Cross channel order fulfilment is becoming increasingly popular around the world.
With the largest retailers and fortune five hundred chief executive officers firmly believing in the concept and backing it to the hilt. Cross channel order fulfilment is beneficial for customers or consumers, retailers and manufacturers. Even facilitators in the whole procedure, from logistics to back end support, benefit from cross channel order fulfilment.
There is no doubt that it makes for a convenient shopping experience. However, there are some quintessential requisites to perfect cross channel order fulfilment. Without the necessary components, the whole approach or the strategy can be futile. It may not backfire as such but it will remain ineffective unless planned well. The focus or the end objective should be omnichannel fulfilment and every strategy must be devised to accomplish that.
Here are the three principal or quintessential components of cross channel order fulfilment.
- The first obvious component is eCommerce but with a twist. Consumers should be given the opportunity to buy online. This is regardless of the retail operations or the strategy taken up by a company. It is appropriate for brick and mortar retailers to have an online store. It is also befitting for an eCommerce site or an online marketplace. But that is just what online sales is all about. Cross channel order fulfilment requires a facility of allowing consumers to shop online and to even make the purchases but to pick up the purchased goods from a store. This could be the store selling the stuff online or it could be a partner store. This is where networks come in. The global marketplaces have expanded their networks across most major economies of the world to offer this facility. Some consumers don’t want to pay for shipping and handling charges. Some items are just not suitable for delivery even when they come with great deals online.
- The second component is returns at the store. When consumers are unhappy with their purchases, they will return the goods. Many companies charge for shipping when the goods are returned even when they have offered free shipping to send the goods to the address. But when consumers return via post, there is a likelihood that the company will have to refund. Returns at stores will encourage exchange so the store doesn’t lose out on revenue. Even if the customer returns the item and buys or exchanges something of a little less worth, that too is better than refunding the entire amount for the price of the item originally bought for no exchange or subsequent purchase.
- Finally, cross channel order fulfilment should have the facility of ordering at a store and getting a fulfilment store to deliver the goods when the store taking the order doesn’t have the stock of the particular item. The benefits are obvious.