Today’s consumers expect a seamless experience whether they’re shopping at a store, from a smartphone, PC or a catalog. In fact, 90 percent say they expect a consistent experience across channels and devices.
Delivering an optimal omnichannel customer experience requires a sophisticated order management system (OMS). An OMS allows you to pull from your complete inventory, no matter your customer’s shopping method. It facilitates fast and/or free shipping as well as the options to buy online and pick up in store. And if customers are dissatisfied with an item they’ve ordered, an OMS can streamline the return process.
A wide variety of OMS systems are available. You’ll want to research your options carefully and find the version that best suits your specific needs.
Checklist for an Effective Order Management System
The following characteristics help to ensure a robust OMS.
√ Cloud based
A cloud-based system can be accessed from anywhere, a particularly important benefit when operating from a single inventory. It allows for faster implementation and greater scalability down the road. The cloud also provides built-in redundancy, disaster recovery and fail-over redundancy.
√ Responsive, real-time
With real-time enterprise inventory visibility across all fulfillment sources, you can pull data at any time instead of waiting for it to be pushed to you on a scheduled basis. A robust OMS will provide you with real-time inventory, so your customer always knows what’s available to them. As your customers’ demand for accurate inventory information increases, this will become more and more important. Your customers will also have the ability to track their orders all the way through to delivery.
√ Single platform
An OMS that operates on a single platform can integrate numerous systems to work seamlessly in real-time – receiving orders from various channels, managing inventory across multiple fulfillment sources and routing to the best fulfillment sources. This helps to ensure visibility and provide accurate information to your customer.
√ Scalable systems
When selecting an OMS, it’s easy to focus solely on your current needs instead of looking to the future. However, it is advisable to seek out an OMS that is able to grow with your business and adjust to fluctuations in the sales cycle. As your customers’ expectations continue to become more sophisticated, the system will be able to accommodate them more readily.
√ Intelligent order routing
An effective OMS will automatically route orders so that they are fulfilled from the most effective fulfillment source. This helps to optimize inventory management, increase efficiency, control costs and – ultimately – provide the optimal customer experience.
With the right OMS, you’ll be well positioned to keep your customers satisfied – in whatever channels they choose to shop. To learn more, read our whitepaper: OMS: Key to Optimal Omnichannel Customer Experience.