In the digital era, consumers expect their businesses to be seamless. Right from the initial product search to after-care. Thus, the rise of e-commerce has served to make this goal more challenging to meet. When efficiency and profitability are important, omnichannel fulfillment is not just a process, but a necessity.
What is Omnichannel Fulfillment?
Omnichannel fulfillment can be referred to as the process that begins from a customer placing the orders to the time of delivery to the end-user. Moreover, this process includes pick up warehousing, packaging, and delivery to the buyer, etc. All of this happens in a synchronized manner, where the data is centralized together.
Omnichannel fulfillment is order fulfillment that takes place across more than one channel. This means that it uses multiple resources that the retailer has at its disposal. Thus, to deliver the order to the customer. For example, the order placed online picked up directly from the store, it can be shipped to the store from the fulfillment center, and many more.
Omnichannel order fulfillment consists of 5 main processes-
This process mainly revolves around activities related to storage, checking the merchandise, inventory management, etc.
The next step is order management. Here, one places an order and confirms the same. This process takes place at both ends, customer as well as the store.
This step looks into the packaging, labeling, and adding invoices of the product.
Shipping and returns
Delivery, shipping, payment, etc. all of this is catered to in this process. Due to several reasons, customers return packages as well. For this, refund and returning of goods take place.
This includes communicating with the customer to receive feedback once the product has been delivered and received.
Types of Omnichannel fulfillment
The three different types of omnichannel fulfilment strategies are-
In warehouse fulfillment, the e-commerce business rents or owns a warehouse. Post which, it ships its products directly from the warehouse. This type of omnichannel fulfillment can lead to problems related to inventory management, later when your business booms.
There are two types of store fulfillment-
Ship from sore
In this type of fulfillment, products shipped directly from the store to the customers. Moreover, the store acts as a warehouse or distribution center. This is an excellent option for smaller businesses.
Ship to store
The second type leveraged by e-commerce brands that offer in-store pickups to customers.
Third-Party Logistics (3PL)
3PL is one of the best ways to fulfill your order fulfillment, it covers almost all the processes of omnichannel fulfillment. Furthermore, a third-party logistics company is the link between the company and its end-user. 3PL services provide services like inventory management, shipping post-delivery experience, etc.
Benefits of Omnichannel fulfillment:
There are many benefits to using an omnichannel fulfillment strategy. For modern businesses that sell across different platforms. thus establishing a seamless service that consumers demand is vital. Thus, with the ideal fulfillment strategy, businesses benefit from-
If you opt for omnichannel fulfillment, the normal tendency is to hire a 3PL to fulfill your activities. 3PLs have detailed reports that highlight your most important channels. Thus, you receive reports instantly. This immediate report system gives you the essential performance metrics that you can put to use to improve your fulfillment service.
Modern customers expect immediate results. Hence, with omnichannel fulfillment, one can receive their home deliveries faster. Or even opt to visit the store physically and make purchases. When consumers receive the best service at the best price; they keep coming back and also follow up with your digital outlets.
Stronger brand image
Businesses must advantage of omnichannel fulfillment. Hence, they are viewed as a brand that is attentive to customer’s needs and preferences. This makes your brand different from other brands.
Hence, an omnichannel fulfillment process is an ideal process that helps achieve successful order fulfillment. Varied types of fulfillment whereas the benefits huge, at the same type it’s a simple process to get started with.
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