Omnichannel offers new order delivery and fulfilment options to provide customers with a seamless and hassle-free shopping experience. Options such as deliver-to-home and return-to-store; order online and pickup in-store; and even providing anytime, anywhere access to inventory availability all are on the increase.
Today’s customers desire the option to start their shopping process in one channel and finish, fulfil or even return through another. To succeed in an Omnichannel world, retailers need to meet and exceed customer expectations by supporting them regardless of the channel. Aligning inventory management, order delivery and fulfilment with customer demands requires agility and flexibility across the entire supply chain. This means order processing, fulfilment, pickup and even returns must be seamless.
According to Brandi Slaughter (Senior Solutions Marketing Manager at Demandware), there are three key changes that can give retailers the ability to gain greater visibility into inventory and remove the traditional approach of identifying products as part of online & in-store inventory.
1. Cleaner inventory data set to gain actionable insights into customer preferences;
2. Create packing and shipping “muscle” to enhance the delivery process and timeline; and
3. Adopt measurement tools to recognise the effectiveness of efforts made.
Refining supply chain operations to keep pace with customer demands and Omnichannel trends require constant work and refinement.
There are still some challenges that retail businesses face with Omni Channel logistics, see below.
- Inventory Visibility
- Supply Chain Processes
- Return Goods