According to Forrester, the global market for Order Management Systems (OMS) is expected to nearly double in size to reach $1.19 billion in 2026. Soaring eCommerce customer expectations is driving business investment in OMS solutions. For instance, consumers now demand real-time data into available inventory at the time of purchase.
The 2023 Forrester Wave report highlights the latest trends in changing consumer expectations. In the immediate post-pandemic period, consumer expectations were limited to getting a satisfactory response to their order fulfillment queries. Customers expected retail brands to serve them seamlessly and transparently as they moved into omnichannel mode.
This is no longer sufficient in 2023. eCommerce shoppers now demand instant information about product availability and deliveries at a much earlier stage in their buying process.
As customer expectations evolve, the need of the hour is a robust order management system that can adapt seamlessly to growing demands. What OMS capabilities should retail brands look forward to in 2024 and beyond?
Here’s a view.
What Customers expect in 2024 – and how OMS can deliver?
Within a few years, eCommerce consumers have evolved their expectations from this retail sector. This trend augurs well for the future growth of the global eCommerce market. The future of order management revolves around business agility, flexibility, and transparency.
As highlighted in the Forrester Wave report, here is a 4-point gist of what customers expect in 2024 – and how OMS can meet these expectations:
1. Real-time inventory and delivery updates
Only 63% of companies have complete control and visibility of their inventories. This is not good enough in a competitive market. According to a 2022 Forrester report, eCommerce consumers – 41% in France, 37% in the U.S., and 29% in the U.K. – are not likely to visit a retail store if the in-store inventory is not available online. Even in the post-purchase phase, 45% of retailers are unable to provide the correct delivery date to the consumer.
Order management systems with real-time visibility into inventory and delivery status can meet these changing expectations. Using real-time inventory data, eCommerce retailers can track inventory levels at any given time – across all their delivery channels and warehouses. On the operational front, this also helps them optimize their inventory and delivery costs.
Customer expectations around personalized shopping experiences are growing. Personalized or customer shopping experiences are important to 74% of Generation Z consumers – as compared to 67% of millennials. 73% of shoppers expect retail brands to understand their unique shopping needs and expectations.
As more online shoppers expect faster shopping experiences, eCommerce solutions must be fast and flexible to changing industry demands. Largely, legacy systems have been rigid and inflexible. They seem to provide limited modern functionality, are hard to integrate with, and are costly to keep running.
The solution is to build flexibility and agility into eCommerce solutions – by incrementally replacing legacy systems with the latest technology platforms. For instance, Magento-powered order management systems also enable order flexibility for specific customer needs.
3. Long-term value
As in any customer-centric industry, the eCommerce domain evaluates technology solutions based on their ability to solve business problems. Apart from their core functionalities, eCommerce business leaders focus on how an OMS solution can deliver long-term value through measurable improvements. For instance, OMS functionality to improve order fulfillment operations or optimize profits.
Additionally, there is a lack of standardization in eCommerce solution areas like OMS and Product Information Management. With its “functionality-first” framework, Forrester is attempting to create universal rules and standards for each product functionality.
An end-to-end order management system can easily deliver long-term value to eCommerce companies and customers.
4. User experience (UX)
The Forrester Wave report emphasizes the need for quality user experiences – be it for eCommerce administrators or consumers. In his first year at Amazon, Jeff Bezos invested 100x more money into customer experience than in advertising.
When it comes to choosing OMS, most solutions either ignore UX or expect shoppers to adapt to the existing UX. Hence, eCommerce businesses have to choose between highly usable solutions (with limited functionalities) or robust solutions (with a “challenging” user experience).
This differentiation is gradually beginning to dissipate. OMS tools are delivering usability improvements along with advanced functionalities to serve the final customer’s needs.
With changing expectations, the eCommerce industry needs a more robust order management solution to provide real-time availability and delivery information. The 2023 Forrester Wave report highlights how OMS is now an integral part of the overall customer experience in the eCommerce industry.
With years of experience in Magento-powered development, Ignitiv can help you implement order management suited to your unique business needs. Besides implementing OMS, we can simplify your order fulfillment process and handle the significant increase in online orders in the forthcoming holiday season.
Do you want to explore how our order management solution can elevate your business? Our professional team is here to help. Contact us today!