The tables have turned, putting your customer in the driver’s seat. “Omnichannel” or “Multichannel,” the point being your customers now decide how they want to buy your product and interact with your brand. How you respond will determine your future. Your store inventory could be the answer.
With the explosion in fulfilment options such as ship from store, locker collection, express click-and-collect; trading from e-commerce sites and stores is merging. Key to maximising sales is maximising the availability of stock for sale through any channel. This presents smart retailers with the opportunity to increase their online sales and drive more traffic to their stores by leveraging their store network. With this process, retailers can get their product to their customer more quickly, earning loyalty and making more profitable sales.
The line between the distribution centre and the retail store has blurred as retailers look to use their stores more and more as mini-warehouses. As a result, stores are being asked to perform new processes usually reserved for the warehouse. However, once retailers have complete visibility of their entire inventory and establish business rules around fulfilment and store operations, utilising store inventory to fulfil e-commerce orders can become highly profitable. Some issues to consider include the impact on stores & the changing role of the sales assistant in store. There is the need to measure the impact on the store and store associates to ensure successful – and profitable – procedures as well.
With competition to gain customer loyalty increasing, retailers have to look at their order fulfilment strategies. Especially if they want to offer click-and-collect within two hours and not two days. Utilising store inventory and store staff to compete could be the key….whilst also driving new store traffic in the meantime.