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The 2018 holiday season is upon us, and that means one thing for retailers and ecommerce stores: more sales. However, in order to achieve success during the holiday season, retailers must ensure that they can handle the increase in demand, and that their warehouses and fulfillment centers are running like well-oiled machines.

As flocks of customers look for the best discounts, gifts, seasonal items and more, retailers know that the holiday season can wreak havoc on their logistics and operations – especially their order management systems. With that said, here are some common order management and fulfillment challenges that retailers may face during the holiday season:

1. Omni-channel Shopper Expectations
No longer are the days where consumers shop solely through one channel. Now, consumers are taking advantage of a variety of channels by shopping in store, online, via their mobile, buying online and picking up in store (BOPUS), etc. The challenge for retailers is being able to fulfill all of their orders across multiple channels and ensuring that orders are both correct and placed in the customer’s hands on time. With large amounts of holiday orders (and revenue) at stake, it is paramount that retailers adopt a modern, omni-channel order management system that can handle all of their holiday orders.

2. Order Tracking
Accurate order tracking is crucial during the holiday season. The extreme spike in orders during the holiday season can be overwhelming, creating many obstacles for retailers such as lost shipments, delayed deliveries, inaccurate orders etc. It is important for retailers and ecommerce stores to provide customers with accurate details on the status of their orders, putting customers at ease during the entire buying process. Having a modern order management system that provides accurate tracking information gives retailers an advantage and allows them to address future distribution issues, before they disturb their entire supply chain process.

3. On-Time Delivery
It’s no mystery that shipping during the holidays takes more preparation and organization than any other time of the year. Now, more than ever, customers expect their orders to arrive on their doorsteps both on time and in a timely fashion. Despite this, many retailers fail to meet these expectations, which results in poor customer satisfaction and increased customer churn. With customers doing their shopping through various channels and expecting one or two day delivery times, retailers need an effective order management system that has the capacity to handle numerous orders and ensures that deliveries are made on time and to the correct locations.

4. Inventory Management
Managing inventory is one of the toughest obstacles that retailers face during the holiday season. With the drastic increase in sales and orders, retailers face challenges such as properly managing their inventory and ensuring they don’t face stock-outs or have excess inventory. While having enough inventory to survive the holiday madness is important, avoiding the costly mistake of carrying excess inventory is another challenge in itself.In order to keep spreading the joy during the holiday season, it is critical for retailers to make sure they have proper insight into their inventory and adopt an intelligent order management system that synchs with their current stock levels across all distribution channels.

5. Customer Satisfaction
In reality, all of these challenges impact one thing: customer satisfaction. During the holiday season, customer satisfaction is something that all retailers and ecommerce stores should be focusing on. High customer satisfaction results in greater customer loyalty, which means more business in the future – even after the holiday rush. Without an efficient and streamlined order management system, retailers face the possibility of losing customer orders, shipment delays, inaccurate orders, improper inventory levels, etc. So save yourself some heartache and adopt an innovative, omni-channel order management system before it’s too late.

Thankfully, Oracle provides an omni-channel order management solution that will help your retail or ecommerce business get through this holiday season. Oracle Order Management Cloud offers an omni-channel solution that enables you to orchestrate orders across multiple channels, and serve the needs of your market segments while achieve greater order profitability. With Oracle, you can unify your customer-facing processes, meet customer requests, optimize order fulfillment, and improve fulfillment efficiency – all with one complete, end-to-end solution. Ultimately, Oracle Order Management Cloud allows you to increase revenue and margin, ensure greater customer satisfaction, and decrease fulfillment errors, by streamlining the entire order-to-cash process.

Click here to see how you can help your order management system and end-to-end supply chain run as smoothly as Santa’s workshop. Happy Holidays!

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