There are three main types of order processing. They differ in the processing method, but all receive orders, calculate payments and are shipped from the seller to the buyer. Each processing type provides a record of reference for each order.
Some small companies process orders by hand. Retailers give hand receipts for purchases, total amounts at the end of the day then write totals into ledgers. Although useful, problems may occur as the ledger may be lost, totals inserted into the wrong column or incorrect amounts entered. Hand order processing is considered the least reliable type of order processing.
Extremely popular, call center order processing allows companies to outsource the process, yet still retain computer access to the results. Call centers allow buyers to call in and order products while the call center employee inputs the order into a computer for processing. Call centers limit their job function solely to the taking and processing of clients' orders. An example would be catalog purchases.
As there is little direct communication between purchaser and seller in a web-based business, there needs to be an efficient, timely, reliable method of order processing. This is where use of the Internet as an order processing method excels. The Internet allows a quick exchange of information, and provides instant confirmation and a visible record of the transaction.