OFBiz

Wednesday March 22, 2017

Omnichannel Orders - Does your system support it?

Omnichannel Orders - Does your system support it?

Omnichannel is a business model that is focussed on increasing customer experience. Apache OFBiz makes use of the Omnichannel concept as part of its standard functionality i.e. it provides a type of retail solution that integrates the different shopping methods made available to consumers (e.g. online, in a physical shop, or by phone). Omnichannel Order Management Systems (OMS) enables retail businesses to go that extra mile to seamlessly cater for their customer expectations.

In this article, we will talk about Omnichannel order management system capabilities, its importance and the main things to look for when you want to improve the way that your customer orders products from you.

How Important Is It?

Today, every retailer with a presence on the internet wants to make use of online orders. But, is it enough to just to empower your customers to place orders through your company website (i.e. eCommerce Store) ? As you start taking orders online, you will find that there are many other additional challenges that come along the way. e.g changes to customer orders, requirements changes and how do you manage returns or refunds etc. All of these things need to be considered and managed. Generally, tasks like these are done by a Customer Service Representative (CSR). A CSR is someone who is familiar with the the backend application being used and is also the main contact with the customer regarding any order problems.

Customer satisfaction is always the topmost priority for any business so knowing your customer and having their profile and order history handy can really help the CSR to make decisions based on any specific business rules or guidelines.

How Can It Make Your Employees and Customers Happy?

Your customers want to have a seamless experience when they visit your e-Commerce store, and the list below contains some of the important points to include or incorporate. Does your existing software have these backend abilities to -

  • search and view orders from customers
  • make changes to the order for item quantity or any other details
  • fulfill the orders and keep track of it
  • manage returns and refunds
  • review customer profile
  • review customer purchase history
  • take orders by phone, email or through any other channel
  • keep track of inventory
  • order Online/Pickup In-Store/Return In-Store
All of these functions are the core part of any Omnichannel Order Management system. It makes your customers happy because they get all the information they need online when they need it. It makes your employees happy because they have all the information available when dealing with a customer online or via the phone. Having the right information available and accessible is the key.

On top of all of this your system should be customisable. Not everyone wants to work in exactly the same way, so being able to customise what you want, when you want is important to a business. Another aspect is scalability, many businesses start off small and then grow so your software system should be able to scale and grow as you grow.

Omnichannel and Apache OFBiz

Apache OFBiz is an open source product for the automation of enterprise processes and includes these core Omnichannel order management capabilities. If you have a software system which actually provides you with most of the core functionality that you are looking for and is easily customizable/extendable/expandable then it makes your job a lot easier. OFBiz has a proven track record of serving many Business to Consumer (B2C) implementations, please check here for details Apache OFBiz User List

If you want to explore possibilities with OFBiz as a solution evaluator or developer then please refer to the OFBiz blog post - Apache OFBiz - How and where to start?

In future posts, we'll take each of the Omnichannel OMS capabilities in turn and walk through the processes and the support OFBiz offers.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post and please feel free to provide your comments and feedback.

This blog post was written by Pranay Pandey Apache OFBiz Committer.

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