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: brick-and-mortar retail, data, e-commerce, order fulfillment, order delivery, delivery, 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: e-commerce, order delivery, inventory optimization, fulfillment optimization, ship-from-store, shipping, 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, order delivery, safety stock, inventory optimization, 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: fulfillment, retail technology, amazon, walmart, delivery, order delivery, consumer habits, customer experience

3 Amazon Effects on Retail: Are Businesses Adapting?

Customer expectations are changing as a result of Amazon’s innovative technology that continues to fuel their growth. Whether it’s a shift in consumer attitudes towards order delivery (taking into consideration free shipping and delivery speed), customer experience or personalization—about 61% of retailers in a recent Total Retail and IBM survey “believe Amazon has significantly increased its position in the marketplace during the last two years.”

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Topics: customer experience, in-store experience, personalization, retail technology, e-commerce, retail stores, order delivery, amazon

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