omnichannel order management

15 Questions to Ask Before Choosing an Omnichannel Order Fulfillment Software

by Aditya Patel |

Finding the right Omnichannel Order Fulfillment Software can be like trying to find your way through a maze. There are lots of options out there, each with its own special features and functions. It can be hard to pick the one that's best for your company. Whether you're just starting out or you've been around for a while, everyone faces the same challenge: finding an Order Fulfillment Software that works well with your business and helps it run smoothly.

When things get complicated, it's normal to feel unsure about where to begin or what matters most. To tackle this challenge, we've created a list of questions to guide you through. These questions aren't just random—they're like a map to help you understand your current situation, identify what's going right and what's not, and imagine the perfect solution that fits your needs perfectly.

When you're looking for the best Order Fulfillment Software, there's no single solution that works for everyone. Every organization has its own way of doing things, with different processes, goals, and problems. But if you start your journey with these sets of questions, you'll be better prepared to make smart choices, find new chances to improve, and move toward having the best Order Fulfillment Software for your needs.

1. Is it a cloud-based technology with managed service?

A cloud-based Order Fulfillment Software offers numerous advantages over traditional on-premises solutions. By leveraging cloud infrastructure, retailers can scale resources dynamically to accommodate fluctuations in order volume and business growth. Additionally, managed services ensure that the Order Fulfillment Software is continuously monitored, maintained, and updated by experienced professionals, reducing the burden on internal IT teams and enhancing system reliability, security, and performance.

2. Does it provide APIs to integrate with other systems for real-time inventory visibility or provide end-of-the-day inventory visibility by batch process?

APIs play a pivotal role in enabling seamless communication and data exchange between the Order Fulfillment Software and other business systems, such as ERP, CRM, and digital commerce platforms. Real-time inventory visibility via APIs ensures that retailers have accurate, up-to-date information about inventory levels, locations, and availability across all channels. Batch processing for inventory visibility offers an alternative method for updating inventory data at scheduled intervals, ensuring timely insights into stock levels and enabling informed decision-making.

3. Are all the features out-of-the-box or will it need additional programming?

Out-of-the-box features refer to functionalities that come pre-built and ready to use within the Order Fulfillment Software platform without the need for extensive customization or programming. While some level of configuration may be required to customize the Order Fulfillment Software to specific business requirements, a comprehensive set of out-of-the-box features minimizes the need for costly and time-consuming custom development. This accelerates the implementation process, reduces project complexity, and ensures faster time-to-value for retailers seeking to deploy the Order Fulfillment Software quickly and efficiently.

4. Are the integrations ready with your digital commerce platforms like Shopify, Salesforce Commerce, BigCommerce?

Pre-built integrations with leading digital commerce platforms streamlines the integration process and ensure seamless interoperability between the Order Fulfillment Software and external systems. These integrations facilitate two-way data exchange, enabling real-time synchronization of orders, inventory, customer information, and other critical data points. By leveraging pre-built connectors, retailers can avoid the complexities and delays associated with custom integration projects, thereby, accelerating time-to-market and enhancing operational efficiency.

5. If integrations with digital commerce are not ready, how much time will it take to make the integration?

Custom integrations with digital commerce platforms require careful planning, development, testing, and deployment efforts, which can vary in duration depending on factors such as system complexity, data volume, and resource availability. The time required to complete custom integrations should be estimated based on a thorough assessment of the integration requirements, project scope, available resources, and implementation timelines. Clear communication and collaboration between stakeholders and integration teams are essential to ensure timely delivery and successful outcomes. If the technology provider requires more than 90 days to implement the Order Fulfillment Software, even for a selected portion, it may not be the right choice because delays in integration can result in missed opportunities and increased implementation costs.

6. Does it provide multi-currency and multi-language settings?

Multi-currency and multi-language support are crucial not only for customer-facing aspects but also for internal teams within retail companies who are the primary users of the Order Fulfillment Software. While customers may not face language barriers directly, internal teams often operate across different regions or countries where language differences exist. Multi-language settings ensure that all team members can navigate and use the Order Fulfillment Software efficiently, regardless of their language proficiency. Similarly, multi-currency support enables seamless transactions and financial operations across diverse markets, streamlining processes for international teams and facilitating smoother collaboration and communication within the organization.

7. Does the system support safety stock settings?

In omnichannel retailing, it's essential for stores to balance inventory allocation between online orders and walk-in customers. Safety stock plays a crucial role in this process, allowing retailers to control how much inventory is promised to online channels. When a store's inventory count falls below the designated safety stock quantity, the remaining inventory is reserved for in-store sales, ensuring that walk-in customers are also catered to. Additionally, safety stock helps retailers mitigate the risk of taking orders that cannot be fulfilled due to inventory discrepancies, a common challenge in retail operations.

