An order management system (OMS) behaves the same as the conductor of an intricate set of business logic that takes an order from the cart to the consumer.
In the eCommerce business, few things top the excitement of receiving a shipment on your doorstep. For customers, successful delivery marks an anticipated finish line. Order fulfilment means profitability and continuity for all businesses. So, what is order management? It’s everything that makes this experience possible and achievable.
An order management system is a complex process that ends with authenticity, the moment a vendor fulfils its brand promise to its customers. Order management begins to get the product shipped and delivered once the customer clicks the buy button or checks out.
Consider the journey that your favourite pair of jackets must take to make it to your doorstep or onto a hanger in a store nearby. A series of complex steps and interconnected pieces must all work together to bring you that final moment when you finally have your finished product in hand. The ordering and fulfilment process for a pair of jackets and for millions of other products can make or break a brand’s relationship with a customer.
What is an order management system (OMS)?
An OMS involves every activity that happens after clicking the buy button. This activity includes operational processes, public, systems, and partnerships to fulfil an order. It acts as a platform for managing orders, customer data, fulfilment, visibility of inventory, invoicing and payments, and customer care. However, the foundation of today’s order management systems goes even deeper.
Customers expect the entire process to work smoothly, from the point they check out to when they receive their order. Around their order status, they also want complete transparency. B2B buyers and end customers also want to know if there’s any problem in transit, and they want transparency on location and hassle-free returns.
So what happens after a consumer click’s the buy button?
Earlier order management systems were relegated to back-office processes, typically within the logistics division of a company. However, that does not work in a customer-centric economy, because order management is the centre point to the overall customer experience.
Companies have done everything in the customer relationship management (CRM) lifecycle such as awareness, marketing, site experience, consideration, acquisition, conversion, and many more that leads to this one moment.
Indeed, an order management system is the most important process of value exchange. If brands for any reason are unable to deliver on their end of the value exchange (money for goods and services rendered), does anything else that came before really matter? Order management systems assures to delivery of that brand promise.
So what happens after a consumer click’s the buy button? Once a customer begins checkout, a series of activities begins to carry out the order. Storefronts may interact with many different systems to complete an order process. The most common are payment, tax, accounting, stock management, enterprise resource planning (ERP), and shipping. Below is the step-by-step process:
#1 – To prevent sell-throughs and overstocks a merchant must have an exact view of inventory counts
This gives us a clear picture about shipping origin, as products can be shipped from different locations, or split across multiple warehouses, showrooms, distribution centres, stores, or even a third party.
#2 – Check for an order routing after confirming the inventory
Check for the standard of the products or shipments. Also, analyze if is there a customization process that may route to a specific warehouse? A team may need instructions to construct a personalized product by hand in case there is are special orders.
#3 – Shipping integrations
To earn loyalty and trust, quick and flexible shipping options are important. In fact, around 57% of shoppers shared their view that same-day delivery will make them more loyal to a specific brand. Expectations of B2B buyers are also on the rise and now expect the same options as consumers.
#4 – Finally, there’s delivery
Once the products have been picked, packed, and ready for shipping, payment is captured, and the items are on their way to the customer location.
For both B2C and B2B customers, the order management system is the brains behind each step in the fulfilment journey. Simply, consider it as the conductor of a complex set of business logic and workflows that take an order from cart to customer.
A great order management system transform your customer experience
For an exceptional shopping experience, order and fulfilment are the backbones. For the next generation, order management systems (OMS) are customer-centric and essential to the front office. In the shopping journey, these moments can either annoy or impress buyers. They help to find out if a customer completes a transaction and becomes a loyal customer, or clicks over to the competition. Let’s have a glance at some of these moments.
#Give flexible shipping and delivery options
In regards to the shipping and delivery of items, customers demand flexibility – from one-hour in metro areas and weekend delivery to in-store pickup and next-day delivery. Buyers expect these options to be displayed clearly on the product page.
#Provide proper items availability information with location
Once your customers have added an item to their cart, do not disappoint and annoy them with an out-of-stock notification. For them, time is money and any minute spent shopping for out-of-stock merchandise is totally a waste. In case a product is out of stock or low inventory, mention so on the product page to give customers the most accurate view of available inventory.
#Offer to check self-service order status and returns
End customers should have an option to check order status and get updates on their terms, including SMS and email updates. They should also be able to change their shipping information. Returns, too, should also be self-serve, including printout return labels and having an option to choose how and where to return a product.
#Empower and motivate service agents and sales executives
Two different representatives are on the front lines of the customer experience – Service agents and Sales reps. In every way possible they need to assist customers with their orders that require complete visibility into orders and customer activity. On behalf of customers, technology should help them to place orders and make shipping/delivery modifications to existing orders.
Integrated order management systems drive operational excellence by managing the entire complex supply chain. In the customer lifecycle, everything that a brand does leads to this value exchange moment with their valued customer.
Get started with a cloud-based order management system
Order Management System (OMS) is not only about processing orders. OMS bring together customer-facing systems that impact the post-purchase experience, for example -CRM, ERP, sales, service, and commerce. It makes everything available and accessible to all stakeholders in a unified platform. At SaleBabu, we call this customer-centric order management system.
We drive this sea change with SalesBabu Order Management System, a cloud-based flexible OMS solution built to support omnichannel journeys at a global scale. It works with SalesBabu CRM for a complete data record, and it natively supports service and sales for a single customer view of both order and transaction history. It’s also part of an ecosystem leading to faster time to value and, more importantly, happier and satisfied customers.