Every retail business aspires to get more orders from their customers. Having more orders equates to more revenue. But to get there, you need to have an order management system in place.
Order management ensures that when demand increases, your business can meet that demand. Without systems in place, your business runs the risk of making mistakes in order fulfillment, experiencing stockouts, and suffering from shipment delays.
What is order management?
Order management is the process of receiving, managing, and fulfilling customer orders. Efficient order management eliminates delays in fulfillment and reduces the likelihood of misplaced orders. Effective order management leads to satisfied customers — increasing customer loyalty.
Thus, optimizing your order management processes is critical to fulfilling orders profitably.
Order management process
Order management is sequential, beginning with receiving the order and ending with delivering the product(s) to the customer.
1. Customer places order
The process starts when the customer places an order and makes payment. Customers can place orders from different locations at different times. Order management software can be integrated with your ecommerce store to automatically fetch order-related details and adjust inventory.
2. Order is received
Once payment is received, order details are forwarded to the warehouse to begin processing the order. A confirmation is usually sent to the customer. If there are multiple warehouses, zone skipping, which sends the order to the warehouse closest to the customer’s location, can reduce shipping costs and transit time.
3. Order is picked
Order fulfillment begins with the picking process — products are retrieved from the warehouse. Picking teams are dedicated to this task. Warehouse management plays a vital role in improving the picking process. Products are arranged systematically to reduce picking errors and processing time. This translates into faster delivery times.
4. Order is packaged
Once the product is successfully picked, it must be packed for shipping. Special attention is needed when packing fragile items. For instance, glassware should be packed with air pillows or bubble wrap to safeguard from damage.
5. Order is shipped
Once the order is packaged, it can be shipped. Employees working at shipping stations must include relevant shipping labels and invoices with the package. Shipping confirmation and a tracking number are provided to the customer.
6. Customer receives the order
Finally, the customer receives the product(s).
7. Feedback is collected
The order management process should not end following delivery. Within a few days of delivery, a follow-up email should be sent to confirm satisfaction with the product and delivery process. Businesses should request feedback to learn about customers’ experiences.
Returns are inevitable for any business, and if your customers are unhappy with your return process, they may not make repeat purchases. Therefore, it is important to include clear return policies and procedures as part of your overall order management strategy.
Improve your order management using DEAR Systems
As your business scales, you will introduce more inventory, add new channels, and attract new customers. These variables make it challenging to manage orders. A specialized order management system can help in streamlining your order management process. It provides a one-stop solution to track and manage orders.
DEAR Systems effortlessly keeps track of orders across multiple sales channels so that you get real-time visibility over incoming orders. It uses barcode scanners at warehouses that speed up the product picking process and reduce counting errors. Back ordering and inventory tracking are also supported by DEAR Systems.
With DEAR Point-of-Sale, you can even manage orders from a retail store. If you find these features impressive, DEAR Systems is your solution to the order management process.
Book a call with our experts to learn more about how we can help manage orders for your retail business.