Ship-from-Store, Click & Collect and Click & Meet - this is flexible eCommerce Fulfillment
Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Ship-from-Store, Click & Collect and Click & Meet - this is flexible eCommerce Fulfillment

Omnichannel retail strategy, just the way you want it. Read here why you as a stationary retailer should use "Ship from Store": direct shipping from the store to the online orderer.

While Amazon and Zalando are introducing same-day or next-day delivery by default, other brands are trying to shorten the wait time for consumers. Retailers such as Zara and Target have already begun shipping from brick-and-mortar stores. Sporting goods manufacturer Nike, in collaboration with Zalando, is testing direct shipping from its Berlin stores starting this year.

What does shipping mean for me as a local retailer?

With Ship from Store, the retail store is the shipping center. The fulfillment process is changing: retailers are using the inventory in their stores to process online orders. The orders can come from any channel, such as the online store, as it is a true omnichannel process.

This type of order processing turns the store into a virtual distribution center.

Shipping from the store benefits retailers in many ways.

First, it's an efficient way to use inventory. For example, your main store might be out of stock in its top-selling assortment, losing sales opportunities, while a smaller store has to deal with a hard-to-sell remaining stock and lacks space for exciting merchandise.

Instead of using discounts, retailers can maximize sales at regular prices. The obvious one: by shipping inventory via Ship from Store to fulfill online orders.

With an inventory management system, retailers can prevent "out of stock" products: Just because an item is not available, it may be hanging on a pole in the store, adorning a mannequin, or returned as a return and thus still be available for sales in some form. Additional sales would have been lost.

Store inventories for online orders that are out of stock at distribution centers result in immediate sales increases of 10 to 20 percent, as more inventory is available for sale.

At the same time, shipping costs for the retailer decrease as shipments from the warehouse drop dramatically. In short, the store must become an important part of retailers' omnichannel processes. Ship from Store can noticeably increase sales.

These are points to keep in mind to make your ship from store strategy work

  1. Make sure that appropriate processes for shipping from the most appropriate stores exist. The Merchandise availability must be maintained at the most popular and profitable stores.

  2. The excess store workload must be limited. Ensure that employees are effectively trained and are prepared to handle the picking, packing, and shipping workload.

  3. Make sure that stores perceive "ship from store" as a positive change and not as an obstacle. Therefore, procedures must be in place to ensure that picking, packing, and shipping of the inventory are credited for sales commissions. Also, create incentives for store associates to meet the shipping goals of the new omnichannel culture.

  4. For ship from store to work optimally, retailers need 100% real-time visibility of their entire inventory across all channels. SOMS, as an omnichannel solution, gives you this critical visibility.

  5. Consumers expect free and easy returns, and if they don't like your returns policy, they will buy elsewhere in the future. Determine whether orders delivered from your store should be personally returned and/or sent to stores and distribution centers via parcel service.

Conclusion: Online shopping is here to stay, even after the pandemic. For a successful ship-from-store strategy. the correct technical implementation is of crucial importance. But especially small and medium-sized enterprises still shy away from it. Changes of any kind require courage, a well thought-out strategy and a competent service provider.

Many companies initially lack the technical know-how or supposedly the time to acquire it. A "fits-for-all" solution does not exist, because each company has its individual characteristics that enable it to position itself profitably in different ways. Here, too, digitization should be seen as an opportunity to be seized.

The investment is worthwhile, because consumers will not necessarily fall back on the stationary store after the pandemic, but will continue to take advantage of online shopping. To attract the attention of potential customers in analog form as well, a digital strategy has long been part of everyday life. Linking analog/digital is therefore a logical step, all the more so in a pandemic, that does not allow for personal customer contact.

Do you still have questions on the topic of "Ship from Store" or would you like to give us feedback? You can reach us via contact form, by e-mail to info@smartstore.com or by phone from Monday to Friday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. at +49 231 5335 0.

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