Woman opening box she received from an eCommerce store.

As eCommerce continues to grow at a rapid pace, managing orders across multiple channels can become an overwhelming task. But how you handle customer orders at scale will make or break your business. 

Customers don’t care what you have to do on the back end to make their orders happen. They simply expect products to be in stock, arrive within a reasonable amount of time, and have no issues.

If your order fulfillment isn’t running like a well-oiled machine, you risk decreasing customer satisfaction, and in a competitive niche like eCommerce, you need all the wins you can get. 

Whether you’re a dropshipper or manage a growing eCommerce store, the influx of orders can easily cause chaos. If you’re trying to sell via multiple channels, like your website and platforms like Amazon, the orders can quickly overwhelm you. 

To keep up, you need the right tools on your side. With orders coming in from different platforms, warehouses, and vendors, keeping track of inventory levels, shipping statuses, and customer information can be challenging.

This is where a Distributed Order Management (DOM) system comes in.

Learn what a DOM platform is, how it differs from traditional options, why it’s so helpful, and how you can find the right distributed order management solution for your business.

What Is a Distributed Order Management System?

Woman using laptop to place an online order.

A distributed order management system (DOM) is a tool that allows you to process orders more efficiently. Most DOM solutions have advanced rules baked into the platform that helps you route orders and streamline the entire supply chain for your business. 

A DOM software platform can manage orders and inventory across multiple sales channels, warehouses, and vendors. It allows businesses to receive, process, and fulfill orders from different channels in a unified way.

DOM systems integrate with various sales channels, such as marketplaces, online stores, and brick-and-mortar locations, as well as with inventory management systems, shipping carriers, and payment gateways.

It gives customers the quality experiences they crave — without overwhelming your business. Implemented correctly, this solution is a real win-win. 

In essence, a DOM system is a central hub for all order and inventory information, allowing businesses complete visibility and control over their operations. The system can automatically route orders to the most appropriate warehouse or vendor based on factors like inventory availability, shipping costs, and delivery timeframes.

DOM solutions usually include several features, like automated communications and cost management.

Automated communications

You can create certain triggers or rules to communicate with customers automatically at scale. For example, you can automatically send a buying guide to people who buy specific items.

Order routing

Send orders to the best fulfillment center for the job. For example, you might use a local fulfillment center for shoppers on the East Coast to speed up shipping times, reduce costs, and minimize the potential for damaged goods.

Capacity management

Route orders to the best facility for the job. This is especially helpful during the busy holiday shopping season when certain fulfillment centers might become overwhelmed with orders. 

Cost management

You can manage order routing, shipping rates, and other costs with a DOM, making your business more profitable over time. 


If you’re selling on multiple channels, a DOM will sync inventory data across all channels — including physical storefronts — to give you more inventory visibility. 

Depending on the DOM you’re using, you can also use the platform to merge orders, process payments, track orders, manage suppliers, and collaborate with 3PLs.

Distributed Order Management Versus Traditional Order Management Systems

Person busy shopping online

DOMs are a more modern version of traditional order management solutions. 

Traditional Order Management Systems (OMS) are designed to manage orders and inventory within a single location or warehouse. They typically include features like inventory tracking, order processing, and shipping management.

Traditional options are helpful because they automate transaction processing and customer communications, but they still might not be able to handle the realities of modern businesses. 

While traditional OMS are useful for managing orders from a single channel, they lack the flexibility to manage orders from multiple sales channels.

Distributed order management systems do everything a traditional system can, plus other helpful features. If you’re an omnichannel business that sells on nearly every eCommerce platform, DOM has the firepower to keep up. 

A DOM system is designed to manage orders and inventory across multiple channels, warehouses, and vendors. It allows businesses to manage orders from various sales channels, including online marketplaces, social media platforms, and physical stores.

A DOM system enables businesses to consolidate orders from different channels into a single platform, streamlining the order management process and reducing errors.

Because DOMs have more advanced features, they’re more popular with large eCommerce businesses that sell on multiple platforms or in several countries. But even if you have a smaller eCommerce business, opting for a DOM tool in your early stages can help you scale without the growing pains.

Why eCommerce Businesses Need a Distributed Order Management System

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As eCommerce businesses grow, they often manage orders across multiple sales channels, warehouses, and vendors. Without a DOM system, this can quickly become an overwhelming task, leading to errors, delays, and low customer satisfaction. If you’re on the fence about DOMS, consider all of the benefits they offer eCommerce brands. 

Run a More Agile Business

As your eCommerce business grows, you might find it more difficult to manage orders across multiple channels. A DOM system allows you to scale your operations to multiple platforms — and way more customers — without sacrificing efficiency or accuracy. 

A DOM platform also provides analytics and insights into your business. It needs to gather a lot of data to do this, but a DOM can help you run a more profitable, agile business over time. 

Plus, you can always change your DOM rules to keep up with both customer expectations and how you want your platform to work. Just change up your logic settings, and that’s it. 

