Five “must have” capabilities to look for when selecting an Order Management Solution
Copyright © 2019 Aptos, Inc. All rights reserved.
It’s getting tougher out there. Today’s customers not only demand flexibility and agility from the companies they shop with—they expect it at every point in their customer journey, including - and perhaps most importantly - how they choose to have their orders fulfilled.
When selecting new order management technology to enable omnichannel retailing, meeting these escalating shopper expectations will require real-time visibility into your entire enterprise inventory. Additionally, your entire organization will need visibility into each customer’s choices and the status of their orders. To help ensure you make smart decisions, we asked Retail Systems Research to identify five key capabilities to consider when investing in order management technology.
Read on for their insights...
The order management platform should be able to capture orders from any order creation system. Likewise, the order management platform must be able to support a long list of omnichannel fulfillment use cases, from ship to home to pick up in store and everything in between.
It must interface with all the available order fulfillment processes, whether they are in the store, direct-to-consumer fulfillment center, each pick-&-pack facility in the central distribution center, or at a 3rd party partner.
Learn how to embrace disruption with flexibility.
Enable a real-time ability to “see” all available-to-sell inventory
The order management process must be able to expose available-to-sell inventory from every fulfillment location (store, DC, vendor or even in-transit) to digital selling order creation processes, based on rules managed by the retailer (for example, items available only in certain geographies or via certain selling channels).
There's no single correct way to begin your omnichannel journey, but one very good place to start is with inventory: the lifeblood of your business.
"It is my strong recommendation that customer experience not be confused with enhancing or building customer-facing technologies."
Listen to Vikas Aron, Director Product Strategy for Aptos, describe why he believes the first phase of your omnichannel journey should be to merge different puddles of inventory ownership — such as local, international, wholesale, ecommerce, and reserve — into one cross-channel inventory pool that is integrated with order management and logistics.
audio is 1:10 long
Learn more about why it makes sense to start with inventory.
One complete view of the customer order
The order management platform should provide a single “window” to any order: “header” (customer, etc.) and “line item” (products, quantity, unit price, total price) order information, order status, promotions applied, total price, fulfillment status, payment status, shipment information, open actions, and order history.
We believe that sustainable success can only be achieved through order management processes that anticipate, adapt and align to shifting customer expectations, rather than supply-centric processes that anticipate and align network inventory resources in order to optimize efficiency.
Dig deeper into customer-first lifecycle order management.
The ability to collect, prioritize, and intelligently route orders
Not all orders are created equal. The order management platform must be able to deliver orders to all available downstream fulfillment locations and processes based on factors such as customer fulfillment choices, a determination of the most efficient fulfillment methods and location(s), and backorder rules.
Learn more about seamless fulfillment.
As consumers embrace more omnichannel browsing and buying patterns, they come to expect more seamless fulfillment experiences from all of their preferred retailers. As a result, we’ve seen retailers strive to create flexible and seamless order fulfillment experiences and to empower customers to get the products they want anywhere, at any time. But still, their ability to keep pace with these expectations is not where it needs to be.
Download the Omnichannel Blueprint.
Interface to payment systems
The order management process should route payment information from digital order creation systems to the appropriate processor and return payment status information in real-time.
Payment processor flexibility is also a must as new payment methods and new geographies become more and more important to retail growth strategies.
Read more on China's mobile payment market.
Alipay and WeChat now own 90% of the $40 trillion dollar mobile payments market. Both are moving to the US, and retailers will require payment flexibility to support them – and other international payment options as more and more shoppers cross borders.
Mobile Payment Market
Growth of mobile payments in China impacting US retailers.
In today’s retail environment, “constant change” is the new normal. Retailers should expect a continuing evolution of consumer-facing digital selling and fulfillment capabilities. Retailers should expect that new and increasingly complex order fulfillment processes will continue to emerge, as consumers continually redefine “convenience.”
More and more evidence suggests that retailers who meet customer expectations for omnichannel flexibility will be rewarded. An investigation into Aptos’ clients showed a dramatic difference between those who have embraced omnichannel flexibility, and those who have yet to do so.
Aptos clients who have fully embraced omnichannel flexibility reported 47% growth versus the prior twelve months, while those who have not yet embraced omnichannel flexibility reported just 3% growth for the same 12 months.
By focusing on an order management platform that can serve multiple order creation and order fulfillment processes, retailers can insulate themselves from disruptive changes to core processes, even while the consumer-facing side of the retail model continues to evolve.
Last twelve months
Aptos Clients Overall
YoY growth by quarter
Aptos Customers Behind On Omni
Aptos Customers Embracing Omni
EOM: Aptos customers embracing omni significantly outperforming those who don’t
Growth of Aptos clients that embrace omni is outpacing all others 15:1. View the details.
With Aptos, our POS and inventory management capabilities went through the roof. Overall, the Aptos partnership really set our business on an upward trajectory and allowed us to scale quickly.
Results: By the numbers
- Tom Anderson, CEO, The Paper Store
View The Paper Store's results.
The Paper Store
Learn how The Paper Store, a fast-growing retailer offering unique gifts for every occasion, chose Aptos’ best-of-breed software to provide the support its business needed to scale and to offer its shoppers a seamless and sophisticated omnichannel journey.
Read the case study.
Nearly quadrupled store count, from 23 stores to 80
More accurate receiving led to a savings of $275K in the first year after implementation
Improved reporting on damaged merchandise, resulting in $200K in credits in a single year
$100K in annual savings, due to identifying double billing and other invoice errors
Engaging Customers Differently
Aptos is the largest provider of enterprise software focused exclusively on retail. Our cloud-based Singular Retail™ solutions are trusted by over 1,000 retail brands in over 65 countries. With industry-leading omni-channel commerce and merchandise lifecycle management solutions, we help retailers develop dynamic and responsive assortments, streamline operations and deliver integrated, seamless experiences…wherever shoppers choose to engage. More than 1,300 colleagues share our collective passion for engaging customers differently, and we are committed to developing relationships built on trust and tangible value by partnering with our clients to create agile retail enterprises that are built to thrive in an era of constant change. Learn more at aptos.com.