A Guide to Omnichannel Order Management

In today's rapidly evolving ecommerce landscape, managing orders across multiple sales channels is paramount for success.

Omnichannel order management is the key to streamlining operations, enhancing customer satisfaction, and driving business growth.

In this guide, we'll explore the intricacies of omnichannel order management and provide valuable insights for ecommerce sellers looking to optimize their processes.

Table of Contents

  • What is Omnichannel Order Management?

  • Understanding Your Sales Channels

  • Challenges of Managing Orders Across Multiple Channels

  • Benefits of Omnichannel Order Management

  • Key Features of an Omnichannel Order Management System

  • Choosing the Right Omnichannel Order Management Solution

  • Implementing Omnichannel Order Management

  • Best Practices for Effective Omnichannel Order Management

  • Future of Omnichannel Order Management

What is Omnichannel Order Management?

Omnichannel order management refers to the integrated approach of managing orders and inventory across multiple sales channels in a seamless and cohesive manner.

It involves centralizing order processing, synchronizing inventory levels, and providing a unified customer experience regardless of the channel through which a purchase is made.

By leveraging technology and data integration, omnichannel order management enables ecommerce sellers to efficiently fulfill orders, minimize stockouts, and deliver exceptional service to customers across all touchpoints.

Further reading: Omnichannel vs Multichannel

Why is Omnichannel Order Management Important for Ecommerce Sellers?

Omnichannel order management is crucial for ecommerce sellers for several reasons:

  • Enhanced Customer Experience: Today's consumers expect a seamless shopping experience across all channels. By implementing omnichannel order management, sellers can provide consistency in product availability, pricing, and service, leading to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

  • Efficient Operations: Managing orders across multiple sales channels manually can be time-consuming and prone to errors. Omnichannel order management streamlines processes, automates tasks, and improves efficiency, allowing sellers to focus on strategic initiatives and business growth.

  • Optimized Inventory Management: With real-time synchronization of inventory levels across all channels, sellers can prevent overselling or stockouts, optimize inventory allocation, and reduce carrying costs.

  • Data Insights: Omnichannel order management provides valuable data insights into customer behavior, sales performance, and inventory trends. By leveraging this data, sellers can make informed decisions, identify opportunities for growth, and optimize their operations.

  • Competitive Advantage: In a competitive ecommerce landscape, providing a seamless omnichannel experience can set sellers apart from their competitors. By delivering convenience, flexibility, and reliability to customers, sellers can attract new customers and retain existing ones, driving long-term success.

Understanding Your Sales Channels

Before delving into omnichannel order management, it's crucial to have a clear understanding of your sales channels.

Whether you're selling on Amazon, Shopify, Shopify Plus, TikTok Shop, or other marketplaces, each channel comes with its own set of advantages and challenges.

By evaluating the pros and cons of each channel and identifying additional sales channels, you can maximize your reach and revenue potential.

Overview of The Most Common Sales Channels

Ecommerce sellers have a plethora of sales channels at their disposal, each offering unique features and opportunities for reaching customers. Here's an overview of some popular sales channels our sellers use:

  • Amazon: As one of the largest online marketplaces globally, Amazon provides sellers with access to millions of active shoppers. With Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), sellers can benefit from Amazon's robust logistics network for order fulfillment.

  • Shopify: Shopify is a leading ecommerce platform that allows sellers to create customizable online stores with ease. With a wide range of built-in features and integrations, Shopify offers flexibility and scalability for businesses of all sizes.

  • TikTok Shop: TikTok Shop is a relatively new platform that enables sellers to showcase and sell products directly within the TikTok app. With its highly engaged user base and powerful algorithm-driven recommendations, TikTok Shop presents exciting opportunities for reaching younger demographics.

  • eBay: eBay is an established online marketplace known for its auction-style listings and diverse product categories. Sellers on eBay benefit from a large and diverse customer base, as well as robust seller tools and analytics.

  • Walmart Marketplace: Walmart Marketplace provides sellers with access to Walmart's vast customer base and offers tools for managing listings, orders, and fulfillment. With its focus on quality and value, Walmart Marketplace appeals to a wide range of shoppers.

