The ever-changing needs of the consumer in the modern age of retail have led to constant shifts within order fulfilment. Because of this, omnichannel fulfilment has become the next logical step for brands and eCommerce businesses – leading to a structural rethink about how to ensure and maintain good customer experience, customer satisfaction, and brand loyalty.
In the current age of instant gratification and digital retail, consumers have the expectation of a seamless shopping experience from a brand, from the initial product search to the product’s after-care. The rise of eCommerce businesses has made this goal more challenging to meet. As omnichannel fulfilment is a necessity that enables brands to grow, it can find difficulties in meeting high levels of efficiency and profitability.
Put broadly, omnichannel order fulfilment strategies are methods used to fulfil customer orders that have come from a wide range of sources – utilising a strategy to take advantage of these sources and channels.
Channels can involve warehouse fulfilment, in-store product pickups, home deliveries, and any other method of ensuring your products find their way into the hands of your customer. Omnichannel fulfilment is different from traditional methods of fulfilment, as this method ensures that the right product is found – along with the optimization of product allocation, and efficiency when delivering products to the buyer.
In an era that leads to consumers being able to buy anything they want, in such a wide variety of ways, and from a variety of platforms, there are a huge number of possibilities that need to be taken into account. Omni channel fulfilment methods are all about making the right shipping choices every time – without the risk of things going south.
Order management systems allow businesses to create their own rules that align with their brand image. These rules make sure that the best possible fulfilment strategy is being used across the whole business, and there are three main types of omni channel fulfilment. These include:
Third-party logistics providers are excellent as an option that covers almost all aspects of omni channel fulfilment. Customers place their online orders with your eCommerce store, or online channel, and the 3pl provider then fulfils that order by picking, packing, and shipping the product to the customer.
This method acts as a link between a business and the consumer, creating a seamless process that provides one of the most beneficial forms of fulfilment outsourcing. As third party logistics providers take care of inventory and shipping, you can focus on the growth of your business and your customers.
Warehouse fulfilment is when a brand rents or owns a warehouse facility, shipping online orders directly from that location. However, this is a less efficient method for fulfilling orders as it can lead to issues with space – as well as inventory management, becoming too time-consuming and costly to maintain.
For businesses with brick and mortar outlets, you can keep stock within the store until it needs to be shipped. The use of brick and mortar stores as a central hub for order fulfilment can provide a highly useful option for businesses.
By taking the physical resources that you already have, you can transform them into a warehouse and distribution centre – this can prove advantageous to your brand, but also can highlight some challenges.
Retail outlets tend not to have the proper systems or equipment in place to run a highly functioning fulfilment centre – lacking access to real-time visibility into stock levels and returns management. However, you can invest to make this possible.
Using a proactive omni channel fulfilment strategy leads to multiple benefits for modern businesses that sell across multiple platforms. By establishing and delivering a service that leads into customer satisfaction and customer experience with a seamless service, you can satisfy your consumers’ demands – a vital part of business development. The right fulfilment strategy can benefit your business with:
Streamlining multiple channels into a single process enables fulfilment processes to become even easier. This streamlining leads to improved efficiency in your business processes, as well as higher accuracy in the delivery processes, and a more seamless shipping system to benefit your customers.
In the modern age of immediate satisfaction, customers shopping online expect immediacy. Using omni channel fulfilment processes means that your customers can have their purchases delivered to their home-delivered much faster than before. They can even opt in for store pickup from brick and mortar stores if that suits their schedule better.
When consumers expect the best services, and at the best prices, that will ensure their continued brand loyalty – keeping them coming back for more, more willing to return to your digital outlets and brick and mortar stores.
Using a third-party logistics company, like The Delivery Group, we will be able to oversee all of the commerce channels that you use. It also means that you get access to instant reporting that helps to highlight your most important channels, including highlighting the ones that need the most work to improve.
Customers want reliability and consistency. Knowing that, no matter where they are, they will have access to your product will ensure a more loyal customer base. Today’s customers want it all, from the option of brick and mortar store pickups, home delivery, to real-world store browsing, ensuring that their needs are satisfied will make sure that your brand image is consistently strong.
With all of these fulfilment channels maintaining a constant level, you will be able to establish your brand image at a level similar to those well-recognised high street brands.