Consumer behavior changes the on-demand economy of traditional and modern retail paradigms. To meet the demanding customer needs and to discover untapped revenue, modern retailers are rapidly adopting automated systems to improve order & inventory management. The order management system industry which provides these solutions is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.4% is expected to reach nearly US$ 3.89 billion by 2026.
Omnichannel order management is the complete process of managing customer orders, inventory, data and reporting across multiple sales channels, including physical locations, website, social media, and online marketplaces.
Omnichannel order management allows you to access customer, order, and inventory information across all channels. It integrates the relevant information needed for ecommerce and point of sale systems to operate efficiently.
Four things a customer centric order management system provides?
The main features are omnichannel order routing, store fulfillment, and enterprise inventory. It also includes a customer service platform, allowing the retailer to see a complete view of the business with real-time insights in a single, unified spot. An omnichannel OMS allows the customers to shop anywhere and return anywhere. A complete omnichannel OMS powers both your employees and your customers.
Today’s order management systems must do more than simply manage orders to online sales. Retailers need a central repository for inventory and orders and require an OMS for that. Retailers need to use the OMS to move the inventory and deliver it to the consumers based on their preferred method. In order for the e-commerce platform and POS to operate efficiently, the OMS has to be properly integrated. The OMS must also provide retailers with the tools needed to provide efficient customer service and a unified customer experience across all channels.
Order Management System (OMS) keeps a check on sales, orders, inventory, and fulfillment. It evaluates the available channels and selects the best possible option to fulfill an order. It has a centralized decision-making system. With customer expectations high and a quickly transforming sales landscape, order management is now evolving in to a multi-dimensional system that touches every facet of your business operations.
According to Maximize Market Research the Compound Annual Growth Rate of the omnichannel order management systems market is expected to be 10.4 % and market size is expected to reach US $ 3.89 billion by 2026.
How Order Management System Works
Report and analyze against orders
The following features of an omnichannel OMS are important for a modern retailer:
Multi-channel Processing of Orders
One of the main features of an OMS is to process orders from multiple channels. This includes orders that are placed on one channel and fulfilled from another channel. Merchants should be able to get orders from multiple channels like website, mobile, marketplace, facebook, call or chat representative and should be able to fulfill them through warehouse and store.
Product Availability Across All Channels
An Order Management system monitors available stock, transit, and purchase orders and provides visibility across all channels. It informs customers about availability of products and acts as the central hub, which provides information about product availability across all channels.
Routing of Orders
An order Management system helps in routing the order efficiently while considering profitability, proximity and inventory levels. It chooses the closest routes that require the shortest time and least courier costs, according to customer expectations.
No matter the stage at which the return originated, it is vital to have a smooth process of return in place for an optimal customer experience. Though this process might seem complicated in an omnichannel setting, OMS effectively tracks the items at all stages in the return process and hence automates its return to stock. It also collects data regarding product quality and customer complaints for better business decisions in the future.
Scheduling Delivery and Service
Apart from an OMS successfully capturing the orders, certain products may require a service schedule for additional tasks such as installation. This happens after the order is placed and it enables a timetable for delivery and service to optimize customer experience and cater to the customer needs better.
In larger businesses where a lot of inventory is involved, sales and returns can be challenging. Omnichannel order management facilitates you to sell and ship finished goods from anywhere and also enables you to see customers’ order history for a smooth shopping process.
If a customer needs to return or make an exchange, it’s important that you offer a unified returns process by offering your customers the option to return and initiate exchanges in-store or through self-service tools.
In the short run you may lose money on a return, but you can easily get a repeat customer by handling the return positively.
2. Improves customer satisfaction
Customers want to be ensured that they will have access to your product, no matter where they are.
Implementing a unified omnichannel order management greatly improves customer satisfaction with the ability to sell, deliver, and return products from anywhere.
It further ensures that all sales channels are using the same inventory data to prevent stockouts and backorders.
Omnichannel order management makes the buying and return process as smooth as possible.
