June 20, 2023 |

Multichannel Order Management: How to Make the Most of It

multichannel order management

What is multichannel order management?

Imagine the tedious administrative work involved keeping inventory quantities, order status and customer communication in synchronization across multiple sales channels if managing each one individually. It takes a very detail-oriented person to ensure quantities across all channels reflect what’s available on hand to sell; and it’s not difficult at all to end up out of stock due to the tracking nightmare this scenario creates.

By implementing a multichannel order management system, a retailer can see quantities and activity across all sales channels at once and keep them updated to reflect real-time availability.

What is omnichannel vs multichannel order management?

The goal of omnichannel order management is to make the ordering process seamless for the customer no matter where the customer shops for products. For instance, a platform that offers your products for sale alongside other vendor products allows the customer to complete the shopping experience on a single platform.

Multichannel order management, on the other hand, refers to the availability of a vendor’s product on many different types of channels. You may sell your items on eBay, Amazon, Etsy, and a wide variety of other popular ecommerce platforms to broaden your brand’s visibility.

  • Is Amazon multichannel or omnichannel?

Amazon is a prime example of an omnichannel platform because the customer can shop for anything under the sun and across many different types of devices. The experience prioritizes convenience for the customer.

Don’t be stumped by your growth.

Getting a fully functional ecommerce website up and running is often the first step in building online visibility for a retailer. But when platforms like Amazon dominate the search result for every query, it behooves you to build an online presence in as many of the well-known affiliate platforms that you can. Unfortunately, each has its own rules, demands and learning curve – and never mind the onus of keeping your inventory counts accurate across all of them simultaneously. If your team is logging in and out of each one and individually uploading and updating one platform at a time, you could have an inventory management nightmare on your hands.

Realistically, the best way to stay sane and keep your records accurate while ensuring you deliver great customer service across all the platforms you service is to manage your inventory in a single software solution that can send inventory updates to each platform as you counts change while receiving orders that trigger production or purchase orders.

Ideally, using SOS Inventory to manage your inventory can spare your business many headaches and ensure you keep up with demand wherever it occurs. Manage sales orders, fulfillment, pricing tiers, drop shipping and more for all your sales channels, both online and in-store.

SOS Inventory integrates with BigCommerce, Shopify, UPS, ShipStation and many other retailers through Zapier.

Omnichannel vs. Multichannel Platform Functionality

PlatformOmnichannel CapabilitiesMultichannel Capabilities
ShopifyOffers a centralized dashboard to manage and synchronize sales across multiple channels, including online store, social media, and physical retail locations.Provides integrations with various sales channels, such as online marketplaces, social media platforms, and brick-and-mortar stores.
BigCommerceAllows seamless integration of online store with physical retail stores, enabling unified inventory management, order fulfillment, and customer data across channels.Supports selling on multiple channels like online marketplaces, social media platforms, and integrates with point-of-sale systems.
MagentoProvides omnichannel capabilities through extensions and integrations, allowing businesses to connect online and offline sales channels, synchronize inventory, and manage orders centrally.Offers multichannel capabilities by supporting various sales channels, including online marketplaces, social media, and POS systems.
Salesforce CommerceEnables businesses to deliver consistent customer experiences across multiple channels, including online, mobile, social, and in-store, through unified commerce solutions.Offers multichannel capabilities by integrating with various sales channels like online marketplaces, social media, and physical stores.
WooCommerceOffers plugins and extensions to connect online stores with multiple sales channels, allowing businesses to sell through various platforms and manage inventory centrally.Provides multichannel capabilities by supporting sales on online marketplaces, social media platforms, and integrating with POS systems.
Oracle CommerceProvides a comprehensive omnichannel solution that integrates online, offline, and mobile sales channels, enabling unified inventory management, order fulfillment, and personalized customer experiences.Offers multichannel capabilities by supporting sales on online marketplaces, social media platforms, and integrating with physical stores.
VolusionOffers an omnichannel solution that allows businesses to sell through multiple channels, including online stores, marketplaces, social media, and physical stores, with centralized inventory and order management.Provides multichannel capabilities by supporting sales on various online platforms, integrating with social media, and brick-and-mortar stores.

The Obstacles We Face with Multichannel Order Management

In addition to the above-mentioned inventory management challenges, accuracy in inventory quantities can be a headache. It’s not difficult to end up with duplicates when you end up adding a product instead of updating its quantity.

Do you need to calculate demand for different locations due to proximity of warehouses to certain areas you serve? Isolating information across different platforms can create a logistical nightmare. If you need more products available for a brick-and-mortar location but inventory on hand is tied up at a distant warehouse, you can lose sales at one point and end up with overages at another.

Keeping up with order fulfillment and customer communication can be equally daunting if you manage your segregated systems on physical paper. The only way to keep your numbers straight and to keep adequate inventory on hand to satisfy orders where they occur is to manage with a multichannel order management system.

How to Overcome these Obstacles

  1. Set up workflows the way you do business.
  2. Import sales orders from various channels to generate purchase orders or trigger manufacturing in your SOS Inventory account.
  3. Send updated inventory quantities to your other channels through SOS Inventory to keep data accurate across all channels.
  4. Centralize inventory quantities and costs from all your locations in a single platform.
  5. Manage your inventory from within your SOS Inventory account so you always see all the inventory activity occurring across all your sales channels.
  6. Trigger automated actions to occur by sales channel, if needed.

Managing multiple sales platforms doesn’t make life any easier but it’s a necessary thorn to bare to ensure your brand is found by potential customers wherever they shop. You can minimize the aggravation, and save hours of administrative work by managing all your sales orders from a single software platform, SOS Inventory.

Thousands of companies use SOS Inventory to manage their businesses.    Free trial