Is Your Order Management Software Working for You This Busy Holiday Season?

Is Your Order Management Software Working for You This Busy Holiday Season?

In the fast-paced world we live in, consumers expect to place an order and receive their correct package within two-shipping days. This allows very little room for errors and requires eCommerce businesses to have everything in order to quickly and accurately fulfill orders.

Order management supports all stages in the sales process and encompasses everything from creation to delivery. The order management software selected for an eCommerce business is critical because it provides a single, centralized system for managing orders from multiple sales channels. It also further simplifies the buying process for customers, enabling staff to manage orders, inventory and fulfillment from one easy spot.

According to Retail Dive, more than half of retailers are still using pen-and-paper manual processes at some point in their logistics processes, as well as 42% of retailers admitting that their current OMS in place needs improvement.

No matter how few or many orders you fulfill each month, order management software is a critical piece to the success of your business.

Top Benefits to Implementing an OMS:

Low Inventory Costs: Understanding how to simplify processes with automation and controlling inventory management is key. It also provides data and insights into product information – what is selling well, what is sitting on the shelves, what needs to be reordered immediately? Monitoring stock levels and sales data for each item improves efficiency and allows your team to make informed decisions while adding new items to inventory.

Reduce errors when your team picks, packs and ships: Automation allows for your team to concentrate on fulfillment, instead of manually pulling orders and going through each of the lengthy processes before ever touching the product to pack. With OPAL, order accuracy improves up to 99%, because automation removes the room for error when manually managed.

Accurate inventory management across all sales channels: Integrating into all sales channels simplifies processes and automates workflow processes, drastically reducing errors that occur with manual systems and making your eCommerce business reliable in the eyes of the sales channels.

Streamline warehouse operations: Real-time transmission of shipping info and tracking via EDI or API, with auto-creation of invoices in your accounting system is drastically simplified through automation. Optimizing and managing processes in real time provide data to analyze and constantly adjust to increase efficiency. Your OMS will also allow your team to ship additional orders per day without having to hire additional people.

Simplify with OPAL’s 4-in-1 Software Solution
EDI | Order Management | Warehouse Management | Shipping

OPAL is the innovative solution to simplify your small to mid-sized to enterprise business fulfillment needs in today’s rapidly transforming retail world.

Order management is challenging with so many processing bottlenecks, but OPAL processes without manual intervention required. It works 24/7 and reduces human error and easily scales to whatever capacity is needed without the need of hiring additional staff – even during peak seasons like now.

To learn more about how OPAL has partnered with many to scale their business to new levels of success, click here.

As your business looks to improve its processes, click here to learn more about how OPAL can streamline your business to efficiently maneuver this season.

Click here to book your customized demo today.  We are here to support you through this time of change and are here to help you innovate and thrive!

Can Better Inventory Management Really Reduce Your Cost of Doing Business?

Can Better Inventory Management Really Reduce Your Cost of Doing Business?

eCommerce businesses that efficiently manage inventory are destined to succeed. As inflation continued to rise and weigh on consumer demand this year, many suppliers and retailers over-purchased right as supply chain bottlenecks lessened and have left many with massive amounts of inventory for this holiday season.

According to Deloitte, in spite of the economic downturn this year, holiday eCommerce sales are projected to grow from 12.8% to 14.8%. As retailers continue to increase prices to keep up with inflation, savvy price-conscious shoppers will seek online deals to maximize their spending.

So how can solid inventory management practices reduce your cost of doing business this holiday season?

What is Inventory Management?

One of the most critical components of an eCommerce business is its inventory. It is what you sell to customers to make profits, it is also prone to theft and damage in a warehouse or on route to customers, and too much or too little inventory results in loss of sales and potentially damaging your trust and reputation with retailers.

Inventory management is critical because errors are costly and time is money. Shipping incorrect products, shipping to incorrect addresses, overstating inventory and needing to refund are all costly errors that add up quickly with manual processes in place.

However, automation simplifies and reduces costly errors in ordering, stores and optimizes product for the many online retailers, and allows you to sell additional products with little to no change in your team.

Bottom line – efficient inventory management processes reduce the number of costly errors and ensure you are able to fulfill incoming or open orders to increase profits.

Benefits to Inventory Management with OPAL?

Volume & Speed:
Automation drives labor costs down and increases capacity to fulfill new orders immediately, without the hassle of hiring and training new staff. Daily shipments increase by up to 50% because your team can pick, pack and ship much more efficiently than manually.

With OPAL, your team can generate drop ship orders in only 8 seconds – then pick, pack and ship this hectic holiday season.

