To be fair, most of us begrudge paying out for stuff we don't need. So is order management software really worth investing in? How do you know if your business even needs it? What benefits will you see? Is it a magical unicorn that's gonna transform your biz overnight? So many questions. We're gonna unpack all of this here.
In this guide:
If you're selling from a variety of places (Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Shopify), and you're having to log into each system separately to deal with orders, that could get complicated very quickly. And you end up feeling like this most days:
Mikhail Ledvich observes that "typically, companies start investigating OMS [order management system] solutions when they are looking to add a second or third sales channel."
If you're already selling on 3 or more channels without an OMS, you're a trooper. But think how much easier it would be to have one interface to log into where you can manage all your orders in one place. You'd be back to running one business instead of three!
If you're finding mistakes are becoming common, you either need to fire the culprits or take a close look at your ways of doing stuff. It's more likely that your perfectly competent team are struggling with too much to do. If you're using manual processes for everything, from checking orders to emailing tracking info, that not only increases the workload, but the risk of human error.
If it's mistakes that lead to delays and buyers receiving the wrong orders, take cover. One slip-up is enough to wake the beast that is customer wrath. Next thing you know, they're flocking to social media to tell everyone how rubbish your business is which is . . . kinda awkward to say the least.
On a lighter note: having an automated, simplified order management system may be just the thing you need to ease the workload, save time, and get things back on track.
Mikhail Ledvich lays out the issues that show your business is struggling to keep up:
And when you bear in mind that overtime costs more money, it may actually work out cheaper to switch to an order management system.
Increasing errors + growing customer demand = bad news for business.
It's critical for every eCommerce business, even the teeniest ones, to remember to prioritize customer expectations over profits. We almost didn't put this part in, because it sounds so obvious. But when we saw these stats we changed our minds.
It was found that 80% of businesses believe they deliver a superior customer experience. But only 8% of customers feel they're getting an exceptional experience from those businesses. That's one hell of a gap. Which begs the question: How well are you really doing, in the eyes of your customers?
And customer service is becoming more and more important. So much so that 73% of consumers feel customer experience is an important part of their purchasing decisions. And unfortunately, customers won't wait around for you to improve your service. In fact, 47% of customers will switch to a competitor within just one day of a negative encounter. Brutal.
But businesses who simplify their order management processes (which improves customer experience) do stand to gain a lot: customers who have an excellent experience are 4.5x more likely to pay a premium price.
If you go for a SaaS-based OMS, you won't need to worry about hiring IT staff or paying a high upfront cost to install software/hardware in your workplace. You pay one subscription to get access that usually includes maintenance and support. With a SaaS solution, you can watch the pennies by choosing a monthly pay-as-you-go plan. And you can choose the right plan for your business needs. No need to pay extortionate fees for a tier your business isn't ready for.
If you’re worried about the scalability of a SaaS order management system, there's no need to be. The software grows with your business, and you can adapt your plan depending on your changing requirements (including upgrades and downgrades).
And as mentioned above, it may work out cheaper than paying your team to work longer hours to cope with demand.
When you cut down on manual processes, you free up a lot of time that could be used to grow the business. Why log into all of your sales channels separately to manually review orders and update them when you don't need to?
Bringing sales channels into one location and automating simple tasks can do amazing things. Denis Mehmedovic observes that a good order management system "reduces process time by up to 80%, which means that your team will have more time for other profitable activities." Or, you know, more time to take a well-deserved coffee break and deconstruct where things went wrong with The Walking Dead. Moving on.
If you've got a team without a simple process to follow, it's pretty much a mistake breeding ground (if that's even a thing.) There're a lot of moving parts to get right when an order is received, especially when multichannel selling:
It could be that your team are struggling to get everything done, or gaps in communication are causing problems. Let's take double dispatching as an example: someone on your team unwittingly goes and picks an order that someone else is already picking. The duplicate order is then shipped out to the customer, who may be really peeved if they have to mail it back. Oops.
By having one centralized system, everyone can get on the same page with tasks. Team members will be able to see who's processing certain orders and (depending which software it is) everyone can create their own batches of orders that only they're responsible for.
Good software will also allow you to have unlimited users logging in, so this cuts down on time spent relaying information to each other. We're not trying to promote a silent, antisocial working environment here. It's just there's nothing more frustrating than trying to get a straight answer on what you're supposed to be doing!
Having one place to log into to create pick lists and batches, print shipping labels, and bulk action orders (amongst other tasks) reduces the risk of error and makes your order management process heaps more efficient.
There's a ton of pressure to get orders to customers, faster. A survey by Dropoff found that 65% of consumers surveyed are prepared to switch to other retailers who provide the same fast delivery options as Amazon.
That ain't as fun as the frog (or lizard?) makes it look! The whole point of order management software is to reduce the amount of time spent on daily admin tasks, with a view to getting orders shipped as quickly as possible. Speed up your processes with automation and your customers are more likely to stay loyal to your brand. That alone is surely worth the investment.
We mentioned earlier that selling on multiple channels feels like running several separate businesses instead of one. Your orders and sales data are basically scattered all over the place, and you have to log into each system to piece together an overview of what's happening with your business. World's worst game of hide and seek.
If you're manually creating documents to help you stay on top of everything, you don't need to. Order management software hooks up to your channels and brings everything together in one place for a holistic view of your business. This is essential for keeping your operation organized, as well as allowing you to make better strategic decisions going forward (you'll be able to clearly see what's selling well and what isn't.)
Choosing a SaaS-based order management system puts your business in the best possible position for success. And you're probably thinking that of course, we would say that. But it makes sense: instead of wasting time developing an in-house system, or gritting your teeth with manual processes, it's much easier to subscribe to quality software that already exists.
By doing this, you'll be able to focus on creating an amazing omnichannel brand and making sure your team are delivering rave-worthy customer service. In a nutshell, your business gets to where you want it to be much faster.
And instead of paying out for upgrades to the latest versions, with a SaaS OMS, it's all built into your subscription. The system you use is continually updated so you automatically get the latest version; the vendor works on improving and adding features, and makes sure the software runs without issues. It takes a load off your plate instead of adding more onto it!
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