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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

An Interview with Aldo’s Sr. Director of E-Commerce on Predictive Analytics

If you’re familiar with Celect, then you know how excited we are about our latest press release, which announces our recent partnership with multinational footwear retailer, ALDO Group.

For those of you who haven’t heard—here’s the lowdown on the announcement:

By leveraging predictive analytics, Celect is providing Aldo with unique insights on customer demand to help optimize the fulfillment of online orders across its global network of stores.

Which brings me to my next point:  

Total Retail just released an exclusive interview with ALDO Group's Director of E-commerce Operations, Marc Chretien, to talk about his experience with Celect and Aldo’s omnichannel fulfillment efforts: 

“Customers have become very flexible in their purchasing patterns and have embraced omnichannel, leading them to expect these options from retailers. […] A strategy that ALDO Group has adopted is placing the most possible inventory in-store (vs. distribution centers) where both the walk-in and the digital customer can access it. The Celect technology is a great compliment to that strategy and allows ALDO Group to more accurately predict customers’ demands in real time and, subsequently, determine which stores have inventory opportunities.“Marc Chretien, Sr. Director of E-commerce Operations at ALDO Group

The Q&A provides some additional insights into how Aldo is adapting to the changing consumer and leaning on predictive analytics to make better, faster and more profitable order fulfillment decisions.

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Topics: predictive analytics, fulfillment, ship-from-store, fulfillment optimization, advanced analytics, order fulfillment

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

Solving for Today's Retail Order Fulfillment Dilemma 

The future of retail relies heavily on fulfillment.

Over the past decade, delivery expectations have surged. Two-day and one-day shipping is emerging as the new norm. Retailers continue to move towards shorter delivery times, yet most cannot deliver products profitably within three to five days.

At NRF earlier this year, our CTO, Vivek Farias, made a bold prediction: within the next ten years, two-hour delivery is going to be table stakes.  

Retailers are at a point where the failure to provide options for quick delivery comes with the risk of losing a sale. This shouldn’t come as a surprise for those in the industry, yet looking at the actual stats is always mind-boggling: 

  • About 72% of consumers factor in two-day delivery to help decide whether or not to make an online purchase.
  • About 45% of consumers factor in one to two-hour delivery to help decide whether or not to make an online purchase.

Given this data, maybe Vivek’s prediction isn’t so bold. 

It’s completely reasonable, and retailers need to prepare for deliver on these expectations in order to survive.

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Topics: omnichannel, fulfillment, ship-from-store, inventory optimization, supply chain

12 Days ’til Christmas: The Crucial Last Mile for the Holiday Season

This past month was HUGE for online retail. 

Seriously—record-breaking e-commerce sales filled my news feed immediately after Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday. Even Thanksgiving Day turned around some unexpected results. According to Adobe Analytics, Americans spent a record $6.59 billion online on Cyber Monday alone.

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Topics: retail analytics, shipping, fulfillment, ship-from-store, artificial intelligence, ecommerce, brick-and-mortar retail, consumer insights

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