In fiercely competitive online markets, ecommerce merchants need every advantage to improve operational efficiency, speed product delivery and ensure customer satisfaction. Tight integration between your ecommerce website and order management system is a surefire way to meet those objectives. Done right, optimizing your order management processes can reduce your costs by 5% to 17% and improve customer satisfaction by 8% to 19%, according to the National Retail Federation.

Once an order is submitted and approved, the warehouse needs to pick, pack and ship the products. Inventory needs to be reduced in real-time, out-of-stock items automatically removed from the website, and your system should automatically reorder items to ensure you keep optimal stock levels. The best ecommerce engines will work in concert with an order management system to automate many of these processes.

In addition, an ecommerce platform that features direct integration with major shipping carriers such as FedEx, UPS and USPS will save you time and money by preventing data re-entry and shipments to incorrect addresses. Easy generation of picking tickets, packing slips, shipping labels and customs documentation helps enable your staff to fulfill more orders faster.

Your order approval process should involve management by exception. Because you don’t have time to review every incoming transaction, your ecommerce platform should immediately flag for further review orders that meet certain criteria—expensive orders, different shipping and billing addresses, historically fraudulent destinations, etc. 

Throughout ordering and shipping processes, your system should give customers self-service capabilities to track order billing, status and shipment. A personalized email alerting customers to status or shipment is effective for building loyalty and gives you an opportunity to recommend a related cross-sell or up-sell product or entice a return site visit.