  • Etsy: Etsy is a popular online marketplace focused on handmade, vintage, and unique goods. With a community of creative sellers and discerning buyers, Etsy provides a platform for artisans and crafters to showcase their products and connect with like-minded shoppers.

  • Instagram Shopping: Instagram Shopping allows sellers to create immersive shopping experiences directly within the Instagram app. With features like shoppable posts and product tags, sellers can showcase their products to millions of engaged users.

  • Google Shopping: Google Shopping integrates product listings directly into Google search results, making it easy for shoppers to discover and purchase products online. With its pay-per-click advertising model, Google Shopping offers sellers a highly targeted advertising platform.

Pros and Cons of Each Sales Channel

While each sales channel offers unique benefits, they also come with their own set of pros and cons:

Sales Channel

Pros

Cons

Amazon

Massive customer base, Prime shipping benefits

High competition

Shopify

Customizable storefronts, scalable platform

Requires marketing efforts, transaction fees

TikTok Shop

Highly engaged user base, algorithm-driven recommendations

Limited audience demographics, new platform

eBay

Large customer base, auction-style listings

Listing and final value fees, competitive marketplace

Etsy

Dedicated marketplace for handmade and unique goods, supportive community

Listing and transaction fees, competition from sellers

Walmart Marketplace

Access to Walmart's customer base, robust seller tools

Strict onboarding process, pricing pressure

Instagram Shopping

Seamless integration with Instagram, shoppable posts

Limited customization, reliance on algorithm

Google Shopping

Integration with Google search results, targeted advertising

Requires investment in PPC, competition for visibility

Identifying Additional Sales Channels

In addition to the mentioned sales channels, ecommerce sellers can explore various other channels to diversify their reach and maximize their sales potential.

Some additional sales channels to consider include:

  • Social Media Platforms: Utilize social media platforms to showcase products and engage with customers directly.

  • Marketplace Aggregators: Leverage marketplace aggregators to expand your product reach and tap into niche markets.

  • Niche Marketplaces: Explore niche marketplaces catering to specific industries or product categories, such as Reverb for musical instruments, or Wolf & Badger, a marketplace for luxury products.

  • Brick-and-Mortar Retailers: Partner with brick-and-mortar retailers to sell products in physical stores and reach customers who prefer in-person shopping experiences.

  • Subscription Box Services: Collaborate with subscription box services to feature your products in curated boxes and introduce them to new audiences.

By identifying and strategically leveraging additional sales channels, ecommerce sellers can diversify their revenue streams, increase brand visibility, and capitalize on emerging market trends.

Challenges of Managing Orders Across Multiple Channels

Managing orders across multiple channels presents a myriad of challenges for ecommerce sellers. From inventory discrepancies to order fulfillment bottlenecks, communication gaps with customers, and tracking and reporting, the complexities can be overwhelming.

However, with the right tools, these challenges can be effectively addressed. One of these is Veeqo, a comprehensive inventory and order management software with a powerful suite of inventory and shipping tools.

Veeqo streamlines the order management process by centralizing order processing, synchronizing inventory levels across all sales channels, and automating order routing and fulfillment. And with free access to Veeqo's open API, you can create custom integrations even if there isn't an out-of-the-box integration already in-place

With features such as near real-time inventory updates, customizable order workflows, multi-location management, and integrated shipping solutions, Veeqo helps sellers efficiently manage orders from multiple channels, reducing errors and improving efficiency.

Additionally, Veeqo provides advanced reporting and analytics capabilities, allowing sellers to gain valuable insights into sales performance, inventory trends, and customer behavior.

By leveraging Veeqo's powerful features, ecommerce sellers can overcome the challenges of managing orders across multiple channels and deliver a seamless shopping experience to their customers.

And best of all? It's completely free, whether you want to use Veeqo's pre-negotiated shipping rates, or connect your own carrier rates. But if you choose Veeqo's rates, you can access the lowest commercially available rates, based on our pre-negotiated pricing from UPS, USPS, FedEx, and DHL and up to 5% back with Veeqo Credits. You can sign-up here.

