The efficiency and effectiveness of your order fulfillment process will make or break your business. Clients are all about how seamlessly and conveniently they can make, receive or return their orders using any channel. So the more hassle-free order fulfillment and returning items are, the more customers will use your eCommerce fulfillment services.
As a business maximizing sales using a variety of physical and online platforms/channels, you need a more inclusive and efficient way of fulfilling all orders across multiple channels. An order fulfillment solution that ensures timely delivery of goods to customers across all channels.
And there is no excellent way to do this than through omnichannel distribution and fulfillment center automation. With omnichannel distribution, a business can seamlessly and efficiently fulfill its order and logistics process on all its sales channels.
This article looks at omnichannel distribution, its importance, its challenges, and the solutions we offer to improve it.
Table of Contents
- What Is Omnichannel Distribution?
- Why Is Omnichannel Distribution Important?
- Omni-Channel Fulfillment Challenges Businesses Face
- NextSmartShip Omnichannel Fulfillment Solution
What Is Omnichannel Distribution?
The eCommerce world has so many channels that people use to make purchases. There are online marketplaces like Amazon, Facebook Marketplace, Walmart, and Alibaba. Then there are online stores like WooCommerce and Wix stores, dropshipping sites, and physical retail stores. Leveraging all these channels can help your business to maximize sales.
Omnichannel distribution is an order fulfillment method that allows customers to buy and receive products from any convenient channel. The omnichannel distribution gives customers a central point to access all your shopping channels.
It is the most convenient way of selling more products because customers can choose a channel that is closest to them, promoting faster order fulfillment.
Why Is Omnichannel Distribution Important?
When a concept like this gains momentum, especially in the business world, it is not by luck. But it is because it holds great importance to businesses and consumers. Let’s take a look at why omnichannel fulfillment is essential.
1. It avails more shopping options for customers (puts a customer in control of the order/purchase process)
The customer is always king. Customers like options. They love it when a business provides options and allows them to choose what fits them best.
Omnichannel fulfillment offers customers many options, making them feel more valued and in control of their purchase decisions. It helps them select the best product from all sales channels, choose a store, choose the most reliable and affordable shipment/delivery choice, and pay using a convenient method. Giving customers the power to choose makes them appreciate your business more.
The more customers are given the power to choose, the more they will trust your business to meet their needs. Giving customers the power to make a choice in every step of the order process (allowing them to select a specific sales channel, item, and delivery method/date) increases customer satisfaction, making them spend money more freely.
2. It expedites the delivery of goods.
One of the things that customers have in common is choosing a store or channel that will deliver their goods in the time they desire. When it comes to doing business globally, you have to have a system that efficiently serves all customers regardless of their geographical location and reaches. A system that helps you balance your inventory across all your sales channels.
Delays in shipment can cost your business. Time, money, customer satisfaction, and business success go hand in hand. Though some customers don’t need immediate delivery of goods, they trust that you will fulfill their orders in the time or duration you promised. Once you break your word and deliver their goods late, you break their trust.
Omnichannel distribution can help you fulfill all your customers’ orders seamlessly across all channels. When the customer places an order with its delivery time, your system will choose a distribution center nearest to the customer to ensure timely delivery of goods. The omnichannel fulfillment system simplifies logistics by combining all your locations and channels, making it possible for you to ship products to your customers in their various locations in the shortest time possible.
3. It reduces order fulfillment costs.
Omnichannel fulfillment is one of the ways of reducing shipping costs. Omnichannel order distribution gathers all aspects of all your channels’ fulfillment needs in one system or place. Once a customer makes an order from one channel, the system is able to choose the most convenient shipping/fulfillment center nearest to the customer, reducing the delivery distance, time, and shipping costs.
4. It increases business revenue and profits.
It creates more opportunities for your business to make sales. Every channel has customers that like using it. So leveraging many channels increases business sales and revenue. And increased revenue together with reduced costs yields more profit.
