Last updated: How order management drives a better customer experience

How order management drives a better customer experience


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Is your order management system up to par? Despite all the advancements in commerce, if online orders aren’t delivered on time or fulfilled accurately, or if the in-store experience involves long checkout lines and slow click-and-collect, 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 is one of the top factors of success and how shoppers perceive your brand. And to deliver good retail CX, you need effective order management.

While there are many things that affect CX such as availability of products and prices, you need to give shoppers an exceptional order experience.

Retailers selling online and in-store need to ensure that their stock levels are accurate, and that orders can be fulfilled quickly and easily. Modern order management systems (OMS) are designed to help retailers give customers the seamless customer experience they expect.

How important is order management?

Order management has always been a core part of retail operations, but with all the ways customers can place orders today it’s become even more crucial.

Order management encompasses everything from order placement and inventory to fulfillment and delivery. Retailers need an efficient order management system to get orders to customers promptly and accurately.

Modern OMS software gives retailers the ability to connect multiple sales channels to fulfilment systems to ensure order accuracy and improve inventory management.  Other benefits include lower costs and increased customer satisfaction through streamlined operations and real-time visibility.

A retailer simply can’t succeed without robust order management. Done right, it provides top-flight customer experience that drives loyalty and profits.

Order management gone awry

To illustrate how order management impacts CX, I’ll recount an extremely frustrating experience I had 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 ordered it to ship it straight to her house.

Easy, 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 didn’t I have the present, but I also wasted time getting 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: A poor order management experience can result in frustrated and disappointed customers who are highly motivated to express themselves in ways that can damage to a brand.

The need for real-time visibility

My experience highlights several issues. Firstly, one person informed they were sending it, and another said 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 effective order management systems so they can:

  1. Orchestrate orders for fulfillment
  2. Route products from the most optimal inventory location
  3. Provide real-time inventory visibility for both retailers staff and the customer
  4. Process returns anytime and anywhere
  5. Provide controls and feedback for management

Dramatically improving operational efficiencies and customer satisfaction while boosting revenue, a modern order management system is core to the serving up the best retail CX.

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