Accuracy:
Automation improves order accuracy up to 99% because the manual errors are no longer missing stockouts, or shipping to incorrect addresses, or shipping incorrect products.

Real-Time Data for Purchasing Decisions:
Accurately representing inventory across multiple sales channels prevents overselling and underselling of products. It also allows for your team to have an understanding of which products are moving quickly and which ones are lingering on the shelves to make better ordering, pricing and sales or incentive decisions.

Eliminate EDI:
One of the biggest benefits to a software solution is eliminating EDI charges, especially since they have grown exorbitantly over the past year as shipping to individual consumers has skyrocketed.

With OPAL, EDI is 100% included no matter how many orders you fulfill, allowing you to reduce your price per order drastically in comparison to manual processes. To learn more about the evolution of EDI, visit our blog here.

Simplify with OPAL’s 4-in-1 Software Solution
EDI | Order Management | Warehouse Management | Shipping

OPAL is the innovative solution to simplify your small to mid-sized to enterprise business fulfillment needs in today’s rapidly transforming retail world.

As your business looks to improve its processes, click here to learn more about how OPAL can streamline your business to efficiently maneuver this season.

Click here to book your customized demo today.  We are here to support you through this time of change and are here to help you innovate and thrive!

The Importance of eCommerce Metrics

The Importance of eCommerce Metrics

It is no surprise that in today’s ever-changing world, eCommerce businesses able to access their data to make informed data-based decisions have far better outcomes.

Understanding which metrics are more “vanity metrics” versus those that will directly impact the bottom line, will be key for defining sustainable and actionable strategies for this holiday season and 2023.

OPAL is here to help your eCommerce business determine which metrics will make the biggest impact on your company’s goals and how to implement them through software automation.

Simply Average Performance Limits Your Ability to Grow.

This extended holiday season is a marathon, not a sprint, and understanding how to perform above average will depend on accuracy, consistency and knowing your data so that you can make informed decisions.

OPAL reduces processing time up to 90%, reduces processing cost up to 80%, improves order accuracy up to 99% and allows other clients to increase daily shipments by up to 50% without having to hire and train additional staff. Another success for clients, order accuracy and speed shorten theStated Customer Delivery Days and drives PO growth with sales channels.

In-Depth Knowledge of Sales Channels is Critical.

One comprehensive solution allows your business to strengthen relationships with your sales channels because it builds trust through accuracy and consistency.

OPAL requires no downtime for setup, syncs to all accounting and ERP systems without customization and optimizes quick delivery to customers, while managing compliant retailer transactions, real-time inventory and shipping documents.

How Can Opal Help Improve Your Metrics.

Software solutions and automation can impact your business drastically. When seeking to simplify your order management and warehouse management needs – automation simply allows your business to increase your capacity for additional customer orders with no additional cost and without hiring or training new staff.

The following metrics are used by the most sophisticated sales channels in the market to measure their supplier’s performance. OPAL has helped numerous clients meet these objectives.

ScalabilityAbility to Meet Metrics During Peak Periods  
Orders Shipped in One Business Day70%+  
Average Business Ship Days<2 Days
Percent of Orders Shipped by the Expected Ship Date98%+
On-Time Delivery95%+
Customer incident Performance <1%
Missed sales opportunities – oversold or undersold<5%
Current Inventory Sent At Least Each Hour
Order Confirmation SentWithin 12 Hours of Order Receipt
ASN SentWithin 4 Hours of Shipment
Invoice SentWithin 4 Hours of Shipment

Simplify with OPAL’s 4-in-1 Software Solution
EDI | Order Management | Warehouse Management | Shipping

OPAL is the innovative solution to simplify your small to mid-sized to enterprise business fulfillment needs in today’s rapidly transforming retail world.

As your business looks to improve its processes, click here to learn more about how OPAL can streamline your business to efficiently maneuver this season.

Click here to book your customized demo today.  We are here to support you through this time of change and are here to help you innovate and thrive!

Top 3 Trends in eCommerce Today

Top 3 Trends in eCommerce Today

As we’ve kicked-off the holiday sales season with back to school and fall décor, many are curious how to weather this turbulent sales season, as inflation has impacted so many.

With the gift-giving season still a few months away, many consumers are already worried about paying for this year’s gifts and 40% say inflation is changing the way they shop. With more than 26 million eCommerce businesses across the world, and many more beginning every day, prioritizing digital channels is key as savvy consumers continue to hunt for the best deals.

In addition to the right digital sales channels, it is important to utilize a few key trends to stay ahead.

Influencers

For years now, brands have utilized social influencers to get their products in front of the masses. An influencer is anyone with an engaged community online, many of which share similar likes and dislikes as the influencer, simplifying the work that brands need to do to find their right niche to sell products.