Find More Flexible Fulfillment Options

A DOMS makes it easy to route orders, split orders, and ship goods more efficiently. These platforms will help you choose the best fulfillment option for each sale, and they can even offer options like “buy online, pick up in-store” (BOPIS) to give your shoppers the flexibility they crave. 

Increase Visibility

Where is all of your inventory? You can integrate your systems into one intuitive dashboard with the right distributed order management tool. 

A DOMS provides businesses a centralized platform for managing orders and inventory across multiple channels. This reduces the need for manual processes like data entry and eliminates the risk of errors in managing orders across multiple platforms.

Save Time

Person looking at their watch

A DOMS enables businesses to maximize order fulfillment by automatically routing orders to the most appropriate warehouse or vendor based on factors like inventory availability, shipping costs, and delivery timeframes. This can reduce shipping times and costs, leading to happier customers and improved profitability.

Plus, if it’s just you running the business, DOM software automates many finicky tasks. If you have employees, it takes a lot of tasks off their plate so they can focus on what matters most: serving your shoppers. 

Save Money

Did you know that proper order management can trim costs? DOM software can reduce the cost of shipping by routing orders to the most competitive shipping option each time. It can also help prevent out-of-stocks and overstock, so you always have the right amount of inventory to fulfill every order.

Reduce Errors

Without a DOM, you have to do a lot of fulfillment work manually, creating potential errors. Automating and streamlining your business will remove the potential for expensive errors and the chaos they create.

Improve the Shopper Experience

If shoppers have a great time buying from you, they’re more likely to come back again and again. With a DOM system, businesses can give customers real-time visibility into their order status, shipping information, and tracking numbers. 

This improves the customer experience, increasing customer loyalty and repeat customer purchases.

How to Find a Distributed Order Management System for Multiple Sales Channels

Person working on their eCommerce store

Implementing a Distributed Order Management System for multiple sales channels can seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be. Follow these simple steps to find the right DOMS for your eCommerce store. 

Know Your Goals

Why do you need a distributed order management system? What are you going to use it for? Are you looking for cost optimization or time savings?

Every platform is different, so you must define your goals to find the right platform for your needs. 

Look at your current inventory management practices. What’s working? Where could you improve? If you’re trying to choose between a few different systems, it’s important to look back and see which options best align with your priorities, so always start with your goals first.

List Your Technical Requirements

How many products can a DOM system support? Does it limit the number of suppliers you can work with? What types of analytics do you need? 

Every eCommerce store does things a little differently. A DOMS is only effective if it integrates with the sales channels you’re already using, so ensure that your DOM system can integrate with the marketplaces, stores, and physical locations you already have.

Ask Vendors for Demos

Don’t commit to a distributed order management platform without testing it first. Quality platforms will be more than happy to give you a walkthrough before you buy. 

At a minimum, you should test out these features in a DOM system: 

  • It should integrate with various sales channels that you currently have or plan to have. 
  • Inventory management to give you a high-level view of inventory across all channels. 
  • Customer data storage to help you learn more about your shoppers. 

Businesses should look for a system that's easy to integrate with their existing systems, provides real-time visibility into order and inventory information, and has the ability to scale as their business grows.

Ease of use is also a factor to consider here. It might sound like a low priority, but choosing an intuitive DOM can speed up your time to value. That means you spend less time scratching your head in training and get straight to generating a return on your investment. 

Integrate With Your DOM System

Once you decide on a DOM system for your store, make sure you set it up correctly. You’ll need to create all of the essential integrations for everything to work properly. 

A DOM system should integrate with your business's inventory management system to ensure accurate inventory levels across all sales channels. This integration should include real-time updates of inventory levels, product information, and pricing.

You also need to set up rules for order routing. A key feature of a DOM system is the ability to automatically route orders to the most appropriate warehouse or vendor based on factors like inventory availability, shipping costs, and delivery timeframes.

You should set up rules to determine how orders are routed to ensure efficient and cost-effective order fulfillment.

Don’t forget to integrate your system with your shipping carriers, too. This will streamline shipping by automating shipping labels, tracking numbers, and delivery notifications.

Spark Shipping: Modern Distributed Order Management for Omnichannel Sellers

Person working on their laptop to optimize their eCommerce store.

Ecommerce fulfillment can be a struggle, which is why so many businesses opt for a DOM solution. DOM is becoming more popular among dropshippers and eCommerce brands because sellers need help managing orders on multiple platforms. 

Distributed order management is a vital tool for eCommerce. If you’re looking for a centralized platform for managing orders and inventory, improving order fulfillment, and enhancing the customer experience, go with Spark Shipping. 

Spark Shipping’s intelligent Automated Order Fulfillment tool helps businesses manage orders more efficiently: 

  • Use one-to-many mapping to link one product to multiple vendors so you stay in stock and source the best-priced product for every order. 
  • Easily track the SKUs, quantities, and unit costs for all vendors in one place. 
  • Automatically route orders to the best supplier, automatically. Spark Shipping can send orders to your supplier in any format, too. 

Spark Shipping helps eCommerce businesses save hundreds of hours a month, all while boosting sales. See the difference for yourself: Get a Spark Shipping demo now.