Order management is a critical component in any ecommerce strategy, and selecting the right Order Management System is vital. Not just from a technical backend perspective, but even more importantly, for how the OMS impacts the customer experience as a whole. While the wrong OMS will quickly get in your–and your customers’–way, the right system will enable you to scale your business fast and maximize your ROI through highs and lows.

For most ecommerce companies, especially the fast-growing ones, managing and fulfilling orders across different channels is quite a challenge. And it’s even more of a challenge for the e-merchants that are still using manual processes, even pen-and-paper, at any point in the order management process. There will inevitably be human errors and inaccuracies whenever there is a manual process.

And in a world where customer experience has grown to become the most important differentiator and competitive edge, those inaccuracies can become very costly. One unhappy client’s voice can be amplified by reviews and social sharing, quickly turning a delayed delivery or a lost package into a trust issue that leads consumers to opt for a competitor instead.

In this article, we’ll have a closer look at the role and importance of Order Management Systems in ecommerce and list some things to keep in mind as you plan your order management strategy.


As we’ve already touched upon, the reason why OMS is such a crucial component in the ecommerce tech stack spells customer experience. Just think about all the different touchpoints in the online buyer’s journey.

Today, consumers have come to expect an entirely seamless and coherent experience through each and every one of those touchpoints, regardless of what channel they choose to interact with your brand. And this is precisely where the Order Management System becomes relevant: to create a satisfying and coherent customer experience through every stage of the customer journey.

An Order Management System (OMS) basically takes care of everything that happens “behind-the-scenes.” It orchestrates and manages the fulfillment process all the way from order entry and validation to shipping the products and managing subscriptions and coupled products. Retailers and businesses also need to consider a multitude of other factors, including:

  • Channel options and opportunities
  • Shipping options and fulfillment logistics
  • Third-party logistics
  • Analytics and business intelligence

An Order Management System handles the automation and integration of the whole ecommerce experience, ensuring that the customer experience and buying journey is pleasant, coherent, and frictionless.

Today, consumers expect to move seamlessly between channels and devices, which adds complexity to order management, further increasing the need for a systematic and automated approach.

Related reading: What is an Order Management System


The pandemic catapulted all consumers into the digital realm, and now that Covid is slowing down, ecommerce keeps accelerating. During the pandemic year, when people were suddenly confined to “the comfort of their homes,” consumers had no choice but to embrace the concept of doing everything online. And as a result, we have all become accustomed to lightning-quick deliveries – which means logistics need to be optimized to a tee.

There is no patience for slow deliveries, poor communication, or inefficient shipping routines; every item needs to be quickly shipped to wherever the customer is, with as few clicks as possible.

And not only do consumers expect speed, but they also expect a multitude of shipping options. They expect to be able to receive or pick up their delivery in the time and place that suits them best. Businesses who’ve understood this and have risen to the challenge have gained a clear competitive advantage, and the other ones better get in the game, or they will become obsolete. Some of the delivery methods that have grown popular during the pandemic include:

  • Dropshipping
  • Directly from the warehouse
  • From brick and mortar
  • Pick up a brick and mortar (BOPIS)
  • Curbside pickup
  • Local delivery

From the customer’s perspective, the vast array of choices makes life a lot easier. But from the vendor perspective, all these options add a lot of complexity to order management. An order management system (OMS) is needed to stay on top of all the moving bits and pieces. From tracking stock levels, combining order data from multiple channels, and coordinating deliveries with third-party providers to delivering orders to the consumer as quickly as possible.

And as we’ve all become savvy online shoppers during the pandemic, B2B buyers have come to expect the same impeccable customer experience as they’ve grown accustomed to from B2C companies. B2B providers have been slower to catch up when it comes to CX but will no longer be able to get away with clunkier processes and slower service than their B2C counterparts. The B2B companies who build a customer experience on par with the one in B2C will be the B2B companies who gain market share and grow.

Related reading: The Future of B2B Ecommerce

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The Order Management System creates a complete overview of all the steps in the order fulfillment process. It allows you to optimize order processes based on your unique systems and rules. This means you can use your OMS to create a blueprint for your backend operations. Using the OMS to monitor every step of the customer journey will allow you to understand what channels are performing best and bringing the most ROI.


As we’ve already touched upon, online sales are growing increasingly complex. Today, it’s simply impossible to manage a modern omnichannel ecommerce business well without an automated and integrated systematic approach. Benefits of an OMS include:

  1. Increased control over your stock
  2. Optimized processes
  3. A better understanding of buying behavior


The more complexity your business entails, the more challenging it becomes to monitor and control your stock levels in real-time. At the same time, doing this well is crucial to the customer experience to avoid scenarios where stock is not correctly reflected on your website. An OMS gives you complete control of your stock levels and inventory and tells you exactly where every product is in real-time.


