Order management is all about keeping track of and organising sales orders coming into a business, usually from a variety of different online and offline channels. In ecommerce, it will usually include the processes needed to deliver an order to the end customer and handle any resulting returns.
A typical order management process would involve:
It’s possible to handle all this manually through a series of spreadsheets. But most retailers would utilise some form of order management system (OMS).
Learn more about Veeqo’s order management system software.
An order management system (OMS) is a tool or piece of software that consolidates and organises all the sales orders of a business into one place. It will usually track sales, inventory fulfilment and returns across multiple online and offline channels.
All this allows for easy viewing, editing and managing of the order process from start to finish.
Almost all businesses need to manage sales orders at some level. But an order management system is particularly useful in retail – where a company may be dealing with large amounts of orders each month coming in from a variety of different stores, websites and marketplaces.
For example, a retailer may sell via a Magento website as well as on Amazon and eBay. Rather than logging into each individual channel to manage and fulfil orders, an order management system would bring them all into one platform.
Different order management systems will have their own advantages and disadvantages. Some good fundamental aspects to look out for though are:
Order management is important because it’s the fundamental process of delivering on what customers have paid you for. When done right, it’s the key integrator that brings all channels into one unified brand experience.
Without order management, orders can:
This creates a huge void in customer experience levels. And leaves your business highly susceptible to new or existing competitors providing a better experience.
Conversely, reliable order management allows companies to benefit from selling on multiple channels. Meaning a business can increase its selling potential, while maintaining the same, high quality overall experience across the board.
To achieve this cohesive order experience, retail businesses are increasingly turning to automated order management systems.
The process of order management starts from the moment a sale is made, and continues right through to delivery and any possible returns. This order involves several steps:
This involves actually taking the order details from your customer.
In ecommerce, this would typically mean someone completing checkout on your website or marketplace store. But could also involve completing an in-store transaction, or receiving some kind of order form sent via mail.
Payment is a key part of any order process. This is usually done as part of the checkout for online orders and completed immediately via card processor or a tool like PayPal.
However, it’s important to note that some payments take time to fully process. And you should not move onto the next stage of the order management process until this is complete.
Retailers with physical stores will obviously have the option of taking cash payments.
While wholesale or B2B sellers may choose to operate on an invoice model. This is where a buyer is quoted for a bulk buying order, then sent an invoice via post or email to be paid by a specific deadline date.
Once payment is successfully taken, the warehouse team can start the fulfilment process by picking the items.
There are four main methods when picking manually:
But many retailers are now opting to automate this with digital picking. This uses a barcode scanner to pick more orders, in less time and with greater accuracy.
Once picked, orders will be brought to a central desk ready for packing together.
This is an opportunity to make completely sure that you’re sending the right products to the right customers and in the most efficient way.
Here are some things to consider:
Once the items for each order are packed and sealed, the final fulfilment step is to actually ship it out.
A quality order management system will allow you to do all this with a few clicks in the same platform.
Returns are an inevitable part of the order process. And handling them effectively is necessary for businesses wanting to uphold their customer experience reputation.
Key elements of returns are:
This can be a complicated process in itself. But a quality order management system will provide a single view for all your teams to complete their necessary tasks on a return from start to finish.
An order management system (OMS) works by consolidating orders from all of a company’s sales channels into one place. So a business selling on a Magento site, Amazon, eBay and a physical brick-and-mortar store, would be able to view, manage and fulfil all their sales orders from one login screen.
This makes managing the order process much easier. Rather than logging into each individual sales channel or POS system, everything can be managed from start to finish in one place.
An OMS will cover four key pillars:
Full realtime visibility across all sales channels.Learn more about Inventory
Real-time picking updates and dashboards.Learn more about Picking
Quickly bulk ship orders, automated repetitive tasks.Learn more about Shipping
Report, forecast, purchase and replenish stock.Learn more about Reports & Forecast
Try Veeqo for free, and explore all the tools and services you need to manage inventory and ship to customers.