7 Crucial Features an Order Management Software Cannot Go Without
Some people mistakenly think that the moment an online store visitor clicks “Buy now” button and confirms the order, their goal is achieved - the visitor turns into a buyer and the money gets into merchant’s pocket. In fact, it is where the most crucial process, order fulfilment, starts. Managing to do it quickly and professionally will likely mean winning a loyal customer. However, it is easier said than done.
Merchants need to timely get notified about a new order, check the warehouse for items availability, and work out the ultimate route to ensure fast delivery. Things get even more complicated as the number of orders grows, especially if they come from different sales channels. Turns out the revery of every merchant -- numerous orders -- only works well if multiple issues are properly organized.
This is when order management software comes into spotlight as the solution to all the above problems. Such services have become virtually indispensable elements of most online stores, especially those with big volume of sales.
Due to the high demand, the number of OMS systems grows continuously, and so does the number of features they offer. However, adding new features for the sake of outrunning competitors in their quantity isn’t the best strategy for gaining clients. On the contrary, merchants are in search for the tools that fully satisfy their needs without bells and whistles. It is quite understandable - first, in a vast majority of cases they don’t have the time or desire to delve into sophisticated, but seldom needed functionality. Secondly, they aren’t willing to pay for the extra features that might never be used at all.
It boils down to the following - as an order management system vendor, you should study the needs of your potential clients to bring them maximum value with your solution. The list of most important functionalities is presented below.
Centralized order management
Even if your potential clients own only one online store, they might be planning to extend exposure at various marketplaces like Amazon, Ebay, Rakuten etc. Your OMS should cover this opportunity. It should allow to manage orders coming from all sales channels within one interface. This includes real time order notifications and status updates for customer service to ensure timely order processing.
Multiple payment gateways supported and fraud check
Merchants definitely benefit from providing the buyers with a wide range of payment services to complete their transaction. Therefore, they pay attention to the order management systems that support multiple payment options. It is important to integrate with fraud check services for merchants’ security.
Online storeowners do their best to ensure good service for their clients. Syncing your inventory with an OMS is essential for this, as it helps to avoid receiving orders for items that are out of stock or are no more available. This feature is also important for reserving goods that have been added to cart, but not yet purchased, and updating the stock levels correspondingly.
Fulfillment points integration
If a store has several fulfillment points, fulfillment integration enables to define which of the points to use for the order based on its location and item availability.
In case a store uses a dropshipping model or third party services for order fulfillment, this integration lets the seller keep track of the progress -- see when the ordered item has been released for fulfillment and then get a shipping confirmation.
Shipping services integration
Even once the item has been dispatched for shipping to the addressee and the merchant’s work seems to be over, the order isn’t yet completed. Both the buyer and the seller want to know “how it goes”, so integration with shipping services is indispensable. Your OMS software should provide as many shipping integrations as possible since e-Commerce businesses now tend to extend the circle of delivery options for the sake of customer convenience and reduced shipping costs.
In view of the possibility of receiving payment upon delivery, this feature will allow tracking and processing payments collected by shipping companies.
Service level can never be too high, so entrepreneurs do their best to eliminate any worries on their buyers’ side and answer many questions before they’re even asked. For instance, notifying a person about their order being received, processed, shipped with detailed info on each of the stages. An order management system should be able to automatedly send corresponding emails using certain triggers to let customer service agents focus on dealing with individual requests.
Integration to customer service systems would be a big advantage, enabling agents view, process and edit order information while communicating with customers.
Shopping platform integration
Most online stores today are build on the ready-made rather than custom shopping cart platforms. Consequently, the ability to extract the necessary data from them is crucial for an OMS. A big number of your order management system shopping cart integrations automatically means more potential clients.
The only issue that stops many OMS vendors from supporting many e-retail platforms is complicated development because:
- it takes time to find the way of getting into each system’s core and learning how to get the data from there;
- it incurs high fees to the developers specializing in particular platforms;
- once added, each platform integration should be updated and technical support should be available.
Still, beating your competitors with a number of available shopping cart integrations is possible in much shorter terms and a lot cheaper than you might expect. Using API2Cart services, you’ll only need to connect to its unified API to integrate your order management software with 30+ most widely used platforms -- open source and paid, standalone and web-based.
Integration with Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce, Bigcommerce, PrestaShop, and other popular shopping cart solutions will mean the following functional possibilities:
- order synchronization for quick processing;
- order status and order update retrieval for easy tracking;
- customer details extracting for timely notifications sending;
- automated product count and inventory updates notifications for customers.
For more details on how a unified shopping cart integration can work for your business, contact us with a message or schedule a quick call with our expert.