How to Select an Order Management System
The viability of businesses today is governed by who can provide the best services to the customers in the most convenient way possible while also being the fastest to do so. This was of course always the expectation. But the pandemic accelerated the need to do it completely digitally.
Not surprisingly, ecommerce sales around the world are expected to reach $5.5 trillion by the end of 2022. Companies that have adapted to this digital shift will thrive and ones that don’t will have a hard time closing sales. But this shift is rife with several complications related to inventory, warehouses, customer experience, staff experience and so much more. Thus, as businesses, you need an Order Management System (OMS) that makes your life easier and your customers’ buying journey smoother.
In our previous blog post, we talked about how order management systems can help you offer a superior customer experience and why your business absolutely needs an OMS. Once you are certain about expanding your digital footprint and ready to invest in an Order Management System, read on as we delve into the factors you should consider before investing in an OMS.
8 Factors to Consider While Selecting your Order Management System
At the forefront of this decision, you need to understand that your ideal solution is capable to meet today’s and tomorrow’s demands. It has to be beyond the age-old ERPs that no longer fulfill the automation expectations of this environment. It has to be able to meet the rapid demands of customers and provide you with ease of use.
With this thought in mind, your business needs an order management system that caters to these factors:
1. Eliminates Manual Processes
Order management systems must help you automate processes and leave almost nothing to manual efforts. This includes updating tracking information, calculating shipping costs, generating invoices, and everything in between.
All these processes need to be automated to ensure speed, customer satisfaction, and to eliminate manual errors. Especially if you are expanding your sales channels, geographic presence, and customer reach, you need to enable your team with an automated solution. This helps alleviate some of their mundane duties and provides them the time they need to tend to customers individually.
2. Integrates with Existing Systems
The Order Management System needs to integrate with your existing systems easily and not lead you to rip and replace everything. This becomes an expensive and frustrating experience unless you have infinite budget and patience. A capable OMS will be seamless to work with and integrates with your applications with minimal effort.
Opt for a solution that has in-app stores and API capabilities to integrate your in-house third-party solutions.
3. Supports International Service
Most businesses’ eventual goal especially in ecommerce is to ensure a global presence. However, this can be a cumbersome task if you are not supported by the right tools. An OMS that can enable this process is equally important as hiring the right people to achieve such goals.
The OMS you need is one that supports international services with ease. This includes allowing different payment methods that are supported beyond your borders, pricing options in different currencies, and also the ability to route shipping data based on customer and warehouse location.
4. Predicts Stock Needs and Monitors Inventory Levels
Out of stocks are predicted to cost retailers a whopping $1 trillion! Most of these situations are caused by mismanaged situations. 70-90% of stockouts are due to shelf replenishment habits that are governed poorly.
You can predict such situations well in advance and handle them if your business knows when to prioritize what. If your business is booming globally and your retail footprint is larger than ever, then you need to be aware of just how many orders and customers you can support.
Your customers must get an accurate view of stocks so that they don’t end up ordering something that just isn’t there in your warehouse. Disappointing your customers once they’ve placed their orders is a sure way of losing a customer. This is why you need an Order Management System that can predict how much stock you might need to fulfill your customer’s demands. This way you will ensure no one is over-ordering and you aren’t overselling due to phantom inventory.
A platform like this will also forecast demands after fluctuations in the market. A well-integrated OMS with warehouse management and inventory management can help automate the process of understanding the state of your goods at every touchpoint.
5. Supports all Sales Channels
Sales don’t happen in one offline or online store today. The ecommerce landscape has expanded to marketplaces, social media channels, and several other online sources. While it is exciting for your business to support multi-channel sales, you should also be equipped to handle the orders that come in from everywhere without disappointing your customers.
Too many channels can also end up becoming too many accounts, logins, a lot of training for new employees, and an immense need for coordination. Therefore your Order Management System has to make this process smooth for you. It should be able to collate the data from all the different sources and bring it to you in one single pane of view. Accessing this data in real-time this way will help your team avoid any errors and process all the orders smoothly.
6. Offers Ease of Return Services
Managing orders doesn’t end with shipping off the orders. It extends to the point where your customers receive the order and in some cases also want to exchange it or they want to return it and a refund has to be processed.
A big part of providing an excellent customer experience is handling your customers well even when they may be dissatisfied with your products. Whether they want to return or exchange a product, they should be able to do it easily.
A capable Order Management System should be able to define the processes of return or exchange well. This includes automatically notifying the logistics teams for the pickup of returned products, printing shipping labels for such cases, and processing refunds. The products must also be back in your warehouse as a part of your active inventory.
7. Provides Top-notch Customer Experience
Customer experience with an order management system can be in form of providing ease of use with your platform till the time you collect their review and beyond it.
The tool must provide customers with automated tracking information so that they don’t have to go searching for it at every stage. They should be able to ask questions at any stage and have them answered quickly. The tool must also be able to send in feedback forms so that you can understand your customer satisfaction score.
8. Supports Scalability
An Order Management System is neither a small investment nor is it a short-term one. When you select a solution, it should stand the changes that come with time and be scalable enough to meet them all.
These changes could be in terms of an increase in inventory, orders, integrations, warehouses, stores or a combination of these. The platform must offer features that can be used as and when you need them without extra overhead charges. In short, the Order Management System you select must be future-proof.
Select the Order Management System that empowers your business
Your decision has to be one that enables you to grow without worrying about minuscule details of order management and instead allows you to focus your energy on building your brand.
Choose the Order Management System that grows with you and gives you the upper hand in exploring your global footprint. If you want to know how to achieve it, we can help you understand it better. You can contact our experts for a quick chat by filling out your information here!