How order management solutions help multichannel retailers retain customers


order management solutions customer retentionWhen managing multiple commerce channels in a global market, retailers must monitor operations across stores, warehouses, distributors, shippers and business partners to ensure efforts are coordinated and completed effectively. Optimizing the order fulfillment management process is key to improving and maintaining business continuity. It can also help sustain strong relationships with customers enjoying a wide variety of purchasing options to choose from.

How order management and fulfillment impacts the customer experience

The ninth annual UK eCommerce Fraud Management Report outlines the way multichannel retailers can strengthen the customer experience with advanced order management solutions. The data revealed opportunities where multichannel businesses can convert orders faster while streamlining processes and automating procedures for higher rates of accuracy.

When order management systems are lacking, retailers may reject ecommerce transactions when they are actually valid, meaning the consumer's purchase is not processed because of a system error, rather than an invalid form of payment or an item actually being out of stock. This will lower revenue streams and hurt customer loyalty. By optimizing the payment process and order fulfillment stage of supply chain management, retailers can identify customers' needs sooner and make their experience satisfactory and fluid from start to finish.

Most retailers in the United States, the U.K., Germany, France and Ireland generate significant portions of revenue through cross-border ecommerce streams - payments made across country borders - which suggests making international orders easier to fulfill will greatly enhance profit margins. Furthermore, sellers in Italy, Spain and China are primed to enter new markets this year and will need advanced order management technology to remain competitive with already established global ecommerce retailers.

While expanding into new markets and regions is a huge business opportunity for these companies, it also comes with additional complexities in maintaining business continuity and customer satisfaction. Thus, order management technology is a driving force behind successful expansions. 

How to optimize order management and fulfillment
According to the report, there are a few easy ways to ensure order acceptance and fulfillment activities are operating smoothly and efficiently

1. Evaluate existing order management technology performance against industry benchmarks, focusing on metrics such as order rejection rates to see where improvements can be made.

2. Analyze how many orders are accepted to see if the filter must be strengthened or relaxed to enhance efficiency through automated processes.

3. Create rules to improve the customer experience through reviews and adjustments to all touch points - such as payment portals - to respond to consumer buying behaviors and preferences.

4. Deploy a supply chain management solution and strategy that integrates all channels onto a single platform so transactions from various sources are organized and reported on consistently.

5. Continually test and tune established rules to improve conversion rates and find a balance between costs and profits.

Why order management matters
It is important to have an order management solution in place so a company can orchestrate and optimize omnichannel activities from a centralized dashboard. Coordinating order fulfillment processes involving customers, partners and suppliers allows sellers to maximize return on investment. Additionally, creating a system of oversight makes it possible to keep a check on performance and efficiency.

Advanced order management solutions like IBM Sterling Order Management enable:

  • Visibility into global inventory across disparate locations
  • Scheduling capabilities for delivery services
  • Shipping oversight to optimize transport options
  • Reverse logistics to continually oversee efficiency

A comprehensive order management solution addresses order fulfillment complexities while focusing on cost-efficiency and customer experience enhancement. The centralized information source enables access to order information, management and monitoring of processes, while users can modify, track, cancel and oversee the lifecycle of a customer's transaction. When shoppers have questions about specific aspects of the purchase, companies will be able to respond quickly with access to real-time data from any channel.

How does your order management strategy match up to those of successful competitors? Is your order fulfillment technology advanced enough to support current and future multichannel growth strategies?