It's also worth mentioning that while there's a significant overlap between inventory management software and order management software, they're definitely not the same thing.
Whether your order management system includes inventory management functions or not, you'll want to make sure it at least offers two-way integration to help you manage order fulfillment effectively.
Customer Management and Communication
Order management software also enables effective customer management and communication.
It stores customer data, tracks their order history, and allows for timely and personalized communication – for order confirmations, shipping notifications, or returns.
Shipping and Fulfillment Management
Whether you're fulfilling orders in-house or using a third-party logistics provider (3PL), order management software makes the shipping and fulfillment process smoother and more manageable.
It can handle everything from shipping label creation to return management.
Reporting and Analytics
With built-in reporting and analytics tools, order management software provides valuable insights into your sales and inventory.
This real-time data enables better decision-making, helping to optimize business operations and profitability.
In essence, order management software is critical in improving the overall efficiency and productivity of ecommerce business operations.
Benefits of Using Order Management Software for Ecommerce Store Owners
Implementing order management software benefits ecommerce store owners, transforming their operations and the customer experience.
Improved Order Processing Efficiency and Accuracy
Automating order management eliminates manual errors and speeds up the processing time.
With the software handling order tracking, you can ensure accurate and timely fulfillment, boosting your business's productivity.
Enhanced Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty
Efficient order processing leads to happier customers.
The ability to provide real-time order updates, quick deliveries, and efficient handling of returns or exchanges significantly improves the customer experience, promoting loyalty and repeat business.
Better Decision-making Based on Real-time Data and Reporting
The reporting and analytics features of order management software provide valuable insights into your ecommerce operations.
By analyzing sales trends, inventory levels, and order history, you can make data-driven decisions to optimize your business.
Increased Scalability and Flexibility in Handling Order Volume Fluctuations
As your ecommerce store grows, so do your order volumes. Order management software scales with your business, handling any increase in orders without compromising efficiency.
This scalability ensures you're well-equipped to handle peak seasons and sales surges.
Simplified and Centralized Management of Multiple Sales Channels
For businesses selling on multiple platforms, managing orders can be a challenge.
Order management software centralizes all your orders from various sales channels into one dashboard, simplifying the management process and ensuring consistency across platforms.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Order Management Software
When it comes to choosing the right order management software for your ecommerce store, several factors come into play:
Integration with Your Ecommerce Platform and Other Tools
The software should seamlessly integrate with your ecommerce platform and any other tools you use, such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems, email marketing software, or accounting tools.
This integration ensures smooth data transfer and operations.
Features and Capabilities Specific to Your Business Needs
The ecommerce model can take many forms. You've got physical goods manufacturing, retail arbitrage, drop shipping, and print-on-demand, just to name a few.
Whether it's dropshipping support, international shipping features, or advanced reporting capabilities, make sure your software offers the most relevant features to your business.
Pricing and Budget Considerations
Order management software solutions come at various price points. You'll need to consider the software's cost against your budget and the value it brings to your business.
Ease of Use and Customer Support
Look for software that's user-friendly and comes with comprehensive customer support. This may include a robust community forum, a self-help portal, or easy access to a live customer support representative.
Popular Order Management Software Solutions for Ecommerce Businesses
Linnworks is a robust order management software that connects, manages, and automates commerce operations, enabling businesses to sell wherever their customers are and capture every revenue opportunity.
It is one of the largest European commerce partners of both Amazon and eBay and processes more than $8bn GMV each year globally.
Order Management: Efficient tracking, routing, and fulfillment of orders.
Inventory Management: Comprehensive multi-channel inventory control and management.
Supplier Management: Facilitates the organization and tracking of suppliers and their respective data.
Reporting/Analytics: Provides deep insights for business planning and growth.
Multi-Channel Management: Ability to manage orders and inventory across multiple marketplaces and platforms.
Shopify is a leading e-commerce platform known for its advanced features and scalability.
With over 1.7 million businesses using its services, Shopify provides all the tools necessary for businesses to launch and run an online store, enabling businesses to connect with customers, drive sales, and manage operations effectively.
Online Store Builder: Allows businesses to build their own online store with a website and blog.
Inventory Management: Provides automatic updates to orders, products, and inventory, with the ability to manage inventory across multiple locations.
Abandoned Cart Recovery: Helps businesses re-engage with customers who left their shopping carts without making a purchase.
Ecommerce Automation: Available in advanced plans, automation can streamline various ecommerce operations.
Zoho Inventory is a comprehensive inventory management platform that supports stock, customer and vendor, and order management and integrates seamlessly with popular ecommerce platforms.
It's designed to help businesses manage their inventory flow, track individual units and batches of items, create sales orders, send invoices, and manage vendor payments effectively.
Stock Management: Allows businesses to create and track items and item groups' inventory (stock flow).
Bundling and Kitting: It supports bundling and tracking items based on serial numbers, batch numbers, and expiry dates.
Customer and Vendor Management: Enables recording customer and vendor information for communication, monitoring, and transaction. It also provides an intelligent interactive dashboard for a quick overview of business operations.
