Mark Greaves Viare Chief Fulfilment Officer discusses why Reviewing your Online Fulfilment and why a modern Order Management System is a must.
As we now move out of the Covid lockdown driven growth of online and into the inflation fuelled economic challenges of today, it has never been a better time for Retailers to step back and review their online fulfilment.
Many retailers are considering reviews of their fulfilment due to the struggles they saw during Covid, and a desire to achieve cost savings etc, but many do not realise the sales growth which can be achieved by changing the way they manage online fulfilment. Amazon has shown us that you don’t need the best-looking website in the world and slickest marketing campaign (sure, they help) but optimising fulfilment can set you apart from your competitors and give you a competitive advantage.
Customers do not remain loyal because your website looks great or if you have fancy looking emails, however, they are certainly more likely to remain loyal if you deliver their order well and keep them up to date on their order progress. While in our minds many of us think customers will forgive us for our mistakes or delays with their order, and they might, but customers are smart enough to release if it happens to them twice or they read about others having the same issue that we just might not get it right in the future and maybe they would be better off spending their money elsewhere. In these tighter economic times customers are going to value brands that offer them value and provide convenient, consistent and seamless order experience.
Many retailers are now looking at how they can make their fulfilment processes and systems robust, flexible, fit for purposes and adaptable for the future. The basics like offering Click & Collect are no longer a differentiator but a bare minimum, retailers are now needing to ensure they can offer options to their customers. While none of us have a crystal ball (don’t we wish we did) it is very likely that customers are going to expect more options regarding when and how they get their orders and retailers which can offer and maintain a wide range online will outperform their competitors.
It is now more important than ever that you are either implementing or have implemented an order management system (OMS) which is fit for purpose for now and will adapt and scale with you as you test and adapt your fulfilment offering to support your sales growth. No longer are the old legacy Warehouse Management Systems or Point of Sale systems, Website platforms able to offer a fulfilment tool which will continue to support your needs now and into the future, modern Order Management Systems are becoming a must.
If you are not sure what’s important to a modern OMS read our article “OMS, the latest eCommerce acronym to understand” by clicking here.
Fulfilment process and systems need to be adaptable as this is a journey not a destination, it is very important to acknowledge that you shouldn’t try and take giant leaps, you need to test, learn and adapt on a continuous improvement approach. Your systems should allow you to change approaches, try ideas and test and measure them. The system should allow you to be flexible i.e. during peak season.
You don’t need to implement an OMS and turn on all the features day one, it is a journey and those retailers with modern OMS who continue to test and learn will ultimately come out on top, remember the Tortoise and the Hare. If you have not done store fulfilment and are concerned about it, having the ability to test in one store, or turn on fulfilling their click & collect orders they have stock for is a good starting point.
That’s why we at Viare not only support retailers with a modern Order Management System which is flexible and allows retailers to test features and processes to continue to improve their fulfilment operations we have fulfilments experts who are retailers and have many years running retail fulfilment operations to support our clients with this journey and help them achieve their desired outcomes. Get in touch today or to find out more about our Intelligent Order Management system and how to master fulfilment please click here.
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