Omnichannel Fullfillment: A Strategy to Increase Sales Skip to main content
Omnichannel Fulfillment Strategy: Guide

Modern consumers expect convenience, choice, and flexibility when making purchases. They want the ability to choose how and where to buy products, as well as how to receive them. They are willing to use at least 11 sales channels to make purchases. This explains the popularity of omnichannel retail fulfillment today.

It's not just a trend; omnichannel has become a necessity for ecommerce companies. Companies implementing an omnichannel strategy have been able to retain 89% of their customers compared to 33% for those without such strategies. Successfully implementing omnichannel can enhance the customer experience and increase profitability.

So, what is omnichannel fulfillment? Read our article to learn more about it and how it can help your company meet customer expectations and remain competitive.

1. Omnichannel Fulfillment: Definition and Benefits

Omnichannel fulfillment is a modern logistics and order fulfillment strategy intentionally designed to seamlessly integrate various sales channels within a company, providing customers with a highly convenient and flexible shopping experience.

It enables your customers to place orders and receive products through different channels, including physical stores, online stores, mobile applications, social media, and other platforms.

Omnichannel fulfillment aims to unify all these channels into a single management system, allowing the company to efficiently handle inventory, orders, and deliveries.

Benefits of omnichannel fulfillment include:

  • Improved customer service: Omnichannel fulfillment enables companies to offer customers maximum flexibility in choosing how to purchase and receive goods. Customers can order products online, pick them up in a store, or browse items in a mobile app, catering to their diverse needs.
  • Increased brand visibility: When a brand provides customers with multiple channels for interaction, it enhances brand visibility and strengthens customer loyalty. Customers who have various options for making purchases are more likely to return to the brand and recommend it to others.
  • Increased sales: By offering access to various sales channels, companies can reach a broader audience and increase their sales volume. According to research, omnichannel customers make purchases 1.7 times more frequently compared to those who use a single channel. This means that having more touchpoints with customers will contribute to boosting your revenue.
  • Efficient inventory management: Omnichannel fulfillment allows for more precise inventory management. Inventory and warehouse management systems can be integrated, reducing the risks of overstock and product shortages.
  • Enhanced analytics and marketing: Omnichannel fulfillment systems provide companies with valuable data about customer behavior. This data can be used to better understand consumer preferences and personalize marketing campaigns.
  • Cost reduction: Efficient resource and logistics management allows companies to reduce costs and improve profit margins.

2. Challenges of Omnichannel Ecommerce Fulfillment

While omnichannel fulfillment offers numerous advantages, the implementation of this strategy can also encounter several problems and challenges that companies need to consider and address. Here are some of the key issues related to omnichannel ecommerce fulfillment:

2.1. Challenges in inventory management across all channels

Companies need to consider numerous factors to accurately forecast the required amount of products for each channel and distribute them effectively. A customer might browse products through a mobile app and then place an order through the online store, or vice versa.

You must have the capability to distribute inventory among channels based on their demand. The complexity arises from the fact that the demand levels can vary significantly across different channels, making it challenging to forecast the required inventory quantities for each of them.

To overcome these challenges, you'll need to invest in modern inventory management systems. They will enable you to track inventory in real time and account for the needs of each channel.

2.2. Challenges in building a logistics chain

Coordinating deliveries from various sources, including physical stores, warehouses, and order processing centers, can pose challenges and increase logistics costs. Efficiently moving goods from different sources to the customer requires a clear logistics strategy and internal coordination within the organization.

Omnichannel fulfillment also implies greater flexibility in delivery methods, as customers can choose to have their orders delivered to stores, post offices, or directly to their homes. This creates additional complexities in logistics management and order processing.

Addressing these challenges in the logistics chain may also require investments in technology, data management, and collaboration between different departments within the company. Only in this way can you ensure efficient and reliable delivery within an omnichannel strategy.

2.3. Omnichannel fulfillment requires technological solutions

As implied by the aforementioned challenges, the successful implementation of omnichannel fulfillment requires complex information systems and technologies. They will demand substantial investments. You will need to integrate various software platforms that handle inventory management, order processing, delivery, and analytics to create a unified system.

3. Omnichannel Fulfillment Strategies: How to Meet Customer Expectations and Increase Revenue?

Back in 2017, 67% of retailers stated the importance of omnichannel retail fulfillment for their business. The pandemic further emphasized the significance of omnichannel fulfillment. Let's explore key strategies that will enable your company to meet customer expectations, increase revenue, and create a more attractive shopping experience for your customers.

