The age of e-commerce has given a twist to the customer shopping experience for the better. It’s not that the traditional way of shopping has lost its charm entirely or has gone out of fashion. It is still there. The only difference is that eCommerce has profusely spread its realm and overpowered the old-fashioned shopping scenario.
With eCommerce, the convenience of buying has dramatically increased. You just sit, scroll, select, add to cart, pay for the order, and it reaches your doorsteps. Customer expectations have changed tremendously with e-commerce rising of late.
When we think of eCommerce, it often strikes our mind how our order is processed till it reaches us. You are happy to receive your order on time. But have you ever wondered what it takes for an e-commerce business owner to manage orders right from the point you place them till the moment they are delivered, along with catering to your after-sales queries? It is an extensive and exhaustive process where the business owner has to be very attentive at each and every step to make sure that things go in the right direction.
Websites make sure that the order reaches us on time, for which they have a streamlined procedure that starts with receiving the order and goes on to post-sales services. It is termed as the eCommerce order management system. Having this system in place with every single operation organized to flow smoothly is very crucial for an online buying and selling business as it can impact sales significantly. As an owner, if your eCommerce order management system is disorderly and unsystematic, it is highly likely that your sales will skew downwards. Inefficiency in order management is one of the main reasons for customer dissatisfaction and, therefore, drives away potential buyers.
Being an owner of goods-based B2B, B2C, or D2C websites, it is important that you become familiar with the eCommerce order management system. Go through this blog to get some insights.
Meaning of Order Management
The eCommerce order management system is central to every online business dealing in selling goods and commodities. It involves end-to-end supervision of the order cycle, right from receiving the order to its fulfillment and after-sales services. This process involves the equal participation of several business departments, namely customer service, warehousing, accounting, and delivery.
Consider an effective eCommerce order management system as a customer magnet. When customers are sure that information disclosed is secured, goods will be delivered on time, returns and refunds will be quick, and they will get comprehensive customer support, they tend to become loyal towards your business. Remember, loyal customers are influencers. They can convince people looking for your kind of product to visit your website, thereby increasing your sales.
Now that you know what order management is, let us study the order management process.
Order Management Process
Customer Placing The Order
Receiving the order
Here comes the wow moment where your customer base is increasing as more and more are placing orders for your products. So, be prepared to manage these orders in a way so that the right product reaches the right customers at the right time. When you are receiving multiple orders from different channels, setting up omnichannel fulfillment becomes extremely necessary. The major purpose of this tool is to streamline the process of taking the order and sending the correct details to the warehouse. Once warehouse managers get the right details, locating, distributing, tracking, and, lastly, managing inventory becomes easy for them. There are Saas-based tools through which brands manage their Omnichannel fulfilments, which eventually reduces the amount of manual work, making the entire process automated for a hassle-free experience.
Do not complicate the process of payment, as you will end up losing sales. Give your buyers a quick and secure means to pay. Give them the option to pay by cards and e-wallets while ensuring them that their details will not be shared or hacked. A secure and quick payment system plays a significant role in building a trustworthy relationship with your buyers. It will entice them to come back for more purchases.
Fulfilling The order
After the order is placed, it should reach its customers on time without getting damaged. Here are the three steps involved:
After the order details are sent to the warehouse, the process of fulfillment begins. They are arranged in a very systematic manner, with every class of product placed in the different sections and shelves. This makes spotting the product in the process of delivery quick and easy. With such orderliness, warehouse workers pick up the right product to be passed on for packing.
Being an e-commerce business owner, your intention will always be to deliver the order in the right condition. This is where packing plays a major role. When the product goes through the process of packing, the suitable packing material is selected while making sure that the resources do not get wasted. When the product reaches the customers without bearing any damage, you have a long-term association with them coming your way.
Perceive the excitement of the customer during the waiting period after placing the order. Think about the delight they will experience when they receive their order on time or even before that. A happy customer is, perhaps, your permanent customer. Therefore, choose a shipping method that delivers the order at the estimated time or before that. Before the order goes for shipping, warehouse workers attach the applicable shipping label and invoice, mark the product as shipped for all the sales channels, and share shipping confirmation along with order tracking details with the customers.
What if the order is out of stock?
Set up an eCommerce order management system that is efficient enough to deal with orders when the products go out of stock. Plan it in a way that the customers receive an intimation that the product is not in stock. Here you can either deny delivery, indicating the non-availability of the product, or you can postpone the delivery date using back ordering or dropshipping.
In back ordering, an e-commerce business gives its customers a tentative date for order delivery. This date depends on the date on which the business will get the product back in stock after placing the purchase order with the supplier.
In dropshipping, it can be said that the business steps away from between the supplier and the customers. It lets the supplier know about the customer’s order, and then the supplier directly delivers the order to the buyers.
Post sales Services
The eCommerce order management system does not stop after the fulfillment is completed. It goes beyond that and includes post-sales services. Your after-sales services should be as efficient as your delivery process. If they are slow and sloppy, your customers will slip away. Here are three things that it includes:
Following up with customers
Your relationship with your customers is not restricted to buying and selling. It does not end after the product is delivered. In fact, it requires you to be even more considerate towards them once the sale is made. You need to build a bond with them, which requires you to follow up through email and messages. Ask them if they are satisfied, enquire how happy they are with the services, or let them know about the prevailing discounts and offers. Stay in touch with them if you do not want to lose them.
Managing returns and refund
There is a possibility that the customers are not happy with the product they received, or it is not up to the mark as they were expecting it to be. If your buyers find the product not suitable for them, they should have an option to return it. They have return and refund policies that allow customers to return the product and get their money back as early as possible. Are these policies prominently displayed on the website so that they attract customer attention? Easy-going and liberal return and refund policies usually engage customers into buying the product.
Reviews and feedback
An important reason for following up with the customers is to obtain their feedback. Have a feedback form mailed to them where they can rate your product and leave essential remarks. Once you get the response, do not leave it dumped in your inbox-act on it. If the customer is happy, send them a thank you email requesting them to leave a review on the website. If the customers are not satisfied, do not refrain from contacting them personally. Take their feedback seriously and work on it so that such complaints do not erupt in the future.
The eCommerce order management system is a comprehensive process given the fact that it not only streamlines the procedure from receiving the order to post-sales services, but also provides you with the data that should be used for strategizing sales growth. It provides real-time information about inventory so that there is no delay in replenishing it as and when required.
With an all-inclusive eCommerce order management system in place, you live up to the buyers’ expectations, eventually converting them into your permanent customers. There is no delay in delivery, intimation of out-of-stock to the buyers, sharing of order tracking links with the customers, and robust post-sales services. All this combined together contributes to furnishing an excellent buying experience.
Being an eCommerce business owner, it’s time to develop an order management system that helps you provide your customers with the best shopping experience.
Paxcom makes your order management easy
We make your order management system a smooth-sailing process with the help of our Omni-channel Solution. They are designed to give businesses of all sizes and categories complete control over their e-commerce logistics and fulfillment. From managing product information to inventory, our Omni-channel solutions best cater to the needs of every eCom seller.