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Support Services: 5 Tips for Integrating Your Order Management System with Your Merchant Account

19 Oct, 2010 By: Sotero Giftos, Scarborough, Maine-based OrderLogix Response

Providing order in a chaotic, multi-channel world that is dynamic and ever-changing can be difficult. But regardless of the source of your orders and tracking required — media type, IVR, call centers, Web sites, shopping carts or affiliate channels — having the right applications in place is critical to the growth and success of your organization.

In today’s challenging economy, retailers must be able to offer flexible payment terms and respond with offers that are tailored for the individual customer’s lifestyle. These same tools must also support marketer strategies to grow average order value (AOV) and profitability through sophisticated upsells, cross-sells and auto-ship/continuity programs. Matching your order entry and merchant account process with the needs of your business and the needs of your customer is essential in today’s complex direct-to-consumer world. But with an order management system (OMS), your company can collect all its order data, leverage the best payment processing partners, and, in turn, improve results and boost your bottom-line.

How? You need the right order management solution.

Be Vendor Neutral

Your OMS should be vendor neutral. This approach allows the marketer to manage multiple service providers and even payment processors — to test for the best and mitigate risk.

Know the Market

Order management providers should be able to help you match the best processors for your product or market niche. Order management providers that support multiple payment processors can easily process campaigns with specific processors to best meet the needs of the individual campaign, thus reducing risk and cost.

In terms of deciding between ISOs and payment processors, it is important to keep in mind that they have different value propositions, market experience and technologies.

Align Payments to Programs, and Vice Versa

Integrating and matching the right processor and OMS to the needs of your business can make a substantial difference to your top and bottom lines.

For example, order management systems can report on a potentially expired card at the outset of a continuity program, and specific payment processors can also use BIN (bank identification number) codes to recapture a new expiration date for an existing card. Your OMS should be easily reconfigurable to retry declined cards multiple times, with configurable business rules that control the frequency and number of times that reauthorization is attempted. This approach alone can often yield a 40-plus-percent success rate. An OMS can then be used to automatically move fatally declined customers into an outbound call queue to discover the reason for the decline, make alternative payment arrangements and recover the customer.

Process by Item

On a newer front, the latest order management technologies base payments on the item being processed, instead of the order being processed, allowing the marketer to have multiple processors that are precision-matched to offer or payment method preferences. A good example of this would be where a call center closes an order on a primary offer, then upsells a companion product, and follows it up with a cross sell. While this is all one order for the customer, each item in this offer could be from different vendors and processed through different merchant accounts.

The OMS should include tools to automatically tie these items back to a single customer order. This approach allows the merchant to use specialty processors that will provide the best rates for certain products or services, and other processors with different specialties or strengths. Matching the processor to the item reduces marketer risk, and reduces costs. And the ability to tie payments back to the item and customer order provides rapid resolution to any customer service disputes or potential chargebacks.

About the Author: Sotero Giftos

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