For a while now, retailers have been concentrating on making the store an experience for their customers; whether that’s the physical store or the online/mobile store. But now retailers are having to join up the investment they have made in the customer front end with investing in back end fulfilment practices as they seek efficiencies around delivery in a multi-channel world.
However, this can be a challenge as fulfilment is now driven by customer demands and not by a standard set of functional needs. Therefore mapping out the solution isn’t as straight forward because retailers are having to build a list of requirements based around customer propositions; for example making click and collect less than 2 hours or shipping ecommerce orders from stores. It’s also more about looking at business practices and processes and thinking about are they still right in today’s changing world, how you would like them to work, what does the customer want and need.
The answer is a more consultative approach which looks at mapping the customer journey with business processes, order management and in store inventory & fulfilment capabilities. By taking such an approach, retailers will have the ability to make fulfilling customer orders efficient and quick, without disappointing their customers and presenting them with a reason to shop at their competitors.
With the demands from consumers continuously increasing around how they want to receive their purchases and crucially, what they are prepared to pay for these services – if anything, the time is now for retailers to invest in having the correct fulfilment practices in place so they can ‘delight the customer’.