Do you need to invest in a new order management system?
Improving the customer experience has become a mantra for retailers lately. Everyone wants to bring in new customers. The average retail business spends over 4 percent of their annual revenue on marketing in an effort to welcome new customers – that’s more than any other industry. Yet many of these same retailers are challenged in trying to make things happen using outdated and ineffective tools.
Don’t be like those retailers
Your order management system is the most important tool to deliver a competitive customer experience every time. Customers want to know what your store has in stock before they shop or pick-up a purchase locally. 79 percent of US adults say it’s important that a retailer offers visibility into which items on their website are available in-store. And, 34 percent of adults are less likely to visit a store if they can’t see its inventory online.
The demand for inventory visibility isn’t limited to just the physical store. Customers want to buy from their favorite brands through social media and mobile apps. This is especially true for Gen Z and Millennial shoppers. However, a disconnect happens when consumers can’t find the products online that they found through an email or social media outreach. When there’s a focus on marketing over effectively managing your supply chain, the demand for products becomes greater than your ability to deliver.
Consumers’ desire for inventory transparency is why retailers such as Sears have struggled to get their supply chain up to par in recent years. Kohl’s has found that they could significantly boost margins by reducing inventory levels. Other retailers like Eileen Fisher manage their inventory in a single platform and have significantly reduced the manual effort involved in the cross-channel product returns process. Their associates can find stock faster, which enables higher quality customer services.
Customer loyalty is ultimately built by having the inventory your customers want, where they want it, and as soon after they place the order as possible. That all comes together when you have an order management system that’s integrated with your CRM and the rest of your supply chain management system, which is vital to making this happen.
Instead of diving into new technology all at once, first identify a problem in your organization that needs solving as the first step, and then look to the available technologies for the solution.
How do I know if I need to update my system?
Stay attuned to the attitudes of your staff and employees as you implement new technologies to gauge whether things are moving too quickly. There is a good chance that your business would benefit from updating its order management system if you have issues with:
- accurate, real-time global inventory views across all channels
- order, fulfill and return capabilities from anywhere, to anywhere
- automatic customer order updates
- flexible business rules to track reverse inventory back to the right location
- save the sale
In the end, only you can make the decision if your business needs a new order management system. Supply chains can only live up to their full potential when they’re operating in tandem with an order management system that enables effective and efficient order processing. Sourcing less inventory might be the answer to taking your margins to the next level, but you’ll never know unless you work with an order management provider that can give you the real-time insights you need to create positive changes.