Maximizing Customer Satisfaction with Distributed Order Management

Innovative DOM application creates customer loyalty, repeat sales

Pop quiz:  What’s the most important factor in building an ecommerce brand and loyal customer base?

The marketing guys aren’t going to like this.  But research shows it might be your fulfillment process.

It makes sense. After finding, selecting and ordering the product online,  often the last touchpoint – the one that customers will remember – is when the product is actually delivered.

Get it right, and you’re one step closer to a loyal, repeat customer who will, hopefully, tell their friends.

In fact:

  • 90% of online shoppers say that their shipping delivery experience accounts for at least half of their total online shopping experience. (UPS Capital/InsureShield)
  • 98% of ecommerce consumers say their delivery experience affects their loyalty towards a brand. (Retail TouchPoints)
  • 82% of customers that are satisfied with their delivery experience will share and recommend the brand to friends and family. (Capgemini Research Institute)
  • 72% of customers satisfied with their delivery experience will increase their purchase levels with the brand by 12%. (Capgemini Research Institute)

Get it wrong and the results won’t be pretty.

  • 85% of online shoppers say that a poor delivery experience would prevent them from ordering from that online retailer again. (Ipsos)

Meeting Ecommerce Expectations with Distributed Order Management

Consumer expectations regarding ecommerce fulfillment are pretty straightforward:

  • Ship it fast – often in less than two days or with options like in-store pick-up to help speed delivery.
  • Ship it free – or at least at an acceptably low cost.
  • Ship it right – so the order arrives complete, on time and undamaged.

For many online sellers, Distributed Order Management (DOM) systems have become an important tool for ensuring successful, profitable fulfillment.

Savvy ecommerce operations folks realize that the key to fast, low cost shipping often lies in locating inventory as close as possible to customers.  That cuts shipping time and expense.  To do that, they’ll leverage multiple fulfillment options including their own warehouses and DCs, channel fulfillment services like Amazan FBA and Walmart WMS, 3PLs and other third-party fulfillment partners, dark stores and retail locations.

DOM systems optimize orders by routing them to the best fulfillment option that meets the customer’s delivery expectations. Key components of DOM systems include;

  • Order Capture: DOM starts by capturing orders from various sales channels, such as online stores, mobile apps or physical retail locations. It ensures that all orders are processed seamlessly, regardless of their source.
  • Order Routing: Once an order is captured, DOM determines the best fulfillment location. This could be a warehouse, a brick-and-mortar store, or a third-party supplier such as a 3PL, depending on factors such as inventory availability, location proximity to the customer, and shipping costs.
  • Inventory Visibility: A crucial component of DOM is real-time inventory visibility. It allows businesses to keep track of their stock levels across all locations, ensuring that customers are only offered products that are actually available for purchase.
  • Order Fulfillment: DOM manages the order fulfillment process, orchestrating the movement of goods from the selected location to the customer. It can even split orders if items are available at different locations to expedite delivery.
  • Integrated Systems: DOM provides an integrated order and inventory management system that centralize data and streamlines analytics and reporting. This enables businesses to have a comprehensive view of their operations.
Distributed Order Management is a powerful lever for elevating customer satisfaction

Using Distributed Order Management to Boost Customer Satisfaction

But Distributed Order Management is not just a logistical tool; DOM also is a powerful lever for elevating customer satisfaction. Through efficient order processing, real-time inventory visibility and enhanced customer communications, DOM can turn satisfied shoppers into loyal brand advocates.

A well-implemented DOM system provides:

  • Faster Order Processing: DOM's ability to route orders to the most suitable location results in quicker order processing and reduced delivery times. Customers today expect fast deliveries, and DOM helps businesses meet these expectations.
  • Real-time Inventory Tracking: Employing technology to provide real-time visibility into inventory across all channels helps businesses avoid stockouts and overselling. Real-time inventory visibility prevents over-promising and under-delivering. When customers see an item as available, they can trust that it's in stock and will be delivered promptly. Preventing customers from placing orders for out-of-stock items builds trust and avoids negative experiences.
  • Automated Order Processing: Order accuracy is critical. Automation reduces human errors and expedites order processing. Mistakes in shipping the wrong item or missing items can lead to customer frustration and disappointment. DOM can also enable quicker order confirmations and shipping notifications.
  • Enhanced Customer Communication: Effective order management includes clear and timely communication with customers  DOM facilitates better communication with customers regarding order status, shipping updates and delivery times. Customers appreciate being kept informed, which leads to higher satisfaction.
Ensuring customer satisfaction is a process, not an event

Ideal Order: Innovation Unlocks Customer Satisfaction

Getting back to our disappointed Marketing colleagues, despite the fact that fulfillment may contribute as much (or more) to building customer loyalty and a strong brand than pre-sales marketing, marketeers do get something right: They know that the only way to build a lasting, loyal customer base and brand is to design an organization that supports it.

That’s because ensuring customer satisfaction is a process, not an event.

And that’s where most DOM systems fall short.

By design, most DOM systems are transactional. They are built to ensure individual orders are handled efficiently from an order and inventory management standpoint. They offer reporting on orders shipped complete and on time.  But any resulting customer satisfaction is a byproduct of using DOM. There is no systematic approach to ensuring – and improving – customer satisfaction.

That’s where Ideal Order comes in.

Ideal Order works with DOM to ensure and improve customer satisfaction while maximizing order profitability.

Ideal Order measures every order across nine factors. Then the data is aggregated by SKU, fulfillment location, partner such as carriers used and others to provide a score for each factor and for your fulfillment process as a whole.  It even assigns a dollar value where appropriate where inefficiencies such as poor inventory placement are affecting your overall fulfillment performance.

For the first time, DOM users can zero in on the specific factors that affect customer satisfaction and order profitability using specific, quantitative metrics.

Set KPIs by SKU, fulfillment location, functional area or other factors.  Evaluate and enforce service level agreements with 3PLs, carriers and other partners. Troubleshoot and optimize areas that are dragging down your customer satisfaction standards and net profitability.

By investing in a robust DOM system, continuously improved by Ideal Order analytics,  brands can not only meet customer expectations but also gain a competitive edge in the market. As e-commerce continues to grow and evolve, a satisfied customer is not just a one-time sale but a source of repeat business and brand advocacy.

Additional resources:


Order Optimization

Ideal Order


Best Practices in Distributed Order Management

Nine Non-Obvious Advantages Of Distributed Order Management (DOM)

Choosing the Best Distributed Order Management System

Distributed Order Management (DOM): What It Is, Why It’s Necessary, How to Get Started

The Ultimate Ecommerce Fulfillment Metric?


Distributed Order Management Solutions Overview

Ship Product. Not Profit:  Ideal Order Insights Solutions Overview

The Ultimate Guide to Order Management


Ideal Order: The New Standard for Order and Inventory Management

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