O2O Series: A retailer’s imperative part III
This is Part III in our O2O series
The last post in this series covered Research online and buy offline (ROBO) – and how you can give your customers a seamless omnichannel experience. Read the complete post here.
Customer experience is key to enabling revenue growth.
New Avenues for Revenues –A Retailer’s imperative
Marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Flipkart, Snapdeal, etc. are not competitors, but partners in a win-win strategy.
- These partnerships help you to
- Reach more customers – Partner with established online brands to boost your business. This way, retailers can sell to online customers, expand customer reach and marketplaces can fulfill their customer orders from the inventory in-store.
- Build brand online – Strategic partnerships can help you build up your brand online. Findings by Forrester Research show that nearly 39 percent of online shoppers globally start their search on Amazon. By crafting a well – developed brand online you cultivate loyalty of customers who then are routed to your offline business.
- Drive up revenues – Partnerships with online players – can help you liquidate your unused inventory and push up profits, by leveraging your most important asset – the physical store.
There are many such examples – Argos, for instance, partnered with online giant eBay –
Make the most of your physical stores by fulfilling online orders via in-store inventory.
Ship from Store
Here’s a situation – Imagine your customer places an order with you for a pair of Nike Shoes. Now to fulfill this order, you can ship it from the distribution center– but your delivery location may be far away, adding to the delivery times, shipping costs as well as labor expenses.
To close the sale, you can ship this order from the retail storefront closest to the customer’s location.
Ship from store allows you to leverage your in-store inventory, make use of the labor and capital already present in your stores, and reach customers faster.
- Superior shopping experience: Customers have the ability to shop from anywhere. An Omnichannel shopping experience helps convert digital hits into footfall in the physical store.
- Inventory Utilization: Allows you to use up obsolete and old inventory, which may not be used otherwise.
- Reduced delivery times: Shipping from stores instead of DCs means reduced delivery times – and happier customers.
- Decreased capital expenditure: Lesser expenses are involved, as there are no costs of additional capital or of setting up distribution centers.
- Increased Sales: Higher sales, due to the increase of brand visibility across a greater customer base.
Ship from store: Challenges
Shipping from the store can solve your order fulfillment problems. It, however, has its own challenges:
- Lack of Complete Inventory Visibility – The key to making ‘Ship from Store’ work for you? Complete Inventory information. There has to be an accurate store level inventory.
This information will help you track the items in-store. Misplaced items, especially apparel, can make inventory visibility nearly impossible. Data can help select products and categories for ship from store. Also, having a system that provides accurate, detailed inventory information will help set safety stock levels.
This is so that:
- Your stores don’t ship high demand items that can be sold in the store.
- At lower inventory levels – stocks can be replenished.
- Absence of Integrated, Single inventory Pool – You need a single view of inventory – from across your stores and online sales channels. For example, a customer comes in to pick up an order – but your staff finds that you are out of stock. If your sales associates have a unified view of inventory – they can ‘save the sale’. They can simply check inventory at the nearest store, and ensure the order is bought or reserved at that location.
- Capability to route orders intelligently – What if you could deliver orders to your customers based on their location of choice? Syncing orders between your channels allow you to deliver orders to a location of the customer’s convenience. Another point that you should consider is how you fulfill the orders. Will you do it via a third-party logistics partner or your own employees?
In conclusion, retailers can leverage O2O to generate new revenue streams for their business.
Change your business with O2O – Request a free demo today.
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