Brick-and-Mortar Retailers Preparing for an Online Christmas

Posted by Kristen Melendez on Fri, Oct 26, 2012 @ 04:31 AM
One of the strategies in offering more variety to online shoppers is making in-store merchandise available online and having those orders fulfilled by the store.  I think the question still remains, is this a viable option?

Shipping from stores can have benefits when all forces align, but what is the impact of subpar performance? The likelihood of a delayed shipment from the store is far greater than from a DC, and not by the fault of the associates. For example, merchandise is frequently moved by shoppers, shoplifting will cause inaccurate inventory, negotiating later parcel pick-up will be more difficult at the store level, and shipping systems need to be installed and integrated at the store level. What is in place at the store to (1) help the associate locate misplaced merchandise (2) Notify customers - in a timely manner - that the item they ordered is not available (3) process order as filled in the system, deduct it from store inventory, notify customer an order has shipped and (4) ensure shipping materials are adequately stocked at each store?

To add to that when making in-store merchandise available online, a customer could order 5 different items and receive shipments from up to 5 different locations. What business rules can be systematically implemented to reduce or eliminate these occurrences? 
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Topics: Store Fulfillment, Omnichannel, Shipping, Online Orders, E-commerce