Image from Axisadman, found on Wikimedia Commons, source link: https://bit.ly/1kLKOVn
Available to access from just about anywhere through just about any device, the internet has become one thing above all: convenient. Long gone are the days of telling everyone else in the house that they can’t use the phone while you go online. You don’t even have to sit down at a computer. That convenience has very real implications for digital commerce, with people doing increasingly more shopping on mobile devices. With more channels than ever, and people utilizing them, maintaining a consistent, convenient presence becomes increasingly more difficult. To make sure you reach the omnichannel consumer, it may be time to consider an order management system.
The shipping experience
An order management system provides a centralized database–a “single source of truth”– to handle inventory. It can further be utilized to process orders, track shipping, and keep track of a customer’s purchase history. The important point is that it is a centralized solution that offers easy customization.
This is critical in a marketplace where personalization has become a central tenet. Personalization has been discussed extensively in regard to the actual shopping experience, but it also has potential in shipping. Customers expect to receive more service and place more detailed orders. Things like same-day delivery and customizable bundles once gave companies a leg up–now they’re expected.
Because customers now have multiple ways to buy, you have to make sure you have multiple ways to sell. Ensuring that inventory is accurately reflected on all of your channels is a key first step. Making sure you can get it to customers quickly is the next.
Not even the physical shipping of products is immune to the influence of artificial intelligence. While this includes obvious things like finding the most cost-effective shipping routes, it also introduces new means of collaboration. Because most companies can’t afford to have warehouses everywhere, working with a manufacturer to sell directly provides a way to reduce shipping time. But it only works if everyone’s on the same page.
While an order management system isn’t an inherently complicating factor, it portends a significant shift in the supply chain structure. An omnichannel model requires flexibility more than anything, and flexibility means being able to do more than what is immediately required. That goes against the philosophy of minimizing costs and boosting efficiency.
However, being able to quickly adapt to the whims of the market enables a better customer experience. That experience is key in the new digital commerce landscape. Things simply move faster than they ever have, and being able to adapt to them quickly is the best way to minimize costs. A comprehensive order management system that fosters flexibility is likely going to be a necessity before too long.
If you’d like to know more about how an order management system can help your digital commerce business stay up-to-date, please contact us. To stay current on digital commerce trends, subscribe to our newsletter.