There is a valuable boost in visibility and sales when utilizing influencers. They have the unique opportunity to highlight how to use the product, why they love the product, all the countless reasons their followers should buy it, and many times even provide an incentive to click through the link and purchase with their discount code.

Understanding the analytics of how many people clicked through the link, purchased the marketed item, purchased additional items, etc. all help to provide insight on which influencers work best for your market and what products show well through social.

Statistics show that 60% of marketers have found that influencer marketing performs better and drives more engagement than in-house branded content and that 40% of respondents made a purchase because they saw an influencer promote an item.

Personalization

Customers have come to expect highly tailored experiences that were once exclusive to boutiques and small mom and pop shops. Today, customers want numerous color and size options, generous return policies, exceptional customer service, dependable two-day shipping, and simple online buying processes.

Prioritizing the customer experience is THE way to build brand loyalty and trust with your customers. The goal of today’s eCommerce experience is to receive the in-store shopping experience online at their convenience and leisure.

Artificial Intelligence

In today’s era of labor shortages and extremely high customer expectations, utilizing automation and AI really is no longer a luxury that small businesses have anymore.

Not only does automation allow a small number of employees to grow and handle the operations of a business, it allows for efficiencies with internal processes as well as partnerships with vendors for shipping to save both time and money to succeed.

Automation is critical as your business grows. It helps streamline how your business interacts with your retailers, customers and employees, as well as your customers. It also helps execute complex functions on both the front and back end of business, such as reducing the time to fulfill orders and reducing errors from manually entered data at every turn in the process. To learn more about why to implement automation and see if your eCommerce business is ready, click here.

According to Inc., the key to creating the virtual reality experience in online retail and eCommerce is in communication and building community. Being connected to the community through influencers, offering a personalized experience, and streamlining operations through automation will help your business succeed in the holiday season ahead.

Simplify with OPAL’s 4-in-1 Software Solution
EDI | Order Management | Warehouse Management | Shipping

OPAL is the innovative solution to simplify your small to mid-sized to enterprise business fulfillment needs in today’s rapidly transforming retail world.

As your business looks to improve its processes, click here learn more about how OPAL can streamline your business to efficiently maneuver this season.

To learn more about how OPAL has partnered with many to scale their business to new levels of success, click here.

Click here to book your customized demo today.  We are here to support you through this time of change and are here to help you innovate and thrive!

The Merging of Fintech and eCommerce – The Future of Payment Options

The Merging of Fintech and eCommerce – The Future of Payment Options

As inflation continues to rise to the worst this country has seen in more than 40 years, many eCommerce owners are planning ahead for this back to school and holiday season. It is estimated that overall retail sales in the US will grow roughly 3.5% this holiday season, less than the US inflation rate of approximately 10%.

Overall eCommerce and marketplace sales growth are estimated to grow at an even higher rate of 15-17% this holiday season, in spite of consumers having less discretionary incomes than in years past. As discussed in our last blog, consumers will be price sensitive and start the season relatively early to guarantee the best price.

But as the debate continues on what to call this economic downturn, many are looking ahead to the holiday season and wondering will consumers be able and willing to part from their hard-earned dollars for items that suppliers and retailers curated particularly for this holiday season?

Expanded Payment Options for Consumers

Many new trends have emerged in the past few years as eCommerce has been forced to pivot quickly for consumers to have access to a wide variety of purchases throughout lockdown and the pandemic.  Without fintech and their innovations, many may not have been as successful.

But as eCommerce businesses approach this year’s back to school and holiday season and money is tight for consumers, fintech companies are offering several innovative options.

Buy Now Pay Later:

Extending credit to a customer to buy something now, but pay later.  This is not a new concept, but unlike traditional loans, there is only a soft inquiry on the credit, meaning there is no decrease in your credit score. Installment loan brands include Afterpay, Affirm, of Klarna and their value proposition is advancing financial inclusion for people who don’t have access to traditional credit products, as well as giving buyers enhanced control and flexibility over their spending.

Increasing Payment Options:
Mobile payments, also known as “single-click checkout,” are estimated to overtake credit cards and cash by 2025, with more than 1.31 billion customers worldwide using some form of mobile payment app by 2023.  Brands like Paypal and Venmo have dominated the marketplace in the beginning, but with adaptation increasing, more will continue to arise.

Chat commerce is another simplified trend where customers utilize chatbots for various services – dealing with issues, tracking a package, sending a payment link, as well as remembering customer preferences for purchases.  This completely removes the need for invoicing and formal checkouts, while impowering AI-power chatbot serves to provide connection and engagement with customers.

