By Brandi Slaughter

Digitally savvy consumers have high expectations for today’s shopping experience. For one, they expect to be able to shop and interact with retailers anywhere, anytime, and in any way they want. And they expect this experience to be seamless and consistent across every touch point.

To try to meet these ever-changing demands, some retailers rush to offer new order fulfillment options – such as buy online/pick up in store – by solely implementing point solutions, without the support of an order management system (OMS). This further complicates an already complex layer around order fulfillment and order management. And when this happens, retailers are unable to live up to their omni-channel promise.

The end result? The customer experience suffers.

In today’s multichannel world, it’s essential to have the right back-end technology processes in place to ensure a seamless execution on an omni-channel strategy. And much of what is required to do this can be accomplished by implementing an omni-channel ready OMS.

So what exactly does that mean? Here’s what to look for in an omni-channel ready OMS:

  • Multi-channel order capture and processing – capturing orders that start in one channel and are completed in another
  • Inventory visibility – visibility across all channels
  • Cross-channel order routing – ability to route orders for fulfillment to various inventory distribution locations based on business rules and algorithms
  • Customer-centric fulfillment – in-store pickup, ship from/to anywhere; convenience for the customer
  • 360-degree customer view – unified customer database gathers and stores data from all touch-points to offer an enhanced shopping experience
  • Promotions, product content information and pricing – ability to honor promotional initiatives across channels, and maintain consistent product and pricing information, regardless of touch-point
  • Returns and reverse logistics – provides multiple return options, effectively tracks items throughout the return process, and aids in returning items to stock

Every retail organization is unique, so it’s likely that customers’ shopping expectations will be slightly different, as well. So ask yourself: do you know what your customer’s shopping expectations are? Have you considered how an OMS is a critical element in the consumer’s shopping experience?

Come by our booth at IRCE June 11-June 12 to get a live demonstration of Demandware’s “buy anywhere, fulfill anywhere” capabilities.