Omni-Channel Fulfillment Challenges Businesses Face
While omnichannel fulfillment increases customer satisfaction and sales, it has some problems that hinder its efficiency. Here they are:
Difficulty in tracking inventory in all distribution centers
Efficient omnichannel distribution requires having your distribution or retail centers sufficiently stocked and always ready to fulfill all orders. For this to happen, you should have an efficient warehouse management system that efficiently tracks the inventory status of all your distribution centers.
Without an inventory monitoring/management system in place, you may find that some of your distribution centers have already run out of stock on the day of delivery and cannot fulfill the order in due time.
Inefficient order fulfillment processes and inaccurate delivery time
Some businesses lack the right technology to forecast logistics problems or delays. And this creates an information gap that makes the order fulfillment process faulty or inaccurate.
You need a system that analyzes the store and warehouse locations and determines the shortest possible route, chooses the right transportation, forecasts any shipping delays, and displays the right time to deliver the order.
Customers love businesses that keep their word. If you make a promise to fulfill an order within a certain time and don’t deliver on that promise because of logistics problems, you risk losing that customer.
Challenge in seamlessly managing information across all sales channels
Simply selling your products through multiple channels does not mean success. To get positive results in omnichannel distribution, you have to ensure a smooth experience in all channel-specific processes.
All channels should have consistent, accurate, and current product data to avoid any contradiction and confusion. Product price, product details, availability, or quantity should be uniform across all channels.
Channel specific procedures
Some channels have specific procedures concerning order placement. For a business to succeed in omnichannel fulfillment, it should adopt all these procedures to maximize how customers use these channels and to improve customer experience.
Inefficient reverse logistics infrastructure
Most businesses’ omnichannel fulfillment/delivery is efficient. The trouble comes in returning items. Most businesses don’t have straightforward channels that customers can use to return unsatisfactory products. A difficult return process difficult leads to customer frustration and dissatisfaction. And a dissatisfied customer will not make a repeat buyer.
To ensure customer satisfaction, omnichannel distribution should be an efficient two-way street.
NextSmartShip Omnichannel Fulfillment Solution
At NextSmartShip, we go the extra mile to ensure that your business fulfillment is smooth. Our services ensure customer satisfaction and business success.
Our omnichannel solutions:
Our services cater to all industry types and categories.
Whether you are a DTC brand, an online retail business, or even an influencer brand, we are well equipped to handle all your shipping needs, be it sourcing materials or parts needed for your business. We comfortably work with clients from all industries, such as Apparel & Accessory, Electronics & Appliances, Health & Personal Care, Outdoor & Sports, Beauty & Fitness, and more.
We tailor our services for all business types.
You could be running a Shopify store, a kick-starter campaign, an Amazon business, a subscription box business, or a B2B business. We offer customized omnichannel services for whatever niche your business is in.
We understand that every eCommerce business has specific needs, say WooCommerce order fulfillment. So we tailor our solutions to meet your project challenges, regardless of the product type /business size. We use our patented proprietary software, one-to-one account management, and ever-ready customer service to give a seamless customer experience to our clients.
Use one platform for multi-channel inventory and order management on channels like Amazon, Walmart, Facebook, Google, Etsy, eBay, and others.
We give a clearer insight into all aspects of your supply chain, simplifying the scaling of your eCommerce business. Our solution grants you an easy yet intelligent tool to efficiently manage all your inventory and orders. We help you:
- Monitor and evaluate inventory levels.
- Integrate orders from multiple platforms.
- Track distribution status in real-time
- Check shipping rates and estimated delivery time.
- Choose and select your preferred distribution options
- Send shipping updates and relevant tracking numbers to your customers
We are a one-stop fulfillment company and can provide flexible services
We can process all your distribution/logistics needs, such as sourcing, warehousing, picking & packing, shipping, kitting and assembly, labeling, and returns.
A successful omnichannel distribution strategy requires research, planning, and the right partnerships, and when executed properly, your business will leap and bound more than you expect. At NextSmartShip, we are looking forward to being your fulfillment partner. Partner with us.
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