will do anything to avoid their customers ending up with a bad experience. An exceptional customer experience, on the other hand, strengthens the relationship between retailers and consumers and most of the time ending up with repeat purchases.
So, the question a lot of digital merchants are asking themselves right now is: How can we succeed in delivering great customer service in all touchpoints throughout the shopper journey. One (of many) of the crucial elements for creating a great shopping experience and thereby loyalty in the long run, is order fulfillment. The process “after the buy button” is a key element to loyalty and an order management solution can help support this.
SEE ALSO: Create great customer experience – also after the order placement
So, when do you know if you need an order management solution? We have made a guide that helps you consider if OMS can improve your business. And it’s really simple. If at least of one the things below apply to your company you should at least consider the possibility and build a business case.
Another sign that also points in the direction of OMS is high growth. The need for an order management system will rise as the business grows and the manual work in the ordering processes becomes a cost center.
We experience that digital merchants have become great at the first part of the customer buying journey. Many, though, should focus on a higher quality in the process after the buy button. This is where improvement can be done.
1) UNIFIED COMMERCE
You have both physical stores and a webshop. The customers expect to have access to full inventory in all channels - they want to be able to get products shipped directly to their home if it is out of stock or unavailable in the physical store. Just as they expect to be able to purchase the product online and pick up in the store later (the same day).
In these cases, an order management solution will enable you to sell all of your goods, in all warehouses (also stores) in all channels. Moreover, it also ensures a sale that otherwise would have been lost. And above all, it gives a really good customer experience.
Thus, OMS supports these scenarios:
- Ship from store – the product is sent from a store instead of a warehouse.
- Click & Collect – Reserving a product in the physical store through the online channel and picking it up shortly afterwards.
- Order in store – Shipping products from the main warehouse to the end consumer if it is not in stock in the physical store.
2) MORE THAN ONE DISTRIBUTION CENTER
You don’t have physical stores, but a webshop with several distribution centers. Here are a few examples of a scenario where OMS makes sense:
- Warehouse in the EU, from where you deliver to all EU countries.
- Warehouse in Norway (outside the EU) – with OMS, returned goods can be accessible for the Norway warehouse so they can be sent locally to Norwegian customers.
- Warehouse in the US – You don’t have the whole range in the US but would like to display the whole range to the local American consumer.
3) ”DROPSHIPPING” FOR MARKETPLACES OR PARTNERS (E.G. SEVERAL B2C CHANNELS BESIDES OWN WEBSHOP)
You have one or more partnerships with online marketplaces that sell your products, e.g. Zalando.
4) SEVERAL DISTRIBUTION PARTNERSHIPS
You are included in a supply partnership. It can be viewed upon as reversed dropshipping. An example could be that there is a store in Spain that ships for you when a Spanish order is placed in your webshop.
If one or more of the criteria’s apply to your business, we recommend that you analyze the need for an OMS and build a business case to assess whether or not an order management solution (OMS) can help you business.
OUR TAKE ON OMS
Customers have an increased need of flexibility. Some companies (Amazon etc.) have already raised the bar for what the consumer expects. The customer’s expectation for order experience, customer service and delivery are heightened. In the US (in some areas), day-to-day delivery is expected. And it’s only a question of time, before consumers will expect the same across Europe.
We believe that the years to come will be a battle of that part of the experience that relates to the process “after the buy button”. It’s no longer the webshop’s design or usability that only impact sales. The crucial factor for winning and retaining customers is by supporting full availability in all sales channels by agile and dynamically adapting systems and infrastructure to the high expectations the customers now have, because of the high standards the market sets.
Implementing an order management system is not a small task. On the other hand, you can spend a really long time on temporary solutions and custom development on your existing systems without ever gaining the same flexibility that an OMS can deliver.
The question is; what does it cost your business when your customers have to leave your store empty-handed because what the wanted to buy, was out of stock?
WHY AN ORDER MANAGEMENT SOLUTION?
OMS is about the experience after the buy button. With OMS you can transform the customer experience and create loyal customers..
To be more exact:
- OMS provides a better customer service, because the ordering process and customer service are optimized with a 360-degree view of the order and what state it is in.
- It’s an advanced tool to configure your fulfillment business rules and order allocation. It’s also a dynamic system you can configure (to a certain extent) without the need of development, as your business grows.
- OMS provides a foundation for automating fulfillment, accounting and ordering processes.
QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER…
- How much do you save, by making logistics and customer service work faster and more efficiently?
- What does it cost you when your customers go in vain and they are discouraged from buying a product that you have, but cannot offer in that channel at that point in time?
- Who knows how many sales channels you have to support in three years? With OMS, you make yourself more flexible so you can keep up with the evolution.