An eCommerce platform is commonly known as the software that enables a retailer to sell online. But many small & medium size retailers go above and beyond to extend their operations and improve efficiency. As a merchant, here’s what you can expect as you continue to grow your business.
An eCommerce platform is the software that resides on the internet that enables an individual or company to sell online. This platform will contain a function commonly known as a shopping cart. Solutions like Shopify are hosted while Magento requires you to obtain a separate hosting provider.
Why should you consider this? In order to sell online, you must have an eCommerce platform.
Warehouse Management System
Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) are designed to help manage bin locations, streamline pick and pack processes and control inventory. WMS play an important role in tracking all products entering and exiting the warehouse, this includes purchase orders and transfers. More expensive solutions have extended capabilities to multi-warehouse.
Why should you consider this? Your fulfillment team can move more than 100+ orders a day. Order accuracy is important and can become potential issues if your inventory controls start to slip.
Order Management System
Order Management Systems (OMS) and WMS typically work together. OMS assists in allocating, routing and fulfilling orders before they are sent to a WMS. Think of it as a digital layer that controls the flow of orders in its digital form before it becomes physical.
Why should you consider this? If you have multiple warehouses, preorders are a fundamental part of the business as you will need more control over inventories before they flow to a WMS.
Customer Relationship Management
In its simplest form, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is the central hub for all your customer information. Sometimes this role is fulfilled by your eCommerce platform. A CRM allows you to organize your customers in a meaningful way and interact with them through other systems.
Why should you consider this? Consumer analysis is a vital component of your business. Having a team dedicated to work with the existing clienteles. To a certain degree, Magento and Shopify already include some of these functions; however, for businesses looking to expand, they should consider integrating their Magento or Shopify to these systems.
Return Merchandise Management
Return Merchandise Management (RMM) can take form in different shapes, sometimes it is an application or as a business process. While the terms suggests it is used to handle returns efficiently, the true purpose is to analyze and reduce the number of returns. As sales increase, inadequate control in supply chain or customer service will inevitably lead to greater returns; take this opportunity to study the cause. The key is to track and improve returns in percentage of sales, as low as possible. But be realistic because zero is impossible to achieve.
Rule of thumb:
Implement new software only when you absolutely need it, software can improve efficiency and limits human errors; however, when used incorrectly it can also reduced productivity.