Order Management Essentials
Order Management Essentials
Having a holistic understanding of how to manage your orders and all of the tools that are available to streamline this process is pivotal to developing a successful order management strategy.
Receiving Store Order Notifications
There are two ways to be notified when your store receives an order: email and text. Notifications will include a link to your store to view the order details. If the notification is for an order message, you'll be provided with the customer name, order ID, message and a link to view the message within your store.
Email: New order notifications can be emailed to a single email address or several by separating them with a comma in your order email notification settings. You may also have the invoice the customer received forwarded to these same addresses by configuring your store settings. This is particularly useful if there is another party that needs details when new orders come in, like a warehouse manager, or a supplier partner.
Text Message: Most major cellular providers give you the ability to send a text message via email using a unique email address. You can use this unique email address to receive notifications on your phone.
Keeping your orders organized for easier fulfillment is critical to success, especially for stores with large order volume. Fortunately, your BigCommerce store has built-in and customizable order views allowing you to sort your orders in the following manners:
- Date Range
- Order Status
- Payment Method
- Shipping Method
- Coupon Code (full coupon code needed)
- Order ID
- Order Total
- Customer Name
It's helpful to organize your oldest orders first to ensure your orders are fulfilled promptly. This is especially important when you run a sale, or when the holiday season comes around. Always be aware of your order backlog.
Poor inventory management can lead to apology emails, lost sales, and negative reviews. BigCommerce offers many ways to track your inventory so you can avoid orders being placed that you cannot fulfill.
If you have multiple sales channels (e.g. Google Shopping, eBay, brick and mortar store) we recommend considering one of our order management and fulfillment apps. These apps can help streamline inventory management across multiple channels, or automatically sync data to accounting software, like QuickBooks.
Tracking Your Shipments
The order management process doesn't stop when the shipment leaves your hands. In fact, many consider the process complete once you have confirmed the customer is satisfied with the item. One way to improve satisfaction is by using tracking numbers. BigCommerce can handle package tracking automatically using USPS by Endicia and lets you manually add and import tracking numbers from your other shipping providers.
Communicating with Customers
Depending on your Checkout Settings, updating the status of an order will send an email update message to the customer. This is helpful to keep your customers updated on the progress/status of their order.
You'll want to find a balance between keeping your customers up to date, while not inundating them with unnecessary emails. New customers who sign up for an account receive a welcome email, as well as an order confirmation for their order. You are encouraged to customize your email templates to match your brand.
Be as proactive as possible about setting order fulfillment expectations, especially if you have a unique situation (e.g. need to create or source your products). Try communication tactics like:
- Include contact information on your customer email notifications.
- Create a dedicated web page to your order fulfillment process.
- Clearly display details about order fulfillment in your product descriptions.
- Include contact information on your website navigation.
Preparing for Customer Support
The best customer support conversation you can have is the one that you don't have to have. Implementing some deflective measures can prevent customer misunderstandings and bad experiences. Some simple things you can do to prepare include:
- An easy to find, complete and clear returns policy
- A FAQ page to field common questions
What about when a customer is not satisfied with their order? First, it is wise to have clear language on your store that helps to set expectations (see “Communicating with Customers” section above). No matter how clear this messaging, customers will inevitably try to contact you via:
- Live Chat
- Contact Us Form
- Social Media
Small businesses may be able to handle customer concerns on a case-by-case basis, but as you grow, this may not scale. Consider implementing a ticketing system or customer relationship software to track and coordinate support and sales inquiries with ease.