David Turner, senior director EMEA marketing at Oracle NetSuite, reveals the three steps retailers can take to ensure customers keep coming back.

In today’s challenging and hyper-competitive retail environment, businesses must constantly meet and exceed ever-changing customer expectations.

Put simply, retailers must delight their customers to keep them coming back.

For the customer, that’s about getting the right products, delivered at the best price, when and where they want. And all in a seamless omnichannel experience.

For manufacturers, distributors and retailers, it’s about meeting those expectations at the optimal cost and efficiency.

The benefits of getting this right are vast – increased inventory turns, reduced fulfilment costs, minimised labour costs, increased customer service productivity and isolated inventory freed up.

But many businesses are still held back by legacy IT systems, manual processes and duplication of data. This all results in extra cost, hinders growth and results in late or wrong orders.

There are three key ways to tackle these challenges and execute the perfect order:

1. Centralise and automate order management

This underpins the seamless customer experience. A centralised order management system holds all information from the order management process, including order, sourcing, payments, and fulfilment.

“Many businesses are still held back by legacy IT systems, manual processes and duplication of data. This all results in extra cost, hinders growth and results in late or wrong orders”

A centralised solution also spans all channels of sales operations. All fulfilment channels have access to all information so the organisation can appropriately allocate inventory based on stock levels, demand requirements and timing.

This means retailers can cost-effectively support complex processes such as split shipments, drop-ship, personalised products, and continuity programmes.

2. Gain greater inventory visibility

Lack of visibility emanates from disparate systems used to manage orders and inventory.

For manufacturers, distributors and retailers, a centralised system provides a single version of the truth for order and inventory information, spanning all channels.

This gives the visibility needed for smarter business decisions to avoid overselling or underselling available inventory.

In turn, customers get real-time order and inventory information from a brand’s website and from store staff.

3. Intelligent order allocation

This enables businesses to automatically and intelligently determine how best to fulfil orders based on global inventory availability and business rules. 

Companies can assign a variety of criteria and rank those criteria when fulfilling orders. These include shipping from the closest location for fast delivery or shipping an entire order from a single location that has all the items on the order to minimise costs.

With intelligent omnichannel order allocation, order management processes are even more efficient, helping retailers make smart decisions on how to fulfil orders.

With real-time inventory visibility across all warehouses, stores and third-party logistics, retailers can dynamically set up and apply business rules to support their fulfilment strategies to automate processes, reduce costs and speed up delivery.

To find out more about how you can deliver the perfect order, download the full guide from Oracle NetSuite.

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David Turner is senior director of EMEA Marketing at Oracle NetSuite