Order Management: Supports the creation of sales orders, invoices, package slips, and shipment labels. It also allows businesses to manage reorders, create purchase orders, and record deliveries to the warehouse
Integration: Zoho Inventory can be integrated with popular ecommerce platforms and shipping carriers, as well as with Zoho's own accounting platform, Zoho Books, and Zoho CRM.
Zoho Inventory offers a Free plan with limited features.
The paid plans include the Basic plan at $39 per month, the Standard plan at $79 per month, and the Professional plan at $199 per month. For the Enterprise plan, users need to contact Zoho for a personalized quote.
QuickBooks Commerce, previously known as TradeGecko, is a cloud-based ecommerce platform designed for small businesses to manage multiple sales channels in one place.
It allows business owners to synchronize their inventory, orders, invoices, customer and vendor information, expenses, and more from various sales channels into a single platform.
QuickBooks Commerce can connect with different marketplaces, websites, and sales systems providers, providing small businesses flexibility and scalability while streamlining the bookkeeping process.
Inventory and Manufacturing Management: QuickBooks Commerce offers a variety of tools for inventory and manufacturing management, allowing businesses to have complete control over every product they sell.
Key features include real-time inventory tracking across all platforms, demand forecasting and re-ordering options for inventory optimization, warehouse management for efficient order fulfillment, and automation of manufacturing workflows.
Order Management and Shipping: QuickBooks Commerce provides tools to manage orders and supply requests in an automated manner.
The platform allows automatic syncing of orders and inventory with setup options for low-stock notifications and re-order triggers.
It also provides purchase order management, backorder management, pricing management, shipping management, and batch and expiry tracking.
Customer and Vendor Management: QuickBooks Commerce integrates CRM technology to keep all customer and supplier data in one place, allowing businesses to better understand their audience's behavior and needs.
Additional features include order fulfillment, inventory and sales reports, and a tool for generating sales reports by customer, location, product, channel, time of day, and more.
Integration: QuickBooks Commerce can be integrated with different marketplaces, websites, and sales systems providers, providing businesses with flexibility and scalability while streamlining the entire bookkeeping process.
QuickBooks Commerce offers a 14-day free trial and various pricing plans:
Founder: Starting at $39 per month for one user, including one sales channel integration, up to 50 sales orders per month, one warehouse, shipping rates by zone, multi-currency support, accounting integrations, a mobile sales app, and basic CRM technology.
Lite: At $79 per month, it allows for two users, all of the Founder features, and up to 300 monthly sales.
Small Business: For $199 per month, allows up to five users, all Lite features, process up to 3,000 orders, API access, account management tools, B2B support, more warehouse management options, demand forecasting, and FBA integrations.
Premium: The Premium costs $799 monthly and offers all the Small Business features plus support for up to 5,000 orders per month, set-up assistance, multi-language document use, and more.
There is also a Pro option for enterprise-level businesses, with pricing and features available upon request.
Prepayment for an entire year of services results in a discounted rate.
Tips for Implementing Order Management Software in Your Ecommerce Store
Implementing order management software in your ecommerce store is a process that requires careful planning, adequate training, and constant review.
Successfully integrating this type of software goes beyond the simple installation process and enters the realm of strategic management.
Here are some tips for facilitating a seamless implementation process:
1. Plan for a Smooth Software Implementation Process:
Before starting the software implementation, devise a detailed plan with clear objectives, a timeline, and individual responsibilities.
What do you hope to achieve with this new software? What are the timelines for installation, training, and full-scale usage? Who is responsible for each part of the process?
These are crucial questions that need answers.
Also, it's essential to create a contingency plan.
This plan will handle any disruptions to your order management during the transition, keeping your business operational and minimizing any potential impact on your customers.
2. Train Your Team on Using the New Order Management Software:
Invest time and resources into comprehensive training for your team.
They are the ones who will interact with the software most frequently, and their comfort and familiarity with the system will directly impact its effectiveness.
Training should include hands-on sessions, demonstrations, and Q&A sessions to ensure everyone is confident about using the system.
3. Regularly Review and Adjust Your Order Management Processes:
Post-implementation, commit to regularly reviewing and revising your order management processes.
Your new software will likely have advanced reporting features that provide insights into your order management.
Use this data to identify bottlenecks, inefficiencies, or other areas that need improvement.
Regular reviews will allow you to make necessary adjustments and continually optimize your processes for maximum efficiency.
4. Utilize Customer Support and Resources Provided by the Software Vendor:
Software vendors often provide various resources and customer support to aid their clients. Make sure to take advantage of these resources.
Don't hesitate to contact the vendor's customer support team if you have a question about a feature, face a technical issue, or need help optimizing usage.
They have deep knowledge of their software and can provide valuable guidance.
Additionally, most vendors offer online resources, like tutorials, FAQs, user manuals, and forums.
These resources can be incredibly helpful for troubleshooting common problems or learning new ways to utilize the software.
Remember, implementing new software in your ecommerce store is a strategic process that requires planning, training, reviewing, and ongoing learning.
With these tips, you can ensure a smooth and successful implementation of your order management software.
In today's competitive ecommerce landscape, efficient order management is a must.
As we've explored in this guide, order management software can be a powerful tool for supercharging your ecommerce store.
It streamlines your operations, improves customer satisfaction, and helps make informed, data-driven decisions.