What is order management for retailers?

Order management is the process of getting a customer’s order from your possession to their hands. It includes processing and shipping the item(s).

It’s particularly important to use an efficient order management process so you can easily scale your retail business. Having a largely manual order management process can eventually make it impossible to fulfill more than a certain amount of orders profitably.

Beyond scalability, a good order management process will ultimately help you:

  • Make fewer mistakes with order fulfillment and get packages out on time.
  • Provide your customers with package tracking visibility, increasing their trust in your brand.
  • Improve your inventory management.

What are the order fulfillment steps?

Your order management process will oversee a number of set steps once the customer clicks the button to confirm their purchase . Each step will require different actions or information from you and your systems.

1. Order received

On your backend, you need to respond to the customer’s place order by accepting and confirming their order. You’ll want to send them an automatic email with their order details. Those same details also need to be sent over to your fulfillment team so they can get the order ready.

2. Pick the order

Next, someone needs to locate the item(s) that was ordered. For a large retail company, this can mean sending a worker out into a large warehouse to track down the item. For smaller retailers, it may mean sending a sales associate to the stock room of your brick-and-mortar to pull it out.

3. Packaging

Once the item has been located, it needs to be packaged for shipping. Your packaging station needs to be equipped with the right sized boxes and protective packaging materials for your various products. Good packaging ensures that your items arrive on doorsteps in mint condition.

4. Shipping

To ship the product out, you’ll need to order the shipment with your carrier, then print out the shipping label and attach it to the package. In most cases, you will need to mark the order as shipped in at least one of your software systems.

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