Drive customer loyalty with Omnichannel fulfilment strategy.

Your products sell well, are of high quality, and are ready to meet customer demand, but in the age of instant gratification, a good or bad approach to order fulfilment can make or break company-wide goals related to customer retention, satisfaction, and ultimately loyalty.
We all know that customer acquisition costs continue to rise—by 222% over the past 8 years—and that, as a result, customer retention and loyalty are a priority for most retail executives. 

As many shoppers rely on delivery options and experiences for their brand loyalty, these priorities cannot be achieved without a superior end-to-end shopping experience, including order fulfilment flexibility, efficiency, and clarity to meet the evolving needs of today’s shoppers. high expectations 

A solid omnichannel fulfilment strategy is essential for delighting customers throughout the post-purchase journey and enticing them to shop with you again and again. Let’s take a look at what omnichannel implementation means and how you can apply it to your logistics workflows.


What is a multi-channel or Omni-channel application?

Omni-channel fulfilment is a strategy whereby purchases from any shopping channel (think mobile, online, in-store, or marketplace) can be picked, packed, and delivered from any delivery channel, such as a store, darkroom, or warehouse. All this improves the shopping experience and makes them complete their purchases in the most efficient and convenient way possible. Unlike traditional order fulfillment, where each shopping channel has its own built-in approach to fulfillment, omnichannel delivery combines a unified, real-time understanding of product delivery with the customer’s location to open up additional delivery options, such as online shopping with pickup (BOPIS), store delivery (SFS), blind stores, and more.

For example, suppose a customer in Albuquerque, New Mexico, buys a trendy handbag from your website. Traditional online fulfilment or warehouse fulfilment would mean that the order would be shipped from a warehouse in Akron, Ohio, and the buyer would receive the package under a standard delivery service agreement approximately 5-7 business days later.
With multi-channel shipping, all shipping channels automatically become options for this order, and this merchant has a brick-and-mortar store in Phoenix, Arizona. Phoenix is too far for the buyer to go to BOPIS, but by shipping the order from the store, the product reaches the buyer a day earlier and at a cheaper price

The buyer receives his bag days earlier and cheaper, exceeding his expectations. 


How do I switch to Omni-channel deployment?

Multi-channel deployment is certainly a buzzword across our industry, and it’s not hard to convince you of its importance. In fact, most omnichannel retailers have already made it a key business priority. At the same time, most enterprise business logistics workflows are highly complex, based on legacy infrastructure and multiple stakeholders, so it can be difficult to find a clear path.

The key is to define and integrate a modern fulfilment orchestration layer into your supply chain that integrates multiple supply functions, such as warehouse management, picking, packing, and shipping, and customer communication across supply channels.

Most order management systems (OMS) today lack intelligent implementation or offer fragmented capabilities consisting of various point solutions. A well-designed and integrated supply chain layer seamlessly integrates with your existing OMS via APIs to route orders to the best supply channel for maximum efficiency and speed while optimizing shipping costs and delivering an unparalleled customer experience.


order management systems

This is best achieved through a combination of APIs, existing systems, and usable applications and devices (we call them “systems of engagement”). Clearly, a lot goes into the orchestration layer of deployment, and every retailer already has parts of this, although sales channels are often hidden. Below are the key workflows to complete to elevate your reach management to a modern, streamlined, and loyalty-enhancing approach that fuels omni-channel fulfillment.

1. Unify Inventory Management

inventory visibilty
Fulfillment Orchestration: Inventory Visilibity

Launching an omnichannel fulfilment strategy requires a fundamental change in inventory management for every retailer. Inventory management needs to move from a world of silos and latency to a single, unified, easy-to-use system that tracks your entire inventory in real time.

All sales channels need a single source of truth at any time about product availability in warehouses, fulfilment centers, on store shelves, or in transit. This means that your warehouse management system must be connected to all these channels and updated in real time to remain responsive to constant changes.

Finally, everyone on your team needs easy access to this system. For example, the supply and production teams need to know how many orange high-top sneakers are in stock at each store, just as the salesperson needs to advise the customer how to get cashmere-lined gloves that are almost ready. sold out. As a bonus, freeing up this single source of truth in warehouse management allows staff to focus more of their time on other areas, such as proactively tracking errors and delivery delays, versus understanding inventory levels in isolated sales channels.

Inventory management has several paths to this state, from copying and replacing existing inventory management technology with a modern solution to consolidating and upgrading existing systems, which is usually the most viable option for leading enterprise retailers. Avoid building point-to-point integrations that require custom integration environments and increase integration time and cost, and prioritize modern tools that provide the flexibility, speed, and scale of APIs and web hooks.

2. Pick and pack all over the place

pick and pack
Equipping Fulfillment Locations

Thanks to an updated warehouse management system, the entire company now has a single view of inventory, so the next step is to ensure that each supply channel is equipped with the technology and team members it needs to activate. Different options are available with multi-channel applications.

