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The rise of online commerce has brought many benefits to consumers; convenience, accessibility, choice, competitive pricing and more. All of these perks combine to provide an ongoing challenge for retailers. With modern online retail geared towards choice and spontaneous purchasing, the chance of customers seeking adjustments to their orders is high. Today, we look at the importance of order editing functionality within your eCommerce platform of choice.
Whether you’re processing tens or thousands of orders a day, their management is vital. Customers will change their minds and request order amendments. People are fickle creatures, and that’s before we even begin to factor in user error and mistaken purchases.
Having an easy order editing process in place doesn’t just lead to happier customers; it can also help your bottom line. The costs of processing and replacing a returned order is much greater than those associated with updating an order before it’s shipped, lessening the chance of the buyer opting for a return and refund.
With returns becoming the new norm for online sales, anything that retailers can do to lessen their impact deserves serious consideration. Statista predicts that return deliveries will cost businesses $550 billion by 2020 (and that’s before restocking expenses nor inventory losses are factored in!) That represents a 75.2% increase from the four preceding years.
Solid order editing capability also means a better handle on your stock levels, again leading to a better customer experience across your store. If your site leverages visible stock levels to create more buyer urgency, this is particularly relevant.
Order editing has been baked into the bluCommerce platform for over a decade and a broad range of functionality is available. Items can be removed from or added to an order, and the subsequent additional payment (or partial refund) processed internally.
If customers change their mind about the speed at which they need their package to arrive, then the delivery method can also be amended, either manually, or via one of the pre-programmed options which the admin has automatically calculated are available, based on the delivery address.
Order cloning is also offered; invaluable for orders which need to be replaced (lost in the mail) or if customers ask for repeat orders. This feature allows you to bypass the checkout stage and to replicate all details from the chosen order.
Up until 2019, order editing was something of a stumbling block for Shopify. The general ethos of the platform is to provide a solid core service that meets the universal needs of all retailers using their product. Additional functionality is then met by a thriving app ecosystem, enabling merchants to customise their experience, keeping things streamlined and engaging only with the features they require.
The fact that order editing didn’t appear to fall within the “universal needs” category was consistently challenged by the Shopify community. Apps such as the very popular Edit Order did a great job of providing the functionality, but demand for this to be brought in-house was persistent.
At Unite 2019, Shopify announced that new order editing functionality, out of the box, would be landing this year. Merchants will now be able to edit quantity, products and shipping method within their customers’ orders. They’ll also be able to easily send payment requests or refunds if there’s a difference in price between the original and updated order. Updates will automatically be applying across all forms of internal reporting, ensuring all store and stock data remains accurate in real-time.
Additionally, the Order Editing API was made available in developer preview this June.
With customer experience of premium importance in today’s competitive eCommerce market, an ordering editing process that creates as little friction as possible is vital. As online orders continue to increase, so will the demand for amendments.
The smartest retailers of the future will be looking at ways to dodge returns by making this process as seamless as possible, harnessing the power and rising popularity of conversational commerce to enable shoppers to adjust their completed orders via chatbot or social media messaging.
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