Ecommerce provides a super-fast, convenient way for consumers to get what they want. However, a whole lot has to happen in the background to make this entire process the seemingly-easy process that customers believe it to be. The order fulfillment process, in particular, is intricate and fascinating. Here, we take a sneak peek into what happens behind the scenes once a customer on an ecommerce site clicks on that buy now button.
As soon as users purchase a product, their order information moves to the Order Management System (OMS). The OMS, in simple terms, is software that manages and processes orders. An OMS consists of different modules, some of which are:
- Product Information
- Updated Inventory Information
- Database of Vendors and Customers
- Billing and Payment Processing
- Customer Return and Refund Records
- Order Processing Records
Once the OMS has processed all the required information related to the initial order, the data moves to the Warehouse Management System (WMS). Here, additional information about the warehousing of the items comes together with the order information. Things like the item’s availability in the warehouse, location, and the number of items to be picked are gathered to complete the order. The WMS also processes the information on the type of packaging required (gift wrapping, regular packaging, etc.), any product personalization that needs to be done, and the shipping the customer has selected (ground, express, overnight, etc.).
Once this information is processed, the data moves to the warehouse floor, where the real fun begins! The warehouse staff picks the product from the shelves, then takes it to the packing station where the order is checked for accuracy, scanned out of inventory, packed, and prepared for shipment. Then it’s sent to the shipping area, the loading dock, and onto a truck – with the next step being the customer’s doorstep.