Naturally when customers are in search of products, one of the things that they look out for is which store gives free shipping and if not free shipping, lesser and more comfortable shipping costs. It is natural for online shoppers to look out for these.
As a Shopify merchant, to retain your customers for a long period, order fulfillment for your store has to be seamless, reliable, and fast enough to meet the needs of your customers. A study by Avarto for online US shoppers revealed that customers cancel their orders because delivery procedures were slow or too costly.
Although online shoppers are now more comfortable shopping online than in-store, prices are still one of the reasons why people still cancel their orders. If they find it cheaper in another store, they might cancel out on you.
A larger population of e-commerce businesses are DTCs (direct to customers), about 13% of the industry in the US is made up of DTCs stores. And the things that make this kind of store attractive are the procedure of business, how orders are fulfilled, fast delivery, and product pricing.
What Is Order Management?
Order management is the process that involves a merchant getting products that have been paid for by customers to the specified locations. This requires that a store merchant track and stick to the details of the order provided by the shopper.
Getting your products to your customers with the cheapest method and details of order makes every e-commerce store thrive. Inventory management is a key part when managing orders. You cannot keep taking orders for items when there’s a limited quantity in stock. Even in cases where products are available in large quantities, you need to track inventory to know how far you are from fulfilling your orders.
Shopify stands out when it comes to ensuring merchants track, manage and fulfill their Shopify store orders. Merchants can track orders that are still ongoing and yet to be delivered to where they are needed.
Procedures In Order Management
– Having an inventory (products in stock) ready to be shopped by customers
– Taking in orders from customers
– Sticking to the details of the orders: shipping location, delivery methods, and cost
– Packaging of the order with shipping details
– Package is being shipped to the customer’s specified location
** Order is fully processed and complete when goods are not returned by customers after certain days which differs from store to store
Why Is Order Management Significant?
Order management is a crucial part of the supply chain. A chain of ensuring parcels are delivered to the customers that call for them. In e-commerce today, retailers barely include order management as part of their duties probably due to the high technicalities of setting up an order management team.
What most e-commerce retailers do is engage the services of partners who help them handle the whole order procedure. These partners carry out inventory (or supply) roles, packaging, and delivery making it easy to lose control of orders.
Having a sufficient order management system can help generate revenue, reduce order fulfillment costs and ensure satisfying delivery processes.
Order management is also a way to put an e-commerce store on a superb growth track as customers value stores that cannot only fulfill their orders but also give details of the order process which includes communicating order stages and return procedures.
How To Improve Order Management Procedures
– Tracking inventory: knowing the number of an item that has been dispensed and the quantity that is available helps facilitate the order management system. This way merchants would avoid situations where they have to cancel customers’ orders due to unavailability of the products in stock which might leave them with a dented reputation. Hence, Shopify merchants are to ensure that there is a real-time inventory module that shows the products in stock, their quantities, and items that are in transit.
– Shape your order management system to meet store goals: a merchant does not set up its order management process without checking how the procedure can help reach his/her store goals.
– Efficient supply chain: the whole supply channel has to be coordinated to provide solutions to anticipated problems when it comes to inventory (stocking and delivering products).
– Customer engagement: to keep brand trust and own a good reputation, have your customers in the flow of order procedures. Real-time communication of order fulfillment events builds customers’ confidence in your store. This also helps the team to attend to each customer’s orders based on inventory to carry out orders more efficiently
– Optimized fulfillment: Sticking to the details of how customers want to receive their items also helps to improve order management. This saves you the stress and extra cost that comes with delivering the wrong item or mix-ups with locations/addresses.
– Shipping methods and procedure: Different shipping methods soothe each store depending on the category of products they sell. A fragile product would require a more stable shipping channel. Cost can also be considered when choosing the shipping channel to deliver orders.
– Automation: Automating the order system can help handle orders more efficiently and keep track of numerous orders more than you can achieve with a manual order system. This way you can avoid the human error of missing out on products. However, with automation, you might want to carefully track your orders to avoid mix-ups with your fulfillment provider.
Knowing Which Order Management System Works For Your Store
When choosing an order management system for a Shopify e-commerce store, you need to consider which type of management route will work for your store. Order management for e-commerce stores is not a one size fits all situation.
There are order management modules that work in different ways. You need to consider taking up a management system that will help you achieve your business goals.
1. Sales Volume
How much sales you make will determine what system to take on. If you use a system where orders are not properly tracked, you might slip off your order fulfillment. If you have a higher sales volume, it will be advisable to automate your order fulfillment processes to ensure there are no mix-ups.
2. Business Capacity and Strength
Order management can be quite demanding and technical, especially for a store that has no in-house order management team or a store with relatively a high sales volume. For retail stores with low sales volume, processing orders themselves might be achievable.
If you observe you can not handle order fulfillment procedures, it is best to outsource to a partner so you can focus on sales.
3. Customers Location
Using sales data to choose an order management system is very reasonable. Knowing where the larger population of your customers resides will help you know which shipping facility to use in fulfilling orders. Shipping costs play a major role in customers’ choice to purchase an item. Aside from the cost, the length of days to get the items delivered is another factor.
Choosing a shipping facility that is closer to where your customers are mostly clustered will reduce your shipping expenses.
Order management will help you maintain a reputable brand as this is one of the ways online shoppers measure brands. E-commerce stores need order fulfillment to get their products delivered to customers. It is advisable to choose one that better meets your store goals.