6 Proven Ways AI Will Improve Your OMS

As we progress into the next fiscal year and roll through the daily motions required to meet a new set of annual objectives, retailers like you know — better than anyone — how fleeting the status quo in the retail world can be. Fulfillment models have evolved tremendously over the past decade, yet many of the systems merchants rely on to meet new delivery expectations have not. In today’s retail environment, the point of purchase can be wherever the consumer wants to be, adding a new level of complexity to the standard, rules-based order management system (OMS) running every e-commerce transaction coming through.

That being said, to be efficient, profitable, and fast for online delivery requires an ability to adapt to consumer’s ever-changing needs in advance while leveraging your stores. This means arming systems with predictive insights to anticipate demand and understand what/when/where your next customer will buy.

So, the question stands, how exactly have retailers tackled the challenges online fulfillment presents? Here are six proven ways AI will significantly improve your existing OMS:  

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Topics: ship-from-store, artificial intelligence, ecommerce, order delivery, brick-and-mortar retail, technology adoption, order fulfillment, OMS, order management systems

Dear Retailers: You’re Losing Money on Delivery. Here’s Why.

The state of order fulfillment is so far beyond what retailers could have imagined just a few decades ago. In the era of ‘see now, want now’ brands have no choice but to conform to industry expectations around quick and free delivery. Despite a shift towards one-hour, same-day, or, at most, two-day delivery, retailers still struggle to get fulfillment right, leaving money right smack in the middle of the table. Here’s why retailers continue to battle for profits from efficient order fulfillment:

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Topics: e-commerce, order delivery, brick-and-mortar retail, delivery, data, order fulfillment, demand prediction

3 Ways Ship From Store Fulfillment Can Help Master Cross-Channel Demand

Unfortunately, anticipating demand isn’t as straight-forward as it once was. People shop whenever and wherever, leveraging each and every available retail channel.

This makes it really difficult for retailers nowadays.

Increased access also increases consumer expectations across channels—shoppers expect a seamless experience and alignment among brands, products, and choices both physically and digitally. To keep up, retailers must enable a cohesive cross-channel experience through their offerings, including product assortment, purchase, delivery, and return options. 

However, it’s really difficult for retailers to provide this seamless, integrated experience in a profitable way.

Unfortunately, you have no choice.

Mastering cross-channel demand is critical if you want to succeed in the retail industry, despite the challenges it presents. 

This is why many retailers today are incorporating a ship-from-store (SFS) strategy to help overcome the difficulties cross-channel demand entails. The key advantage of SFS (if done right) is that it allows retailers to provide the differentiated experience consumers seek via better delivery offerings, in a profitable and cost-effective way.

Here are 3 ways ship from store fulfillment can help retailers master cross-channel demand:

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Topics: shipping, e-commerce, ship-from-store, inventory optimization, order delivery, fulfillment optimization, cross-channel demand

Retail Safety Stock – Do You Even Need It?

“Determining appropriate inventory levels is one of the most important and most challenging tasks faced by operations managers. If you carry too much inventory, you tie up money in working capital; if you don’t carry enough inventory, you face stockouts.”Crack the Code: Understanding Safety Stock and Mastering Its Equations, MIT

Overstocks and out-of-stocks. A double-edged sword.

If your store runs out of product when unexpected demand hits the fence, it’s a missed opportunity. On the other hand, a store stocked with too much product almost always leads to markdowns and profit loss—another missed opportunity.

This is how the typical song and dance between planning for inventory safety stocks goes. Traditionally, retailers try to anticipate fluctuations in future demand, yet, most of the time, fail to do so accurately.

Given the recent pressures across the industry to improve performance as margins shrink and store foot traffic falls—retailers are scrambling to improve sell-through rates, decrease markdowns, and increase profit. Which is challenging when you’re constantly making the wrong bets in the wrong places.

The art of finding this balance between making sure you have the right inventory on hand is HARD.

In fact, it’s one of the biggest challenges retailers face today, and, in the most simplistic terms—it’s having the right product, at the right place, at the right time.

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Topics: e-commerce, inventory optimization, order delivery, safety stock, fulfillment optimization

Delivering on Delivery Expectations

"The No. 1 driver of shopping cart abandonment (aka lost market share) is extra fees applied at checkout (aka logistics costs).”  - Retail Dive

As a consumer, it’s easy to overlook the complexities retailers must overcome to execute on delivering the right product to the right place, at the right time.  

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Topics: customer experience, retail technology, amazon, fulfillment, walmart, consumer habits, order delivery, delivery

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