The pandemic totally disrupted the way consumers shop – an increase in online shopping led to heightened consumer demand and expectations. It goes without saying that online shoppers want choice, convenience and fast delivery, but many online retailers are still struggling to meet these heightened expectations.
Despite the post-pandemic slump and people no longer shopping online at the rate they did during the multiple lockdowns, there is still a need for e-commerce businesses to regularly review the tools and technologies being used to run their business. Automating the order management process by implementing cloud-based technology has many benefits and can completely transform the picking, packing and shipping process.
One of the most popular features of order management software is the ability these platforms have to integrate with other systems and channels used to power an ecommerce business. Integrating with other systems such as marketplaces, shopping carts, couriers and inventory management, helps to trim down complicated processes and automate time consuming tasks and entire workflows, helping to save time and remove the risk of human error.
This all helps to ensure that users are able to deliver a consistently great customer experience by keeping all your online shops updated at all times, and speed up despatch time of orders. With such increased competition in the e-commerce space, customer loyalty is even harder to gain and something as small as a payment error, missed order or delivery issue can be enough to lose out on a returning customer. So what are the specific benefits of an order management system with integration capabilities? Jordan Westley, E-commerce Expert at Mintsoft explains.
Streamline all orders into one centralised platform
One challenge that multi-channel retailers often face is the ability to keep on top of orders coming through from multiple sales channels and marketplaces. If you rely on more than one online platform to sell your products, it’s often difficult to miss new orders coming in and sync stock levels with available inventory.
Opting to invest in an order management system with marketplace and shopping cart integrations means that all orders from multiple sources will come through to one centralised platform, alerting users when a new order comes in, so warehouse workers can efficiently pick, pack and ship the orders by using optimised pick routes to get to the right product each time.
Save time and reduce errors by removing the need to need to log into multiple platforms
There are many different elements associated with order management, which often means many different systems have to be used as well. An order management system with API integration capabilities means users can not only seamlessly connect with their inventory systems, online shops, couriers and accountancy systems from a single platform, but it also removes the need to log into and navigate through multiple systems.
This will save time as well as reduce errors, as the systems can talk to one another and pull the relevant information into your dedicated order management system.
Optimise your delivery strategy
Delivery is the biggest deal-breaker for two-thirds of online marketplace shoppers – almost three quarters (71%) of consumers say flexibility in delivery is key for them. Consumers are looking for flexible delivery options and after standard delivery options (30%), the most popular ones are next-day delivery (21%), same-day delivery (10%), or local store pick-up (7%).
To achieve this level of flexibility when it comes to your delivery strategy, ecommerce businesses should consider using multiple couriers. For example, whilst one courier might offer fast, next day delivery, another one might offer better options when it comes to lower costs or greener delivery options.
One pain associated with using multiple couriers is not knowing which is the most cost effective based on weight and location of the order. Luckily, using an order management system means that courier choice can be automated based on rules such as product weight and delivery regions.
Avoid overselling items
By integrating all your marketplaces with other elements of your business, you can keep on top of available stock, meaning overselling items is virtually impossible.
If you rely on a paper-based system, it can be difficult to track movement of stock around the warehouse and order allocations, but a cloud-based order management system makes it easy to quickly assign default pick locations for products to be put away in the right place.
Keep costs low
By having a better overview of the whole order management process, users will be able to enhance fulfillment operations; from managing warehouse operatives, to improving your shipping strategy and managing returns better. A combination of these will result in cost savings when and this type of software will end up paying for itself by giving users the ability to drastically reduce errors.