3. Simplifies logistics workflows
The internal logistics operations also improve with an OMS. When all the orders are connected in one place, it’s easier to manage your order, inventory, and returns.
Omnichannel solutions enable accurate inventory, order, and returns data across channels to ensure orders are fulfilled and shipped quickly and returns are processed smoothly.
4. Maintains a seamless brand experience
An OMS gives the ability to maintain a consistent brand experience across channels.
So no matter what the customers’ preferred methods to shop are, you can provide a unified brand experience for orders purchased in store, on website, and third-party channels.
This gives you a seamless presence across different channels of distribution and touchpoints, increasing customer loyalty in the long run.
5. Scale operations with ease
It’s easier to add new sales channels to your operations with an OMS.
For example, adding an additional sales channel means adding it into your existing strategy, not trying to accommodate one from scratch.
You instantly start selling on the new platform without any disruptions to your current operations, including inventory management, fulfillment, and shipping.
The omnichannel order management software you choose must have the following features:
1. Optimized Inventory
It is able to automatically update inventory across all channels. So, if a customer buys something through any channel, the stock levels should be updated automatically across all the sales channels.
Also it should also include algorithms that route your orders to appropriate warehouses and fulfillment centers and identify the right shipping options for each sale. The inventory data is hence useful during picking, packing, and the shipping process.
2. Centralized Workflows
There should be centralized workflows for processing all customer orders as well as any returns. Further you will need to be able to access past and current customer data, including all purchases across different channels.
3. Multi-Channel Listing Management
Updating SKUs and catalog management is an important feature of an order management system. The OMS chosen should make it easy to create and update product listings ,including price information, across any and all of your channels from one place, instead of having to do manual updates.
4. Courier Integrations
An efficient order management system integrates with all of the major couriers.
Choosing the right omnichannel order management system
XStak’s product Omnichannel Engine provides order management, inventory management, logistic and supply chain management and business intelligence modules. These modules are:
End to end automated order management workflow from online order placement to splitting, assigning to a location to booking it with a courier and tracking its final status. It helps you identify duplicate orders and orders placed by blacklisted customers through machine learning so that you do not deliver to them.
Real time inventory and order sync between your web store and multiple physical locations (both warehouses and physical stores), with integrations for POS and ERP systems.
Logistics and Supply Chain Management
Track all orders, packages and their shipping status in real time, booked across multiple couriers, providing top-notch customer service.
Business Intelligence Dashboard
Explore and analyze real time data and reliability. Track, analyze and process sell-through rate, courier performance, critical orders, min-max of the store, store rankings, stock opening/closing.
An order management flow chart is a graphic and diagrammatic representation of the processes involved in order management.
Certain actions take place behind the scenes before their order is fulfilled, when a customer places an order. These actions make up the order management workflow.
Workflow in order management are the activities that make it possible to fulfill customer orders. This includes everything from accepting customer orders, creating invoices, managing inventory, and packaging items for shipment.
Order Management Process Flow Chart
How are order management and customer service related?
Order management and customer service are directly related. There are two distinct but at the same time related aspects of order management. Firstly influencing the customer’s order and second executing the customer’s order.
Customer relationship management (CRM) helps organizations better understand their customers requirements and understand how these requirements integrate back in their internal operations process.
Order management is the interface between buyers and sellers in the market and directly influences customer service management and customer service related processes.
Is order management and order fulfillment the same thing?
Order management is the entire process of receiving, managing and processing orders, which includes order fulfillment.
Buffer stock vs safety stock in an Order Management System?
Buffer stock refers to the amount required to hedge against customer-induced variations, or spikes in demand. It's similar to safety stock. Sometimes it's also called “buffer safety inventory.” Safety stock is the amount required to hedge against supply-induced variations, or shortages in supply.
An omnichannel order management system is necessary for a modern retailer to satisfy customers who demand a unified shopping experience on all platforms. Get a free demo of the world's first retail operating system that is available in a transaction based pricing model.