How does the “typical” multichannel retail business actually work? Interestingly enough, there isn’t really a straightforward answer to that. This tends to surprise many due to the fact that using multiple channels for sales is a very popular way of building an online business.
As a simple example: A business owner has their eCommerce store taking direct orders from clients, they have an Amazon store, they offer shopping on their Facebook page, and they use several other online channels such as eBay and even Newegg.
How does this business work? Does someone manage each individual channel, manually process the orders, and update websites accordingly? For instance, when something is sold on eBay, will that necessitate a visit to all other channels to manually update inventory? It could. Some vendors still rely on a lot of manual operations.
However, there is a much savvier way of doing business, and it includes the use of multichannel resources such as order management software. As the title says, you can run a business in “real time” when you opt to use integrated order management software, and that is a huge and significant issue.
What is Real Time?
Let’s say you are of the “manual” style and you just go and update things like your Amazon inventory whenever something sells on eBay, or vice versa. Is that truly “real time” updating? No, because you don’t hover at the computer every hour of the day or night. Even if you were willing to do so, it would take time to navigate around and make all necessary updates. With integrated order management software, however, everything happens in real time and when a buyer makes their purchase.
The “real time” benefits don’t end there, though, and integrated order management software also ensures that shipping is done in a timely and accurate way, too. For instance, your choice in order management software may include status reports about every phase of ordering and shipping. With one or two clicks, you could look at all orders and see if they are processed, picked and packed, ready to ship, already shipped, or facing some particular glitch – such as awaiting one item before shipping.
This is truly the only sort of real time customer service available. You don’t even have to be at your computer for this when you use integrated services that include cloud access. That would allow you to check in on the daily orders or the status of any particular product from anywhere. Again, we are talking real time and not business hours in your particular part of the world. This enables global business or just responsive service – and both are very valuable assets.
Beyond the Benefits
Though these benefits of integrated order management software might seem adequate enough to grab your attention, consider that there are further advantages. For example, your choice in software can be integrated with social media, too. When someone chooses their products and completes the purchase, your system can allow them to “share” the news of their good find or exciting purchase with their social media channels.
This is where word of mouth benefits your business exponentially and particularly if you have integrated with locations such as a Facebook sales page. With a single click, interested friends and followers can see your products and even make a purchase of their own.
Don’t overlook the many benefits of real time business when done through integrated management solutions. Order management, inventory management, shipping tools…these are wonderful ways to get an edge and take a major lead.
Don’t overlook the benefits of automation; turn to an integrated order management software solution to conduct all facets of business in real time.