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Whether you’re looking to scale up, or just need to streamline the back-end processes of your business, order management software (OMS) is an essential tool for all ambitious retailers.

Whether you’re looking to scale up, or just need to streamline the back-end processes of your business, order management software (OMS) is an essential tool for all ambitious retailers.

By swapping your separate or manual methods for processing web orders, inventory levels and payment for one robust solution, it’s possible to cut costs, dramatically increase efficiency and enhance your customer service. One of our customers saved over £80,000 per year by consolidating their costs and inventory with an effective OMS.

However, not all order management systems are the same. If you choose one that’s not right for your needs, you will quickly need to invest in a new, more suitable solution, leading to a bigger overall cost. It could also cause a disjointed experience for your customers and staff, as they get to grips with using another new interface.

We’ve put together some crucial features to look out for when choosing order management software, to help you make the right choice for your business now, and in the future.

Feature #1: Scalable and adaptable

A basic ‘off the shelf’ solution might be tempting at first, but if you plan on growing your business, or if you operate in numerous different territories then it could be limiting.

Look for a system that is adaptable. For example, does it support multiple currencies and taxes? How easy is it to manage orders in high volumes, across different locations? As your business grows, find a system that is scalable, or a provider that can customise the software to meet your changing needs.

Feature #2:Easy integration

As well as fulfilling orders, there are lots of other tasks involved in running a retail business and many of them can also be managed using technology. To safeguard your investment, choose an order management system that integrates well with all popular systems.

Feature #3:Added value

An order management system can help with the entire fulfillment cycle, helping to process and track orders with the use of technology. Automated invoicing helps to improve cash flow, save time and reduce the risk of costly errors. But fulfilment is only one part of the retail journey - technology can also have a huge impact on the discovery of your products and the entire customer experience.

Some order management software packages take into account the pre-order process, and can help you build an entire e-commerce website so orders can be placed online. This will be linked up with your back-end system, constantly collecting data on activities such as cart abandonment and purchasing habits, as well as giving high-level reporting on order progress and more.

Feature #4:Robust and reliable

Your order fulfilment system is the beating heart of every retailer's business. Any unwanted delays or errors can have huge knock-on effects, impacting everything from inventory levels to customer satisfaction.

Choose a provider with strong security and IT infrastructure, as well as high levels of support. This way you’ll know your data is safe and their system is reliable - and if you do come across any problems with the tool, you’ll be able to resolve them far quicker.

There are lots of factors to consider when choosing a new order management system, whether you’re upgrading your existing software or looking to invest for the first time. Be clear on your business’ unique priorities, and ensure you choose software that can help your company to scale up and realise its ambitions for growth, rather than limiting your potential.

ECI Staff Contributors

About the Author

ECI Staff Contributors love to share their insights and expertise on a variety of topics including sales, marketing, cloud, ERP, and SMB development as well as on product specific education. With offices throughout the United States, Mexico, England, the Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand, more than 40 employees contribute to blog on a regular basis.