For example, before multi-channel delivery, technology and staff in brick-and-mortar stores only had to pick and pack purchases in the store itself, but in a multi-channel delivery world, they must be able to pick and pack. orders from anywhere. sales channel in several different ways, such as outside, BOPIS, and in-store delivery. This may require new team members and new technology.
You may be wondering what to look for on the technical side. We recommend finding a tool that can:
1.) Import data. It is extremely important to receive information from other systems during the logistics journey, especially the order management system and inventory management, all to improve overall inventory and delivery operations and efficiency. This can be achieved with a platform that has a strong set of APIs or integrations.

2.) Focus on the team. The tool you use to pick and pack at fulfilment locations should improve efficiency and effectiveness by helping team members focus on priorities. We call this a microtask. For example, an employee at a store in Boulder, Colorado, wouldn’t have to think about which order to pick and pack first; instead, the platform would put the highest priority shipment, or BOPIS order, at the top of their to-do list. Also, this employee does not need to see orders that need to be picked and packed in other stores.

3.) Work smoothly. More workflows. Pick and pack is not the end of the logistics journey, so the chosen platform should easily integrate with other tools, such as delivery service providers, to ensure smooth delivery.

3. Integrate and promote new fulfilment options.

shopper journey
Upgrade Shopper Journey

Now that you have a unified view of your inventory and all fulfilment locations are configured to handle any order fulfilment option under the sun, you’re ready to add new and improved fulfilment options to all sales channels. according to the buyer’s journey. 

Each sales channel must reference an up-to-date single source of truth in inventory management and each individual buyer’s shipping address to prioritize and promote the best shipping options.

Before we explore how to achieve this, we want to highlight some less obvious but effective approaches to incorporating shipping options into your shopping journey. We’ve learned that setting and meeting delivery expectations is more valuable to shoppers than super-fast delivery, so you don’t have to wait until checkout to promote product availability and exciting new delivery options. 

This applies to your product detail pages, such as a “pick up tomorrow” SKU available at a store near the shopper. It can also be added to the shelves of brick-and-mortar stores; consider adding a QR code. Finally, consider running an advertising marketing campaign to promote your new fulfilment options via email, text message, direct mail, in-store ads, or e-commerce website banners.

There are several ways to integrate new delivery options into each sales channel, but the most simplified way is to integrate a modern delivery programme into each point of sale. Look for one that can connect to your order management system and dynamically display 3-4options to maximise revenue and meet the needs of each buyer. For example, shoppers in your loyalty programme can receive free shipping, or a SKU has just been returned at the shopper’s local store, so it’s immediately available for in-store shopping or same-day delivery via Door Dash.


4. Increase Customer Communication


customer communications

We’ve talked a lot about building buyer loyalty when buyers depend on the last mile experience for their brand loyalty, so a lot of it is communication.
In the world of e-commerce fulfillment, it is already a best practise to send multiple branded post-purchase transaction emails or texts from order confirmation to delivery or readiness confirmation, but using a multi-channel delivery strategy, BOPIS, or curbside post-purchase, a bond is added to the mix. These notifications are notorious for not coming from other important e-commerce post-purchase interactions, as they are fed by different systems that are usually not connected by default.

When planning multi-channel communication, see that you can do two things:
1.) Maintain consistent and complete communication across all distribution channels. Whether the order can be picked up in-store, shipped from stock, or picked up in-store, branding and communication must be consistent.
2.) Buyers now expect notifications that dynamically update them on changes to the previously agreed-upon delivery schedule.Surprisingly, letting the customer know about their expected delivery can lead to stronger customer loyalty in the long run.
Achieving this is possible with a platform that has a general understanding of activity at each fulfilment location and can act on it. For example, the system should be configured to notify the user when the item is removed from the warehouse, either by the consignor or by the buyer. A single carrier, an email service provider (ESP), or a modern logistics platform that owns the multi-channel delivery of your brand are ways to do this.
The above transition to omnichannel fulfilment is broken down into small workflows, and eliminating each workflow is key to attracting loyal repeat buyers and building the fulfilment orchestration layer. However, we would be remiss if we did not highlight a theme that runs through each work: connectivity and efficiency.

To achieve connectivity and efficiency with your omnichannel fulfilment strategy, dozens of systems, individuals, and teams must work from the same source and have varying degrees of access to the tools they need to do their jobs. Prefer modern engagement systems and solutions that provide and connect systems. Systems of record are the core layers of the logistics stack, such as inventory and contact management. 

Systems of Engagement are modern smartphone or tablet applications that allow team members to easily perform multiple logistics workflows, such as scanning, imaging, packing, and shipping, all from the same device. Such user-friendly, universal applications and devices often lack layers in today’s logistics stack, instead using pen and paper or legacy devices like barcode scanners.

Corpradar is a next-gen digital IR 4.0 corporate media house that combines the power of technology with human capital to bring decisive and insight-driven content on key business affairs. In an absolute sense, we create a space for leading business houses and visionary corporate leaders to chime in with their opinions and thoughts on relevant industry-specific matters that provide a detailed expert perspective for our followers.