3.1. Sales channel integration

Integrating various sales channels, such as online stores, physical retail locations, mobile apps, and social platforms, is a fundamental strategy of omnichannel fulfillment. Customers expect a consistent and convenient experience when transitioning between these channels.

This means that product information, pricing, and availability must be accessible and up-to-date across all channels. Integration also enables customers to place orders and make returns through various channels, enhancing convenience and the level of service.

3.2. Unified order and inventory management system

In 2019, 53% of retailers planned to invest in an order management system to enhance their omnichannel fulfillment strategies. Such an approach can indeed help your company more efficiently manage inventory and process orders.

A unified order and inventory management system will provide transparency and accuracy in product availability data across all points of sale, allowing for the automation of order and delivery processes. Customers will be able to see real-time product availability and choose their preferred method of order fulfillment.

3.3. Personalized and contextual marketing

70% of consumers make purchases from companies that offer personalized service. Omnichannel fulfillment allows you to gather data about customers from various channels. You can use this data to create personalized offers, including product recommendations, promotions, and discounts that align with each customer's interests and preferences.

Contextual marketing enables you to tailor your offers based on a customer's location and activity, increasing the likelihood of successful sales.

4. Target and Zara: examples of successful omnichannel strategy

Omnichannel retail fulfillment allows companies to significantly enhance the customer experience, optimize operations, and increase revenue. This is vividly demonstrated by well-known global brands such as Target and Zara, which successfully implement omnichannel fulfillment.

4.1. Target

Target is a large American retail chain of supermarkets and department stores. They have actively invested in omnichannel fulfillment to enhance their customers' shopping experiences. Target offers services such as "Order Pickup" and "Drive Up," allowing customers to order products online and pick them up at stores at their convenience. As a result, in the first quarter of 2020, the company successfully fulfilled 80% of online orders through its 1,900 physical stores.

Furthermore, Target actively utilizes its loyalty program and personalized marketing to retain customers and boost sales. This successful implementation of the omnichannel strategy enabled Target to increase its in-store sales by 24.3% and online sales by 195%.

4.2. Zara

Zara, a global leader in the fashion industry with over 2,000 stores in 96 countries, was significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with up to 88% of its stores temporarily closed during that period. However, a swift transition to omnichannel retail fulfillment allowed the company to withstand the challenging conditions and even increase its profits, while other retailers reported losses.

By integrating their physical stores and online sales, Zara offers customers the ability to order products both online and in stores, as well as facilitating returns at convenient locations. This successful use of an omnichannel strategy has allowed them to retain their audience and increase online sales by 74%.

5. Effective Tools and Technologies for Implementing Omnichannel Strategies by Fulfillment-Box

First and foremost, it's important to understand that omnichannel is more than just technological integration. It's a cultural and philosophical shift in the business that requires a reevaluation of processes and customer service approaches. However, even if a company fully recognizes the importance of omnichannel strategies, implementation can be a complex and resource-intensive process. Therefore, partnering with experienced experts in omnichannel fulfillment can significantly ease this process.

Fulfillment-Box utilizes modern software, Ysell.pro, which allows for the integration and management of orders from various platforms. This enables your company to centrally manage all orders, regardless of the channel through which they were placed. Integration ensures consistency and unified order management, simplifying the processes of processing and delivery.

The software not only integrates orders but also allows real-time inventory tracking. This is a significant advantage, as the company always has up-to-date information about the availability of products in different warehouses and stores. This helps avoid stockouts when a customer has already placed an order.

An important part of omnichannel ecommerce fulfillment at Fulfillment-Box is also establishing a reliable connection and integration with delivery services. This allows us to deliver our customers' orders from different sales channels on time, ensuring a high level of service. Tracking the delivery status and notifying customers of successful deliveries make the buying experience more satisfactory.

Conclusion:

Omnichannel fulfillment represents an effective strategy for modern companies. Despite the challenges associated with its implementation, the advantages of omnichannel fulfillment clearly outweigh them. It allows companies to meet customer expectations, increase their revenue, strengthen their brand, and remain competitive in the rapidly changing world of ecommerce.

A key factor in the successful implementation of omnichannel fulfillment is collaboration with experienced partners who can provide not only the necessary technologies but also valuable expertise. Joint efforts and knowledge sharing will enable a more efficient integration of this strategy into your business.

Approaching the omnichannel fulfillment strategy with awareness, you can achieve significant success and become a leader in your industry.

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Julia Gordon

AuthorJulia Gordon

Head of the Fulfillment-Box Prep Centers network

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