SMS payments is another way to capture a potential missed sale by allowing sending a link to pay.  Earlier in the pandemic in 2020, a survey showed that 35% of customers want to pay by text.  The ability to text customers personalizes the shopping and customer experience, as well as decreases cart and page abandonment. Quick reminder texts provide the opportunity to pay in a safe and convenient way.

Benefits to eCommerce Owners

In a time when money is tight for consumers, fintech partnerships with eCommerce platforms opens up the opportunity for more spending through the holiday season.

Utilizing fintech software helps eCommerce owners to better leverage customer data collected through the purchase process.  This not only helps to personalize the shopping experience, but could lead to personalized pricing options to help keep more of the sales that would typically drop off.

As social media commerce continues to grow, suppliers who are early adapters and have processes in place for alternative payment options will be able to grow and expand with the industry.  There has been incredible success through Instagram as influencers promote products with direct links to online purchases—and in some cases – in app purchases. 

As the partnership between fintech and eCommerce continues to innovate, eCommerce owners and customers continue to win as the checkout process becomes more and more seamless and easily connected to customers.

Simplify with OPAL’s 4-in-1 Software Solution
EDI | Order Management | Warehouse Management | Shipping

OPAL is the innovative solution to simplify your small to mid-sized to enterprise business fulfillment needs in today’s rapidly transforming retail world.

As your business prepares for back to school and the upcoming extended holiday season ahead, learn more about how OPAL can streamline your business to efficiently maneuver this season.
To learn more about how OPAL has partnered with many to scale their business to new levels of success, click here.

Click here to book your customized demo today.  We are here to support you through this time of change and are here to help you innovate and thrive!

Christmas in July

Christmas in July

As summer comes to a close, Christmas in July seems to have taken over many social platforms by displaying heavy discounts with pictures of cooler temperatures and holiday cheer.

According to Forbes, it’s no longer an unofficial holiday that imitates many of the traditions, but it has shifted to serve as the kickoff to preparing for the upcoming holiday shopping season.

As retailers and suppliers gear up for this back to school and holiday season, understanding how inflation may impact consumer spending is critical. Shoppers will pay more attention to value and price, which will lead to a much earlier start in the season to beat price hikes from shortages.

Current Trends

Back to school sales and Amazon Prime Days are both great indicators of how consumers will spend money in the upcoming holiday season and their confidence in the economy.

Early estimates of Prime Day sales by Numerator show that 35% of customers spent more than in prior years – with the average order size at $52.26, up from $44.75 in 2021.

Inflation also impacted the majority of the shoppers with 34% waiting for the sale to purchase a specific item at the discounted price, 28% passing on the deal because it wasn’t viewed as necessity and 22% of individuals looking at prices outside of Amazon prior to buying.

In addition to price sensitivity, consumers also focused purchases towards necessities instead of brand-name electronics and tech products. In years past, top shopped deals were Fire TV Sticks, Apple AirPods and kitchen gadgets like air fryers and fancy mandolin slicers, whereas this year’s best sellers included teeth whitening strips, food, diapers, toilet paper and other household items.

Even though an astounding 300 million items were purchased on Prime Day 2022, consumers are already showing priority to price and need over want, both warnings for the upcoming holiday season.

Increased Levels of Inventory on Hand

With supply chains on the mend, many suppliers have more inventory on hand than they know what to do with and more on the way for the holiday season. The bullwhip effect that we are currently experiencing, as discussed in further detail in our prior blog here, will eventually rebalance by deeply discounting prices to get inventory out the door.

With price sensitive consumers, gradually increasing discounts over the extended holiday season will hopefully lead to a reduction in inventory and a solid holiday season of sales ahead.

Busy Season is Ahead: Simplify Through Automation

With so much inventory on hand and sales having slowed with economic unrest, now is the time to get all systems in order for the upcoming extended holiday season.

Automation through a software solution empowers your eCommerce business to grow to the next level almost instantaneously. Not only does it streamline how your business interacts with retails and online platforms, it executes complex functions on both the front-end and back-end of the business with simplicity. This results in reducing the time to fulfill orders and errors from manually entered data at every single stop in the process.

Simplify with OPAL’s 4-in-1 Software Solution
EDI | Order Management | Warehouse Management | Shipping

OPAL is the innovative solution to simplify your small to mid-sized to enterprise business fulfillment needs in today’s rapidly transforming retail world.

As your business prepares for back to school and the upcoming extended holiday season ahead, learn more about how OPAL can streamline your business to efficiently maneuver this season.
To learn more about how OPAL has partnered with many to scale their business to new levels of success, click here.

Click here to book your customized demo today.  We are here to support you through this time of change and are here to help you innovate and thrive!