The order delivery process is the most crucial part of the e-commerce supply chain. There is no e-commerce business if you cannot deliver the order to your customer’s doorstep quickly, efficiently, and accurately. As technology progresses, companies are able to provide even more convenient delivery options to their customers to incentivize them to return for more purchases. E-commerce businesses use omnichannel fulfillment to adapt to the changing needs of their customers without having to disrupt their existing operations.
While doing so, e-commerce businesses have to focus on achieving their goals in a financially sustainable manner. As the e-commerce shipping sector booms, companies have started using the omnichannel strategy to provide convenience to their customers. The omnichannel approach allows e-commerce businesses to integrate their sales channels to optimize them operationally and financially.
In this blog, we will discuss the role of omnichannel fulfillment in the growth of the e-commerce logistics supply chain.
1) An introduction to Omnichannel fulfillment
Omnichannel fulfillment can be defined as using an integrated process to fulfill orders using different delivery modes across several sales channels. The omnichannel process ensures you leverage your network of fulfillment centers and use a unified and integrated supply chain for all your sales channels. Instead, adopting the omnichannel strategy will allow you to create a unified process optimized for maximum efficiency.
For example, if a product is ordered from the Arvind Fashion website, you can choose to get it delivered to your doorstep or schedule an in-store or curbside pickup.
This allows you to provide personalized delivery options to the customer to improve their shopping experience. Using the omnichannel strategy allows you to reduce operational costs without hampering the quality of your delivery process.
2) Omnichannel fulfillment
As you adopt an omnichannel strategy, you will have to develop a robust fulfillment process.
Omnichannel fulfillment is when the product is delivered to the customer’s doorstep or a location of their convenience, or enables pick-up from stores. This can be a complex task and requires you to partner with various services to accomplish the end goal.
E-commerce businesses usually partner with third parties to handle logistics, warehousing, inventory, and last-mile delivery. The benefit is that you don’t have to invest in developing a physical infrastructure to fulfill your orders. You can tap into the existing supply chain with the help of third-party services to deliver the orders to your customers. For example, e-commerce companies like Amazon have a completely online fulfillment model.
3) Growth of Omnichannel fulfillment with E-commerce Logistics
During the boom of e-commerce, most businesses had an existing physical infrastructure. The logistics industry adapted to the changing landscape, as it plays an important role in fueling the growth of the e-commerce sector.
The increasing popularity of omnichannel fulfillment is due to the consumer demand and maturity of the e-commerce logistics supply chain. With the help of the e-commerce shipping industry, retail businesses can adopt the Omnichannel Strategy.
Brands like Vero Moda and Only can use the existing vast network of showrooms and shops to build a hybrid delivery model that can cater to online and offline customers at the same time. It is now more manageable with omnichannel management platforms like Omuni that provide best-in-class omnichannel solutions.
4) How do Omnichannel Management Platforms Help?
As with every new process, the omnichannel strategy also comes with logistical challenges. These challenges can be easily solved through operational changes and proactive efforts to achieve operational efficiency. With technology, it is now much easier to deal with these problems. Here’s how an omnichannel management platform can help you:
4.1) Tracking the Inventory in Real-Time
Using a combination of stores and fulfillment centers for an optimized fulfillment process makes it difficult to keep track of inventory in real-time. At the same time, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep track of in-store inventory. Platforms like Omuni can help you manage inventory across your customer-facing channels in real-time and ensure that there is no inventory lag.
4.2) Avoid Duplicate Sales
Using your stores as eCommerce fulfillment centers makes you more likely to face this problem. If an SKU is listed on your site and the same is being sold in the store, then the order for the same SKU may get placed. This can be prevented by Omuni which keeps a track of your inventory in real-time and assigns the order according to inventory availability to the appropriate store.
4.3) Managing Different Channels
A retailer must use multiple channels to increase the demand for its products. In such cases, packaging or delivery speed may be specific to a particular channel. This can throw a wrench in your fulfillment operations. Brands like Arvind Fashions use integrated dashboards from omnichannel platforms like Omuni that help you manage different sales channels. It is an excellent solution to integrate and automate your order creation and delivery process.
4.4) Ease of Return
The eCommerce returns process becomes more complex when you provide multiple delivery modes. Your fulfillment operations may not be able to handle the same feasibility in the returns process.
5) How does shipping software aid in omnichannel fulfillment?
The primary purpose of the omnichannel strategy is to adopt a feasible model that caters to the customers’ needs without impacting the business’s bottom line. While it integrates order creation and delivery from various sales channels, it also provides multiple modes of delivery through the same delivery supply chain. For you to achieve this efficiency, you need an integrated solution to manage all these processes efficiently.
Shipment Tracking Software like ClickPost can be the ideal partner for you when adopting the omnichannel fulfillment strategy. They support the integration of order creation and delivery for various sales platforms. You can use them to automate your process. A shipping software gives you access to multiple carriers through a single integration and the flexibility to configure the solution to meet all your needs.
E-commerce businesses cannot rely on a single sales channel to effectively reach potential customers. Along with that, the order fulfillment process is financially and operationally demanding. It is not feasible for e-commerce companies to establish separate operations for each sales channel.
The Omnichannel fulfillment strategy is the perfect solution for this problem. The strategy uses the perfect blend of technology and the existing supply chain to formulate a strategy that is operationally and financially optimized. With the cut-throat competition in the e-commerce sector, you must adapt to the industry’s trends to keep your customers happy and connected.