8. Does it support multiple fulfillment options like BOPIS, Send Sale, and Ship from Store?

Supporting multiple fulfillment options enhances flexibility and convenience for both retailers and customers. Buy Online Pick Up In Store (BOPIS) allows customers to purchase items online and collect them from a nearby store, reducing shipping costs and delivery times. Ship from Store leverages store inventory to fulfill online orders, optimizing inventory utilization and reducing fulfillment costs. For Send Sale, if the item desired by the customer is unavailable at the store, store associates check stock availability across their other locations. If the desired item is found elsewhere, they place an order on the customer's behalf for the delivery to their home address. By offering multiple fulfillment options, retailers can cater to diverse customer preferences, improve operational efficiency, and enhance the overall shopping experience.

9. What is the time to market?

Time to market refers to the duration required to implement and deploy the Order Fulfillment Software solution from the initiation of the project to its launch and operational readiness. A shorter time to market is advantageous for retailers seeking to realize the benefits of the Order Fulfillment Software quickly and efficiently. However, it is important to note that the actual time to market may vary depending on factors such as project scope, complexity, resource availability, and customization requirements.

10. Does it support ship-together and split-order settings?

Ship-together and split-order settings are crucial for managing orders efficiently. Ship-together enables retailers to combine multiple orders from the same customer into a single shipment, reducing shipping costs and improving efficiency. Split-order capability allows orders to be divided into multiple shipments based on factors such as item availability and shipping preferences. By supporting ship-together and split-order settings, the Order Fulfillment Software should provide retailers with flexibility and control over their fulfillment processes, ensuring an optimal experience for both the retailer and the customer.

11. Is the system scalable? What is the maximum number of orders the system can process in a day?

Scalability is crucial for ensuring that the Order Fulfillment Software can accommodate business growth and handle increasing order volumes effectively. A scalable system can dynamically allocate resources and adjust to changing demand without sacrificing performance or reliability. Understanding the maximum number of orders the system can process in a day provides retailers with insight into its capacity and performance capabilities. By choosing a scalable Order Fulfillment Software, retailers can future-proof their operations, scale seamlessly as their business grows, and maintain optimal performance during peak periods.

12. Is the system SOC2 compliant?

SOC2 compliance is a vital consideration for retailers seeking to ensure the security, confidentiality, and privacy of their data within the Order Fulfillment Software. SOC2 compliance demonstrates that the Order Fulfillment Software provider has implemented robust controls and security measures to protect sensitive information and mitigate security risks. By choosing an SOC2-compliant system, retailers can safeguard customer data, comply with industry regulations, and build trust with stakeholders, partners, and customers.

13. Does it have a reference client in my country and my industry?

Having a reference client in the same country and industry provides retailers with valuable insights into the Order Fulfillment Software's performance, suitability, and success within a similar business context. Reference clients serve as real-world examples of how the Order Fulfillment Software has addressed specific challenges, met business requirements, and delivered tangible results for retailers in the same geographical region and industry vertical. By leveraging the experiences and successes of reference clients, retailers can gain confidence in the Order Fulfillment Software's capabilities, validate their choice, and make informed decisions about its adoption.

14. What is the pricing model, is it Revenue sharing or metered? Additionally what is the upfront cost and is it fixed, variable, or free?

Understanding the pricing model and associated costs is essential for evaluating the total cost of ownership and budgeting for the Order Fulfillment Software implementation. The pricing model may include options such as revenue sharing, metered usage, or subscription-based pricing. Additionally, retailers should consider upfront costs, ongoing fees, and any hidden charges associated with the Order Fulfillment Software. The pricing structure (fixed, variable, or free) determines the predictability and flexibility of costs and influences the overall affordability and value proposition of the Order Fulfillment Software solution.

15. How long is the initial contract term? Is it monthly, quarterly, or yearly?

The initial contract term and billing frequency dictate the duration of the commitment and payment schedule for the Order Fulfillment Software subscription or service. Businesses should understand the length of the initial contract term and the available billing options (monthly, quarterly, yearly) to assess their flexibility, commitment level, and ability to adapt to changing business needs. Clear terms and billing frequency enable retailers to align contract terms with budgetary cycles, operational requirements, and strategic planning efforts, ensuring a mutually beneficial partnership with the Order Fulfillment Software provider.

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Choosing the right Omnichannel Order Fulfillment Software can be a challenging task. However, it's crucial to avoid choosing a system that doesn't have the essential features that retailers would need from their Order Fulfillment Software. Luckily, with HotWax Commerce's Omnichannel Order Management System, you get all those vital features and much more.

HotWax Commerce is a cloud-based Omnichannel Order Fulfillment Software that provides retailers with the best return on their inventory by facilitating omnichannel solutions such as same-day Buy Online Pick-Up In Store (BOPIS), Buy Online Return In Store (BORIS), Ship From Store, and Pre-Orders to increase conversion rates and profitability. HotWax Commerce provides omnichannel retailing solutions to leading global retail brands, including Steve Madden, Perry Ellis, Cariuma, KREWE Eyewear, and ADOC.

To find out how HotWax Commerce can transform your order management process, schedule a consultation with our team today.