As more consumers and B2B buyers favor omnichannel journeys to complete their purchases, it’s more critical than ever for businesses to have an order management system that can support and enhance those experiences.
To help business leaders evaluate order management systems, Forrester released its Order Management System Landscape, Q4 2022 overview. And we’re thrilled to be listed as a notable vendor in the report!
Earlier in the year, we were named the only Leader in The Forrester Wave™: B2C Commerce Solutions, Q2 2022. According to Forrester, “Kibo is a best fit for digital businesses that prioritize a preintegrated platform with shared services across functional areas.”
The Forrester Order Management System Landscape, Q4 2022 groups OMS vendors into the following segments:
- Industry and Geographic focus
- Type of Offering
- Extended Use Cases
As you read the overview, it’s critical to keep your business and customer needs top of mind to accurately narrow down your list of potential OMS vendors.
Our Take on Choosing an Order Management System
Order management plays a crucial role in a successful omnichannel retail strategy. It enables businesses to manage inventory, fulfill orders quickly, and provide a consistent experience no matter where a customer’s shopping journey begins and ends.
Microservices-based, API-first OMS solutions will allow you to easily flow data between systems and select the functionality you need now to create frictionless customer experiences. Over time, you can build upon those functions and seamlessly adapt inventory and fulfillment strategies to meet customer needs.
Evaluating Order Management Systems for B2B Companies
Amazon’s 2-day delivery and one-click purchase reset consumer shopping expectations that have now leaked into the B2B world. “B2B businesses are still early in their adoption of OMSes, but they increasingly realize that their buyers have expectations similar to those of end consumers. Therefore, B2B businesses are best served by these modern systems rather than enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems with add-ons,” said Forrester in their overview report.
During a recent interview with Kibo, Brian Beck, Managing Partner at Enceiba and author of the book Billion Dollar B2B Ecommerce, said, “I believe that there’s the same level of expectation in B2B for fulfillment, inventory visibility, and other things as there is for the front-end storefront experience.” Accurate inventory visibility and fast delivery are no longer differentiators; they’re an expectation of how B2B companies run their business.
What to look for in an OMS for B2B:
- Real-Time Inventory Visibility: B2B companies often have a complex inventory network, and it’s critical to unify inventory data in real-time to eliminate overselling or underselling products. Real-time inventory visibility also allows you to present accurate inventory data on the storefront so buyers can make educated purchasing decisions.
- Custom Order Routing: B2B buyers have high expectations for on-time deliveries, especially if they have an SLA. It’s critical to have accurate inventory data plus custom order routing capabilities to ensure those SLAs are met.
- Flexibility and Scalability: As your business grows, you need an order management system that can seamlessly scale without disrupting the buyer experience or business operations. It’s also important to consider how easily the OMS can integrate with your existing systems, such as an EPR or PIM.
Keep in mind that what’s right for one B2B company is not always right for another. “Every business is different, has different needs. You need to understand your objectives, what your customers want, and your own capabilities to develop and deploy systems,” said Brian.
Evaluating Order Management Systems for B2C Companies
While consumers don’t have SLAs holding retailers accountable, they have high expectations for fulfillment nonetheless. OMS solutions are playing a bigger role in shopper satisfaction as transparency and trust become the new customer experience battleground.
What’s more, retailers are dealing with increasingly complex logistics, a broadening and deepening of customer data, and new fulfillment demands. The OMS helps with both customer demands and omnichannel logistics, maximizing the customer experience and business operations and ROI in turn.
According to a 2022 Forrester survey, 68% of US consumers believe it’s important to be able to confirm product availability in stores on the website. And 58% of US consumers want to confirm the estimated date/time of arrival on the website before placing an order. Both of these scenarios require advanced OMS capabilities.
When evaluating OMSs for B2C, these are some of the capabilities to look for:
- Real-Time Inventory Visibility: Lack of real-time inventory visibility can result in two things: Missed business because you’re not showing SKUs on the website that are available or canceled orders and backorders because you’re selling inventory you don’t have. “When OMSes have full, accurate inventory visibility and serve allocated quantities to selling channels in near-real time, they enable businesses to avoid these and other critical experience failures,” said Forrester in the overview.
- Advanced Order Routing: According to a 2022 Forrester survey, 39% of US online adults said that estimated shipping timeframes were always longer than expected. With an intelligent order routing engine, retailers can support complex fulfillment rules and prioritize by inventory turn, vendor partners, store locations, and more.
- Customer Support Tools for the Entire Order Lifecycle: Find an order management system that empowers your customer service team to modify, cancel, and process orders. And look for fulfillment tools that help store employees pick, pack, and fulfill online orders picked up in store.
Once you have a modern OMS in place, you’ll have the ability to set realistic customer expectations and successfully meet them. In a 2022 review of 60 leading retailers’ messaging and features, Forrester found that less than half of retailers provide accurate dates of arrival, and only 10% show inventory levels on the PDP — this presents a huge opportunity for retailers that are quick to invest in advanced OMS solutions to win over shoppers with transparent and accurate customer experiences.
Kibo Order Management
Omnichannel fulfillment is possible for all retailers and B2B companies. You just need the right order management system in place. At Kibo, we’re biased. We know that cloud-based, API-first order management provides the most flexible, dynamic, and scalable experience for retailers.
Our order management system gives retailers a single source of truth for inventory with the ability to track and update product information in real- time. This is the foundation to providing a consistent customer experience whether they’re shopping in-store, online, or through a mobile app.
The Ultimate Guide to Order Management