Is your order management system up to par? Despite all the advancements in commerce, if customer frustrations run high and online orders aren’t delivered on time, aren’t fulfilled accurately, or if the in-store experience is tedious with long lines at checkouts and click and collect counters a bottleneck, you’ve got a problem that starts with the basics.
Although retail has undergone a transformation and there are more ways than ever to shop, one thing remains constant: A great customer experience (CX) is one of the top factors of success and how shoppers perceive your brand.
How order management affects customer experience
While there are many things that affect CX such as availability of products and prices, if you have shoppers buying from you for the first time, you want to ensure an exceptional order experience, powered by world class Order Management (OMX).
Retailers selling online and in-store need to ensure that their stock levels are accurate, and that orders placed can be fulfilled fast and easy.
Recently, I had an extremely frustrating customer experience trying to order a present for my mother’s birthday and have it delivered to her overseas. Because her birthday is at the end of November, I thought an Advent calendar would be lovely. I chose a supplier who let me personalize the calendar online with photos of all her grandchildren and then order, sending it straight to her house.
Or so I thought.
My mum’s birthday passed, and the present was nowhere to be seen. I followed up with the online shop and they confirmed that “we are sending it out as we speak.” Two days after, they emailed again, informing me that the product had now sold out and they couldn’t fulfill my order.
This was one week after my mum’s birthday and almost two weeks after I ordered. I was furious. Not only did I not have the present, but I’d also wasted my time getting pics of the family and putting them all together. Of course I won’t be buying again from this retailer. And I’m angry enough about the incompetence to leave negative reviews about this experience.
Bottom line: Disappointment is a strong motivator, and it’s not working to a retailers’ advantage.
Real-time visibility is a requirement in the experience economy
My experience highlights several issues. Firstly, one person informed they were sending it, and another that it was out of stock. Doesn’t this retailer have systems and processes in place so everyone can see the same information and consequently communicate consistently?
Secondly, why was there no notification of low stock or stock having sold out BEFORE making a purchase? Why did it take so long to confirm if stock is available? With sound inventory management and access to accurate stock levels, all of this could have been avoided.
It’s clear that traditional commerce platforms alone are struggling to adapt to the unique demands of individual customers, especially when it comes to convenient, flexible, and fast delivery and collection options.
Today, order management systems should provide companies with real-time visibility to their distributed inventory enterprise-wide, enhancing customer expectations beyond speed and personalization.
Retailers need to invest in order management so they can orchestrate orders for fulfillment, route products from the most optimal inventory location, provide real-time inventory visibility for both retailers staff and the customer, process returns anytime and anywhere, and provide controls and feedback for management.
Dramatically improving operational efficiencies and customer satisfaction while boosting revenue, order management is pivotal to CX.
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