Distributed Order Management
Optimize order fulfilment across multiple inventory sources, locations and partners.
Ecommerce marketplaces have revolutionised the way consumers shop and businesses operate. These digital platforms bring together a myriad of products and services, offering customers unparalleled choice and convenience.From global giants like Amazon and eBay to specialised platforms focusing on fashion, electronics, or handmade crafts, businesses have a plethora of options to showcase their products and reach a vast audience. Each marketplace comes with its unique set of rules, regulations, and operational intricacies, making it imperative for businesses to tailor their approach to each platform's requirements.
In recent years, the growth of ecommerce marketplaces has been nothing short of extraordinary, reshaping the retail landscape and giving businesses access to a global audience. As of April 2023, the most popular online marketplaces in the United Kingdom was the U.S. American behemoth Amazon, registering 328.1 million visits per month. Second place was for eBay, with nearly 218.8 million visits. Rounding out the top three most visited online marketplaces in the UK is ASOS at 70.8 million visits per month. With this surge in popularity, however, comes the challenge of managing orders, inventory, and the often intricate process of returns across multiple marketplaces.
Ecommerce marketplaces have ushered in a new era for businesses, revolutionising how they connect with customers and expanding their reach. In recent years, these digital platforms have witnessed remarkable growth, offering consumers an extensive array of products and services while granting businesses access to a global audience. So what are the advantages of marketplaces?
Brand Image: Ecommerce marketplaces serve as an additional channel for businesses to boost their brand image. This advantage is particularly valuable for smaller or newer brands looking to increase their brand awareness. By showcasing their products on reputable marketplaces, businesses can tap into the existing trust and credibility associated with these platforms. This can significantly enhance the perceived reliability and legitimacy of their brand, attracting more customers and fostering loyalty.
Scalability: Marketplaces offer a level of scalability that's challenging to achieve through standalone online stores. Businesses can rapidly scale their operations by increasing the number of orders and expanding into international markets. This scalability is especially crucial for companies aiming to test the waters in new markets without committing to a full-scale market entry. It allows for cost-effective experimentation and provides valuable insights into the demand for products in different regions.
Marketplaces as Wholesalers: Marketplaces often function as wholesalers, providing businesses with immediate access to funds, which can be advantageous for businesses in multiple ways. Unlike traditional retail models where payments might take longer to process, marketplaces often facilitate quicker transactions, ensuring businesses receive revenue promptly.
While the opportunity to tap into a diverse customer base is enticing, managing orders and returns across numerous marketplaces can quickly become a daunting challenge. This is where Keros Digital's Order Management System (OMS) steps in, offering a unified solution to streamline and optimise the entire order and returns management process across various marketplaces.
Return processes within the realm of ecommerce marketplaces are anything but straightforward. Each marketplace has its unique return policies, procedures, and timelines, often making it challenging for businesses to ensure consistent and efficient handling of returns. As a result, businesses often find themselves juggling a multitude of systems and processes, leading to inefficiencies, errors, and a lack of cohesion in their operations.
The return process, in particular, emerges as a significant pain point due to its complexity and the potential impact on customer satisfaction and brand reputation. From initiating return requests to coordinating product inspections and issuing refunds, navigating this intricate web of processes demands meticulous attention to detail and a comprehensive understanding of each platform's nuances. This is where Keros Digital's Order Management System (OMS) proves invaluable, streamlining the often challenging journey of returns management for businesses.
As businesses engage with multiple marketplaces, the volume of data generated by return requests can quickly become overwhelming. Tracking returns, managing inventory adjustments, and maintaining accurate records become increasingly intricate tasks, especially when dealing with disparate systems. The lack of centralised visibility and control over return processes can lead to errors, delays, and a decline in customer satisfaction. In such a complex landscape, having a unified system like Keros Digital's Order Management System becomes invaluable. By aggregating return data from various marketplaces and providing real-time insights, Keros OMS empowers businesses to regain control, enhance accuracy, and ultimately deliver a seamless returns experience to customers.
Businesses venturing into ecommerce marketplaces must be acutely aware of the potential pitfall of inadvertently competing with the very marketplace that hosts their products. While marketplaces can function as wholesalers, offering immediate access to funds and a vast customer base, there's a nuanced risk that requires careful management.
Competition with your own products, especially those from previous seasons or product lines. This can occur when businesses continue to offer older inventory alongside newer products on the same marketplace. While it might seem like a practical way to clear out existing stock, it can lead to several challenges:
To mitigate these risks, businesses need effective catalogue management strategies. This includes creating a clear demarcation between older and newer products.
Determining who owns the responsibility of a sale in the marketplace ecosystem can be a complex task. Is it the marketplace itself, your business's website, or a physical store where the product was purchased? This question becomes especially critical when managing returns. Financial management feature of Keros Digital's Order Management System (OMS), can track each transaction's origin, allowing businesses to initiate returns and refunds seamlessly.
In scenarios where stock might not be available on the marketplace due to different warehouses or franchise entities, managing returns involves multiple transactions through the customer. Keros Digital's OMS streamlines this process by offering a financial management tool that efficiently handles these complexities.
Reducing the costs associated with returns is a key challenge for businesses. Logistics expenses, restocking fees, and other costs can quickly add up. One strategy to address this challenge is to monetize returns. By promoting upselling or suggesting alternative products, businesses can minimise the financial impact of returns. Encouraging customers to visit physical stores can also reduce return-related expenses and provide opportunities for additional sales.
However, not all customers may be inclined to visit physical stores. Some may prefer the convenience of online shopping and may find the process of returning items to a physical location cumbersome.
Even the consumers’ are confused about the return processes in the UK. A poll carried out in 2022 shows the opinions of adults from the United Kingdom (UK) regarding shipping charges of online returns. Half of the adults consider it to be the customer's responsibility to pay for postage fees of items bought online. However, 35 percent of adults report that businesses should pay for returned items.
Standardising with a single return workflow using Keros OMS can help clients to decrease this confusion and increase customer satisfaction towards your brand, making the marketplace a truly new selling channel that would not be diverse to your internal workflow.
Addressing the challenge of inadvertently competing with marketplaces themselves or dealing with internal competition from previous product seasons requires a meticulous approach. To resolve this, businesses need to create distinct catalogues tailored to each marketplace or region they operate in. However, managing orders for multiple catalogues can be intricate and time-consuming, demanding extra effort to manage sales effectively.
To streamline and simplify this crucial process, Keros Digital introduces Orchestrator and Marketplace Connector. These innovative features empower businesses to manage multiple catalogs orders seamlessly, ensuring that the right products are distributed and managed with the right strategy and warehouses, without the complexities of doing it manually. Here's how it works:
The evolving ecommerce landscape demands innovative solutions to address the challenges of managing returns across multiple marketplaces. Keros Digital's Order Management System (OMS) emerges as a transformative tool that revolutionises returns management, enabling businesses to thrive in this competitive environment. By centralising and standardising returns processes, our OMS ensures a seamless and efficient experience for both companies and their customers. The ability to navigate the intricate web of marketplace returns with agility and precision is a cornerstone of success in the modern ecommerce world.
In an era where marketplaces play a pivotal role in the ecommerce ecosystem, partnering with Keros Digital and utilising our OMS can be a game-changer for your business. Our expertise in orchestrating streamlined returns management across diverse marketplaces empowers you to transcend the complexities and challenges that often accompany such endeavours. Through the power of our OMS, you can elevate your ecommerce operations, enhance customer satisfaction, and position your business for sustained growth in the competitive marketplace landscape. Let Keros Digital be your strategic ally in mastering the art of seamless returns handling and marketplace success.