Benefits of Omnichannel Order Management

Omnichannel order management offers a plethora of benefits for ecommerce sellers.

By centralizing order processing, syncing inventory across channels, optimizing order routing and prioritization, integrating shipping solutions, and providing seamless returns management, businesses can enhance efficiency, accuracy, and customer satisfaction.

Additionally, omnichannel order management provides valuable data insights that can inform strategic decision-making and drive business growth.

Key Features of an Omnichannel Order Management System

A robust omnichannel order management system (OMS) encompasses several key features that are essential for seamless operations. These features include:

  • Centralized Order Processing: Streamlining order management from various sales channels into a single interface.

  • Inventory Syncing: Ensuring real-time synchronization of inventory levels across all channels to prevent overselling or stockouts.

  • Order Routing and Prioritization: Automatically routing orders to the most appropriate fulfillment centers based on factors such as location, availability, and shipping preferences.

  • Shipping Integration: Integrating with shipping carriers to automate label generation, track shipments, and provide customers with real-time shipping updates.

  • Returns Management: Simplifying the returns process for customers and efficiently handling returned items to minimize disruptions to operations.

  • Customer Communication Tools: Facilitating seamless communication with customers throughout the order lifecycle, including order confirmation, shipping updates, and post-purchase support.

Choosing the Right Omnichannel Order Management Solution

Selecting the right omnichannel order management solution (OMS) is crucial for the success of your ecommerce business.

When evaluating potential OMS software, consider factors such as scalability, integration capabilities, user-friendliness, and cost-effectiveness.

Here are some of the most popular OMS softwares to consider:

Veeqo

Veeqo is a comprehensive omnichannel inventory and order management software designed for ecommerce businesses of all sizes.

With features such as centralized order processing, real-time inventory syncing, and integrated shipping solutions, Veeqo helps sellers efficiently manage orders from multiple channels with its all-in-one software.

And when you're managing and shipping hundreds (or even thousands) of orders a day, it's also crucial that your software allows you to:

  • Easily manage inventory and sales from multiple channels in one place

  • Multi-location inventory tracking

  • Print labels in bulk

  • Track all shipments in one place - without needing to log in to your carrier account

  • View a range of live shipping quotes with Veeqo's rate shopping feature so you can select the best one for each order

  • Advanced forecasting and analytics

  • Open API for advanced and bespoke integrations

Veeqo will handle all of this, and even allows you to automate many of your daily inventory, shipping and printing tasks too. The user-friendly interface and customizable workflows also make it easy to adapt to your business needs.

Veeqo Pricing: And best of all? Veeqo is free, no matter how many shipments, channels, locations or users. Sign up today, it only takes 30-seconds.

CIN7

CIN7 (previously called Orderhive) is a multichannel order management software that helps ecommerce sellers automate their order processing and fulfillment workflows.

With features such as order routing, inventory synchronization, and shipping integration, CIN7 simplifies the complexities of managing orders across multiple sales channels.

It also offers advanced reporting and analytics tools to help sellers track performance and make data-driven decisions.

CIN7 Pricing: CIN7 pricing starts* from $349 per month for the standard plan, and goes up to $999 per month for their advanced plan. Multi-channel sellers will need their 'Omni' plan, which is price on request only.

*Pricing last accessed April 2024

Rithum

ChannelAdvisor, now called Rithum, is a cloud-based platform that helps ecommerce sellers optimize their online sales and marketing efforts across multiple channels.

It offers features such as product listing optimization, inventory management, and marketplace integration to help sellers reach more customers and drive sales. y

Rithum (ChannelAdvisor) also provides robust analytics and insights to help sellers understand market trends and competitive intelligence.

Rithum Pricing: Rithum don't publish their pricing publicly, you need to reach out to an advisor for their pricing. However, Sellercloud claims* that Rithum fees are a minimum of $1000 per month, plus a $3000 set-up fee.

*Accurate as of April 2024

Brightpearl

Brightpearl is an omnichannel retail management platform that combines inventory management, order processing, and customer relationship management into one integrated system.

It caters to retail businesses selling both online and offline, offering features such as real-time inventory tracking, order routing, and multichannel sales reporting.

