What is e-commerce order management: Processing, Tracking, and Fulfilment
The journey of an order begins when a customer clicks the “Buy” button. The customer receives an email and/or text message with their order details and a tracking code, and all they have to do is wait for it to be delivered. But if you are an e-commerce seller, there are complex workflows for order management, processing, and fulfilment involved. An e-commerce order management platform is a powerful tool that can help alle-commerce merchants grow and scale their online businesses. The key to success is understanding your customers and automating the order processing cycle while minimising the time and effort required to buy from your online store.
What is e-commerce order management?
E-commerce order management is the process of managing requests from customers to buy products online. It encompasses a variety of tasks, including:
- Order Receiving,
- Order Allocation,
- Order Routing and
- Order Execution
The goal of an effective order management system is to efficiently manage these processes and enhance the customer’s experience.
If you’ve ever shopped online, you have likely experienced efficient order management that truly delighted you. In addition to providing a hassle-free shopping experience for your customers, effective e-commerce order management can also help with real-time inventory control and reporting.
Managing large volumes of orders is a challenge for e-commerce sellers. In fact, the sheer number of orders that need to be processed and fulfilled can create a nightmare scenario where customers are left frustrated or unsatisfied. Even if you’re able to handle the volume, what about the complexity? What about the impact on your customer experience? If you’re not careful, expanding can actually hurt your business rather than help it.
There are ways to meet these challenges head-on by using an e-commerce order management solution that automates the order processing cycle, from the moment an order is placed until it is shipped. This includes tasks such as allocation inventory from the right distribution center or warehouse, routing the order to the appropriate fulfillment center, and generating a shipping label. E-commerce order management software can also track inventory levels and send automatic replacement orders when stock runs low.
Such a solution provides an integrated platform that helps you manage all aspects of your operations across channels and multiple sites from one place—helping to reduce costs and improve efficiency while ensuring a cohesive customer experience at every touch point along the way.
Tracking is the process of determining the current status of an order and its estimated time of delivery to the customer based on benchmarked data. An order tracking system will give you real-time updates so that you can determine exactly where an order is in your fulfilment process and generate a record for each step of the process. This is helpful for auditing purposes and identifying where errors may have occurred that prevented a package from getting to its destination on time or at all.
Tracking can also help you determine how fast your orders are being processed so that you can be aware of any bottlenecks in your fulfilment process or internal system issues like overloaded servers or network outages. A smart digital tracking solution often comes with dashboards and reports to help you identify trends over time, such as peak processing periods when there are more orders than usual coming through during certain months or seasons, such as Christmas season in December, for instance.
Tracking information is also useful for communicating with customers about their orders. This is important because they want to know where their items are located during transit and when they should expect them to arrive at their doorsteps.
The final step in the process of order management is fulfillment. Fulfillment simply refers to the delivery of products to the customer. This step happens after the order has been processed, tracked, and sent through shipping.
Some merchants choose to fulfil their own orders while others opt for third-party service providers to handle this component of the process for them. Regardless, having a system in place that allows you to track your inventory and manage your orders will help ensure that all items are put on a truck and delivered safely to their intended owners’ front doors,s on time. An effective e-commerce order management platform should also enable tracking the movement of orders by a third-party logistics provider or carrier. This way, the seller knows exactly when the product has been delivered, and if there have been issues in transit, to be ready to assist customers with the right solutions.
Improve your e-commerce order management with a comprehensive solution
In the past, order management was limited to order routing and fulfillment. Not only did this present the risk of orders being lost or misplaced in the process, but it also created a disjointed customer experience—not to mention it costs more. Today, e-commerce order management takes on a much broader scope that covers every step from receiving, allocating, and routing an order to executing it and everything in between.
Digital or software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms have emerged as a powerful solution that leverage smart and seamless API integrations to connect each node of the e-commerce order processing and fulfilment process with a comprehensive visibility for sellers. Customers expect a lightning-fast demand chain—and if they don’t get one with you, they’re likely to turn to a competitor who can provide them with one. That’s why an effective e-commerce order management system plays such an important role in your overall success.
An automated Order Management System (OMS) like Ordazzle offers several advantages over on-premises deployments. Seamless API integrations for third-party inventory and logistics management systems real-time visibility into order status and inventory are just a few of them. Get in touch to explore the value of Ordazzle for your business.