When we typically think of exceptional customer experience (CX) in the digital context, we usually talk about things like best-in-class site design, easy and intuitive checkout workflows, and an overall site experience that meets and exceeds the expectations of our customers and their various personas. There’s no question that all these elements are important to achieve an exceptional CX. However, a lot has changed over the last two years, and there is a new side of customer experience that we need to talk about. What is this secret sauce you might ask?
Simple – enhanced customer transparency on product availability and delivery status.
It’s been found that 68% of consumers would place an order if they knew they would receive fast shipping, and over 36% of shoppers have already placed an order for same-day delivery service. Additionally, 91% of consumers expect to receive their order within a weeks’ time, and 9% expect it the same day.
If those statistics above scare you, then I’m glad you’re here, because these consumer expectations are laying the foundation of what a great CX will be in the future. Gone are the days where a pretty website and easy-to-navigate checkout workflow alone will cut it.
Now, more than ever, consumers are demanding options when it comes to their ecommerce orders, many of which can be enabled by implementing an order management system (OMS) to complement your current commerce technology stack.
Here are four reasons why implementing an OMS for your business in 2022 will help you exceed customer expectations.
Increased Inventory Transparency
One of, if not the top reason Amazon is so successful is because of the inventory visibility that they provide customers. It’s not the look and feel of the site, nor their vast selection of items (these are important, there’s no doubt). Consumers order from Amazon because they KNOW when they will receive their product because Amazon takes most of the guesswork out.
However, if a consumer navigates to a more traditional ecommerce site that didn’t invest in inventory transparency for product and cart pages like Amazon, they likely won’t feel as comfortable making a purchase. By implementing an OMS for your business, you’ll be able to accurately display inventory levels and provide customers with the assurances they need to place an order and convert.
Flexible Delivery Options
Another thing Amazon does very well is giving the consumers the option of shipping and delivery. If you’re not a prime member (who isn’t, right?), you still have the option to pay extra for faster shipping – and customers are willing to do so.
An OMS will help your business orchestrate all the various shipping options that you have and serve it up nicely through digital commerce channels that your customers are active in. Additionally, an OMS will determine which warehouse makes the most sense to fulfill these orders based upon a multitude of factors like revenue profitability, time-to-delivery, and the least expensive option in case of a return. Providing flexible delivery options for customers is a necessity, and though not every customer may take advantage of them. Having them as an option during the purchasing experience will create trust with your customer, giving them another reason to come back and purchase with you again in the future.
Flexible Pick-Up Options
Buy online, pick-up in-store (BOPIS) and curbside grew massively during the pandemic, and guess what? It’s not going anywhere. An OMS is needed to build and implement these BOPIS solutions. Not only will OMS allow BOPIS to happen, but it can also be leveraged to set up each of your retail storefronts as individual warehouses and distribution hubs.
Have you ever been to Whole Foods and witnessed the employees walking around building orders for customers that purchase online? Yep, that’s BOPIS being driven by an OMS. By utilizing retail storefronts in this fashion, your business will be able to enhance delivery speeds by putting the control in the hands of the consumer. Don’t want to wait for your order to arrive? No worries – drive on down.
Synchronized Customer Service
Last but certainly not least, OMS provides your customer service representatives (CSRs) with insight into orders that have been placed, giving them additional flexibility and allowing them to better serve customers when they call with questions or changes to their order and delivery. The back-end admin panel of an OMS provides details far greater than any enterprise resource planner (ERP) system or customer relationship management (CRM) system could give on delivery status. If a customer calls and needs to change their order, re-route their package, or return an item, CSRs will have the ability to do so. This will help give customers faster answers and help achieve higher customer satisfaction levels.
Jeff Bezos once said, “The best customer service is when the customer doesn’t need to call you, doesn’t need to talk to you, it just works.” He’s right… to a point. Sure, customers will always need to talk to you at some point. But what Bezos was trying to say is that well-designed technology around order orchestration can vastly reduce customer calls while simultaneously improving customer experience in tremendous fashion. Which, at the end of the day, is your secret sauce for customer experience success in 2022. For more information on our order management services, contact our experts today.