Simplifying your ecommerce order management system
As your ecommerce website grows, you’ll probably find that you need to start looking at ways you can make your order management system more efficient. If you started out with a cheap, out-of-the-box solution, it’s likely that it won’t be able to keep pace with a higher volume of orders – so what’s the answer to this particular pain-point?
As much as every online business would like to enjoy the profitability that comes with stacks of orders from the get-go, unfortunately, it takes time to build visibility and an audience that’s primed to purchase. At this stage, a basic order management system is probably sufficient, as you’ll have time to process your orders manually.
However, as your business grows, basic order and despatch details might make order processing a bit of a nightmare, and you’ll need to look for a more sophisticated system to keep you on top of the game.
The problem with poor order processing
If your ecommerce order management system can’t keep up with an increasing influx of purchases, it will undoubtedly have an impact on your business in several areas:
- Compromised stock management
- Failings in order fulfilment
- Increased admin
- Reduction in customer satisfaction
- Damaged reputation (bad news travels faster than good!)
If you start to fall foul of these issues, you’ll need to rethink how you manage your order processing.
How can you improve order management?
When you reach this stage, you’ll probably have a budget to look at ways of improving your processing through a bespoke solution – and the increase in efficiencies will, overtime, ensure a return on any investment you make.
So how does a finely tuned order management system improve the order fulfilment process?
Because a bespoke solution is tailored to your specific requirements, the way your new system will work will depend on what you need, but here some options to consider including:
- Automatic purchase ordering – raise purchase orders to fulfil web orders automatically: the system will tell you what you need to order (see point below), which is particularly useful for orders with multiple lines
- Intuitive workflow capabilities – Goods receipting of your purchase orders triggers the despatch note process for any outstanding orders (that couldn’t previously be fulfilled) – the system tells you what products you need to send out in your next despatch, alongside new orders
- Real-time stock levels – automatically update your stock inventory as soon as a purchase/despatch request is received
- Customer notifications – if an item is out of stock, automatically notify the customer at the point of purchase, along with an expected delivery time for the missing item(s) if they wish to proceed
- Staggered delivery – auto-generate a picking note for in-stock items to be despatched immediately, so your customer isn’t left waiting for all the items in their order
- Low stock alerts – receive a notification to order new stock as soon as an item dips below a specified stock level, minimising ‘out of stock’ issues
This level of functionality isn’t generally available through basic ecommerce order processing systems, and as your order volumes grow, it can become impossible to manage without it! There’s plenty more that you can do to simplify your order management system with a bespoke solution too, so identify your pain-points and your ecommerce developer should be able to find a fix for it.