Tips to resolve five retail order management challenges

Scott Carter, Solution Manager, Omnichannel Order Management | July 31, 2023

Have you ordered something online only to receive the wrong item, or it arrived much later than expected? These frustrating experiences may feel like the norm, but with the right technology, retailers can avoid mishaps and build customer loyalty.

Retailers face increasing pressure to streamline their order management processes and provide fast and accurate delivery to their customers. Many factors contribute to a successful retail order management system (OMS), from inventory management to shipping logistics.

This article will explore the importance of effective retail order management and provide retailers with tips for optimizing their processes. By implementing best practices in order management, retailers can improve customer experiences, increase efficiency, and ultimately drive sales.

Does Your OMS Do This?

Order Management is an essential aspect of any retail omnichannel business. It involves efficiently managing customer orders, tracking inventory, and ensuring timely delivery. When considering replacing their OMS, retailers may consider the following questions:

  • Does your OMS support real-time inventory visibility across all selling channels?
  • Can your OMS handle complex order routing and fulfillment logic without coding or development efforts by empowering you to make changes based on the business need?
  • Does the OMS integrate with various sales channels, such as online marketplaces, brick-and-mortar stores, and mobile apps?
  • Can your OMS automatically sync inventory levels and update product availability in real time across all sales channels?
  • Does the OMS offer customers and internal stakeholders advanced order tracking and status updates?
  • Can the OMS handle multiple payment options and integrate with various payment gateways?
  • Can the OMS handle complex order modifications, cancellations, and returns across different sales channels?

Overcoming challenges with a modern OMS

Several challenges can arise, resulting in delayed orders, dissatisfied customers, and lost revenue. Let’s explore the common challenges in order management and tips on how to overcome them.

Challenge 1: Order Processing Efficiency

Tip: An OMS streamlines the order process by centralizing order management activities. It automates tasks, such as order capture, inventory management, order routing, and order tracking. By eliminating manual processes and improving workflow efficiency, retailers can process orders more quickly and accurately.

Challenge 2: Inventory Management

Tip: OMS provides real-time visibility into inventory levels across multiple channels and locations. This enables retailers to optimize their inventory by preventing stockouts and overstock situations. With accurate inventory information, retailers can fulfill orders from the most suitable locations, reducing shipping costs and improving customer satisfaction. 29% of consumers say out-of-stock products are the final straw for them to shop elsewhere.

Challenge 3: Multi-channel Order Consolidation

Tip: Retailers often sell through various channels, such as brick-and-mortar stores, ecommerce websites, and social sites such as Meta and Instagram. An OMS should consolidate orders from multiple channels into a single system, making managing and fulfilling orders easier regardless of the sales channel. This integration improves operational efficiency and provides a unified view of customer orders.

Challenge 4: Order Tracking and Customer Service

Tip: OMS enables real-time order tracking, allowing retailers to provide accurate and up-to-date information to their customers regarding their order status. Customers can be notified of order confirmations, shipping updates, and delivery notifications. This improves customer satisfaction by providing transparency and proactive communication throughout the order fulfillment process. 66% of consumers rank granular level tracking of delivery tracking as important.

Challenge 5: Returns and Exchanges

Tip: Handling returns and exchanges can be a complex process for retailers. An OMS can streamline these operations by automating return authorization, tracking returned items, and managing the associated inventory adjustments. Retailers can provide better customer service and improve efficiency by simplifying the returns process. Due to complicated returns policies, 26% of consumers will shop at another brand.

A modular solution

Oracle Retail’s Order Management Suite streamlines the entire process, from order creation to fulfillment, helping the business save time, increase efficiency, and ensure a customer experience that aligns with their expectations.

Oracle Retail Order Management Suite enables a retailer’s order anywhere, fulfill anywhere strategy and is supported by three modules, Order Administration, Order Orchestration, and EFTConnect.

The Order Administration module (PDF) manages direct-to-consumer orders without regard to where they originate; the retailer’s website, the contact center, the retail store, or any way you can imagine via the APIs.

The Order Orchestration module (PDF) maintains a view of inventory across the enterprise, and its rules-based shopping engine determines the optimal fulfillment location. Also included is the optional Store Connect component, a web-based portal for store associates to be alerted to and complete store fulfillment tasks such as ship from the store and customer pickup.

The EFTConnect module isolates the payment process keeping the solution outside of PCI scope while delivering a more frictionless and more flexible experience and facilitating a global ecosystem of payment providers.