Today’s customers—conditioned by Amazon’s two-day Prime delivery—expect faster fulfillment. But unless you have a distribution center (DC) near your customers’ homes the cost can be high. Meanwhile, retailers need new ways to make their inventory work harder. Using store stock to fill online orders is a great way to do it. But without the right tools, it’s not easy.
Store fulfillment rollouts can be tough. Your store staff, whose number one goal is sales, can be resistant. They have to learn new systems, new processes, potentially grasp a new compensation model—and still hit their sales targets. However, if done well, store fulfillment can be a huge win.
Benefits of Store Fulfillment
For starters, your stores will move more inventory. Customers get their orders faster. Moreover, you won’t lose as many sales due to out-of-stocks because you’ll have access to all inventory across your ecosystem for ecommerce order fulfillment—which means more inventory available to promise. And, in-store sales staff benefit from a bump in foot traffic due to Click and Collect. That means more people to cross-sell. To do this effectively, you need the right tools, starting with a best-in-class Distributed Order Management system (DOM).
Ship from Store
A dedicated Distributed Order Management system provides user-friendly, mobile-enabled tools that guide store staff through the pick, pack, and ship process. This reduces the time it takes to train your staff because they are prompted throughout the process. From the first order notification, through the printing of shipping labels, it provides them with a good experience. But more importantly, those same tools let your staff provide a great order management experience to your customers.
Click and Collect
When customers come to collect an online order, the process is simple. Just scan a barcode. As a result, the wait is short, so customers will be happy. Better yet, they’ll have more time to keep shopping. But there’s another benefit too. Your store associates won’t resent the time away from the sales floor because the process is quick and easy.
In addition, the DOM lets retailers adjust the flow of orders sent to each store. That way, no one store becomes over-burdened. If an order is unable to be fulfilled at any given store, it is automatically rerouted.
Whether it’s simple ‘Click and Collect’, or the more complex ‘Ship from Store’, your Distributed Order Management system is key to a successful store fulfillment program that provides a premium order management experience.