Why Effective Order Management is Key to 2023 Success

Feb 10, 2023 | Blog

Amber Hovious Headshot

By Amber Hovious (pictured).

VP of Marketing & Partnerships, Teamwork Commerce

Originally posted on: IT in the Supply Chain

According to a 2021 survey, 40% of supply chain professionals claimed that they had already integrated cloud computing and storage technologies into their company operations. Retail giants have already started to invest in technology to automate their functions across order fulfillment, warehouse distribution, pickup, and delivery. In 2023, this is only likely to grow to cater to the omnichannel demands of consumers.

In the early stages of the new year, retailers’ budgets remain constrained, putting an added emphasis on the requirement to produce effective and efficient procedures to decrease costs. While sales are made on the shop floor, back-end operations are vital in not only supporting these transactions but also executing them in an optimal manner that boosts operating speed and optimizes income.

Order management technology can empower retailers to support sales from any channel with a variety of deep functionality designs to create a seamless purchase workflow. With the appropriate technology, order management can be directly connected to most eCommerce platforms, providing an automated solution to generate shipments. Orders can be placed from multiple locations and fulfilled anywhere. This plays an integral role in both delivering a high-quality customer experience and driving efficient and cost-effective operational processes that are crucial in the current economic climate. But how does this look in action?

Driving Efficient Order Fulfilment 

State-of-the-art order management systems (OMS) leverage real-time data and automation to fill orders from the most convenient locations and deliver items quickly at the benefit of the customer, who now has numerous options to choose from across online and offline sales channels. Consumers expect a frictionless experience that allows them to place and receive orders, and execute returns if needed. They want this to happen as quickly as possible, leveraging online platforms, physical stores, or a blend of both. Customer satisfaction, revenues, and brand reputation all hinge on order management.

Retailers must prioritize the process of order capture, order configuration, inventory visibility, planned fulfillment, and shipment and return solutions. The goal is for customers to receive orders, on time and in full, at the lowest possible cost. As much as retailers should focus on delivering the orders, they must not overlook their returns management – as a returns experience can play a significant role in building consumer loyalty.

Streamlining Returns With Order Management

The returns dilemma continues to create challenges for retailers and 2023 will be no different. The right order management solution can create an effective reverse supply chain and streamline the entire process. 2021 saw $761 billion in sold merchandise returned to retailers over the course of the year, accounting for 16.6% of total US retail sales. Retailers who use a streamlined, end-to-end returns management system can improve customer loyalty while also distinguishing themselves in terms of profit and consumer experience.

With the appropriate OMS, retailers can swiftly receive returned products and restock them for resale. It also assists with recycling, repackaging, and restocking to decrease inventory waste and lessen the financial and environmental impacts of returns. When a return procedure includes a clear set of restocking guidelines, returns may be executed seamlessly and products can retain their value while staying out of landfill.

Ensuring a High-Quality Customer Experience

With a variety of fulfillment options available to consumers, including online delivery, buy-online-pickup-instore (BOPIS), and buy-online-return-instore (BORIS), retailers must provide a seamless omnichannel experience that fosters loyalty and consistently delivers high-quality service.

In today’s competitive retail environment, this is critical for remaining ahead of the curve. A digital, end-to-end OMS is a simple, practical, and successful method to boost efficiency and improve the overall customer experience. Powered with cutting-edge technology, OMS can provide retailers with a consolidated picture of inventory counts and a summary of total customer contacts by grouping orders using a unified commerce system. It can also assist in keeping track of where products are and what tasks staff have completed in relation to an order.

Retailers may avoid out-of-stock situations by having an inventory count that is synchronized to all departments – from the front end to the back end. Customers can choose the most convenient method of receiving an item using omnichannel fulfillment options. Order management is in command of everything from receiving the order, throughout delivery, and after-delivery customer care.

In 2023, retailers must be able to deliver the sought-after convenience across all sales channels. Those that do not deploy appropriate order management technology can quickly become overwhelmed with orders or fail to fulfill them appropriately. Retailers who invest in order fulfillment technology must ensure that their solution is well integrated with other retail technologies and allows a seamless flow of communication in real-time across the retail technology stack. This not only boosts accuracy but also helps retailers stay up-to-date and improve their decision-making.

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