You have your e-commerce site fulfilling orders from your warehouse and now you want to expand into offering fulfillment from your stores. But unfortunately, you have retail technology at your store that doesn’t speak with your website (you have different inventory programs for your store and website). So, you try to fulfill orders manually through Excel spreadsheets or other methodology that shares inventory data between your store and website.
You manage to pull it off for a while, and even though it is not perfect, you figure you can manage it. This might be a valid approach if you planned on a consistently low level of order fulfillment from the web, but if you’re looking to grow order fulfillment from your store, along with offering in-store pick up from online orders, then you need to reconsider your omni-channel strategy.
If you find yourself in this position and you are racing against your customer’s expectations at 100 mph, then it’s time to build a strategy from the ground up that will allow you to deliver omni-channel fulfillment in the DNA of your operations. You want to have 100 percent visibility of your inventory and customers across all channels in real time. Once you have that, your customers can order on the web and you can easily fulfill from the warehouse or the stores, your customers can pick up items at the store ordered on-line, as well as return items purchased on the web in-store with ease.
So don’t play omni-channel chicken with your customers, let them see that your business is prepared for the expectations of today’s modern consumer. That will keep them coming back, again and again.
If you are interested in hearing more about developing a strategy for omni-channel solutions, you can reach out to Michael at Michael@retailmerchantservices.com.
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