Faced with the challenges of national lockdowns and the subsequent shifts in consumer behaviour towards ecommerce, curbside collection and ebookings, many brands have had to get creative and accelerate their journey towards digital services over the last 18 months. Scaling up to provide these new types of service doesn’t happen over-night however, and a modern, future-ready order management system (OMS), capable of integrating flows of data from multiple channels into one manageable work stream is a key for today’s retailers.

1. Optimising order sourcing 
Optimising order sourcing is one of the great strengths of an effective OMS, allowing brands to use the stock present throughout an entire network, wherever it is located. For example: retailers could use physical stores in urban areas to offer same/next day delivery; while at the same time, favoring warehouse stock for less time-sensitive orders. 

2. Cost-effective omnichannel offerings 
A smarter OMS can give a brand the confidence to communicate a precise delivery promise to a customer very early in the customer journey, with research showing that (source: UPS) conversion rates increase up to 30% when a brand communicates a precise promise and date on a product page. 

3. Transforming your stores and associates 
A modern OMS will typically have some form of customer engagement add-on module which can be used by both customer service and in-store teams. Combining the interactions between the brand and its customers via website, app, social networks or physical in-store visits, makes for a far more engaging and enjoyable brand experience for customers.

4. Making returns a positive customer touch point 
An OMS can help customer service teams to transform the returns process. Products in good condition can be immediately integrated back into the global stock pool, making them available for sale again, while also making the whole refunds process far more transparent and communicable to customers – a boon for brand advocacy and loyalty.

5. Moving to the cloud 
The global pandemic has brought about dramatic changes in the retail sector and the ability to adapt, evolve and pivot has meant the difference between staying in business or folding for many. If retailers are to continue to innovate and meet continually shifting consumer expectations then they must consider the potential benefits a cloud-based OMS can offer. 

A smarter OMS is no longer a ‘nice to have’ for retailers, it is a ‘must’. Modern, cloud-based order management systems have the capabilities to support retailers by transforming how stores are used, empower associates to drive richer customer experiences, and they can also help turn tricky returns processes into powerful brand differentiators too.

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