Order management. Let’s ask ourselves what that really means. There are probably many definitions, so here’s what we think defines order management in brief.
Order management are tasks and activities that involve taking and filling orders. Simple right? This, however, includes other factors that work hand-in-hand for the whole process of order management to run with ease.
If you’ve been in the e-commerce industry even for a short time, you realize that your customers have a certain expectation of you.
Your customers want a seamless shopping experience! When they see your brand, click into your store, load their cart and finally when they check-out and complete their order, they want an instant receipt of their purchased items.
Easy as counting 1, 2, 3, 4!
If you want to give this effortless experience to your customers in your e-commerce business, you MUST ensure you are following these three steps for multi-store order management:
1. Receiving Orders
Many of your customers want to see the status of your inventory stock. How many? Over 60 percent of customers!
Because of this, you need to keep your inventory synced and if possible, manageable from on a single platform. Without this, you will be ruining the easy shopping experience customers want to feel.
To add to it, if you aren’t managing from a single platform, you could feel as if you’re running separate businesses This can put you at risk of overselling stock that you don’t have!
By having a good order management system, you will process orders faster, speed up the dispatch times, and also reduce the risk of accidentally overselling.
When you’re not overselling then you aren’t dealing with orders that you can’t fill due to lack of inventory. You also won’t have to miss out on large orders, because your inventory isn’t divided between different stores.
2. Pick, Pack, Ship!
In the pick, pack and ship step, it’s very important that you be wary. This is where most mistakes happen, and even minor mistakes quickly add up!
Reprocessing orders can impact buyer satisfaction and loyalty, and it takes up extra time that can be used somewhere else. Which is why you should prevent picking errors.
Picking errors can be costly, not only because they mess up your inventory levels, but they also lead to product returns.
Your customers also don’t like being hassled. So they definitely don’t want to go through the process of returning an item, especially if the error was from your end!
You could forego the item, sure, but you will be losing stock; and that loss of stock would mean a loss of revenue.
How can you reduce friction here? Automate it! Errors should be kept to a minimum, and human error is quite common. To improve accuracy, you can try to use tools like a barcode scanner.
This is it! The final and most critical stage!
For you to claim that you have a well-maintained order management system, the product must reach the customer.
Did you provide a quick and precise delivery? Well then, the majority of your consumers will be happy! So happy that they may want to buy from you again.
Something you should consider is that over 87% of shoppers believe fast delivery is the top priority.
Choosing one online store over others, just because they provide more delivery options, customers all want the best and easiest shopping experience.
Some buyers would also choose to continue shopping from a store if it offered free next day delivery through a loyalty program.
4. Multi-Store Order Management
The hard truth is that multi-store order management is a common challenge for you and others who want to expand their online stores.
Managing large volumes of orders across multiple stores and ensuring exceptional customer service; this is what a business experiencing high-growth will have to focus on.
Volcano Coffee Works is an example of an online business that has done an awesome job of achieving this.
Last time, manual processes for order management were enough. Now, however, high volume order processes require a more scalable solution.
In order to avoid time-consuming mistakes, loss of sales, terrible customer service and inefficiencies within the process, order fulfillment activities need to be streamlined.
You, the modern day store owner, need to start integrating order management and fulfillment processes together with shipping and inventory tracking systems.
Sync your marketplaces on to one platform that will help you track your entire inventory stock across all stores/channels. This way, you will provide your customers with accurate order statuses, and you won’t have to worry so much about overselling.