A customer places an order online, receives a confirmation email, and gets their package delivered within 24 hours. Seems simple, right? If only it were that easy!
Challenges retailers face when fulfilling orders
With online orders and customer expectations both on the rise, it’s becoming increasingly important for retailers to streamline and improve their fulfillment process. Order tracking, transportation costs, inventory shortages and seasonal fulfillment are just some of the challenges retailers face when it comes to fulfillment. And it becomes even more complicated if you’re an omnichannel retailer selling in-store, on your website, and through Amazon, eBay, Walmart and other third-party marketplaces.So what are some common methods retailers use to streamline fulfillment?
As E-Commerce websites become more sophisticated, more and more shoppers are purchasing products online, and also through third-party marketplaces. That means retailers have to manage and fulfill orders from multiple places simultaneously (not an easy task).To streamline order fulfillment, many retailers have turned to drop shipping. Some retailers rely on their distributors to fulfill orders; others use fulfillment centers or “Fulfillment by Amazon” services, or whatever marketplace(s) they sell through. Outsourcing fulfillment provides many benefits to retailers such as the ability to offload shipping services, and in some cases, reduce the amount of inventory you carry. However some retailers prefer to ship orders in-house.
Fulfilling orders in-store
By offering in-store fulfillment, you gain more control over your orders and inventory no matter where it’s located (i.e., one of your stores, warehouse). But if you have multiple locations, which store should fulfill which order? Of course selecting the store closest to the customer seems most logical; but there’s more to it than that. What if that store is having a sidewalk sale and needs the inventory; or what if they are backed up? What then? Celerant Technology’s retail management system offers a feature called ‘Best Store Fulfillment’, which automatically selects the “best” store based on your priorities and preferences, such as: location, stock levels, weeks of supply, planned promotions, projected sales, staffing, pickup frequency, and many others. That way, you can fulfill orders faster and cheaper, with the least amount of errors, and without overloading your staff or overselling inventory.
“After embracing ‘Best Store Fulfillment’, one of our retail clients now ships 98% of their orders same day, reducing labor costs by 12 ½%. As a result, their online sales are growing 23% on average year-over-year.”