Last week Peter Sheldon and I published The Forrester Wave TM: Omnichannel Order Management, Q3 2014 report, assessing order management vendors targeting omnichannel businesses.  Compared to our 2010 Forrester Wave on order management hubs, this new stream of research addresses the heightened requirements that order management systems (OMS)  must now help broker and fulfill orders across all distribution centers as well as physical stores. Based on our research many retailers are seeing a significant lift in online sales by enabling all inventory in the enterprise to be sold.  The omnichannel OMS applications evaluated in this Wave differ from our 2010 evaluation because:

  • Inventory transparency is a priority. In a world where digitally enabled customers expect to find and purchase products from any touchpoint, inventory visibility is now a requirement for OMS applications. The OMS today is responsible for consolidating and maintaining inventory positions from various systems including WMS, eCommerce and even from the supply chain. This consolidated, enterprise view of inventory is made available to customers in near-real time, affording shoppers the best opportunity to have their needs met regardless of the whereabouts of the product.  
  • Store fulfillment tools are now must-have functionality. Unleashing inventory from all areas of an organization and enabling that inventory to be sold to customers across any touchpoint is now table stakes for OMS applications. This includes the ability for organizations to ship items from stores. OMS plays a big role in store fulfillment by providing utilities and workflow to associates that enable them to pick, pack, and ship orders seamlessly from the store.
  • Returns management requires omnichannel order visibility. Along with discovering and purchasing products from all touchpoints, customers also expect to return items in any touchpoint. For years retailers have either been forcing customers to return products to the location in which it was purchased, or accepting returns in-stores from online purchases and simply shipping the product back to the online distribution center, incurring significant cost. OMS applications today must allow visibility into all orders and help facilitate the rapid re-deployment of return inventory in any touchpoint, meeting the needs of customers as well as reducing costs for retailers.

To see how the 9 vendors – eBay Enterprise, hybris (an SAP company), IBM, Jagged Peak, Manhattan Associates, Micros, NetSuite, OrderDynamics, and Shopatron – stacked up, please read the Wave report. It is important to remember that this research is intended to be a starting point only and we encourage clients to review the detailed product evaluations and adapt the 75 criteria weightings to fit their individual needs through the Forrester Wave's Excel-based vendor comparison tool. We also encourage clients to leverage their Inquiry access to learn more about these vendors before embarking on a selection process.