The COVID-19 health crisis accelerated the growth of ecommerce. In fact, digital revenue grew 20% year-over-year (YoY) in Q1 2020, according to the Salesforce Shopping Index powered by Commerce Cloud. When most countries are under lockdown, getting products to customers on their terms was critical.
A trusted order management process is one way to make the biggest difference for your customers. If brands fail to deliver (literally), nothing else matters. But even if you know your company’s order management system (OMS) needs improvement, it’s hard to know where to start.
Your guide to trusted order management
Our team of customer success experts have years of experience implementing and improving order management and fulfillment systems. They work with leading companies about their OMS challenges all the time. Based on their expertise, these are the five questions your team should ask before you take order management to the next level.
1. What are the key business drivers for your transformation?
For example, your customer service agents may struggle to gain a full view of the customer across the order lifecycle. Or perhaps your highest priority is more flexibility to define new order workflows. Or are you considering a new shipping service partner? Understanding key drivers will help you focus efforts.
2. How do you get leadership on board?
Digital transformation starts at the top (and not just with IT). Order management impacts marketing, service, development, security, and more. So, it’s important to evangelize the effort across functions. Collaborative executive leadership provides direction, guidance, and enthusiasm, all critical for success. Gain that buy-in first.
3. What does your OMS look like in one year? In three years?
It’s important to design your future experience strategy with your key business driver to lead the way. Focus on the ideal post-purchase experience (with technical, business, and security considerations). It should also incorporate all areas of the impacted business. Although it’s impossible to know how your system or budget will look in three years, this prevents you from embarking on one project that seems most important, only to realise later starting elsewhere may have had more of an impact on your customer experience or bottom line.
4. How do you communicate updates and results?
Using your roadmap and a list of key teams, create a regular communication cadence. Notify stakeholders of updates as early as possible. Keep in mind — what will their experience be before and after this project? Where does their expertise lie? Will you need these stakeholders’ help for success? Is security at the fore-front of every decision they’re making?
5. What roles do you need to execute your plan?
Your team will need to include:
A strong project manager. Someone to lead the team and coordinate across internal groups and partners.
A technical architect. Someone who knows your current systems and data model, someone to help define the architecture and data migration.
Order, fulfillment, and customer service experts. People on the front lines with customers who know your internal business processes, how things work, and potential pain points.
Prioritizing these steps is the road towards better and safer order management. But this isn’t a once-and-done exercise. Throughout the process, revisit these steps and make adjustments as needed.
Good order management doesn’t live in a vacuum
Brands need to create exceptional post-purchase experiences that are flexible and safe across channels. It’s no longer just about digital versus physical — it’s digital and physical. In fact, 59% of shoppers have purchased a product online for in-store pickup. Similarly, 67% of shoppers have bought something else while returning something in-store. It’s vital to the overall customer lifecycle to be accessible via a mobile app, desktop, or physical store and to ensure each interaction is secure and always available.
To break down these barriers, focus on delivering fast and secure shipping, transparent order statuses, and hassle-free returns at-scale, regardless of channel. To enable this, we work with partners to bridge the gap between digital and physical.
Understand the types of customer experiences you need to create
Connect commerce and service for a single view of customer cases, orders, and more
Give customers the power to self-serve, check order status, cancel or initiate a return
Prioritize security in every decision that you make
Empower reps to manage returns, cancellations, and other services from a single screen
Execute complex orders, including split or partial shipments, across addresses
Gain instant payment capture — no manual generation and settling of invoices
Are you ready to make a difference to your business (and your customers) through improved order and fulfillment? Salesforce Order Management — a single platform for managing orders, customer records, fulfillment, and payments — can help.
This post originally appeared on the U.S.-version of the Salesforce blog.