What is Commerce Operations Management?


August 15, 2019

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Ecommerce is a totally different beast than it was a few years ago.

Companies like Google and Walmart are now aggressively chasing Amazon. CPG goliaths, like Kellogg’s, are selling direct-to-consumer (DTC) next to digital-first brands, like Warby Parker. The world itself is moving towards a more omnichannel future.

To keep up with the changing tide of digital, brands are stepping up their commerce operations management (COM).

The COM methodology is derived from the idea that there’s no longer a separation between ecommerce and traditional sales: there’s just commerce. Moreover, the most successful businesses operate as one cohesive unit, even if they use various channels, tools and resources.

What is commerce operations management (COM)?

Commerce operations management is the practice of handling product listing, inventory, order fulfillment and other operations from one system. It involves using automation to work 24/7 speeding up time to market, strengthening your brand and maximizing growth potential.

What is a COM strategy?

Commerce operations management (COM) is all about centralizing your operations into one system to work faster, smarter and more efficiently.

COM is especially vital for multichannel sellers. While traditional sellers will work from multiple seller accounts and interfaces, a seller with a COM strategy will integrate their various sales channels, apps and tasks into a custom workspace that offers a single login for managing all aspects of business.

illustration of the commerce operations management (COM) strategy

With a single login, you can easily push and retrieve data from various platforms. For example, when you’re putting a new product up for sale, you can create one listing to publish to multiple channels in a few simple clicks. Similarly, as you make sales on any channel, your inventory and available quantities will be updated automatically.

A true COM system goes far beyond these capabilities. But in essence, you’re building a custom ecosystem of sales channels and apps that can talk to each other in near real-time.

Read Also: ERP vs. Ecommerce Software—Which is Better?

Using this strategy, you can master common challenges of ecommerce like:

  • Overselling due to inaccurate inventory
  • Duplicative, time-consuming work
  • Time spent trying to meet each channel’s listing requirements
  • Inconsistent, inaccurate or incomplete data between channels
  • Unsatisfactory margins
  • Partial visibility over all of your sales channels, warehouses, apps and data

In return, you’ll be able to delight customers and earn your right-to-sell on today’s top marketplaces.

The Three Pillars of COM

COM exists to fulfill three main goals from which all other good things flow. As your team builds a COM strategy, it’s important to keep these top of mind.

benefits of a commerce operations management (com) strategy

1. Accelerate market expansion

While it’s critical for today’s brands to sell on multiple channels, getting even one listing up on two or more channels can be a huge pain. This is because marketplaces are constantly changing their requirements (think: Amazon’s sudden overhaul of footwear requirements). You could waste hours finding the right categories and fields for your products. Therefore, it’s evermore important that your COM strategy removes this operational roadblock by automating listing and product information management (PIM), while letting you make changes on the fly.  

Free Ebook: Why Brands Sell DTC on Amazon and Other Marketplaces

2. Strengthen your brand

Brands big and small now compete on a level playing field. Marketplaces are diluting the power of individual brands while making it harder for sellers to earn their right-to-sell. At the same time, today’s customers demand more. Shipping expectations, for example, are at an all-time high with Amazon and Walmart leading the charge to one-day shipping. To stand out, your brand needs to establish a strong reputation by offering best-in-class service and products. A COM strategy makes this possible by tightening workflows and leveraging automation in the right ways.

3. Grow your business

Moving at the speed of the internet can be difficult. A proper COM strategy will ensure that your operations can scale without compromising quality. It’ll set the foundation for maintaining a healthy order defect rate (ODR), delighting customers and staying ahead of trends. It’ll help you get the basics right so that you can spend more time propelling your team forward.

Putting COM into Practice  

At the end of the day, you need a system for reducing burnout of your team (or wasted time) and maximizing your profits. That’s a tall order for most sellers. But sellers with a solid COM strategy, alongside Zentail’s COM software, have a big advantage.

Discover More: Zentail vs. ChannelAdvisor—a Complete Feature-by-Feature Comparison

Test Drive the No. 1 COM Software

Zentail’s COM system is consistently rated five stars by Fortune 500 retailers and by today’s fastest growing brands. Zentail leads the market with its AI-driven listing solution, SMART Types and its user-friendly interface. Contact us to learn more about the COM methodology and for help building your own perfect solution.

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