After a customer has loaded up their online shopping cart, and are just about to hit that final ‘confirm order’ button, the last choice of their shopping journey could have the biggest impact: shipping options.
Order management solutions exist to insure that no matter which of the half-dozen shipping options is chosen, the customer will be able to get their order in the timeframe promised. As soon as that ‘confirm order’ button is clicked, the clock starts ticking.
Expanding fulfilment options
“Every single fulfilment option that you enable has to be backhauled with the right kind of order management,” said Michael Turcsanyi, President of the Toronto-based ecommerce and order management solutions provider OrderDynamics.
As more customers turn to online shopping for its convenience and pricing, they’re looking for more shipping options that can fit with their routines. Options like ship-to-store, and pickup in-store are gaining more fans, and adding new challenges to retailers order fulfilment methods.
The benefits of having more shipping options are becoming too large to ignore: According to a new global omnichannel study by OrderDynamics, 47% of retailers reported that their ship-from-store program resulted in higher online revenue.
Delivering on promise
Despite the challenges presented by allowing new kinds of delivery and pick-up for web purchases, customers still expect retailers to hit that guaranteed ‘delivered by’ date. Turcsanyi calls this ‘delivery on promise’. It’s a key metric in customer satisfaction.
“[Retailers] really need to be much more focused on that customer service and an order management platform is going to give them the tools to accomplish that,” he said.
Despite the importance of maintaining customers’ confidence in a retailer’s ability to hit guaranteed delivery or pick-up dates, a report from OrderDynamics says that most retailers build and view inventory systems infrastructure as an afterthought when customer-facing initiatives are launched.
Picking up in-store or shipping from store provides a more convenient shopping experience that involves adjusting inventory, alerting store associates, and informing customers. Order management systems need to keep up with these complexities, and ensure that promises are kept.
“You’re going to find that it provides much more convenience,” Turcsanyi said. “It’s much faster to get through your orders and much more transparent for your customer.”
Learn more about Order Management and Omni-Channel commerce in Canada at next week’s State of Omni-Channel Retailing in Canada event in Toronto February 4, presented by OrderDynamics, Canada Post and the Retail Council of Canada.
The event will feature guest speaker Peter Sheldon of Forrester Research.