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Why Is E-Commerce Order Management Necessary For A Successful Omnichannel Strategy?

If 2013 was the year that distributors were beginning to move into e-commerce order management, then 2014 is the year in which they will have to make omnichannel a reality or suffer serious consequences.

According to an article on the NetSuite blog, “…companies with the strongest omnichannel strategies managed to retain an average of 89 percent of their customers, compared to the 33 percent that companies with weak omnichannel strategies managed to retain.”

The retail and distribution experience is moving into omnichannel in many important ways. Mobility in e-commerce order management is a very important new trend for retailers and distributors to consider. Customers order products from their phones, tablets and other mobile devices every day. With an integrated cloud platform, businesses can manage orders and inventory from a unified system.

“Retailers will be able to digitally display full inventories, process purchases, check shipping options and provide product reviews regardless of the physical location,” the article explains.

A unified platform in the cloud will allow retailers and distributors unprecedented visibility into sales trends and customer preferences. Adjusting and adapting to what their customers expect means greater customer retention, loyalty and repeat business.

A single platform for e-commerce order management also means that customers can purchase goods and services online or in-store and receive the best customer service from any point of contact.

“Working off a single platform, store associates and customers alike will be able to access a consistent set of customer, inventory and order data from any device — store kiosk, tablet or smartphone,” the article notes.

Without this unified visibility into business operations, distributors and retailers will not be able to keep up with the omnichannel demand that has become so common and will be more prevalent than ever in 2014.

Stale, purpose-driven, on-premises ERP systems are a major drag on business flexibility and scalability. By moving to the cloud for e-commerce order management, distributors and retailers will be able to achieve that unification of business processes.

Source: NetSuite, January 2014

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