Use technology to master order management
The thrill of launching an e-commerce business comes when the orders start rolling in; you’re unlikely to find a merchant who built an online store out of a love for back-end order management.
The reality is, though, that as your business grows, pulling orders from inventory, and then packaging and shipping them can quickly become complicated. The process can be made even more difficult if you aren’t familiar with order management, you might find it hard to maintain an ideal customer experience.
When a business first gets up and running, orders can be handpicked from inventory kept in a bedroom or garage. Shipping labels and tracking numbers are created individually as orders come in and are tracked in a spreadsheet, often cut and pasted across multiple platforms or channels. As order volumes increase, it’s clear a manual system is unsustainable.
This begs the question: How do you keep close tabs on customer orders and scale your fulfillment process alongside your business?
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Advice from an expert
As the co-founder of Ordoro Inc., Naruby Schlenker is well acquainted with best practices in order management.
Ordoro is a platform that helps small and medium-sized online merchants manage their orders, inventory and shipping. Schlenker has insights on how technology can help streamline what happens after an order is placed.
“Assuming you want to keep everything in-house rather than outsourcing to third parties, you can to use technology to help manage your processes,” she says.
At the most basic level, a good system should:
- Seamlessly connect with all your sales channels.
- Have an inventory component that syncs back into these channels.
- Be fully integrated with all the popular shipping carts, marketplaces, and shipping providers.
Online merchants may be overwhelmed by the abundance of solutions available to them; however, Schlenker has good news on that front: “It might feel like you’re diving into the deep end of the pool, but in reality the pool isn’t that deep.
A good system will also batch shipping labels in just a few clicks, select carriers to deliver products from shelf to doorstep, secure cost-effective shipping rates, and share tracking numbers with your storefronts and customers once orders are on their way.
Find the right technology and avoid the struggle
If you decide to do everything yourself, consider Schlenker’s advice and embrace technology.
Most importantly, find an order management system that integrates with your preferred shipping solution. Once your system is set up and connected to your sales channels, shipping labels can be created automatically and inventory can be update in real-time.
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“It might feel like a big jump, but in fact, it’s so easy. Adopting technology doesn’t have to be difficult.”
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