Omnichannel presence for retailers with an order management system

Order management system – Omnichannel retailing is the practice of providing a uniform shopping experience to customers both online and offline. It is a multichannel approach where enterprises have both e-commerce stores and brick & mortar stores for marketing, selling, and servicing products.

Customers will only get an omnichannel experience when all the retails channels work in unison to deliver the same results.

Order management system (OMS)

An order management system is a software that enables a business to track its inventory, orders, sales, and fulfillment. It is an automated system that contains a database of:

  • General ledgers
  • Sales channels
  • Customers
  • Vendors/suppliers
  • Logistical partners
  • Payment processors
  • Order processing records
  • Customer refunds and returns

The right order management system provides seamless supply chain management across all sales channels.

Some of the benefits of an order management system include:

  1. Managing multiple warehouses

Large businesses and e-commerce companies operate multiple warehouses around a country. For example, there are more than 75 fulfillment and sorting centers of Amazon in the US.

Companies like these distribute their incoming products through their warehouses. An order management system can help these businesses to assign a particular product(s) to a specific warehouse. OMS will also alert if a product is running low at a certain point of time.

  1. Automatic selection of fulfilment centre

Multiple warehouses might have the same product that a customer has bought. Selecting the right fulfilment centre that will result in lower logistics costs for order delivery is one of the benefits that an order management system provides. It can also suggest fulfilment from a local physical store if the business operates multiple sales channels.

  1. Automatic inventory updating across multiple channels

Businesses operating multiple sales channels need to have a system that updates inventory in real-time. Without the same, they can end up overselling from their online store and face scarcity in a physical store. Also, orders returning through online and offline sales channels also need to be updated in the inventory.

OMS has all these features and is essential to keep a business’s inventory updated in real-time.

  1. Logistics management

An order management system gives users the freedom to outline pre-defined rules that are automatically initiated in certain fulfilment situations. Businesses also get the flexibility to make changes in logistics for rapid order delivery.

For instance, a company operating multiple channels either has its own logistics arm or utilises third-party logistics (3PL). Now, it can decide to opt for a 3PL instead of their delivery wing. They can also implement exceptions when the fulfilment is shifted to a 3PL.

  1. Fulfilment management

Businesses with multiple sales channels operate multiple points of fulfilment, interaction, return and also combine these simultaneously.

An exceptional example of the same is order online and pick-up from the store. Companies like Decathlon provide this service where customers can order a product online that is not available at the store and pick it up later from the latter without paying a shipping fee.

OMS and omnichannel retail

Without the above-mentioned benefits and features of an OMS, an omnichannel retail enterprise will struggle to operate. Retailers have to successfully implement an order management system if they seek to operate multiple sales channels.