Order Hold: It's importance and how to do it.Abhishek Biswas
Whether you are starting out or an experienced business owner– to minimize the failure rate of an order and to have control – you sometimes have to take the step of holding that particular order.
As the term says, “Order Hold” or “Hold Order” it is an action taken by every online as well as offline retailers/sellers to hold the order fulfillment process.
During holidays or festive seasons, many online retailers face heavy traffic on their website and to satisfy every order, businesses are accommodating consumers’ need for immediate results. But sometimes this fast process can create operational havoc.
Thus, to avoid this type of delay and maintain a balance between customer demand and functional control, holding up the order would be recommended.
Why is Order Hold required?
The short answer for the question would be to ensure the accuracy in inventory, shipping, enhanced customer experience, and cost control.
- Holding an order is essential when you don't want your customer to think that the product is out of stock or unavailable. Because every online buyer is very hungry for the product they’re looking. If they see that big-font of ‘OUT-OF-STOCK’ then they’d instantly abandon your store and look it on your competitor's site.
- A study by PYMNTS and Signifyd reported $57.8 Billion in eCommerce Fraud Losses across eight major industries. Hold order periods can be used to detect fraud, before fulfilling fraudulent orders. Hence, it's important to hold orders for fraud prevention, protecting customers and your online business.
- If you’re a person who refrains using order holds, then in near future you would surely be in the risk of mismanagement in inventory stocks and control. It also allows your customer support team and operational teams freedom to check, manage or QC orders prior to being released for fulfillment.
- Human mind keeps changing the decision of choice it took with a blink of an eye. And to handle this instant decision swing order hold is required. Order hold allows, your customers to review the order they’ve placed, edit or update it without having to cancel a fulfillment process.
How and When to Hold Order?
Case: 1 Borrow some time, from your buyers
You don't always keep every single product that you are selling in one place. It can be at your Warehouse, basements, or any other third party location. Hence sometime, it may happen that when a customer makes an order of the product, which is not available currently at your place, for such situations instead of sending them the notification of -
‘We’re sorry your order couldn’t be placed now’ you can do something like ...
‘We’ve received your order there would be a bit delay in delivering, as of high traffic’
And ultimately, you’ll get time to have that product with you for delivering it at your customer’s end.
Case: 2 Pre-Ordering hassle
Many tech companies start their marketing campaigns of “Pre-Order”. Pre-ordering can give buyers additional benefits like discounts, cash back coupons, and many offers.
But eventually, hard time for sellers and manufacturer takes an immature-birth when those pre-ordering consumers cancel the order, just before the launch or delivery.
To avoid this type of issue, keeping the pre-orders on holds and resuming the process after a stipulated time, may ease the task for both seller and manufacturer.
Case 3: Fulfilling the higher value first
Suppose you have a stock of 10-Pens and 5-Scales. You receive a single order of 10-Pens, simultaneously you receive another of 10 Pens and 5 Scales. What would you do? You must be thinking of canceling the first order, right? But what if you can fulfill both the orders?
You can fulfill both orders by keeping a hold on the orders which has less value (i.e. the order of only 10-Pens) and complete the fulfillment process of another one.
Case 4: When Payment is not done
This is a very obvious case when you don’t receive the payment from your consumer's end, at that time you must have an option to hold the order. Once you receive the amount you can again start the process of completing the order.
If you’re using an inventory management tool which takes care of all the back-end inventory processes, in that also you can add a tag/label of “On-Hold” for an order. Hence the other people who’ll be going to interact with the inventory system would know that particular order is kept on hold by seeing the tag/label.
Wrapping it up
Finally to conclude I would say for an e-commerce business where there are too many frauds, returns, inventory mismanagement, the query from customers or your (seller) end – Order Hold is a term which can’t be ignored.
If you’re able to manage and hold the order appropriately, then your online business would definitely see a high rise in your sales/profit graph.