For retailers as well as B2B companies, order fulfillment plays a major role in both customer satisfaction and profitability. Customers expect flawless, fast order fulfillment across all channels. While customer-centric companies work hard to meet these expectations, it can be very expensive to do so.
As customers purchase from your company across multiple channels—via the Web, mobile apps, kiosks, marketplaces, retail locations, and even catalog and telephone orders—you’ll want capabilities like centralized order orchestration, ship from store, drop ship, and real-time inventory visibility. These order management capabilities work together to meet customers’ expectations seamless, fast and error-free order fulfillment.
However, these capabilities alone don’t ensure companies can do so profitably. In fact, while many CEOs have identified omnichannel commerce as a top priority, the IBM Consumer Expectations Study found that it could cost up to three times more to serve omnichannel customers.
Every channel adds complexity to the order fulfillment process. In addition, there’s pressure from customers and competitors to same-day or two-day shipping, making it even more critical to leverage modern technologies to fulfill orders in the most efficient, cost-effective way possible. In fact, the IBM study found that 72 percent of consumersconsider two-day or less shipping as a factor when making a purchase.
On top of using an omnichannel order management system, companies are now adopting solutions that can apply human reasoning and cognitive capabilities to order fulfillment. As a result, they’re able to meet or exceed customer expectations while reducing their fulfillment costs. Let’s take a closer look.