Jul 28, 2022

How to Boost Your Online Sales with Omnichannel Order Management and Fulfillment

Major retailers have realized that online shopping is not only the future—it’s the now. United States ecommerce sales accelerated from accounting for 15.5% of total retail sales in 2019 to 19.1% in 2020 and 2021. These numbers are increasing faster than ever before.  

In 2020, over 2 billion people purchased goods or services online. Global ecommerce sales are expected to hit 5.5 trillion in 2022. The number of online shoppers in the United States alone is projected to reach 266.66 million this same year. Ecommerce sales are projected to account for 24.5% of total global retail sales by 2025.  

But even though retailers are waking up to the importance of online shopping, many brands aren’t making as much money online as they could. Some retailers aren’t utilizing smart tactics like omnichannel order management and fulfillment to boost their customer satisfaction and overall sales.  

Your company can get ahead by not only selling online, but by selling online the right way. Use these omnichannel order management strategies to boost your online sales. 

 

Use your entire inventory to offer more products online 

With omnichannel order management and fulfillment, you have a bird’s eye view of your inventory in real-time. You know exactly how much stock you have and where that stock is located, whether it’s in distribution centers, back rooms, or in-store shelves. And when you’re aware of your entire inventory, you can offer everything you have to customers online. 

Customers want to shop online. According to a 2022 Raydiant study on the topic of US consumer behavior, 55.6% of survey respondents prefer to shop online rather than in person. When you use your entire network of inventory, you’ll be able to offer more products in your online store. That means your customers have more product choices—and that they’re more likely to find what they’re looking for. Using your entire inventory instead of a select group of products will help boost your sales as your customers are able to pick and choose exactly what they need. Furthermore, a unified inventory avoids stagnant stock in slower stores, optimizing overall revenues and creating sales for the store. 

 

Be flexible and meet customer expectations  

Unifying your inventory is one thing. To take full benefit, add omnichannel order fulfillment in the mix to gain more flexibility. 

When you use omnichannel order fulfillment, you’re offering several fulfillment methods to customers, including: 

  • Ship-from-store 
  • In-store pickup (BOPIS, or buy online, pick up in-store) 
  • Curbside pickup 
  • Ship-to-store 
  • Store transfer 
  • Endless aisle (buy in-store, ship to home) 
  • Dropshipping 

Shipping and pickup preferences vary based on demographic– but not as much as you might think. Take grocery fulfillment preferences, for example.  

On average, 45% of shoppers prefer home delivery, 28% prefer curbside pickup, 17% prefer in-store pickup, 9% prefer a locker or similar option, and 17% prefer online subscriptions. 

Here’s the breakdown by generation: 

Gen Z and millennials: 

  • 46% prefer home delivery 
  • 22% prefer curbside pickup 
  • 19% prefer in-store pickup 
  • 13% prefer to use a locker or similar 
  • 40% prefer online subscriptions.  

For Gen X: 

  • 43% prefer home delivery 
  • 29% prefer curbside pickup 
  • 20% prefer in-store pickup 
  • 8% prefer locker or similar 
  • 20% prefer online subscriptions 

Boomers: 

  • 48% prefer home delivery 
  • 32% prefer curbside pickup 
  • 20% prefer in-store pickup  
  • 7% prefer locker or similar 
  • 13% prefer online subscriptions 

By offering several different fulfillment scenarios, you can cater to every customer’s needs and are more likely to increase your online sales. Adding an online subscription option taps into that 20% or so of shoppers, while making online revenue more predictable. Boosting sales is all about boosting customer satisfaction—so if you focus on customer satisfaction first, a spike in sales will naturally follow. 

 

Simplify your product return process 

Customers are more likely to make a purchase if they feel confident that the return process will be easy and painless. Econsultancy explainsEconsultancy explains that 56% of online consumers want to see a simple return policy in the businesses they purchase from. 92% of shoppers would buy a product again if they’re happy with the return policy and 67% research the retailer’s return policy before making a purchase. 

What does this mean for online retailers? Simple– if your return policy is hassle-free, your online sales will increase as it fuels long-term loyalty. You can simplify your return process by using an omnichannel order fulfillment system. This type of solution allows you to accept returns by using the order management system (OMS) and processes you already have in place. 

 

Focus on fulfillment analytics 

One aspect of omnichannel order fulfillment that many retailers tend to overlook is fulfillment analytics. Keeping track of fulfillment data and looking for trends is essential so that you can continually evolve and improve. Track analytics such as fulfillment events, store performance, the types of orders you’re receiving, and more. This will help you identify and fix any problems or inefficiencies that appear.  

When you know where you need to improve, you can make those changes and keep moving forward– then be able to get more sales from your online store. And boosting sales isn’t the only benefit of tracking analytics. When you streamline your processes, your employees become more efficient. Keeping track of fulfillment analytics is essential for any and all retailers. Make sure the chosen OMS exposes these data in a simple and usable way. 

Choose an OMS that is flexible, scalable, and efficient. Orckestra, mdf’s ecommerce platform for businesses, is future-proof and composable, which means it provides a tailored solution to fit your needs. The scalable business model allows you to start fast and grow as you go. We believe in enhancing what you already have, not ripping and replacing. We leverage your existing technology, so you don’t have to worry about costly re-platforming. We create the building blocks omnichannel retailers and grocers need to shape their commerce ecosystem.