In many ecommerce companies, the same processes tend to occur more than once. This is often due to the lack of a centralized information hub that can help identify redundancies. With an OMS, manual processes are automated, and everyone gets access to complete data and information. This helps reduce silos and allows teams to focus on value-adding activities rather than administrative functions.


With an OMS, you finally get a complete overview of your customers’ behavior patterns. You will understand what parts of the buyer journey can be further optimized, and you’ll be able to improve each step of the operation continuously. This will lead to a better and more seamless customer experience and have a massive impact on your bottom line.


Order Management Systems span from simple, single-channel systems to extensive, feature-rich multi-channel systems with multi-warehouse management and a range of fulfillment options. When choosing an OMS for your ecommerce business, it’s essential to consider what your current tech stack looks like and to find an OMS that integrates well with what you already have.

You also want to consider the agility and scalability of the system you choose. The OMS you opt for should be easy to use and scale to remain agile and flexible. This is crucial in ecommerce, where business is volatile and fluctuates with things like promotions, Black Friday, and other events. You need an OMS system that can not only manage your average but also, cater to your peaks so that you don’t miss out on those valuable highs. In addition, making changes in things like workflows and prices should be overly simple so that your marketing team and other non-technical users can manage these changes without the need for technical help.

While an Order Management System of some sort is a must, there are different options to consider:

  • Manual order management
  • An ecommerce platform with extensive Order Orchestration capability
  • An ecommerce platform with integrated out-of-the-box OMS
  • Standalone order management software
  • Enterprise retail platform (ERP) software

Which alternative is best suited for your specific business depends on the scale and complexity. There are some ecommerce platforms, like Ultra Commerce, that offer robust and easy-to-use out-of-the-box solutions that allow you to manage orders even with relatively complex business rules.

Whatever your needs, an Order Management System is a substantial investment that will profoundly impact your business. Therefore, it’s highly advisable to thoroughly analyze your needs and current situation and get input from an experienced advisor before you proceed. Many companies get this critical decision wrong, and according to Envista, as many as 42% of retailers consider their current OMS to need improvement.


1. Data Flow

Invest time in the setup process to cover the complete workflow of an order into your ecommerce platform. It’s critical to cover details such as where the orders are being placed and through which channels as well as what needs to be done on each order as they work their way through the process.

Of course, data covers much more than just orders, but starting with one workflow and covering the entire scope of the ecommerce platform from an order management perspective is key. Can the ecommerce platform integrate into the OMS in the most effective and efficient way?

2. Order Makeup and Orchestration

What do orders look like? What are the types of items on an order? Are there complexities or customizations that are required by either system that may result in additional development? For example, subscriptions, bundles or kits, additional services or warranties, and mixed orders such as subscriptions with physical goods. Launching these options on the storefront may be straightforward, however, supporting the order management workflow can be challenging.

3. Delivery & Fulfillment Options

Review the fulfillment and delivery options that the business and marketing teams are considering – complexity of combinations of products, bundles, and subscription items that need to be managed in a manner that provides a compelling experience to purchase these types of products. Having the system in place to support a great experience is essential in providing a mixture of subscription products and non-subscription products within a mixed shopping cart.

Keep in mind that there may be different configurations for products that require unique fulfillment. For example, a customer buying a piano (in-person pickup) and a t-shirt (shipping) on the same order might have two different fulfillment options pre-selected during checkout. Multi-Fulfillment where a single order can be split up into different fulfillment options during checkout. Multiple assembly points, warehouses and fulfillment centers, etc. Buy Online Pick up in-store (BOPIS) and Returns Management.


In the increasingly complex landscape of ecommerce sales and with ever-increasing customer expectations, Order Management Systems are essential for managing and optimizing your order fulfillment processes and understanding your ecommerce business.

However, picking the right system for your company can be challenging. There’s a wide array of OMS solutions on the market, and all of them come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the right one will be essential and is a business decision that will considerably impact how well and how quickly you’ll be able to grow and scale your business and create satisfying experiences for your customers.


At Vaimo, we’re experts in all aspects of ecommerce. We can help you evaluate your current Martech stack and advise you on what kind of Order Management System would best meet your needs. We have more than 14+ years of experience and have evaluated hundreds of ecommerce systems. We partner with leading ecommerce platforms built for B2B, B2C, and Marketplaces, that have built-in Storefront, Order Management, and Product Data Management capabilities such as Ultra Commerce.

We help ecommerce businesses worldwide grow and develop their businesses. Get in touch to discuss how we can help you choose and implement an OMS for your business – and improve your backend operations and customer experience.

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