Almost 40% of all online shoppers say that online ordering issues tied to cost and speed were the biggest factors impacting satisfaction, and by extension, customer loyalty.

With companies like Amazon offering successful features like personalization, lightning speed sites, seamless mobile experiences, and order fulfillment, leaders are dealing with the wonderful problem: how do we ship quickly enough and accurately enough to meet customers’ expectations and keep them coming back?

Brands are rapidly evolving to embrace this new way of doing business, introducing both omni-channel and unified commerce to their retailing approach. But before omni-channel retailing and unified commerce can come into play, you must at least master the concept of multichannel retailing.

Today’s robust order management systems now allow retailers to buy, fulfill, and service anywhere, and these new order fulfillment capabilities are changing customer expectations.

Some believe these changes are a result of the millennial’s need for instant gratification, but these days, everyone has been primed (we had to do it) for same and next-day delivery, easy returns, and up-to-date inventory. These expectations have become today’s standard and permanent fixture for the modern retailer.

Website innovations and sexy campaigns may intrigue and delight a passing online shopper, but successfully fulfilling orders is how good retailers keep their promise to customers. And keeping promises builds trust and loyalty.

Top brands, like e.l.f. Cosmetics, recognize the value of being there from the moment a shopper discovers their product, walking alongside them on their path to purchase, giving them the ability to track their deliveries, and beyond. In short, top brands are embracing order fulfillment as a major part of their successful unified commerce strategies.

Another leading brand that has deployed a unified order management system is Williams–Sonoma. William–Sonoma attributes its surge in ecommerce growth, which made up 53.7% of the company's total revenue in the first quarter of 2018, to embracing what they call a “one inventory” plan, which is just another term for omni-channel commerce.

This strategic shift allowed Williams-Sonoma to provide the best service to customers by managing their inventory across channels. They can now schedule in-home delivery of online orders, seamlessly represent and move inventory between ecommerce and brick–and–mortar, and they offer multiple forms of payment like PayPal and Venmo, and proactive service from AI-powered call center agents.

Order management is no longer an afterthought. It’s become the reason why shoppers choose to engage with one brand over another, and it’s often the deciding factor in social engagement, positive reviews, and long-term customer loyalty. It’s not the act of browsing, even buying, that makes customers feel like they’re in control — it’s the ability to have the things they love, in hand, whenever they need it for their next adventure.

 

Learn more about how top brands are empowering their customers to buy, service, and fulfill anywhere with Commerce Cloud Order Management.

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