Brightpearl also integrates with popular ecommerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce, providing seamless order management across multiple channels.

BrightPearl pricing: BrightPearl pricing is not publicly available, and will only be provided if you contact them directly. However, comparison site G2 claims* that BrightPearl pricing is 28% higher than other, similar software.

*Accurate as of April 2024

Implementing Omnichannel Order Management

Implementing omnichannel order management requires careful planning, execution, and ongoing optimization. To ensure a smooth transition, follow these steps:

  • Planning Your Integration: Define your goals, assess your current processes, and develop a detailed implementation plan.

  • Data Migration: Transfer existing order data, inventory records, and customer information to the new OMS platform. Most OMS's will have a support team in place to help with this process.

  • Staff Training: Provide comprehensive training to your team members to familiarize them with the new system and its functionalities.

Best Practices for Effective Omnichannel Order Management

To maximize the benefits of omnichannel order management, follow these best practices:

1. Maintain Accurate Inventory Levels

Maintaining accurate inventory levels is essential for ecommerce sellers to avoid stockouts, overselling, and operational inefficiencies.

Utilizing an omnichannel order management system (OMS) such as Veeqo or Rithum enables sellers to synchronize inventory levels across all sales channels in real-time.

By centralizing inventory management, sellers can track stock levels accurately, receive automatic low-stock alerts, and implement inventory replenishment strategies effectively.

Additionally, leveraging features like digital picking, barcode scanning and batch tracking helps ensure inventory accuracy throughout the fulfillment process, reducing errors and improving customer satisfaction.

2. Streamline Order Fulfillment Processes

Streamlining order fulfillment processes is crucial for maximizing efficiency and delivering orders to customers in a timely manner.

With CIN7 or Veeqo, ecommerce sellers can automate order routing, pick and pack workflows, and shipping label generation. These tools enable sellers to prioritize orders based on factors such as location, shipping method, and order value, optimizing fulfillment operations.

Integrating with third-party logistics (3PL) providers such as Amazon MCF, and carriers like USPS and UPS, further streamlines the fulfillment process, reducing shipping costs and transit times.

By automating repetitive tasks and minimizing manual intervention, sellers can fulfill orders faster and improve operational productivity.

3. Optimize Shipping and Delivery

Optimizing shipping and delivery is key to providing a positive customer experience and reducing shipping costs.

Specialist software like those mentioned above offer features to optimize shipping methods, rates, and delivery options. Sellers can leverage shipping rate shopping features to offer competitive shipping rates and provide transparency to customers during checkout.

Integrating with multiple shipping carriers and fulfillment centers enables sellers to choose the most cost-effective shipping options and reduce transit times.

Additionally, utilizing order tracking and delivery notifications keeps customers informed about their order status and enhances post-purchase satisfaction.

4. Consistent Customer Communication

Consistent customer communication is essential for building trust, managing expectations, and fostering loyalty.

Omnichannel order management software can facilitate seamless communication with customers throughout the order lifecycle. Sellers can automate order confirmation emails, shipping notifications, and delivery updates to keep customers informed at every step.

Personalizing communication based on customer preferences and purchase history enhances engagement and strengthens brand relationships.

Furthermore, integrating customer service channels such as live chat and social media messaging enables sellers to address inquiries promptly and provide exceptional support.

By maintaining open lines of communication, sellers can enhance the overall shopping experience and drive customer satisfaction and retention.

The Future of Omnichannel Order Management

As technology continues to evolve, the future of omnichannel order management holds exciting possibilities.

Emerging trends such as AI and machine learning, integration with new sales channels, and personalized customer experiences are poised to shape the future of ecommerce operations. Omnichannel order management is a critical component of success for ecommerce sellers operating across multiple sales channels.

By understanding the importance, challenges, benefits, key features, implementation strategies, and best practices of omnichannel order management, you can position your business for sustained growth and competitiveness in the ever-changing ecommerce landscape.

Sign-up to Veeqo to gain access to our advanced inventory and order management software, and access the lowest commercially available rates, based on our pre-negotiated pricing from UPS, USPS, FedEx, and DHL and up to 5% back with Veeqo Credits.

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