When running an online store, order management is vital. Today, customers are looking for a seamless buying experience that’s easy and error free. Around 65% of online customers claim they’ve shunned a brand in the past due to a negative buying experience. The standard is sky high now and people are quick to turn away from brands that let them down.

It’s more important than ever to make sure your order management process is perfectly smooth as well as geared to maximise return custom. On the hunt for an order management platform that ticks all the right boxes? In this quick article, we’re highlighting 5 of the most crucial features your order processing software needs to have in 2018.

We’ll start with:

  1. Payment processing that’s solid as a rock

You’re pouring huge amounts of effort into marketing and conversions, but it can all be thrown away due to a failed payment at the last hurdle. You need a payment processor that’s secure, super reliable, and from a market leading brand that your customers will trust. Your order management software needs to integrate perfectly with at least one of these established payment solutions:

  • PayPal
  • Worldpay
  • Payline
  • Authorize.Net
  • Stripe
  1. Multi-channel consolidation

One of the best ways to maximize sales is to list your items across as many channels as possible. The problem is, as soon as your sales start to pick up, you’ll be monitoring and processing a pile of orders through a collection of separate stores which can get messy very quickly. Keeping your stores perfectly synchronized manually can be a full-time job in itself and throw up a range of unnecessary headaches.

If you want to sell across multiple channels, you’ll need a multi-channel order management system that automatically consolidates your orders from all stores to one place. This will save you a heap of time as well as prevent any nasty oversell situations.

  1. Automated fulfilment notifications

Once you’ve taken payment, your customers will expect speed and quality service above all else. Studies have shown that 64% of consumers would prefer next or same-day delivery and 57% would avoid using a retailer again after receiving a late delivery. Speed is king when it comes to online order fulfilment, and managing customer expectations through swift communication is just as important.

You need an order management system that lets you track and mark orders exactly as they’re processed from “payment received” to “ready to ship”, and beyond. Bonus points go to order management programs that send out ‘shipping confirmation’ and ‘tracking’ notifications to your customers automatically as soon as you’ve marked them so. You’ll be amazed at the time and energy this feature will save you, especially if you’re selling a product the flies out in huge volumes.

  1.  Following up with customer care

The best way to prevent bad experiences from boiling over while simultaneously building loyalty is to follow up every order with responsive customer care. Great order management systems will give you the capability to send out automated emails to customers once their orders have arrived. The content of the email can be as simple as asking if everything within the order is correct. Not only does it show customers that they’re dealing with a brand that cares, but it also acts as a great stepping stone in nurturing a customer towards their next purchase.

  1. Using reviews and feedback

Reviews are more vital than ever – 85% of people trust online reviews just as much as they trust personal recommendations. Your order management software needs to send out automated emails to buyers asking them to review your store. If they’ve had a bad experience, you can invite them to respond to the email directly so that you have the chance to address the situation before they leave a damaging review.

That’s the list! These are the 5 most important features your order management software needs to deliver in 2018. As people shop online in increasing numbers, your ability to stay on par in terms of efficiency and customer care will be the difference between success and collapse. Stick to order management systems that are outdated and you’re sure to be left behind.

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