This Fourth of July, Free yourself from chaos!
Let’s consider the challenges and opportunities that retailers face today. With the e-commerce industry growing rapidly, adding more online selling channels makes perfect sense to increase revenue. However, receiving, tracking and fulfilling orders that come from different sources like websites, apps or in-store, is quite challenging by itself. Add to that, managing and keeping track of inventory spread across all these various channels can be a logistical headache. And let’s not forget that Covid-19 has weakened operations and made supply chain management a nightmare for retailers. Fortunately, there is a solution that can help retailers to break free from this Chaos.
An effective Order Management System (OMS) is a tool that helps retailers centralize their order processing through sales channels and fulfillment methods. By doing so, an OMS also automates a retailer’s workflow and supports them on their customer experience journey. In short, an OMS controls sales, inventory, and fulfillment processes altogether and that’s why it’s vital for merchants. Understanding the necessity and utilization of an OMS and its features will be helpful to a retailer’s holistic sales operation today and in future.
- Is there a better way to manage sales and inventory data across all channels than doing all of it manually? The truth will set you free…
Centralizing the inventory and order data is vital for companies that sell across multiple online and offline channels, utilize multiple warehouses, or depend on kitting – bundling multiple items, often from multiple locations which are sold and shipped as a single product. Having to do all the sales and order processing manually is just not possible as the sales increase and the workload intensifies. Data entrance will take too long and it’ll be cumbersome to track your customers’ orders. Right at this point, you understand that you need a tool to help you with this complicated and time-consuming process. SalesWarp Order Management system (OMS) increases the efficiency of the retailer’s order management process by automating many steps that previously required manual involvement. Because the same information is used across all areas of the sales and fulfillment process, less data entry is required, and that means less potential for errors. This also improves the retailer’s ability to process orders efficiently and quickly. An OMS like ours will not only free the merchant from the clutches of chaos but also increase customer satisfaction which in turn enhances the merchant’s cash flow and profitability.
2. This Independence Day let’s fulfill your business promises with the right technology.
Every retailer has to keep some level of safety stock. Not knowing how much stock the retailer truly has at all his locations may simply lead to overstocking. Here, an OMS works as the central nervous system of any commerce operations. A good one is a glue that keeps the retailer’s systems up to date with a real-time, enterprise-wide view of all orders, inventory, customers, returns, products and promotions across all sales channels and fulfillment centers. An OMS streamlines product catalogue management and data syndication across sales channels. It enables the merchant to upload or enter product information once, and it’s available across all their other systems and sale channels. A customer service representative won’t have to waste time logging into multiple systems to handle simple requests; everybody is in the know of product inventory levels across the company. This core function of an OMS provides a merchant with a 360-degree view of the business, coupled with intelligent workflows, enabling them to make smarter decisions, often automatically and in real-time, to deliver faster, more accurately and at lower costs. Better visibility into sales helps retailers optimize inventory levels so that they meet customer demand while minimizing excess stock. A consolidated view keeps them from missing a sale because inventory is in multiple locations. All of this can increase cash flow as well as improve customer loyalty and satisfaction with the brand.
3. Walk into a bright future with the knowledge of sale trends and strategic merchandising:
4th of July is the 2nd busiest season of the year for retail shopping and not having an efficient unified OMS may cause retailers to lose out on the opportunity to increase sales. Fluctuation in demand, seasonality supply chain logistics and products’ natural life-cycle can all make managing inventory feel like trying to hit a moving target. The ability to provide true cross-channel analytics is what is needed to run the business better. Having a strong operation management system helps retailers gain more control over their future inventory planning efforts and overcome challenges. SalesWarp empowers retailers to get all the information they need to track and benchmark the inventory. With this information, merchants are always one step ahead of their competitors as they have the chance to see product performance, customer behavior and sectoral trends. This also means that merchants can bulk up each transaction by making relevant recommendations to upsell and cross-sell.
As we look ahead towards a potentially busy time, it’s important to reflect on the data generated from past holidays and current operational challenges that one might have had. This will help retailers not to repeat any past inaccuracies and overcome any future obstacles in the months leading up to a busy season. This ability of the OMS to analyze the past and predict future trends, arms the retailer with a very effective tool that helps in identifying the inventory that was sold the most, what price points or the sweet spots to sell, and what items have been easy add-ons to help add more dollars to each transaction.
4. Optimize omni-channel fulfillment and do not let delay and disruptions win.
“Making customers wait to buy from you is like leaving money on the table”
Time is of the essence for businesses when fulfilling online orders because consumers lack patience. A research study found that about 60% of consumers would never shop with the same online store again if they had a poor experience. A slow website and poorly designed pages that lack product information contribute to their decision-making process therefore a fast and user-friendly order management system is vital for your business success. An OMS also supports distributed order management. For example, with OMS, you can fulfill an order that involves shipping items from multiple locations, process returns through the mail or in-store, and do so as cost-effectively as possible. Moreover, the holiday season tests your supply chain like no other time of the year. High volumes typically cause order fulfillment and inventory management processes to buckle under the pressure. And the only way to avoid all of this is to have a strong order management system in place. Multi-location inventory and fulfillment across all customer touch points including website, brick-and-mortar stores, and contact centers are now made simpler with SalesWarp. When retailers implement technology such as ours to overcome these hurdles, they are empowered to improve digital convergence and in-store sales while increasing omni-channel profitability. As a result, this also helps retailers protect their margins meet delivery expectations and increase profits during peak periods.
5. Help customers Connect with the brand and gain their loyalty.
While there are myriad initiatives that a retailer can take up to gain loyal customers, they tend to ignore some very basic ones often at their peril. As e-commerce continues to grow at an impressive rate, OMS becomes increasingly important not just because it provides ease of doing business for the merchant but also helps them meet customers’ expectations as it provides flexibility in ordering, picking up, receiving and returning products. Imagine turning away a customer who wants to buy an item that you have in stock. In fact, they’d like to set up a recurring monthly subscription order. Having an incompetent OMS would be like saying “Nope. can’t do it. Come back next month, please.” When the customer wants to “subscribe and save” an incompetent OMS is just asking them to “wait and remember”. This is where the retailer risks losing a customer to their competitors. On the other hand, Sales warp OMS is delighted to oblige the customer. It will take that order upfront. Every month it will automatically create the order shipment, email the customer and process payment securely – no questions asked. A 5% reduction in customer abandonment rate can increase profitability by 25% to 125%. (Source: “Leading on the Edge of Chaos, “Murphy & Murphy). Even companies with single channels benefit from this structure that a competitive OMS provides.
Return and exchange policy and execution are two of the most important factors consumers consider when choosing a retailer, whether buying online or in stores. In fact, according to an online shopper’s study, 66% of shoppers review a retailer’s return policy before making a purchase. By moving processes like Receiving orders, processing payments, shipping/tracking orders, overseeing returns, and other important processes into one Digital space with an OMS, retailers can boost efficiency. In addition to improving your bottom line, OMS software can provide a better experience for your customers. The easier we make it for customers the more likely they are to return.
As we approach the next big season of retail shopping, we need to understand that to stay competitive and grow their business, retailers need to accept orders from various channels. Regardless of where or how the order is placed, customers should have the same excellent experience, and the inventory and fulfillment processes have to be efficient and accurate. And for all this to be made possible, merchants need to be on the top of their game. It’s a choice the retailers have to make now, whether to bow down to the chaos of retail management or to empower themselves with an effective order management system and embrace peace.