To any business selling online, timely delivered orders are one of the top priorities. The reason for that is simple: successful orders result in sales and profits. Obviously, the more orders are placed and, most importantly, completed, the better. However, when the volume of orders starts to grow, it becomes quite a challenge for retailers to handle them efficiently.
Order management process goes far beyond actual delivery of an order to a particular customer. Sophisticated and complex, it includes a massive range of activities, starting from order confirmation, booking and packing all the way to payment processing and shipment execution. On each of these steps, online merchants deal with loads of data related to both the order itself and to the customer who placed it.
A survey by NetSuite showed that order management improvement was the number 1 customer-focused initiative for 37% of wholesale distributors and retailers. It is yet another proof that effective order management plays a huge role in ensuring customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Without proper means for order handling, ecommerce businesses are doomed to lose the battle for customers. Most of retailers optimize this process by leveraging some kind of a basic order management system or relying on in-built capabilities provided by platforms like Magento. Nevertheless, it always pays to go extra mile so that to enhance the existing order management approach. Aitoc Magento 2 extension development company shares some useful tips on how to make Magento order management more efficient.
1. Centralize order related data
Today orders tend to come from more than one sales channel. Aggregating and synchronizing the necessary information across all channels in such case is vital, since its inconsistency may become a bottleneck in your supply chain. Make an investment into integration of your CRM, ERP and any other relevant software you use. Seamless and accurate data transfer is of a high importance here. For instance, if your store runs on the leading ecommerce platform, you can import orders to Magento in the CSV format with the help of specialized tools. It will allow bringing together the data coming from online, in-store, mobile and other sources into a single, centralized data hub. This way you will be able to control, track and modify every step of the order life cycle, reducing the risk of any potential mistakes and simplifying the overall process.
2. Take care of inventory accuracy
Inventory and order processing are inseparable parts of one whole. Back orders and stock outs evoke no enthusiasm for customers, so you have to keep your stock levels well-organized and up-to-date in order to provide relevant availability data to buyers. Ensure your system automatically tracks and syncs up all the inventory, especially if it is spread across multiple warehouses. With this real-time data, timely stock replenishment will become a piece of cake, resulting in successful order fulfillment and, consequently, customer satisfaction.
3. Ensure visibility across the supply chain
Complete visibility throughout the entire supply chain will help you address your business’ performance goals and customers’ demands. Collaborate actively with your suppliers to make sure you always have relevant product data at your disposal. Update your sales staff about real-time inventory and orders on a regular basis. And, of course, keep your customers informed about each step of the order fulfillment process. Combined together, all of the mentioned above results in a highly transparent and visible order management. And that’s what lies a foundation for the increased level of trust with both your customers and partners.
4. Organize direct communication with your warehousing facilities
Nine times out of ten quick packing and shipment of orders guarantees its timely delivery to the end-customer. So, it should literally take minutes for an order to be processed at your warehouse to ensure successful fulfillment. What’s important here is a seamless data flow between order processing and warehousing teams. You can bring that to life at a relatively low effort by the means of corresponding software and communication tools. This is a simple and cost-effective way that will take you one step closer to optimized and streamlined order management process.
5. Make the most out of process automation
It should come as no shock that the process of handling orders can be inefficient, nonproductive and time-consuming, if executed manually. Unfortunately, there’s no way you can escape from the human factor in this case. By reducing the amount of manual data entry, you reduce the probability of errors in the order processing. Implement a smart order management system that will handle the data accurately. Allow your customers to enter order data in customized forms that will be exported for further processing automatically with no involvement of additional staff from your side. Automation will skyrocket your order management process, providing for more efficient order fulfillment.
Order management is a complicated, time-consuming process that constitutes an essential part of any ecommerce business. We have to face it – there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to ensure its flawless operation. However, the combination of the right software tools and management approaches will definitely make it run smoothly. Following the simple tips shared in this article can improve your order management strategy, and so contribute to the successful order fulfillment and, ultimately, better quality of customer service.