Volume fluctuations and e-commerce fulfillment go hand in hand. There are two basic types of fluctuations – those that occur naturally (an unforeseen spike in sales) and those that are driven by marketing (a sale). Unfortunately, most online retailers don’t think about fulfillment until after there is an issue. If you are not well prepared, it can be extremely difficult to deal with these types of volume fluctuations. Not only do you need to make sure you have enough products available during these high sales times, but you need the right number of employees around.
The implementation of this starts with integrating store and online systems so that you can determine whether or not all items the customer would like can be filled at the local store.
The second part of this is managing a process that will alert in store associates to a new order and determining the best way to manage the order releases to meet customer expectations yet still perform the work efficiently. Then, the order needs to be picked (from either open stock or back-room) and prepared for customer pick-up. Lastly, the merchandise needs to be accounted for as sold (order fulfilled).
What are your thoughts about allowing customers to order online and pick-up their order at the store within hours?
Retail Chains - OfficeMax launches in-store pickup of online orders - Internet Retailer
Looking for additional resoruces or have questions about MKM Distribution? Please email Kharlow@mkm-logistics.com or call (317) 334-7900.
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?
* 4.6 Million Miles Driven
* 424 Stores Delivered Daily
* Over 7 Million E-Commerce Units Pick, Packed and Shipped
* 4 Million Cartons Processed in Our Warehouses
We are looking forward to a successful 2010. To learn more about us click here.