The global economy is driven by consumer demands, and the most competitive players must offer high levels of service to meet increasing expectations.
Major multichannel retailers such as Amazon and Google Shops are stepping up their games by adding same-day delivery offerings to online shoppers. This is the next stage of the ecommerce revolution, as online stores continue to upgrade and enhance the convenient services available to shoppers opting for alternative purchasing portals.
With ecommerce sales expected to reach $327 billion by 2016, according to Forrester Research, more consideration must be made to a company's online presence and ecommerce platform to stay on trend with market demands. It is no longer enough to simply launch an online store. Rather, today's multichannel sellers must have unique services or special promotions to set themselves apart from competitors and maintain or increase market share.
The large retailers such as Amazon are adding new shipping centers around the world to enable same-day shipping options to Amazon Prime shoppers in major metropolitan areas. Google is investing in its own upgrade to shipping capabilities called Google Shopping Express that will offer same-day delivery features from stores in a shopper's immediate location.
Unfortunately, many other retailers will not be able to match these features immediately. However, with the help of integrated order management solutions, these sellers can enhance their online offerings, enhance their delivery system and continually improve customer satisfaction by increasing the odds that in-demand items will be in stock.
What order management offers
Multichannel sellers have a complex order fulfillment process that services purchases from various channels and markets. To keep all activities in sync and error-free, retailers can leverage sophisticated order management systems. These systems can help them fulfill order across multiple channels efficiently, and help them strategically monitor distribution channels and address any disruptions quickly.
Furthermore,order management solutions are vital to enhancing or increasing delivery options for customers, such as adding same-day delivery to retail purchases. Comprehensive, integrated order management solutions typically include:
- Inventory visibility across multiple locations
- Order sourcing and routing capabilties
- Scheduling of services, delivery and shipments across multiple channels
- Order confirmation and tracking
- Easy "return anywhere" options for customers
- Real-time updates on order activity online and via mobile devices
Order management is part of an overarching supply chain management strategy that allows business leaders to oversee all channels and departments, including stores, warehouses, distributors, shippers and business partners. The monitoring capabilities ensure activities are synchronized and optimized for efficient use of resources.
Countering big seller specials
Ad Age outlined a few ways smaller retailers will have to adapt to the new marketplace as large sellers deploy same-day delivery offerings. Many retailers will have to work harder to retain customers both in-store and online when competing with larger companies with capital and resources to make delivery faster. Consider ways to partner with other suppliers and distributors to keep delivery options evolving to customer demands.
Furthermore, it will be increasingly important for all channels of commerce to be connected and supporting one another. Multichannel sellers will have to use ecommerce platforms to publicize in-store deals to increase foot traffic and compensate for any business lost online to competitive shipping options. They must work to cut costs throughout the supply chain so prices can remain low in-store and online to retain customers and sustainability.
What is your company planning around order management? How will you compete with the largest sellers?